Starting an LLC in Illinois

Simplified steps and options to form your LLC the way you want it.

5 Steps to Starting an LLC

An Illinois Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a popular type of business that provides liability protection and tax flexibility. Starting an LLC requires filing Articles of Organization ($150) with the Illinois Secretary of State. Get started in a few steps:

  1. Select a name for your LLC
  2. Appoint a legal registered agent
  3. File Articles of Organization
  4. Create an operating agreement
  5. Obtain an EIN for your Illinois LLC

Looking to streamline the process? We can form your LLC in Illinois for you.

As local Illinois registered agents, we own our own building in Springfield and provide our clients free use of our permanent business address on your public filings, along with a secure online account, free Illinois LLC documents, and free limited mail forwarding.

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Name Your Illinois LLC

1. Select a Name for Your LLC

Choose a name for your LLC that represents your company well and keeps it distinguishable from other businesses in Illinois. Ultimately, it’s at the state’s discretion on whether the name you select is “distinguishable,” so save yourself the disappointment of rejection by checking your desired name on state record before filing.

You can check the full guidelines for naming an LLC in Illinois in the State Guide for Organizing Domestic LLCs, but the main takeaways are to keep the name unique, include a designator such as “LLC,” and don’t include anything deemed “offensive to good taste.”

2. Appoint a Legal Registered Agent

All Illinois LLCs must appoint a registered agent on their Articles of Organization to be approved. The registered agent must have an Illinois physical address (registered office) which will be open and available during all regular business hours. The agent/office legal name and address will all be listed publicly.

While it’s perfectly legal to appoint yourself as your business’s registered agent if you have an Illinois address, many Illinois business owners find it’s well worth the $49/year we charge for registered agent service to keep their family’s home address off the public record.

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3. File Articles of Organization

We recommend hiring us to file your Illinois Articles of Organization for privacy, ease and professionalism, but if you choose to file the articles yourself, we can still serve as your registered agent and definitely want you to have all the best resources. Before proceeding, check out the full state-issued instructions and downloadable guide to make sure your LLC is set up for success.

Once you’ve chosen a business name and a registered agent, you’re ready to file the Articles of Organization (or hire local experts to do so for you).

The Illinois Secretary of State offers several filing options:

Filing Method Appx. Processing Time Filing Fee
Standard Paper 30+ days processing $150
Standard Online 10 business days processing $154
Expedited Online 1-2 business days processing $256


Or for $303 total ($405 expedited), we’ll form your LLC for you, and give you an operating agreement, business address, a year of registered agent service, and all the tools and support you need to get started on the right foot.

Regardless of the filing method you choose, your articles will need to list:

Company Name

Make sure to include your preferred designator, like “LLC” or “L.L.C.”

Company Address

Must be a physical address. A P.O. Box will be rejected. If you hire us, you can use our business address for privacy.

Effective Date

Typically businesses elect to have the company active immediately upon filing, but it is possible to set a future date up to 60 days.

Registered Agent and Registered Office Information

The full legal name of the individual or commercial registered agent, and physical address in Illinois.

Business Purpose

This may be a generic business purpose such as “any legal business dealings,” or you may refine it to your industry such as “real estate.”

Business Duration

By default, all Illinois LLCs will be defined as “perpetual,” but if you need your business to be dissolved after a set date, you can list that date here.

Member(s) and/or Manager Names and Addresses

Members are the owners of an LLC. Addresses do not have to be in Illinois but will be listed publicly. If you have hired us as your registered agent, you will be allowed to list our address here for privacy.

Organizer Name and Address

The Organizer is the person filing the articles. This person may be a representative of the company, or may be a hired third party. If you file your own articles, you will list yourself. If you hire us, we’ll list ourselves.

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4. Create Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is an internal company document that is not submitted to the Secretary of State. While there is no legal requirement to have an operating agreement for your company, you will most likely still need one. Banks and other financial institutions typically require an operating agreement to start a business account. The operating agreement will outline details on how the business operates. Expect to include the members’ names, who owns what percentages, and who has what responsibilities.

When you hire Illinois Registered Office to start your new LLC, we automatically create a tailored operating agreement template for you that will be provided as soon as your LLC is approved by the state.

5. Obtain an EIN for your Illinois LLC

Once your LLC is approved by the state, you’re set to apply for a tax ID called an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS. We recommend waiting until your LLC is approved so that you can confidently apply knowing that you LLC’s name and formation date are accurate. Your company will need an EIN to file taxes, apply for a bank account, and handle business in general.

