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Why Illinois?

Illinois offers unparalleled opportunity at the epicenter of North America. Companies can thrive in a world class business environment with the most diverse economy in the nation, a central location with easy access to your operations, a well-educated and experienced workforce of millions, and an opportunity to be an integral part of the second most economically powerful region in America.

We have one of the world’s most culturally vibrant states that has become a magnet for the country’s brightest minds. And Illinois businesses enjoy low corporate taxes and tax-free personal property that help make us one of the most business-friendly places in the nation. The Illinois Department of Commerce is ready to assist you with everything from intergovernmental coordination and site selection to regional collaboration and potential financial support.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity offers free and confidential services for companies looking to grow, expand, or locate in Illinois.  For assistance, please reference our statewide and regional contact information.


In 2017 Illinois was named home to the headquarters of 36 Fortune 500 companies according to Fortune’s list of the top companies by annual revenue. With more than 5,600 foreign-owned company locations, businesses also enjoy low corporate taxes, a diverse economy and the 5th highest GDP in the nation.


World class research and innovation hubs including Argonne, Fermilab, 1871, and UI Labs; and over 200 incubators, tech parks, accelerators and co-working spaces for innovators and startups across the state.


A central location with three international airports, the only state with all 7 Class I freight railroads, the third largest interstate highway system and more than a dozen thriving ports and waterways.


Big cities, attractive towns, and farmland, highlight the landscape of the state. Illinois is probably best known for Chicago, a world-class city regarded as the cultural heart of the USA with a broad economic base.  The cost of living highlights include: lower than U.S., health care costs and housing prices.  Illinois also has over 192 higher education institutions vast transportation assets and so much more!


Over 192 higher education institutions, a 6.6 million person labor force, 38% with an Associate’s degree or better and top ranked universities in computer science, engineering and other fields.


The most diverse economy in the nation, strong in agribusiness and food processing and other industries including advanced manufacturing, energy, life sciences and biotech, business and professional services and TDL.