Illinois Foreign Corporation Registration

If you are a corporation headquartered in another state and want to do business in Illinois, you will need a Certificate of Authority to operate in Illinois. You can get one by submitting paperwork to the Illinois Secretary of State, Corporations Division. After you submit your forms, the State of Illinois will return a filed certificate of authority to you.

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plus one year of registered agent service!

State fees are an additional $150, plus whatever your home state charges for a Certificate of Good Standing (usually $0-$50).

Foreign Corporation – $299

Want to handle everything yourself?

Follow our D.I.Y. Guide below.

D.I.Y. Guide: Register a Foreign Corp in Illinois

There are four basic steps you’ll need to follow to register your corporation in Illinois:

  1. Secure an Illinois Registered Agent
  2. Get a Certificate of Good Standing
  3. Apply for Authority to Transact Business in Illinois
  4. Accept Certificate of Authority

1. Secure an Illinois Registered Agent

All companies registered with the Illinois Secretary of State are required to have an Illinois Registered Agent — this includes foreign corporations. A registered agent is a person or entity that receives legal notices on behalf of your company, then forwards them onto you in a timely fashion.

Your registered agent must be located in Illinois at their registered address during normal business hours. This isn’t doable for most people, which is why many businesses choose to hire a professional registered agent service, like us.

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2. Get a Certificate of Good Standing

A Certificate of Good Standing (sometimes known as a Certificate of Existence) is a document that confirms your business is all caught up on payments and filings in the state where you originally formed your business. The Illinois Secretary of State’s office will want proof of your company’s good standing before allowing you to do business here.

You can obtain a Certificate of Good Standing from the same office you originally submitted your company’s formation papers (usually a secretary of state’s office). Or, if you hire us to register your foreign corporation, we’ll take care of getting this certification for you.

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3. Apply for Authority to Transact Business in Illinois

The meat of your application for foreign registry in IL is called an Application for Authority to Transact Business in Illinois. Here’s what you’ll have to include:

  • LLC name in your home state
  • Assumed name (if the name above is NOT available in the state of Illinois)
  • Jurisdiction of formation in your home state
  • Date of formation in your home state
  • Period of duration (if there is no anticipated end date, write “perpetual”)
  • Address of principal place of business in home state
  • Business address in Illinois (if applicable)
  • Registered agent name
  • Registered agent address (“registered office”)
  • Names and addresses of officers and directors
  • Business purpose in Illinois
  • Number of authorized and issues shares (if applicable)
  • Amount of paid-in capital (the amount of money your corporation has received in exchange for stock value)
  • Estimates for your company’s valuation and total business transacted
  • Declaration that your company is or is not currently operating in Illinois (if it is, you’ll also need to include the date you started doing business in Illinois)
  • Name, date and signature of someone authorized to sign on behalf of your company

Note that you will also have to attach your Certificate of Good Standing to this application when you submit it, along with the filing fee.

What’s the filing fee?

The filing fee (or application fee) is what it costs to submit this document to the state. For foreign registration in Illinois, the filing fee is $150.

Can I get expedited service?

Yes. To expedite this filing, you’ll have to spend another $100 on top of the $150 application fee, AND you’ll have to deliver your application in person. (Illinois only accepts expedited documents in person.)

Our service comes with FREE Courier Service, so you can get your filings approved faster without the hassle!

Where do I send my application?

You can send your application via mail, or deliver it in person to one of the two addresses below:

Springfield (by mail or in person):
Illinois Secretary of State
Department of Business Services
Limited Liability Division
501 S. Second St., Rm. 351
Springfield, IL 62756

Chicago (in person only):
Cook County Building
69 W. Washington St., Ste. 1240
Chicago, IL 60602

4. Accept Certificate of Authority

After your application is accepted by the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, you’ll receive a stamped copy of your application. This is your certificate of authority, which allows you to legally conduct business in the state.

If you hire us, we’ll upload the filing in your online account, email it to you, and send you the original filed documents by mail.

Why Hire a Local Registered Agent to
Register Your Foreign Corp in Illinois?

As your registered agent, we’re with you day in and day out.

And when you want more help with your business…

We can step in with the click of a button.

Illinois Foreign Corporation Package: $299 Total

Free Corporate Bylaws Template & More

Online Account to Monitor, Track, and Receive Important Business Documents

Instant Document Delivery System

Online Access to Additional Business Services

365 Days of Illinois Registered Agent Service

Free Use of Our Address on Formation Documents

Real-Time Annual Report Reminders

Lifetime Client Support

Optional Trade Name Service (DBA)

No Hidden Fees

Ongoing Business Support:

Choose from a slew of business support services as your business grows!

Illinois Business Address
Illinois Virtual Mail
Illinois Virtual Office
Business Filing Tips
Free Courier Service
Annual Report Service

FAQ: Illinois Foreign Corporation

Do I have to register as a foreign corporation in Illinois?

If your corporation is located in another state and will be transacting business in Illinois, probably. But it depends on the type of business you’re doing. There are certain business activities that don’t constitute “transacting business” in Illinois. (See below.)

What qualifies as doing business in Illinois?

In Illinois, as in most states, “doing business” is difficult to define in absolute tersm. State statute 805 ILCS 5 § 13.75, lists several activities that do NOT qualify as “transacting business” (or doing business) in Illinois, including:

  • Maintaining bank accounts
  • Selling through independent contractors
  • Holding meetings
  • Owning property
  • Settling any legal proceedings

But that might not help you determine whether or not your company is, in fact, doing business in Illinois. In general, if your business practices involve the exchange of money or goods that wouldn’t otherwise be documented in the state, you’ll need to register as a foreign corporation. If you’re still not sure whether your business practices qualify, you could reach out to an Illinois business attorney or accountant to be sure of your course of action.

How do I register an out-of-state corporation in Illinois?

In short, you’ll need to secure an IL Registered Agent, obtain a Certificate of Good Standing from your home state, then submit an Application for Authority to Transact Business in Illinois. For more details, follow the 4 steps listed above.

How do I withdraw a foreign corporation from Illinois?

To withdraw your foreign corporation from Illinois, you’ll need to submit an Application for Withdrawal. This comes with a $25 filing fee (plus $50 if you choose to expedite).

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