Illinois Business Filing Tips

Filing your business in Illinois involves submitting Articles of Organization (LLCs) or Articles of Incorporation (corporations) to the Secretary of State.

The state recently launched CyberDriveIllinois, an online system for submitting and processing business filings. While many of the online processing fees are higher (the system automatically expedites business formation filings, which incurs an extra $100 expedite fee), CyberDrive is the most efficient and the fastest method for filings. Paper filings will take up to three weeks.

And at Illinois Registered Office, we can file for you – everything from business formations to annual reports.

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Before You File

Before you form you start your Illinois business filing, it is useful to make a few preliminary decisions.

Name Your Company

If you submit a filing with a company name that is already in use by another business, your filing will be rejected. To avoid this issue, you can conduct a simple Illinois Business Entity Search. If you perform a search and there are no records found for that name, then the name is available for use.

Designate a Registered Agent

Every business entity in the state must have an Illinois registered agent. For your filing, you will need to have the legal name and physical address of your registered agent.

At Illinois Registered Office LLC, we provide Illinois registered agent service for $49 per year.

Write a Governing Document

Your governing document is what lays out the ownership and management of your business. For Illinois LLCs, this is known as an operating agreement. For Illinois corporations, it is called corporate bylaws.

A governing document is not filed publicly (unless you are a publicly traded corporation) and you will not be asked to submit it to CyberDrive. But it is useful to write in advance, as the ownership of your company is laid out in this document.

CyberDriveIllinois Filing Tips

Formation Documents:

For expedited processing, add an additional $100.

LLC Online Filing

You can form an LLC online through CyberDriveIllinois, but there are certain restrictions. In order to process your LLC, your company must meet ALL of the requirements:

  • Existence:

    Your company must come into existence at the time of the electronic filing, not a later date.

  • General Purpose Clause:

    A purpose clause is the section of your Articles of Organization that refers to the character of your business. Your business must be organized for a general purpose, as opposed to providing a professional service for which you’d need a license (like medicine).

  • No Optional Provisions:

    Your articles cannot contain any optional provisions, which means you cannot add any additional provisions not already covered by the Illinois Limited Liability Company Act.

  • No Dissolution Date:

    Your company must exist perpetually without a planned date of dissolution.

  • Organizer:

    You can only include the name of one organizer when forming your LLC, and your organizer cannot be someone executing the document on behalf of someone else through power of attorney.

If your LLC meets ALL of these requirements, then you’re in the clear. You can file online, pay the total $250 fee (with expedite) and your LLC will be processed in 24 hours.


Corporation Online Filing

Corporations can be formed online through CyberDrive. The only restriction for corporations is that you are allowed to issue only Common Stock. You cannot issue any Preferred Stock through an online filing.

Corporations are charged the $100 expedite fee for online formation, as well as a $7 processing fee. This means the minimum corporation formation fee online is $107.

Calculating the Corporation Franchise Tax

If you are forming an Illinois corporation, you will be required to pay the Illinois Franchise Tax. The tax is assessed at $1.50 per $1,000 on the paid-in capital represented within the state.

The minimum fee is $75.

Paid-in capital is the amount of capital your shareholders have contributed in exchange for their stock (this includes yourself). If your shareholders have paid cash, then this is amount of cash exchanged. If your shareholders have contributed assets, such as property, then this includes the value of those assets.

Ongoing Business Maintenance

Both LLCs and corporations are required to file an Annual Report every year with the Illinois Secretary of State. Annual Reports are due the day before the month in which you incorporated your business. If you formed you company in November, then your Annual Report would be due by October 31 each year.


Annual Report Fees

Your Illinois Annual Report is due by the end of the month prior to your anniversary date. (For example, if you formed your LLC in November, you’d have until October 31st to file your annual report.)

You can file Annual Reports online through CyberDrive. This is the recommended method, as the filing is processed immediately.  Failure to file your Annual Report is a serious offense which can lead to your company being administratively dissolved by the Illinois Department of Business Services.

Or if you’d rather not worry about your filings at all, you can hire us for filing services, including annual report filing, which we offer for $100 plus the state fees.

Don’t settle for second-rate service. Hire the best. Hire Illinois Registered Office.

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