This webpage has been created to provide business representatives with all information necessary to register an entity in Illinois. Below you’ll see a list of all entity types offered for registration as well as a few functions you will want to employ to successfully activate your business. The Secretary of State website has made it possible for a select few LLCs and corporations to utilize a streamlined and effective online portal to organize their business. If you do not fall under this category you will be required to download the PDF which coordinates with your entity type and submit it through the mail. For more information about each specific registration form, the accommodating filing fee and preliminary steps needed to file, scroll down and take advantage of the many tutorials provided here on this webpage.
Start an Entity
Search for a Name
The Secretary of State website has done an excellent job in supplying business owners with the ability to search their online name database. This function is most utilized in the event of a name availability search prior to registration. Upon navigation to the online portal, you will most likely notice that partnerships have their own search functions separate from that of LLCs and corporations, as partnership names need only differentiate from other partnerships. Of course the this would be the same case for LLC and corporations. Visit our Business Entity Search page to learn more about the process.
How to Register in Illinois
Step 1- The first step in registration and applying for authority is ensuring that the company’s chosen name is available for use in Illinois. Foreign entities may very well discover that the name which was accepted in their state of initial organization has already been taken by another similar entity. If this is the case, a fictitious name should be used in its place. The aforementioned Business Entity Search will give the filer only a limited amount of assurance in the uniqueness of their company name as it does not guarantee complete authenticity. Filers may also reserve a name for a period of 90 days prior to registration.
Step 2- With a seemingly unique name, you can proceed to the downloading of the necessary PDF forms. We recommend that domestic corporations and LLCs take full advantage of the Secretary of State website by utilizing the online filing process. However, a tutorial has been made for each entity type concerning the paper filing of their application forms as well. Here, we’ve listed all the various entities available in Illinois, click on the links below for more information.
- Domestic Business Corporation
- Domestic Close Corporation
- Domestic Medical Corporation
- Domestic Professional Service Corporation
- Domestic Not-for-Profit Corporation
- Foreign Business Corporation
- Foreign Non-Profit Corporation
- Domestic Standard Limited Liability Company
- Domestic Series Limited Liability Company
- Foreign Standard Limited Liability Company
- Foreign Series Limited Liability Company
- Domestic Limited Partnership
- Domestic Limited Liability Partnership
- Foreign Limited Partnership
- Foreign Limited Liability Partnership
Step 3- Assuming that you’ve completed the PDF application forms or the online filing process, you can now move onto the payment of the filing fee. If you are applying online this will mark the completion of the filing process but will automatically tack on an additional $100 onto whatever your initial fee was. Paper filers will enjoy the choice between check or money order, both of which will need to be made payable to the Secretary of State. Beneath this paragraph you will notice the list of all filing fees for each existing entity type.
- Domestic Business Corporation- $150
- Domestic Close Corporation- $150
- Domestic Medical Corporation- $150
- Domestic Professional Service Corporation- $150
- Domestic Not-for-Profit Corporation- $50
- Foreign Business Corporation- $175 min*
- Foreign Not-for-Profit Corporation- $50
Limited Liability Company
- Domestic Standard Limited Liability Company- $500
- Domestic Series Limited Liability Company- $750
- Foreign Standard Limited Liability Company- $500
- Foreign Series Limited Liability Company- $750
- Domestic Limited Partnership- $150
- Domestic Limited Liability Partnership- $100/Partner
- Foreign Limited Partnership- $150
- Foreign Limited Liability Partnership- $500
Step 4- Foreign entities at this point should attach either the certified copy of your Articles of Incorporation, or a certificate of good standing depending on which is applicable to your entity type. Send all items to the below address to complete the filing process.
Secretary of State
Department of Business Services
501 S. Second St., Rm. 350 Springfield, IL 62756
This function is fairly self explanatory as it holds the business name of an entity for a period of 90 days prior to filing for registration. This process will successfully prevent any other like entity from applying to transact business using your entity’s name. Foreign business representatives will find this filing especially useful as it guarantees that they will not need to assume an alternative, fictitious title for the duration of their term operating in Illinois. Reserving a name as a corporation or partnership demands a fairly modest fee of $25 and $50 respectively. However LLC members will be charged a exorbitant $300 for this function alone. More information on name reservations can be found here.
Certificate of Good Standing
In Illinois, the Certificate of Good Standing can be obtained through the use of the online Business Entity Search tool. You will be able to use this document, once acquired, to prove legitimacy to foreign authorities when it comes time to expand your business, or to financial institutions when applying for large business loans. The price is set at $25, but as with all online filing in Illinois, the expedite fee is automatically added to the total. Therefore you can expect a charge of $47 per certificate.
The agreements linked below will provide readers with the opportunity to apply a detailed set of bylaws to their business structure. Be it for a corporation, LLC or partnership, these templates will allow business organizers to delineate the nature of the relationship between members of the entity and the entity itself. As most initial registration documents don’t involve all the provisions necessary to properly manage and organize a business, it is wise to outline the various rules and regulations which bind the members of your organization. Click on the links below to learn more.
Employer Identification Number
An Employer Identification Number is a number of great importance for all entity types as it is the method by which the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will identify your entity as legitimate. Without an EIN your business will not be able to pay employees, apply for additional credit, open checking/savings accounts or otherwise commit to any type of financial transaction. To apply for this crucial component of your financial operations, if you have not done so already, you can complete the PDF Document Form SS-4 or utilize the online application service provided on the IRS website. It is important to note that an EIN is not obligatory for certain types of LLCs.