Illinois Foreign LLC Registration

If you formed an LLC outside of Illinois and you want to operate in Illinois, you’ll have to register your limited liability company as a foreign LLC in Illinois. This requires filling out an Application for Admission to Transact Business. Once this document is filed, the state will return a filed certificate of authority from the Corporations Division of the Illinois Secretary of State.

Get a Foreign LLC in Illinois
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We can take care of everything for you. Our price includes one year of registered agent service!

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

Foreign LLC – $149

Want to register your foreign LLC yourself? No problem.

Follow the 4 steps outlined below.

4 Steps to Register a Foreign LLC in Illinois

Registering as a Foreign IL LLC will allow you—as an out-of-state business owner—to operate here in Illinois. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

    1. Get an Illinois Registered Agent
    2. Obtain a Certificate of Good Standing
    3. Fill Out An Application for Admission to Transact Business
    4. Accept Your Certificate of Authority

1. Get an Illinois Registered Agent

Every business that registers with the Illinois Secretary of State is required to have an Illinois Registered Agent. Your registered agent must be a person or an entity that has a physical address (registered office) in Illinois and is available during normal business hours to accept service of process from the state. The name and address of your registered agent will be listed publicly.

For this reason, many people choose to hire a registered agent service, like us. We’ll list our address instead of yours, plus we’ll send you all the notices we receive on your behalf the same day we receive them.

Get $49/Year Registered Agent Service

2. Obtain a Certificate of Good Standing

Before applying for Illinois foreign entity registration, you’ll need to get a Certificate of Good Standing from your home state. Depending on where your LLC is currently registered, this might be called a Certificate of Existence, Certificate of Status, or a Letter of Good Standing. A Certificate of Good Standing (or equivalent) shows that your business has stayed up to date with all required fees and reports.

This certificate must be obtained from—and authenticated by—the relevant office in your home state within 60 days of your application for foreign qualification in Illinois. Typically, a Certificate of Good Standing is obtained from the same office with which you filed your formation paperwork, usually the Secretary of State’s office.

NOTE: When you hire us to register your Foreign Illinois LLC, we’ll take care this step for you!

3. Fill Out an Application for Admission to Transact Business

An Application for Admission to Transact Business in Illinois should be filed with the Illinois Secretary of State before your business operates in Illinois. Your application must 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
  • Registered agent name
  • Registered agent address (“registered office”)
  • Date on which company first operated in Illinois (if applicable)
  • Business purpose in Illinois
  • Business structure (either managed by managers or members)
  • List of names of all people managers and any members with the authority of managers
  • Name, date and signature of someone authorized to sign on behalf of your company

You’ll also have to attach your Certificate of Good Standing, as well as the state’s $150 filing fee. Illinois does not accept applications for foreign LLCs online, which means you must file paper forms.

Where do I submit an Application for Admission to Transact Business in Illinois?

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

NOTE: If you want to expedite your filing, you can only do so in person. Luckily, if you hire us, we offer a free Courier Service, so you can get your filings approved faster!

What if my LLC’s name is already being used in Illinois?

In the case that your company’s name is already registered in Illinois, you’ll need to operate under an assumed name (also called a DBA name). To find out whether or not your name is already in use, check the state’s business archives with the Illinois Business Entity Search. If your name is already registered, you’ll have to select a different name, and submit an Application to Adopt an Assumed Name along with your foreign LLC application.

How much does it cost to get an assumed name in Illinois?

Illinois has a strange system for collecting filing fees from businesses that want to operate under an assumed name. In short: the initial fee depends on the year you file. After that, you’ll pay $150 every five years.

In general, all businesses with assumed names—regardless of the initial year they filed their assumed name application—must renew this application and pay the associated $150 fee every five years, according to a five-year cycle with years ending in either 0 or 5. In other words, any company with an assumed name in Illinois must renew it in 2025, and 2030, and 2035, and so on.

However, if you submit your initial application during any other year, your initial fee will vary accordingly:

  • Years ending in 1 or 6: $120
  • Years ending in 2 or 7: $90
  • Years ending in 3 or 8: $60
  • Years ending in 4 or 9: $30

4. Accept Your Certificate of Authority

You will officially be able to conduct business in Illinois when you receive a stamped copy of your application from the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office. This is your certificate of authority.

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

We give you the most bang for your buck.
As your registered agent, we’re with you day in and day out.
And when you want more help with your business…
We’re there for you with the click of a button.

Illinois Foreign LLC Package: $299 Total

Free Operating Agreement Documents & 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

No Hidden Fees

Ongoing Business Support:

We also offer various ways to help you maintain and expand your business.

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

FAQ: Illinois Foreign LLC

Do I have to register a foreign LLC in Illinois?

If your business was formed in a state outside Illinois but operates here, you’ll have to register as a Foreign Illinois LLC. What does it mean to operate in Illinois? This can be tricky to determine, as it depends on whether your business is legally considered to be “doing business” in Illinois.

What qualifies as doing business in Illinois?

“Doing business” is a legal term that’s difficult to define exactly. In general, it refers to activities activities on behalf of your business that involve a financial transaction within Illinois. This could include making sales, hiring Illinois-based employee, or renting an office space here. What’s more specific is what’s NOT considered “doing business,” a list that includes:

  • Maintaining a bank account
  • Selling products through an independent contractor
  • Holding business meetings
  • Settling or defending a court proceeding
  • Owning, without more, real or personal property

This list is not exhaustive. If you have any questions about whether your LLC is technically “doing business” in Illinois, you might want to consult a business attorney or advisor.

How do I qualify for a foreign LLC in Illinois?

Qualifying as a foreign LLC in Illinois requires two main criteria:

  1. Your company must be in good standing in your home state.
  2. Your company should also be in a position to conduct business in Illinois

From there, you’ll have to go through the 4 steps listed above, which require: getting a registered agent and a certificate of good standing, then applying for foreign qualification with the Illinois Secretary of State.

How much does a foreign LLC cost in Illinois?

Applying for foreign qualification in Illinois comes with a filing fee of $150, plus an extra fee if you’ll also be applying for an assumed name. Your home state may also charge a fee for a Certificate of Good Standing, which is required with the registration application.

You’ll also be expected to file an Illinois Annual Report each year, which comes with a $75 fee.

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