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What is EDGE for Startups?

EDGE, the Economic Development for a Growing Economy, is a tax credit incentive program designed to encourage startups to invest, create, and retain jobs in Illinois. Businesses must be incorporated 10 years ago or less, not yet turning a profit, and ready to hire full time W2 employees to be eligible.

What are the Benefits?

The EDGE for Startups program offers a credit for withholding taxes to support businesses.

Here's a summary of the key benefits related to tax credits for staff:

  • Tax Credits for New Hires: 50%
  • Tax Credits for Retained Jobs: 25%
  • Additional Savings: In underserved areas, these savings increase by an additional 25%
  • Training Costs: The program also offers a credit for 10% on new employee training costs

What are the Requirements?

The program's requirements encompass job creation, capital investment, and the crucial "but for" principle, which shows that the tax credits are a deciding factor in your choice to invest in Illinois.  Applicant must complete a one time audit to confirm job creation and capital investment.

Job Creation and Capital Investment Requirements:

100 or fewer world-wide employees More than 100 world-wide employees
  • Job Creation: The lesser of
    • 5% of world-wide employment, or
    • 50 new full-time jobs
  • Investment Minimum: $0*
  • Job Creation: The lesser of
    • 10% of world-wide employment, or
    • 50 new full-time jobs
  • Investment Minimum: $2,500,000

*Applicants cannot receive more in credits than the project investment.

What are the Next Steps?

EDGE for Startups is one of many programs to revitalize the Illinois economy and build the workforce of the future. 

If your business is ready for expansion and meets the program's criteria, we invite you to contact Jessica.Harrison@illinois.gov to schedule an informational call. You can also review the application and contact us tabs for more information.