If you have experience in recruiting or human resources, you may want to use your skills and resources to start your own temp agency. Illinois state law provides specific guidelines for obtaining a professional license for operating as a temporary employment agency in Chicago. In order to qualify, financial stability and solid business planning will have to be proven to the licensing board before the doors to your agency may be opened.

Step 1.

Create a business plan that will clearly communicate pertinent information about your temporary employment agency. Project operating expenses and income sources for at least the first three months of operation. Determine who will make up your administrative team and how they will be compensated. Identify an office location and obtain a dedicated telephone number for agency use. Have all of this information clearly documented and be prepared to submit the plan to the licensing agency during the application process.

Step 2.

Purchase a $5,000 bond from a local insurance agent and have the agency use your desired opening date as the date on the bond. Also, gather financial documentation for each owner, officer or partner of the agency. Statements of personal net worth must be drafted in addition to formal letters or recent monthly bank statements verifying each partner's personal bank balance.

Step 3.

Design standard forms for use in your agency. Be sure to follow the instructions provided in the Private Employment Agencies Act. List the agency name and physical address on each form. Submit drafts of your required forms to the State of Illinois for approval before printing them for use.

Step 4.

Once your license is received, draft a letter to local companies that might be interested in using your services to find temporary employees. Create a website, brochures and business cards so prospective clients can easily find information about your agency and contact you. You may also want to call companies that are currently advertising job openings and offer to help them fill their vacancies.

Step 5.

Contact the local telephone directory publisher to add your employment agency to the next publication. You may also want to invest in television, radio or newspaper advertising to generate initial interest in your new business and promote any grand opening events. Also, register with the Illinois Department of Employment Security to gain access to job fairs and the Illinois Skills Match to find qualified job seekers.


File your application with the State of Illinois at least 30 days prior to the date on which you want to open your agency. Once granted, your license will be valid for a period of one year.


Study the entire Private Employment Agencies Act and commit its contents to memory. Once a license has been issued, you will be liable for any issues related to compliance of the Act.