Steps to Open Your Business


If you're ready to launch your first business in West Allis, our Economic Development team is here to help every step of the way. 

Not sure where to get started? In general, we suggest the following approach for new businesses:

1. Prepare a written business summary

Start by formally documenting your business vision. A written business summary or documented business plan will be an important asset as you seek financial assistance, licenses, and permits. It should include:

  • Business name, address, type of business
  • Own or lease (if location is selected)
  • Square footage (if location is selected)
  • Types of services offered or items sold
  • Days and hours of operation 
  • Number of employees 
  • Description and timeline of any interior or exterior improvements (if location is selected)

We can help you prepare a business plan if you do not already have one. Contact our team to get the conversation started.

2. Site selection

We can help you find the perfect location within West Allis to open your new business. We'll make sure your business is allowed in your location per local zoning codes and connect you with City resources to make sure the facility is compliant with our Municipal Code. Meet with us to discuss your site needs.

3. Schedule a planning meeting

After you've selected a location, it's a good idea to connect with an architect to discuss any changes you wish to make to the interior or exterior of the facility. Then, schedule a planning meeting with our team to review your business summary, site and building plans, zoning requirements, and learn if any additional permits or approvals are required.  

4. Submit a planning application

If you need a Conditional Use Permit or are making exterior changes to your building or site, submit a Planning Application. This should include a project description and set of plans for the Plan Commission’s consideration.

5. Submit a business occupancy permit application

Submit a Business Occupancy Permit application. A Business Occupancy Permit is required for all existing businesses, all new businesses, and for any business changing ownership. As part of the application process, you will schedule an appointment for a physical inspection of the site.

6. submit additional permit applications

Depending on the nature of your business, you may need certain permits, such as a Building Permit or Sign Permit. Needs may vary based on each individual business' circumstances.

7. Acquire necessary licenses

You may also need certain licenses, like Food or Alcohol Beverage licenses. Licenses must be renewed annually.

8. Open for Business!

Schedule a ribbon cutting with Mayor Dan Devine and City officials to celebrate opening your business!