Illinois Business Filing Tips

The state recently launched CyberDriveIllinois, an online system for submitting and processing business filings. This is the most efficient and the fastest method for business formation and annual report filings. CyberDrive has certain restrictions, however, which are detailed below. As well, online processing fees are higher, because the system automatically expedites your filing. There is a $100 expedite fee for all business formations done through CyberDrive (this fee does not apply to annual reports). In spite of these differences, we highly suggest all entrepreneurs use CyberDrive. Paper filings will take up to three weeks to process and are not nearly as efficient.

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:

Online Processing Fees:

  • LLC: $600
  • Corporation: $281.25 minimum


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 restrictions:

  • Existence must begin with the electronic filing, not at a later time
  • Company must have a general purpose clause
  • Cannot have any optional provisions
  • Company must exist perpetually
  • Can have only one organizer
  • 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 $600 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 $6.25 processing fee. This means the minimum corporation formation fee online is $281.25.

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 $25.

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

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.

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