If you search for the EIN application online, you’ll likely get hit with ads to file an EIN costing you $100s, but that’s not how we do business. The EIN application—whether you do the fast online option, or much longer paper version—is completely free directly with the IRS. If IRS paperwork isn’t your thing, you can hire our team to file for you. We charge $50 for the online, same day filing (available for business owners with an SSN), or $200 to complete the SS4 paper application for international clients without a US Social Security Number.

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Why Hire a Local Registered Agent to Form Your Illinois LLC?

At Illinois Registered Office, we don’t just submit your filing. We serve as your registered agent day in and day out.

Start Your Illinois LLC Today

We provide our LLC clients:

Free Operating Agreement, Membership Certificates, Initial Resolutions & More Online Account to Monitor, Track, and Receive Important Business Documents Instant Document Delivery Online Access to Additional Business Services Free Use of Our Address on Formation Documents Real-Time LLC Annual Report Reminders Lifetime Client Support From Illinois Experts Optional Trade Name Service
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Stability & Expertise for your LLC

Illinois Registered Office is a team of local Illinois business professionals who have been specializing in Illinois small business for almost a decade.

After steady and consistent growth, we purchased our own building in Springfield to ensure address stability and options to all of our clients. Now, we never have to worry about being pushed out of a rental, which means our clients can confidently take advantage of any our business address services without worrying about unexpected changes.

Committed Client Support

Our small but capable team of Illinois business professionals work with Illinois businesses like yours, and our Secretary of State all day, every day. We may not know anything about how things work in California, but we know all the ins and outs of business here.

When you hire us for any of our services, or even before you do, we’re here to share our years of expertise. Whether it’s filing documents correctly the first time, sending reminders about your Illinois annual report, or confirming details for your peace of mind, our Illinois Registered Office was built to support Illinois businesses.

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Reasonable, Transparent Rates

National business filing and legal companies offer great brand recognition whereas you’ve probably never heard of us unless you have a savvy, small business owner friend who shared our services.

Our almost non-existing marketing keeps our budget low so we maintain modest annual rates, with full transparency on all of our costs and services. No price hikes, no surprises, and no complicated contracts—just professional, Illinois-focused services at sensible rates.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to set up an LLC in Illinois?

The least expensive route possible to start an LLC in Illinois is $150. However, that is the 1 month+ processing time, DIY filing option. If you hire someone to start your LLC for you, who you hire, and the state processing method you select will all contribute to the total cost to start your LLC in Illinois. Illinois Registered Office charges $254 for standard, 10 day processing, or $356 for expedited processing.

Are there ongoing costs or requirements?

Yes. Illinois LLCs are required to file an annual report to the IL Secretary of State each year the month prior to the business’s anniversary month. So, an LLC formed on October 4th, would have their report due in September. The filing fee for an LLC’s annual report is $75, but the late fee is an additional $100, so it’s important to be aware and plan in advance. Never miss a report by opting into our compliance service so we file on your behalf.

Do LLCs pay taxes in Illinois?

Just like at the federal level with the IRS, the LLC itself will not pay a general, company-level state tax. Instead, the tax responsibility passes through to the individual members who will file individual income taxes. Some LLCs may have other taxes to consider such as sales tax, or industry specific taxes, so check the Illinois Department of Revenue business page for more information.

Can I get a DBA for my Illinois LLC?

Yes. Well, kind of. Here in Illinois, our “DBA names” are called trade names. But either way it’s the same thing: a name your company uses to conduct business that is not listed on your Articles of Organization.

The process to adopt a tradename for your LLC is a little weird in Illinois. Tradename registrations are based on 5 year increments and pro-rated accordingly. You can find more information on the IL Secretary of State website, or take the easier route and hire us to obtain your tradename(s) after your LLC is formed through your online account with us. Our fee is always a flat $100+ the state’s filing. Check out the chart below for detailed pricing:

Years ending in

State fee + Processing fee

Our fee


0 or 5

$150 + $3



1 or 6

$120 + $3



2 or 7

$90 + $3



3 or 8

$60 + $3



4 or 9

$30 + $3



Hire Local Illinois Business Experts

Let the local registered agents at Illinois Registered Office form your LLC and get a free business address, operating agreement, mail forwarding and more.

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