Illinois LLC Formation

In order to form an LLC in Illinois, you'll need to register your LLC with the Corporations Division of the Secretary of State of Illinois.

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Steps to forming an Illinois Limited Liability Company

In order to form a Limited Liability Company in Illinois, you'll have to file Articles of Organization. These are your entity's formation documents, and the state will use them to record basic information about your LLC.

The state allows both online and paper filings, but there are some restrictions to filing online. Most LLCs will find that these restrictions will not apply to them.

At minimum, your articles must include:

  • Name: Your LLC name must end with "Limited Liability Company," "LLC," or "L.L.C." The name itself must be distinguishable from any other entity filed with the state of Illinois, regardless of the corporate ending or entity type. For instance, "Illinois Trucking, LLC" would not be accepted for filing if there is already an "Illinois Trucking Corporation" on file. There are some restrictions—"bank," "trust," and so on, which require permission from certain government agencies, and offensive or inappropriate words, which are not allowed in any case. can perform a business name search to determine the availability of your name, reducing your chances of being rejected for an unacceptable name.
  • Principle place of business: You must specify where the business will be located. This location is not required to be located in Illinois.
  • Registered agent: This is the contact address on record with the state. The address must be a physical address in the state and will be used as the person who will accept service of process, correspondence from the state, and other documentation on behalf of the LLC. The registered agent can be either a person or a commercial registered agent registered as such in Illinois. (If you do not have a person to act as your registered agent in Illinois, can appoint a commercial agent for you.)
  • Governing authority: Your LLC will be managed by either the managers or the members. Those managers or members may change, but authority to make decisions for the company (i.e., signing future documents filed with the state) will remain with either the managers or the members—whichever are specified in this document.
  • Purpose: You must list a purpose for your LLC. The state of Illinois allows a general business purpose, which would allow you to conduct any business activities under the law, but you should check with the IRS and any other governmental agencies to determine if your specific intentions for your business must be laid out in the Articles.
  • Effective Date: Your articles will, by default, be filed on the date that they are processed. However, you may instead specify in your Articles of Organization a future date, as long as it is within 60 days of when the state receives and processes your Articles.
  • Duration: Most LLCs register their businesses with a perpetual duration—meaning that the business will not expire, but can still be terminated with the proper paperwork—but you can give an end date to your LLC in these Articles.
  • Organizer: The articles of organization will be signed by the person who drafted the articles; this can be a member or manager of the limited liability, but it is not required to be. You can have multiple Organizers, but you must have at least one.

If any of the above information about your business changes, you will need to file Articles of Amendment to reflect those changes. It is very important that your registration remains current.

Additional Requirements for Forming an LLC in Illinois

Illinois requires that LLCs file an Annual Report, which is due every year before the first day of the month of Organization. (For example, if you were filed on July 15th, 2010, your Annual Report would be due before July 1st, 2011.) These Annual Reports may be filed online; if they are not paid by the due date, the state will penalize you with a late fee. Continued failure to pay the Annual Report may result in the state compulsorily revoking your LLC's status.

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