Initiating an LLC in Illinois, with its distinct regulatory landscape, necessitates a keen awareness of the state-specific procedures and expected timeframes.
This article offers a comprehensive overview of the path to registration, underscoring the pivotal steps and estimated duration for achieving a fully operational Limited Liability Company in the Land of Lincoln.
Approval Time for an Illinois LLC
Online Filing: You can get an LLC in Illinois in 3-5 business days
Mail Filing: Filing by mail can take about 3-4 weeks
Illinois LLC Filing Steps
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to file for an Illinois LLC online on the Illinois state gov website:
1. Go to the Illinois Secretary of State website https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/
2. Click on the “Business Services” tab at the top of the page, and then click on “Limited Liability Company (LLC)” under the “Business Services” menu.
3. Click on the “Domestic LLC Formation” link under the “Limited Liability Company (LLC)” menu.
4. Review the information on the “Domestic LLC Formation” page, and then click on the “File Online” button at the bottom of the page.
5. If you don’t already have an account, you’ll need to create one by clicking on the “Create Account” button and following the prompts. If you do have an account, log in with your username and password.
6. Once you’re logged in, select “Start a New LLC Filing” under the “Limited Liability Company (LLC)” menu.
7. Enter your LLC’s name and select your LLC’s type from the drop-down menu.
8. Enter your LLC’s principal place of business address and mailing address, if different.
9. Enter the name and address of your registered agent in Illinois.
10. If desired, add additional provisions or a series LLC structure.
11. Review and confirm the information you’ve entered, and then proceed to pay the filing fee using a credit card or e-check.
12. After payment is submitted, you’ll receive a confirmation email with a link to your completed LLC formation documents.
Congratulations! You have successfully filed for an Illinois LLC online through the Illinois Secretary of State website.
Illinois LLC Filing by Mail
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to file for an LLC in Illinois by mail:
I. Choose a Name for Your LLC
– Choose a unique name for your LLC that is not already taken and complies with Illinois’ naming requirements.
– The name must include “Limited Liability Company” or an abbreviation such as “LLC” or “L.L.C.”
– You can conduct a name availability search on the Illinois Secretary of State’s website to ensure your desired name is available.
II. Appoint a Registered Agent
– A registered agent is a person or business entity that is responsible for accepting legal documents on behalf of your LLC.
– You must appoint a registered agent before filing your LLC formation documents.
– The registered agent must have a physical address in Illinois.
III. Download and Complete the Articles of Organization
– You can download the Articles of Organization form from the Illinois Secretary of State’s website.
– Complete the form with the required information, including the name and address of the LLC, the name and address of the registered agent, and the names and addresses of the LLC’s managers or members.
– The filing fee for the Articles of Organization is $150.
IV. Create an Operating Agreement
– Although not required by Illinois law, it is recommended that you create an operating agreement for your LLC.
– An operating agreement outlines the ownership structure, management, and financial and operational policies of the LLC.
– This document is useful in settling disputes among members and in clarifying the responsibilities of each member.
V. Mail the Documents and Payment
– Once you have completed the Articles of Organization and operating agreement (if applicable), mail them to the following address:
Illinois Secretary of State
Department of Business Services
Limited Liability Division
501 S. Second St., Rm. 351
Springfield, IL 62756
– Include a check or money order for the $150 filing fee payable to “Illinois Secretary of State”.
– It is recommended that you mail the documents using certified mail with the return receipt requested to confirm delivery.
VI. Wait for Confirmation
– The processing time for LLC formation documents in Illinois is approximately 5-10 business days.
– Once your LLC is approved, the Illinois Secretary of State will mail you a stamped and approved copy of the Articles of Organization.
Overall, filing for an LLC in Illinois by mail involves downloading and completing the Articles of Organization form, creating an operating agreement (if applicable), and mailing the documents and payment to the Illinois Secretary of State’s Department of Business Services.
It is important to appoint a registered agent before filing and to ensure that the LLC’s name and formation documents comply with Illinois’ requirements.
How Much Does an LLC Cost in Illinois?
The cost of forming an LLC in Illinois is comprised of two main components: the filing fee for the Articles of Organization and the ongoing annual report fee.
The filing fee for the Articles of Organization in Illinois is $150. This fee is paid at the time of filing your LLC formation documents, either by mail or online.
In addition to the filing fee, there is an annual report fee that LLCs are required to pay each year to maintain their active status. The annual report fee for Illinois LLCs is $75. The first annual report is due within 60 days of the LLC’s formation date, and subsequent annual reports are due each year by the anniversary date of the LLC’s formation.
