Why Form a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

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Illinois LLC Form, Filing and Permit Requirements

If you want to form an LLC in Illinois, there are certain forms, requirements and legalities you need to get in place. Below is a rundown of what you’ll need to do, together with details on each form required for your Illinois LLC. Some of these forms you only need to submit once, while others must be filed on a regular basis. You will need to set reminders in your calendar to file forms regularly if you're filing yourself. we also provide an optional, paid service to file your form renewals on your behalf.

Articles of Organization for Your Illinois LLC

The Articles of Organization are the formal documents filed with the Illinois Secretary of State to create your LLC. They are a “charter” and state certain information about your business. Once they are filed with the secretary of state, they legally create your business as an LLC in Illinois. Here’s what’s typically included in the Articles of Organization:

  • Your business name and address
  • Details of your Illinois Registered Agent
  • Names of any managers or members of the LLC at the time of filing

Here at Incfile we automatically create and file your Articles of Organization on your behalf when you form your business with us. There is a fee levied by the secretary of state of Illinois to cover your filing. The fee is currently $500 - $600.

You only need to file your articles once.

Illinois Professional LLCs

In Illinois certain professions can form “Professional LLCs.” These are companies providing defined, professional services, and they typically need to be specially licensed. In Illinois, businesses engaged in the following activities are considered professional service organizations and must be properly licensed and regulated.

  • Architects
  • Professional engineering
  • Structural engineering
  • Land surveying
  • Doctors and others practicing medicine
  • Podiatrists
  • Dentists
  • Optometrists
  • Clinical psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Marriage and family therapists
  • Professional counseling and clinical professional counseling
  • Sex offender evaluators
  • Acupuncturists
  • Masseurs and massage therapists
  • Napropaths
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physical therapists

Further information is available from the Illinois Secretary of State website.

Incfile provides a complete Business License Research Package that will tell you all of the licenses and permits necessary for your new professional LLC.

Business Permits and Licenses for Your Illinois LLC

Depending on the type of business you’re running, you may need to obtain various business permits or licenses.

A Business Permit or License from Your City

Various cities in Illinois have slightly different rules and fees for permits and licenses. Check with your local city administration to see what their rules are. You may need a separate permit or license for each city your Illinois LLC operates in.

Additional Business Permits and Licenses

Depending on the type of business you are running, you may need to get additional permits and licenses from the city, county or state of Illinois. Some of these include:

  • Grain Dealer/Grain Warehouse License Application
  • Airport & Heliport Certification
  • Livestock Premises Registration
  • Waste Management Permits
  • Children's Community-Based Health Care Center Application
  • And many more...

Learn about these additional permits and licenses. The frequency of how often you need to file permits varies depending on the permit type.

Federal Licenses and Permits

Depending on the type of Illinois business you are running, you may need to get licenses and permits from the federal government and various national agencies. You can find a complete list on the US Small Business Administration website.

Incfile Business License Research Package

You will need to pay licensing and permit fees on a regular basis depending on the type of business you are operating and where you are located. These do vary from city to city and industry to industry. If you don’t want to do the legwork yourself, we provide a complete Business License Research Package that will tell you all of the licenses and permits for your new LLC. It includes:

  • A comprehensive package of all the licenses, permits and tax registrations required for your business
  • The application forms to file with the appropriate licensing authorities
  • Your customized Business License Research Package will be emailed to you within two days of your company being filed by the state
  • Remember that operating your business without the required licenses can expose you to risks and fines from state and local governments

Illinois Tax Registration

You will need to file for various different types of tax registration including sales and use tax, re-employment tax and other types of tax. You can find full details on the Illinois Department of Revenue website.

If you have Employees in Illinois you must register for Unemployment Insurance Tax and State Income Tax Withholding.

Operating Agreement for Your Illinois LLC

Setting up an LLC is easy, but actively managing one can be more complex. An operating agreement defines how your business works and ensures all the founders, owners, members or managers have a common understanding. An operating agreement normally covers areas including:

  • Legal Standing: Declares the legal standing of your LLC, that it was formed in Illinois and including dates, formation details and other important legal information.
  • LLC Ownership: States how ownership of the business is split between members. This influences how the business is run, voting rights and several other areas.
  • Ownership Percentages: Defines the amount each member has invested and the percentage of ownership of each Illinois LLC member.
  • LLC Management Type: States whether your LLC will be managed by managers (people the owners appoint or its members (owners).
  • Management Relationships: Declares the relationship between the members and the managers of your Illinois LLC including the roles, rights and responsibilities of each.
  • Voting Powers and Decision Authority: States how high-level decisions will be presented, discussed and acted on, including the voting rights of each LLC member.
  • LLC Rules: Defines the rules, procedures and policies to follow for adding, removing, amending and making other changes to members and managers. This includes moving ownership between members.
  • Profit and Loss Allocation: How profits or losses will be split and allocated between Illinois LLC members.

You are not required by Illinois state or federal law to have an operating agreement for your LLC, but we recommend one for several reasons. An operating agreement:

  • Strengthens your legal standing as an LLC and adds credibility for your organization.
  • Clearly states how your business will operate, so there’s no confusion or ambiguity.
  • Reduces misunderstandings and disagreements between LLC members, important for a harmonious business.
  • Allows you to create your own rules for your LLC, rather than being subject to the default Illinois state rules for an LLC.
  • Reduces the need for every member of an LLC to approve and sign off on every decision.

Your operating agreement only needs to be created once and will need to be updated if significant changes are needed.

Annual Report for your Illinois LLC

You must file an Annual Report with the Illinois Secretary of State on an annual basis, due each year by the first day of the month in which the LLC was formed. The cost is currently $250 - $300. If you do not file your annual report, your LLC may be dissolved. Here at Incfile, we can file your Annual Report on your behalf.

Certificate of Good Standing for your Illinois LLC

You may need a “Certificate of Good Standing” for certain business-related services like opening a bank account. You can order one from usfrom us and we will also send you courtesy emails when your compliance due date nears.

Ready to Start your Illinois LLC?

Incfile provides a cost-effective service to help you create your Illinois LLC. We guide you through the process and handle most of the administrative steps, such as Filing the Articles of Organization on your behalf. Our basic package also provides a free Registered Agent service for the first year. If you're looking for help to start an LLC, our comprehensive services provide outstanding value.

Only $49 + State Fee To Launch Your Business

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

Filing Time and Price

The state charges this amount to file a new business entity. This fee goes directly to the Secretary of State.

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

Compliance Requirements

This report is mandatory and must be filed within the specified time frame in order for the entity to remain in good standing with the state. Failure to file this report can lead to the company being revoked or administratively dissolved.

Annual Report

Frequency: Annually

Due Date: Within 60 days immediately preceding first day of anniversary month.

Filing Fee: $128

Learn more about starting a business in Illinois

Additional resources, guides, and articles for better decision making.

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