How Much Does Starting an Illinois LLC Cost?

Legal business registration — and keeping your business in good standing — requires some investment. Some of these costs are due to the Illinois Secretary of State, while others are payable to the federal or other state government entity. We’ve summarized some of the most common requirements and fees in this section.

Note that Illinois business license and permit fees may need to be paid when you first form your business, on an ongoing schedule or on an ad hoc basis. Find more details below.

Initial Illinois LLC Fees

When you first start your business, you’ll need to file as an LLC with the Secretary of State and pay a fee. Here are the current Illinois LLC fees and filing times:

What are the fees and requirements to form a business in Illinois?

State Fee State Filing Time Expedited Filing Time
$154* 2 Weeks 1 Business Day

*includes processing fee

If you form through Incfile, we'll collect this fee from you, then forward it to the Secretary of State's office with your formation paperwork.

Incfile can file your formation paperwork for you for free

Just pay the Illinois LLC filing fee.

Illinois allows you to form your LLC more quickly by paying a rush fee.

Employer Identification Number

Every LLC in the U.S. should get a unique Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. This number is provided by the IRS at no cost, and you’ll use it when you pay employees, file taxes and open a business bank account. You can get one yourself, or have Incfile do it for you.

Foreign LLCs

When you want to do business in a state other than the one where your business is based, you must create a foreign LLC.

Illinois Foreign LLC Registration

Before you can bring an arm of your business from another state into Illinois, you must request Illinois Foreign Qualification. This means the state gives you permission to conduct business there.

To request registration of an Illinois Foreign LLC, you must complete an Application for Admission to Transact Business and pay a $150 filing fee. The state may have additional requirements so contact the Secretary of State for more information.

Foreign Qualification to Operate in Another State

If you plan to expand your Illinois LLC into another state, you’ll first need Foreign Qualification or a Certificate of Authority from that state. This is necessary if you'll have a physical presence, employees or banking in that state.

This process will likely entail completing an application and paying a filing fee, but each state has its own requirements. Before you start, compare state filing times and state filing fees so you can plan accordingly. Then contact the state government entity that administers business (usually the Secretary of State) to confirm their requirements and for specific instructions.

If you need assistance, Incfile provides complete Foreign Qualification service for all states.

Illinois Annual Report Requirements

Most states — including Illinois — require businesses to file an annual (or other periodic) report with their Secretary of State. When you file your annual report form, you’ll need to pay a fee of $78. Here are the Illinois annual report filing requirements:

Annual Report

Frequency

Annually

Due Date

Within 60 days immediately preceding first day of anniversary month.

Filing Fee

$78*

*includes processing fee

Incfile can also complete and file your Illinois annual report on your behalf.

Illinois Business License and Permit Requirements

As the owner of a business, it’s your responsibility to make sure you have the proper state, federal or local business licenses to operate your LLC. Some of the associated fees only need to be paid once, while others are ongoing charges.

Permits and licenses vary based on:

1

The industry your LLC operates in (e.g., restaurants will need health permits)

2

The type of business you run (e.g., healthcare providers must meet HIPAA requirements)

3

The location of your LLC (county or city) (e.g., a license to conduct business from the city of Chicago)

Remember: operating your business without the required licenses can expose you to fines and risks from local, state and federal governments.

You can research permits and licenses yourself, or use Incfile’s Business License Research package, which includes:

  • A complete report on all the licenses, permits and tax registrations your LLC needs
  • The applications you'll need to file with state, regional and federal licensing authorities

Operating Agreements

Illinois doesn’t require you to create an Operating Agreement for your LLC.

An Operating Agreement is a document that explains how the business will be run, how managers and members are chosen, rights and duties of members and several other key details of the business.

This document is beneficial in making sure you’re organized and prepared for any future events that may affect your business. We strongly recommend you create one to protect your business.

Incfile can draft a general Operating Agreement template when you form your Illinois business.

You can edit the template based on your unique needs.

Other Potential Illinois LLC Fees or Requirements

There are several other fees or requirements that you may need to meet during the life of your LLC. These ad hoc fees will only be payable in specific circumstances, which we’ve listed below.

Obtaining an Assumed Name or DBA

If you want to establish an Illinois DBA (assumed name), you must file a form with the Secretary of State and pay a filing fee of $150.

Incfile can file your Assumed Name or DBA forms on your behalf.

Changing the Registered Agent

You must appoint an Illinois Registered Agent when you file your Articles of Organization. You may also switch to a new Registered Agent later for a $25 fee.

Choose Incfile to serve as your Registered Agent.

It’s free for the first year if you start your business with us, and $119 a year after.

Reserving a Name for Your LLC

If you don’t want to form your LLC right away, you can reserve a business name for 90 days by filing a form with the Secretary of State and paying a fee of $25. First, perform an Illinois business search and learn about rules applicable to business names to ensure the one you want meets all state requirements.

Amending Certain Facts About Your LLC

Your business formation documents contain certain facts about your Illinois business when it is formed. Over time, these facts may change. If they do, you need to file Articles of Amendment with the Illinois Secretary of State and pay a $50 fee. You can do this yourself, or have Incfile file on your behalf.

Articles of Amendment must be filed when you:

  • Edit your LLC’s address
  • Add, remove or change your LLC’s members or manager
  • Change your LLC’s stated business activities

Getting a Certificate of Good Standing in Illinois

Some organizations will ask that you provide evidence of your LLC’s compliance with laws and tax requirements. If you need to prove you are meeting your commitments, you’ll need a Certificate of Good Standing from the Secretary of State, which requires a $25 fee.

Incfile can obtain a Certificate of Good Standing on your behalf.

The fees listed above detail many of the charges a standard LLC will be required to pay. In some unusual circumstances, you may have to pay other one-off, periodic or ad hoc fees.

Of course, your LLC will also likely need to pay self-employment, payroll, federal, state and sales taxes. More information about taxes can be found on the Illinois Business Tax page.

FAQs About Illinois LLC Fees

What Happens to the State Fees I'm Charged When Forming My LLC?

We charge you this fee at cost and then pay the fee to the Secretary of State on your behalf when forming your Illinois business.

Where Do I Get Business Licenses and Permits for My LLC?

It depends on various factors, including:

  • Business location
  • Federal, state and local regulations
  • Business type
  • Your industry’s governing organizations

Many new businesses need a business license, but additional licenses and permits may be required. Our Business License Research package can take the guesswork out of it for you and help you discover everything your LLC needs to be in good standing.

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