How to form an LLC in Illinois

Update: January 2, 2024

By: Tom Macken

Start an LLC in Illinois how to

Chicago. Route 66. The Willis Tower and a deep-dish pizza in Chicago. Starved Rock State Park, located in Illinois, is renowned for its beauty, and the state is also a popular location for enterprises of all sorts.

You’re ready to incorporate an LLC in Illinois. Next steps? The price? Below are the processes, fees, and documents needed for Illinois firms.


1. Name Your Illinois LLC
2. Select a Illinois Registered Agent
3. File the Articles of Organization
4. Receive a Certificate From the State
5. Create an Operating Agreement
6. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
7. File Annual Renewals
Costs and Next Steps

In addition to its many other advantages, a limited liability corporation (LLC) provides small enterprises with protection from legal responsibility and favorable tax treatment. 

Follow these easy steps to get your limited liability company (LLC) operating in the state of Illinois after you’ve decided that an LLC is the most suitable company structure for your requirements.

Note that you have the option of forming the limited liability company (LLC) yourself, or you may seek a professional incorporation service to do all of the legwork on your behalf.

1. Naming of your Illinois LLC

Your limited liability company (LLC) has to have a unique name that can be readily distinguished from other companies’ names. 

In addition to this, you will need to check the name database maintained by the Business Services division of the Illinois Secretary of State’s office to see whether the name you want is accessible.

This search will reveal whether or not another Illinois-based LLC has already registered the name you want to use for your LLC. Before you register the name of your limited liability company, it is recommended that you first check to see whether the domain name you want to use is available. 

There are also certain important naming rules to be familiar with, some of which are exclusive to the state of Illinois.

Your limited liability company’s name must have one of the these appended to its end:

You are not permitted to use the following terms in your Illinois LLC:

  • Ltd
  • Limited Partnership (or also L.P.)
  • Incorporated (or indeed Inc.)
  • Corporation/Corp

In addition, the name of your limited liability company (LLC) cannot include any terms that may lead people to believe that it is a government entity, such as “treasury” or “FBI.” Check out the Illinois name requirements for a comprehensive set of regulations. 

These guidelines provide a clear outline of any naming limitations that your organization is required to adhere to. When figuring out how to establish a limited liability company in Illinois, one of the most important steps is to choose a name for the business.

2. Find your Illinois State Registered Agent

A registered agent in Illinois is required of every limited liability company operating in the state. If the limited liability company (LLC) is taken to court, this refers to a person or company that has agreed to accept service of process on its behalf.

The Registered Agent might either be a person who resides in Illinois or a business entity that is permitted to conduct operations in the state. It is required that the Registered Agent have a real, live street address in the state of Illinois.

What will a Registered Agent do for me?

A Registered Agent is a person or business entity that is accountable for receiving essential tax documents, legal documents, notice of lawsuits, and official correspondence from the government on behalf of your company. Consider the role of a registered agent as that of the point of contact for your company with the state.

Who can be my Registered Agent?

A Registered Agent in the state of Illinois must either be an individual who resides in Illinois on a permanent basis or a company that is permitted to carry out business in the state of Illinois, such as a Registered Agent service. You have the option of selecting anybody who works for the organization, including yourself.

3. Articles of incorporation filing

Your limited liability company (LLC) will be formally recognized after you have a document called the Articles of Organization that lays forth fundamental information about your business. Because this form serves as the legal registration for your company with the state, it is essential that all of the details be accurate.

Articles of Organization inclusions

When completing the Articles of Organization for your Illinois LLC, the following must be included in the articles of incorporation for LLCs operating in the state of Illinois:

  • LLC’s name
  • If the term of the LLC is permanent or restricted.
  • Address of the main office of the limited liability company Name and address of the registered agent for the limited liability company
  • Location where the Secretary of State should send notifications to the limited liability company (LLC) through mail.
  • How the Limited Liability Company (LLC) will be run: by its members or by its managers
  • Whether or whether the limited liability company will provide professional services
  • Name and address of each person who organized the limited liability company, as well as the name and address of at least one member or management who has direct knowledge of the activities of the limited liability company.

In the event that your company was established in accordance with the laws of another state and you want to be granted permission to conduct business in Illinois, you will need to submit an Application for Admission to Transact Business with the Secretary of State.

The filing cost for this request is also set at $150, the same amount as the filing price for the articles of incorporation. Your application has to be supported with a certificate proving that your business is in good standing with the state where it was first established.

The state will begin processing your articles of organization around one week to ten days after you have submitted them to them. You have the option of requesting expedited filing for an extra cost. If your submissions are accepted by the state, you will be given a copy that has been stamped, which you should keep alongside the records of your company.

Submission of Your Organization’s Articles of Incorporation

The filing of articles of formation with the Illinois State Secretary is the most crucial step in the process of incorporating a limited liability company (LLC) in the state of Illinois. You have the option of filing your articles online, which will result in a more expedited processing time, or mailing in Form LLC-5.5.

The filing cost is currently set at $150. Despite the fact that Illinois has lately decreased its fees for submitting business paperwork, these costs are still greater than those in numerous other states.

Series LLC

In Illinois, firms are permitted to incorporate series limited liability companies. When organized as a series LLC, the many departments within a single business may function independently from one another, maintaining their own membership interests, assets, and business procedures.

