Making the personal decision to open your own real estate business in Illinois is a big step. While the real estate market has its highs and lows, owing your own business can be rewarding in itself. It is important to follow Illinois state guidelines for licensing and registration when starting a company. Also, consult with professionals, such as an attorney, if you feel there are some gray areas.
Take the basic transaction courses, which consist of 45 hours of coursework, if you are not licensed in the state of Illinois to sell real estate. However, if you are already licensed, the courses are not required.
Complete 75 hours of classes required for a broker’s license in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations must approve the school. Pass the exam issued by the state of Illinois and receive your license.
Locate office space for your real estate business. Rent, lease or buy an office in an area with a location that is easy for customers to find.
Structure your business according to the needs of your office. Consider forming a limited liability corporation, but review your options in the Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Business in Illinois available at the State of Illinois Business Portal.
Purchase your business license from the local busienss license or tax office, generally located in the courthouse. Also, register your business with the Internal Revenue Service. Since brokers generally supply agents with a 1099 form at the end of the year, you must apply for your employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS.
Advertise your new real estate office in Illinois by placing ads in the local newspaper, printing business cards and joining the chamber of commerce. List your company in the local real estate books. For instance, if your office is located in Joliet, use “The Real Estate Book” to advertise (see the Resources section of this article).