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Sweet Home Illinois

CorpNet is here to assist you in forming a corporation in the state of Illinois. Incorporating in Illinois is carried out through the Illinois Secretary of State. Most of your correspondence will go through this department as far as your business dealings are concerned. One of the first things that you will need to determine is what types of business structure you wish to possess. The Corporations Division, located in Springfield, offer structures in Proprietorships, General and Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP), Limited Liability Companies (LLC), “S” Corporations and “C” Corporations.

Five basic steps to incorporate in Illinois

  1. Incorporation in Illinois starts with reserving an entity or corporate name. This is a very important step and keeps name duplication from occurring. First, you must search to ensure that your company name is available. You may utilize the free company name search.

    Illinois corporate names have to be distinguishable from other names that are registered as Illinois business entities. They may not contain any language that implies that the corporation is able to conduct business in indemnity, insurance, banking, assurance, or the acceptance of savings deposits unless the proper state agency has authorized it to do so.

    It must also be the same name in which the corporation will conduct business transactions. If the corporation has an assumed name then it must be in compliance with Illinois state law and has to be renewed periodically.

    Applications to reserve a name are valid for 120 days. Name registration is automatic with the filing of the appropriate business incorporation or registration documents.

  2. Register your corporation (or LLC) with the Secretary of State. CorpNet offers filings of the Articles of Incorporation (for corporate structures) and for LLCs, Articles of Organization. When the name of the business differs from the owner’s full legal name, the “Assumed Name Act” necessitates that you register the business name with your county clerk’s office, no matter what the structure of the business is. A copy of the filed articles of incorporation must be recorded with the county clerk where the resident agent dwells.

  3. Entity professional licenses are required for corporations, LLCs, LLPs and LPs in certain professional categories such as real estate, pawnbrokers, and leasing agents. The list can be found at the State of Illinois Business Portal website.

  4. Conduct the first official meeting for the corporation or LLC and approve the Bylaws (corporations) or Operating Agreement (LLCs). This is a legal meeting and must be recorded as such. (See section below about officers and documentation.)

  5. Apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) under the corporate name. You will also have to organize a bank account under this number for accounting purposes. Your financial institution will want a copy of the EIN as well as a certificate of registration from the Secretary of State.

Foreign and Domestic Corporations

A foreign corporation is a corporation registered in another State that does business in Illinois. Foreign corporations are required to register in Illinois.

Domestic corporations are those formed in Illinois itself. While there is no residency requirement for directors or officers of Illinois corporations, a registered agent (who can also be a corporate officer) must have a physical address in Illinois. An agent can be either an individual or a corporation authorized to conduct business in the state. The agent has to be available to take phone calls and reply to legal matters. Hiring a Registered Agent will protect your privacy and meet the requirements of incorporation in Illinois.

Officers and documents

Corporations in Illinois must have one or more directors whose names and addresses will appear in the articles of incorporation. Any change (address or ownership) must be filed with the State.

Corporate officer titles are determined by the bylaws or the board of directors. One person can hold multiple titles. The bylaws govern the corporation’s business affairs. They must be kept at the main office and it is not required that they be filed with the government. The board of directors has the capacity to amend, recall, and adopt the bylaws. The secretary is able to certify the bylaws and the officers may be listed and elected by the board of directors.

An annual report must be filed with the Illinois Secretary of State every year within 60 days prior to the month of incorporation. The report must include the following information: name of the corporation, address of the registered office, name of the registered agent, information pertaining to the corporation's status as a minority or women-owned business, and information regarding the property value of the corporation.

Common Forms

  • Articles of Incorporation – This is the articles of incorporation filed with the Secretary of State. For foreign corporations, the filing is called: Application for Certificate of Authority.

  • Application for Name Reservation – This form can be filed online. It conducts a name search and reserves a business name for 120 days. There is also a version for foreign corporation name registration.

  • Articles of Amendment – This is one of several forms used to amend or change information about the corporation.

  • Registered Agent or Registered Agent Address Statement of Change – Because the registered agent is the point of contact between the corporate entity and the State of Illinois, any changes must be made known to the State.

  • Certificate of Election to Dissolve – Used to dissolve a corporation.

Forming a corporation online

Incorporation in Illinois can sometimes seem like a discouraging task. It is quite possible, however, to incorporate online by filing the correct forms in the right order and this can be handled remotely through our services. We offer complete packages to start your corporation or LLC in the state of Illinois without forgetting any key steps or documents. Mistakes can be pricey.

Incorporating online is as uncomplicated as providing some preliminary information and deciding which type of corporation you need. CorpNet is on hand to help you create a corporation in Illinois and one-year Registered Agent Services is usual in our packages. We also include limitless customer support in our packages.

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