In Illinois, forming a limited liability company (LLC) requires submitting forms to the secretary of state's Department of Business Services. Passed in 1992, the Limited Liability Company Act allows one or more persons to set up LLCs in the state. The forms needed to establish an LLC can be downloaded from the secretary of state’s website. You can also file online.
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Selecting a Name and Registered Agent
Create a name for your LLC. The name must contain the words “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviations “LLC” or “L.L.C.” The name cannot include the words “Corporation,” “Corp.,” “Incorporated,” “Limited Partnership,” or the abbreviations “Co.,” “Inc.,” “Ltd.,” or “L.P.” The name cannot imply that the company is a bank or insurance company. The name must be easily distinguishable from any other business registered with the state.
Search the state’s corporate name database to make sure the name is not in use by another company in Illinois.
Reserve the name if you want to keep someone else from using it before you file your LLC paperwork. Reservations last for 90 days. Download the “Application for Reservation of Name” from the state’s website (see Resources). The mailing address is included on the form. The filling fee for this service is $300 as of 2010.
Select a registered agent. This person or entity must be authorized to do business in the state and have a physical street address in Illinois. The registered agent receives all state notices and service of process forms for the LLC.
Filing Articles of Organization
Fill out the Articles of Organization from. It is available online as a PDF or as part of the online registration process (see References). Information on the document includes the name and address of the company, the registered agent’s name and street address, the type of management that LLC will use, the effective date of the articles, the purpose of the company and if applicable, the duration of the LLC.
Sign the document if you are the organizer of the LLC filing the form. The names and addresses of all organizers must be included in the signature section of the document.
Pay the filing fee. As of 2010, it costs $500 to file the Articles of Organization form.
Mail or deliver the document and payment to Department of Business Services, Limited Liability Division, 501 S. Second St., Rm. 351, Springfield, IL 62756. If you file online, you can use a credit card to pay for the fee.
Obtain any permits or licenses required to legally conduct business in Illinois. Use the federal government's free license and permit database at Business.gov (see Resources). The database includes information for all states.
- Articles of organization form
Tips & Warnings
Illinois requires LLCs to file an annual report every year. The report is due before the first day of the month in which the LLC was formed. The state mails out preprinted annual report forms to registered agents approximately six weeks before the due date. The filing fee for an annual report is $250 as of 2010.
Forms can also be mailed or submitted in person to the Secretary of State, 69 W. Washington, Suite 1240, Chicago, IL 60602. The telephone number is 312-793-3380. Limited liability companies with more than eight members cannot file online.
References & Resources
- Illinois General Assembly: Limited Liability Company Act
- Illinois Secretary of State: Limited Liability Company
- Illinois Secretary of State: A Guide for Organizing Domestic Limited Liability Companies
- LexisNexis: The Illinois Limited Liability Company: A Flexible Alternative for Business
- Illinois Secretary of State: Articles of Organization
- Illinois Secretary of State: Application for Reservation of Name
- Illinois Secretary of State: Electronic Corporate Name Database
- Illinois Secretary of State: How to Register and Incorporate an Illinois Business
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