There may be additional costs associated with forming an LLC, such as fees for obtaining a business license or professional license, but these costs will vary depending on the industry and location of the LLC.
Overall, the total cost of forming and maintaining an LLC in Illinois is relatively affordable compared to other states, with a $150 filing fee for the Articles of Organization and a $75 annual report fee.
Turnaround Time Involved in Getting an Illinois LLC
Here is a breakdown of the steps involved in getting an LLC in Illinois and an estimate of how long each step takes.
Step 1: Choose a Name for Your LLC
The first step in forming an LLC in Illinois is choosing a name for your business. You will need to make sure the name you choose is available and not already in use by another business in the state. You can search the Illinois Secretary of State’s online database to see if the name you want is available.
Timeframe: This step can be done relatively quickly, usually within a day or two.
Step 2: File Articles of Organization
Once you have chosen a name for your LLC, you will need to file Articles of Organization with the Illinois Secretary of State. This document establishes your LLC and includes basic information such as the name of the LLC, the registered agent, and the members of the LLC.
Timeframe: Filing the Articles of Organization typically takes around one to two weeks. However, if you choose to file online, you may receive confirmation of your LLC’s approval within a few days.
Step 3: Obtain an EIN
An EIN, or Employer Identification Number, is a unique nine-digit number that identifies your LLC for tax purposes. You will need to obtain an EIN from the IRS, even if you do not plan to hire employees.
Timeframe: Obtaining an EIN can usually be done quickly online, and you will receive your number immediately.
Step 4: Apply for Business Licenses and Permits
Depending on the type of business you plan to operate, you may need to apply for additional licenses and permits from the state or local government. This can include things like a business license, sales tax permit, or professional license.
Timeframe: The time it takes to obtain business licenses and permits can vary widely depending on the type of license or permit you need. Some licenses and permits can be obtained quickly, while others may take several weeks or even months to process.
Step 5: Create an Operating Agreement
Although it is not required by Illinois law, it is recommended that you create an Operating Agreement for your LLC. This document outlines the management structure of your LLC and the rights and responsibilities of the members.
Timeframe: Creating an Operating Agreement can take several days or even weeks, depending on the complexity of your LLC’s management structure and the number of members.
Overall, the timeline for getting an LLC in Illinois can range from a few days to several weeks, depending on the complexity of your business and the number of licenses and permits you need to obtain.
If you are in a hurry to get your LLC up and running, you may want to consider using an online formation service, which can expedite the process significantly.
However, if you have a more complex business structure or need to apply for multiple licenses and permits, it may take longer to complete the process.
Do I Need to Get a Business License for My Illinois LLC?
In Illinois, businesses are not required to obtain a state-level business license or operating license. However, it is important to note that local municipalities may mandate at least one type of business permit or license before starting operations in the state.
Although a statewide business license is not mandatory, businesses are required to obtain a Certificate of Registration or License, commonly known as a seller’s permit, if they intend to sell or lease taxable goods or services within Illinois. This permit is essential for compliance with the state’s sales tax laws and regulations.
Therefore, it is crucial to check with the local municipality and obtain a seller’s permit before beginning operations in Illinois.
Should I Hire an LLC Filing Service in Illinois?
Whether or not to hire an LLC filing service in Illinois depends on your specific needs and circumstances.
An LLC filing service can be helpful if you’re unfamiliar with the formation process, need assistance with paperwork and filing, or simply want to save time and hassle. LLC filing services can take care of the paperwork and filing process for you, so you can focus on running your business. Additionally, some LLC filing services may offer additional services, such as registered agent services or tax advice.
However, if you’re comfortable with the formation process and have the time and resources to handle the paperwork and filing yourself, hiring an LLC filing service may not be necessary.
You can file the Articles of Organization yourself by mail or online, and the process is generally straightforward. Additionally, hiring an attorney or accountant to review your documents and provide guidance can be a more cost-effective option than hiring an LLC filing service.
Ultimately, the decision to hire an LLC filing service in Illinois is a personal one and depends on your specific needs and circumstances. It’s always recommended to do your research, compare costs and services, and consult with professionals before making a decision.
In summary, while the process of obtaining an LLC in Illinois can take a bit of time, it is a relatively straightforward process that can be completed with a little bit of effort and attention to detail.
By following the steps outlined above, you can get your LLC up and running and start pursuing your entrepreneurial dreams in no time.
Brian Wilson is the content manager and founder of LLC Radar.
Brian grew up in North Texas, just outside of Dallas, and has a bachelor’s degree in business journalism from Southern Methodist University. Since graduating from SMU, Brian has gained over 10 years of experience in business writing for several online publications.
Brian resides in Plano, Texas and he can be reached by email: email@example.com