A series limited liability company (LLC) is an option that might be considered by a company that offers a variety of goods and services and hence generates many streams of revenue. Form LLC-5.5 must be submitted in order to establish a series LLC (S). The filing cost is increased to $400 for this particular form.

4. Get your State Certificate

After the formation paperwork of the LLC has been submitted and authorized, the state will send you a certificate that proves the LLC’s official existence in response to a written request for a copy together with the appropriate amount of postage.

With this certificate, the limited liability company will be able to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN), as well as business permits and a bank account for the firm.

5. Draw up a Business Operations Contract 

Even while establishing a detailed LLC operating agreement is not a legally required step for founding a limited liability company in Illinois, it is highly suggested for all new limited liability firms to do so.

The following items should be included in the operating agreement:

  • Describe the business structure of the limited liability company.
  • Determine the specific duties and commitments that each member of the limited liability company (LLC) has, and lay out the operational structure of the LLC.

A limited liability corporation (LLC) may face legal and practical issues without an operating agreement.

6. Apply for your EIN

A federal employer identification number, commonly known as a tax ID number, will be required of many limited liability companies (LLCs). An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit number that identifies your company to the Internal Revenue Service. 

You need an EIN in order to pay federal employer taxes, open a bank account (in many instances, Novo or Bluevine), or recruit staff.

On the website of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which is accessible without charge, you may check to see whether you need an EIN and submit an application for one online. Single-member limited liability companies, which are an exemption to the rule that most firms are required to acquire an EIN, may instead use the owner’s Social Security number.

Business Licenses

Depending on the nature of their operations and where they are located, some limited liability companies (LLCs) doing business in the state of Illinois may be needed to get one or more business licenses or permits from the state or from their respective municipal governments.

Browse the Illinois Start a Business Guide, which is made available by the Secretary of State, in order to get information on how to satisfy the prerequisites for obtaining a state business license. The Illinois License Directory allows for the search and retrieval of specific license information.

Contact the municipal or county clerk where your LLC is situated for local licensing requirements.

7. Register Annual Renewals

The Illinois Secretary of State requires all limited liability companies that do business in the state to submit an annual report. Each year, the report is required to be submitted prior to the first day of the anniversary month of the LLC. For instance, if your limited liability company (LLC) was established on July 15, then the due date for your report would be July 1.

You have the option of filing the report online or via the mail by using Form LLC-50.1. The charge to submit paperwork is $75. If a report is submitted more than sixty days beyond the original due date, the sender is subject to a further penalty of one hundred dollars.

Fees and Next Steps


There is a fee of $150 to submit the Articles of Organization with the Illinois Secretary of State, and there is a fee of $25 to register the name of your LLC with the Illinois Secretary of State.

Consider the following additional fees that may be incurred by an LLC:

  • DBA name is short for “doing business as.”
  • Certified document copies
  • Your Certificate of Existence

Next Steps

When you register a limited liability company (LLC), you establish a legal basis upon which to operate your firm. Companies should make it a priority to maintain their limited liability company in compliance with state regulations and in an active position on the state’s website.

In addition, having a registered limited liability company enables you to perform the following:

  • Obtain any permissions or licenses required to run your company, such as those issued by the health department, the zoning department, the department of home occupations, the department of professional licensing, and others. Some states need a seller’s permission to conduct sales
  • Register your company with the department of revenue in your state.
  • Create a bank account for your company.
  • Create a credit card account for your company.
  • Invest in insurance coverage for your company.
  • Create a trademark to protect both your company’s name and its logo.

Company formation via a professional service or DIY?

To establish a limited liability company (LLC), you are not required by law to consult a lawyer. The majority of states enable the establishment of LLCs via the process of registering the business entity on the website of the secretary of state and with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

If you are not acquainted with the process of forming an LLC, your best bet may be to hire a professional LLC provider so that you can be certain that the creation will go smoothly and quickly.

When entrepreneurs start a new firm, they may save startup costs and save valuable time by using a professional agency that specializes in company forms. They can take care of the things that you may not have time to think about for a price ranging from $50 to over $500, and some examples of such things are as follows:

  • Developing an operating agreement for an LLC that details your company’s who, what, when, where, why, and how, and putting it into writing (required in some states).
  • putting together articles of incorporation that identify the management of the LLC, the registration agent, and the date the company was formed.
  • Taking up the role of registered agent for your firm.
  • Keeping careful records in the event that there are investigations or litigation.
  • Payment of filing fees and registration with the appropriate parties.
  • Registering the name of your firm and ensuring that the name you choose for your limited liability company is accessible.
  • Finishing up and turning in all of the necessary legal and formation documentation.


Are LLCs taxed in Illinois?

When it comes to taxes, limited liability companies (LLCs) in Illinois are considered to be pass-through businesses. This implies the LLC doesn’t pay income taxes and company gains and losses trickle through to each owner’s tax return.

How much does it cost to form an LLC in the state of Illinois?

The filing of the Articles of Organization for an Illinois limited liability company costs $150, and it costs $25 to reserve a name for your LLC with Illinois’s Secretary of State office.

How do I go about forming an LLC in the state of Illinois?

You will need a registration fee, a name for your limited liability company (LLC), a Registered Agent, Articles of Organization, an Operating Agreement, and an EIN number from the Internal Revenue Service in order to create an LLC in the state of Illinois.

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