Starting a small business can be a daunting undertaking. Developing a strong business plan, securing funding and offering a product or service that people will want are hurdles that often stop a budding entrepreneur in their tracks.
Pop-up businesses can be one way to get started.
The concept has been around for a while, but pop-ups have largely flown under the city’s radar. But this past summer, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance requiring pop-ups to get licensed, and it went into effect Dec. 3. To obtain a license, prospective pop-ups now have to provide the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection with some basic tax information and not have any outstanding fines with the city. Entrepreneurs can get anything from a five-day to a full-year license ranging in price from $25 to $150 and pop up in several different locations if they want.
The city insists the new ordinance is not intended as just one more revenue-generating measure but as a safeguard against unprofessional business practices, and they say it encourages experimentation in a new era of retail sales.
Pop-ups operating without a license could face fines from $200 to $1,000. You can learn more about Chicago’s Pop-up Initiative here.