Incorporate a Business in Illinois

CorpNet makes it fast and easy to incorporate a business in Illinois. You can register your business online or have one of our experienced filing experts assist you.

Save time, enjoy personalized service, and get peace of mind by working with our filing experts who have experience helping entrepreneurs in all 50 states, including Illinois. We stand by our services with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Start a Business

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.

5 Steps to Incorporate in Illinois

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Choose a Name for the Corporation

Search to make sure your company name is available. You can use the free CorpNet company name search. Your corporate name in Illinois will have to include one of the suffixes, Corporation (or Corp.); Incorporated (or Inc.) and for limited liability companies, LLC. Illinois has reserved the words: Bank, Trust, and Engineer/Engineering – these can be used in your name if you have the appropriate certificates and licensing, but otherwise are prohibited. Your corporate name cannot imply a service or business which conflicts with the purpose stated when you register.

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Register Your Corporation

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.

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Hold an Official Meeting

Hold the first official meeting for the corporation or LLC and adopt 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.)

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Apply for an EIN

Apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) under the corporate name. In Illinois, this will also serve as your State Tax Identification Number. You will also have to arrange for 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.

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Obtain Licenses and Permits

Obtain any specific licenses and permits required, either statewide or for the county in which you will do business. Some examples would be: Electrician’s license, trucking licenses and permits, Liquor license, etc.

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 Form

  • 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 be conducted through our services in order to make things easier and less overwhelming. Although some filings are not available online (such as the Corporate Name Reservation) they can be faxed or mailed.

We offer complete packages that let you to establish your corporation or LLC without missing important steps or documents. Our professionals will help you through the process and unlimited customer support is included in our services. This allows you to concentrate on managing your business rather than getting stuck in state-mandated paperwork.

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