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Business and Financial Policies and Procedures

1.5.1 How to Conduct Business Outside the State of Illinois

Policy Statement

Occasionally, it may be necessary to conduct business outside the state of Illinois, including outside of the country. Conducting business outside the state of Illinois may include, but is not limited to, opening new locations, allowing employees to work remotely (even if on a temporary basis), off-site teaching and research activities, and internet sales. The University of Illinois System and its three universities must abide by the relevant laws, which are state and country specific.


Before moving forward with any proposal to conduct business outside Illinois consult the System Offices units below to help ensure that the system complies with applicable laws.

  1. Consult with the Office of University Counsel before conducting business outside the state of Illinois to determine the applicable legal requirements. University Counsel may find it necessary to obtain the assistance of local legal counsel to interpret these foreign laws, at the unit's expense.

    University Counsel contacts:
    Chicago 312-996-7762
    Springfield 217-206-7796
    Urbana-Champaign 217-333-0560
  2. Consult with the Office of Treasury Operations, Tax Compliance and Analysis (Tax) before conducting business outside the state of Illinois to ensure compliance with tax and other related business laws. Tax assists with registration requirements for employment tax, sales tax, and other applicable tax obligations. It also obtains sales and use tax exemptions in other states and coordinates foreign tax issues.

    Tax Compliance and Analysis contact:

    Related policy: 18.16 Implications of Conducting Business Outside the State of Illinois
  3. Contact the University Purchasing before securing any services and goods, including services of an independent contractor or housing and office space. Do not begin any work until the required contracts have been fully executed.

    University Purchasing contacts:
    Chicago 312-996-7084
    Springfield 217-206-6651
    Urbana-Champaign 217-333-3505
    System Purchasing & Support Services (for system-level offices) 217-333-9289
    Purchasing Who To Ask

    Related policy: 1.3.2 Initiation, Review, and Approval of University Contracts and Leases
  4. Consult with the system or your university human resources (HR) office before beginning any search, recruitment effort, or hiring, to ensure all policies and processes are followed. HR will also determine impacts on bargaining units.

    Contact HR before using the services of a system employee. Do not begin any work until HR ensures that appropriate employment documents are completed. Refer to 17.2 Classification of Independent Contractors Versus Employees to determine proper worker classification.

    Human Resources contacts:
    System Human Resource Services (SHRS)
    Main Line 217-333-2590
    Chicago 312-996-5130
    Urbana-Champaign 217-333-2600
    University Equal Opportunity 217-333-7925
  5. Contact University Payroll and Benefits (UPB) to ensure that relevant employment taxes are properly withheld.

    Withholding and documentation requirements in each state and country are unique. Employees working in another state must complete a Form W-4 or withholding statement for that state and a certificate of non-residence in Illinois or a Form IL-W-5-NR, Employee's Statement of Nonresidence in Illinois. UPB works with employees to collect the required documentation. UPB makes tax deposits and reports withholdings and earnings based on state requirements.

    University Payroll and Benefits contacts:
    Chicago 312-996-7200 (Phone Number requires dialing all 10-digits)
    Springfield 217-206-7144
    Urbana-Champaign 217-265-6363
  6. Consult with the Office of Treasury Operations, Cash Management (CM) before conducting banking outside of the United States. CM determines the best strategy to navigate the complexities of foreign banking laws. All banking relationships are opened through CM. Also, CM obtains the signature of the CFO and Board approval, if necessary.

    Cash Management contacts:

    14.4 Manage Foreign Bank Accounts
    14.2 Open or Close Bank Accounts
  7. Consult with the University Risk Management Office before beginning business activities outside the state of Illinois to assess risk management issues and determine whether insurance coverage is required.

    Inform Risk Management if leased space is needed. Also, inform Risk Management if any system vehicles will be used for system business because special insurance may be required. There may be additional issues to consider when employees live and work outside the United States, such as workers' compensation and medical evacuation and repatriation insurance. Several states and foreign countries do not accept the system's workers' compensation self-insurance plan, requiring the purchase of commercial workers' compensation insurance.

    Risk Management contact:
  8. Consult with Real Estate Planning Services (RES) at least six months in advance of needing off campus leased space. Space needs assessments are performed by each university in conjunction with Facilities and Services and/or the Office of the Provost.

    Real estate transactions including leases, licenses, easements, acquisitions, and dispositions must be processed by RES on behalf of the Board of Trustees.

    Real Estate Services contacts:
    Chicago 312-996-2949
    Springfield / Urbana-Champaign / System Offices 217-244-4483
  9. Contact the appropriate Export Control Compliance university office for review and approval if university property and software will be used outside the United States. Approval needs to be obtained before allowing employees to travel with university equipment.

    Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, Office of Research Integrity, Export Controls 312-413-8191,
    Export Controls & International Travel five-minute video

    Office of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, 217-206-7409,

    Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation, Sponsored Programs Administration, Export Controls 217-300-5943,
    International Travel & Export Controls five-minute video


For additional information, refer to 18.16 Implications of Conducting Business Outside the State of Illinois.


Last Updated: January 27, 2021 | Approved: Senior Associate Vice President for Business and Finance | Effective: March 2016

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