New License Application Process

A liquor license is required for any person to sell or permit the sale, use or consumption of any alcoholic liquors in the county in territory subject to the control of the County Liquor Commission (unincorporated Will County).

An application for a Will County liquor license involves coordination with three Will County entities:

  1. Will County Liquor Commission
  2. Will County Land Use Department
  3. Will County Board
It is highly encouraged that applicants begin the process with the Will County Land Use Department to determine if zoning issues must be resolved before initiating the liquor license application. Additionally, the county routinely holds pre-application meetings to assist applicants with the process. Pre-application meetings representatives from the county board, land use, and the liquor commission to answer an applicant’s questions. If you are interested in scheduling a pre-application meeting, please contact Marguerite Kenny at the Will County Land Use Department at mkenny@willcountylanduse.com or 815-774-3367. 

Given the coordination between these three entities and the need for county board approval, an applicant should anticipate approximately 2-3 months from the date of application to the issuance of a new liquor license, if approved.

The following sections provide a summary of the process for the three entities:

Liquor Commissioner

The Will County Liquor Commission reviews the liquor license application and supporting documentation and determines whether the applicant satisfies the criteria set forth in sections 110.017 and 110.018 of the Will County Liquor Control Ordinance.

Completed applications and attachments to the Liquor Commission should be submitted to the Office of the Will County Liquor Commissioner, 2nd Floor, Will County Office Building, 302 N. Chicago Street, Joliet, IL 60432. Upon the filing of a completed application and all attachments for a new liquor license, the Commissioner shall, within thirty (30) days of the date the completed application has been submitted, decide on the approval and issuance of said license.

Upon approval and issuance of a Will County Liquor License, applicants will need to apply with the Illinois Liquor Control Commission for a State of Illinois license. Their office is located at 100 West Randolph Street, Suite 5-300, Chicago, IL 60601, telephone number (312) 814-2206.

Liquor Commissioner Office

302 N. Chicago Street, Joliet, IL 60432
815-774-7480 | Email

Land Use Department

The Will County Land Use Department will determine whether the proposed location for the new liquor licenses satisfies all zoning and related land-use requirements. Applicants should contact the Land Use Department regarding the property in question to find out if zoning action is required. If zoning action is needed, Land Use can walk applicants the zoning application process. This process can run concurrently with the petition to County Board to increase the cap and the review by the Liquor Commission. Receiving zoning action approval is one of the three requirements needed to obtain the liquor license.

Zoning Department

58 E. Clinton Street, Joliet, IL 60433
815-774-3367 | Email

County Board

By ordinance, the Will County Board has placed a cap on the maximum number of available liquor licenses. For an applicant to receive a new liquor license, they must receive a new liquor license, they must receive county board approval to increase the cap. To increase the cap, the Will County Board must hold a public hearing and then vote on the ordinance amendment during a county board meeting, 

Current number of Liquor Licenses per Will County Code of Ordinances,

County Board Office

302 N. Chicago Street, Joliet, IL 60432
815-740-4602 | Email