Rockford Illinois any Moe with $25 can be an EC. http://www.ci.rockford.il.us/Building/Building.htm#ELECTRICAL%20LICENSES
Electrical contractors are not required to be licensed, however, electrical contractors are required to be registered with the City of Rockford. Registration is per calendar year which is renewable on Jan 1. To register a fee of $25.00 or proof of current registration or license with another Illinois municipality is required."
General contractors are not required to be licensed. "
It would still do you good to be licianced with a city that tests you so you can work outside of Rockford.
Are you talking about taking over your dads business or a new start-up. The first would be much easier. If you are talking about a new start-up pay attention to the local econimy. You said you were laid off from the supply house job I'm guessing because construction is slow. To start a new business you might be better off going a bit east tword Chicago where there is more $$$. Rockford seems like it is not doing well for business or emploiement.
You didn't say how skilled you are as an electrician. I don't know how big your dads company is. If your not up to skill and it's just you then it might be too much.
Maybe take a job as an electrician for a bit for your dads company or someone elce first. It also helps working for a number of EC so you can see what works well and what does not.
Did you talk to your dad about what is involved to own your own bisiness?
Sorry if I'm not more positive but slow weeks like this I pay my guys, bills, buy material, and have nothing left for the one that works the most.
Let me know if you have more questions about working in IL.