How to Form an LLC in Illinois

Created by FindLaw's team of attorney writers and editors.

Forming an LLC is an important step to take for your business. If you're ready to make this transition, then you need to know about the specific formation requirements in your state. This article discusses how to form an LLC in Illinois and provides a link to the required forms and links to relevant Illinois statutes.

Forms for Illinois LLC Formation

A major part of forming an LLC involves completing and filing documentation. You can get started today by using FindLaw's do-it-yourself Illinois LLC Formation Package.

LLC Definition

An LLC combines elements of the corporation and partnerships to create a unique business entity. LLC is an abbreviation of "limited liability company." This refers to the protection that members have from personal liability from the LLC's debts or liabilities. This advantage is also present in corporations. An LLC is also like a partnership because of the flow-through taxation feature.

Low-Profit Limited Liability Company

Illinois recognizes the low-profit limited liability company (L3C) which is a variation on the LLC. This version is only available to for-profit entities whose main purpose is to achieve a socially beneficial objective.

How to Form an LLC in Illinois

The requirements of LLC formation are similar in every state, but each state handles the process a little differently. See the chart below for instructions on how to form an LLC in Illinois.

Statutes

Illinois Limited Liability Company Act:

Name the LLC

Illinois LLC names must include the following terms:

  • "limited liability company";
  • "L.L.C.";
  • "LLC"; or
  • "L3C" if the entity is organized as a low-profit limited liability company.

The name cannot include the following terms:

  • "Corporation";
  • "Corp.";
  • "Incorporated";
  • "Inc";
  • "Ltd";
  • "Co";
  • "Limited Partnership"; or
  • "L.P.".

The name must be different from names that are of existing businesses already registered with the state.

Search the Secretary of State Business Services Name Database to make sure that your chosen name isn't already used for an existing business.

Appoint a Registered Agent

You must appoint a registered agent who will serve as an agent for service of process if the LLC is sued.

The registered agent:

  • Must have a physical street address in Illinois;
  • Can be an individual who resides in Illinois or a domestic; or
  • A foreign corporation who is authorized to do business in Illinois.

File Articles of Organization

You must file the Articles of Organization (including the filing fees) with the Illinois Secretary of State Department of Business Services. The articles must include the following:

  • The name and address of the LLC;
  • The name and address of the LLC's registered agent;
  • The purpose of the LLC;
  • Statement regarding the duration of the LLC;
  • The structure of the LLC: (manager-managed or member-managed); and
  • Names/address of the initial managers or initial members.

Create an Operating Agreement

Illinois doesn't require them, but it's recommended that you prepare an operating agreement.

Comply with Tax and Regulatory Requirements

In many cases, if your business sells goods, collects sales taxes, or if you have employees, then you must register with the Illinois Department of Revenue (DOR).

Apply for an EIN if your LLC has more than one member, even if there are no employees.

Determine Necessary Business Licenses/Permits

Many companies in Illinois are required to obtain local and state business licenses to operate. The specific licenses/permits will depend on your specific business type and the location of your business.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Foreign LLCs

Any LLC that wants to do business in Illinois must register with the Secretary of State. A foreign LLC must appoint a registered agent (with a physical Illinois address) for service of process purposes.

How to Form an LLC in Illinois: Related Resources

If You Need to Form an LLC in Illinois, Talk to an Attorney

If you're forming an Illinois LLC, you might need more help than just completing your forms. Get assistance with creating operating agreements or other formation matters by talking with a skilled Illinois attorney.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.