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By The Wyoming LLC Attorney Team

Feb 29, 2024

Illinois LLC Requirements

How to Start an LLC


The article discusses Illinois LLC requirements, including what an LLC is, its benefits, and its flexibility compared to a corporation. It also covers the business structures that can be chosen, including the number of members, and the Illinois legal requirements for setting up an LLC, such as choosing a business name and having a registered agent.

If you are considering starting an Illinois LLC, you need to make sure you are up to date on all the Illinois LLC requirements. There is a lot that you need to pay attention to when it comes to starting any business, so to ensure that your Illinois Limited Liability Company (LLC) starts out as well as possible, you need to know more about what an LLC is, what corporation taxes Illinois requires and any other factors that are essential to an Illinois LLC. So, make sure to read on for more information on who an LLC is best for and what you will need to start one.

What Is an LLC?

An LLC, or limited liability company is a kind of business utilized in the United States to provide a range of benefits to company owners. Mainly, a limited liability company is set up so that the owner can enjoy a risk-free structure. This is most beneficial for businesses that are medium or high-risk. This is because LLCs mean that the company owner is not liable for any debt or liability that the company accrues. If you want to ensure that your personal assets are protected from the problems faced by your company, then choosing an LLC is definitely the best way to go. A limited liability company gives you the benefits from a range of company types, meaning you get to enjoy the perks of both a corporation and a partnership or sole proprietorship.

How is an LLC more flexible than a corporation?

With a Limited Liability Company, business owners can enjoy greater flexibility and more streamlined management than what is afforded by corporations. With significantly lower startup costs, an LLC is the most ideal choice for simplifying the process of establishing and running a successful enterprise. All of these things mean that overall, a limited liability company is the best option to ensure a smooth process in terms of setting up and running your business.

A range of business structures

When you opt for a limited liability company, that isn’t where the versatility stops. There is a range of structures that you can choose between to ensure that you get the best setup for your company. These options include an LLC which best fits a single-owner business, partnership, or even a multi-member structure. An SMLLC or single-member LLC can be formed if there is only one member. If you are looking for more privacy, you can choose an anonymous LLC. This is even possible in states where anonymous LLCs cannot be directly set up, but still achieved by utilizing a double LLC structure. With so many options, there is always a way to make the structure work to your advantage.

How many members can an LLC have?

As previously mentioned, if you only have one member, this is not a problem. You can simply opt for a single-member LLC. The only difference is in the number of members, and you will need to state this when you file your documents. On the other end of the scale, there is also no maximum number of how many members can be registered in your LLC. You are free to list as many members as you like when forming an LLC, and you can continue to grow it as you desire over time. A limited liability company should not limit you in any way when it comes to the number of members you have.

What Is Required of an LLC in Illinois

Before embarking on the journey of creating your Illinois LLC, there are some essential steps you need to take in order to ensure a smooth and successful process. To make things easier for you, it is beneficial to have these items prepared before starting to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Business Name

One of the most important parts of setting up any business is deciding on the name. You are likely to want something that stands out from the crowd while still being clear and indicating what it is that you do. While these are important points for marketing, they are also crucial in terms of keeping within the law. This is because in Illinois you are required to choose a name that is easily distinguished from any other registered LLC that already exists.

As a result, when you start brainstorming names, you will need to make sure you check that they are available as the title for your LLC before you settle on one. As well as this, it is law that you include the words ‘limited liability company’ or an abbreviation in the name of your business. As part of this, you cannot include any misleading words such as those that indicate another kind of organization. For example, you cannot include the word ‘corporation’.

To avoid disappointment it is best to have a few options that you are happy with before you try to register your name. Then, you can reserve the one you have chosen using Form LLC-1.15. You need to pay a small fee to reserve your name but this is essential to making sure that you get to keep the name that you chose when it comes to filing your LLC. You can hold the name for around 90 days usually, giving you time to form your LLC and use the name that you have picked out.

Aside from the legal requirements, when you choose the name for your company one of the most important things you need to consider is your branding and marketing. Often, the name is the first impression customers have of your company and so you need to ensure it reflects your values and the goals of your company. You can build your brand around the perfect name, so make sure to choose wisely.

Registered Agent

Another thing that you need to make sure you have before you start to file the documents for your business is a registered agent. In the state of Illinois, you need to have a registered agent. The role of this agent is to receive any legal documents for you, on behalf of your business. This agent will need to be an Illinois resident or authorized to do business in the state with an Illinois office.

When it comes to choosing a registered agent, you can opt for somebody who you already employ to perform this role. However, your LLC is not allowed to be listed as its own registered agent, you need to appoint another individual to perform this role. There is usually a range of costs and services offered so make sure to do your research before you decide.

Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is one of the documents that you can put together and is used to detail the way that your company is going to operate. It outlines all of the financials and decisions around your business, including any rules and provisions that you are going to run by. This document is not actually required in the state of Illinois. However, it is generally advised to help your business as you start and begin to grow. You can refer to this document even if your company expands and ensure that you are continuing to follow the rules and functional decisions that you set out to guide your business.

Articles of Organization

The LLC-5.5 form needs to be filled out accurately and filed with your Secretary of State’s Department of Business Services. You have the option to file these in advance and set them to come into effect on the filing date or even at a later time. This can be any date within 60 days which means you have plenty of leeway to make sure everything is prepared for when you are finally ready to file your business documents. You can choose to either do all of this online or on paper. In the latter case, you should simply send your documents to the correct department at:

Secretary of State Department of Business Services Limited Liability Division 501 S. Second St., Rm. 351 Springfield, IL 62756

This will cost you a filing fee of around $150 which is an essential cost since the Articles of Organization are required for your business to be recognized.

Business Licenses and Permits

Securing the right business licenses and permits is essential to guarantee that your company remains compliant with all applicable state regulations. Even if you are operating as a one-person LLC, you must make sure that any required documents have been submitted. Failure to do so could result in costly fines or other legal implications down the road - therefore it is critical to take this step before launching operations.

Tax Forms

If you are starting an Illinois LLC, taxes are another thing you need to be aware of so that you can ensure you are planning everything correctly. Financial planning is important when it comes to business and to make sure you are not spending any more than you need to, having an understanding of your taxes is key.

As a limited liability company, the way that you pay taxes depends on how you decide to be viewed by the IRS. Whichever form of LLC you have, either one member or multi-member, you'll be taxed in the same way as a sole proprietorship or partnership respectively.

If these two options don't work well with your business model and tax situation, you can also choose to register your LLC as an S corp or C corp. To make sure that you're taking advantage of all possible benefits while minimizing any potential losses on taxes, it's best to consult with an experienced accountant. They will be able to provide tailored advice based specifically on your circumstances and goals.

Who Is an LLC Best for?

There are a range of business types that can offer different benefits. These can influence which option is best for your company. Read on for some of the factors that can affect which kind of business structure is best for you.

Who should create an LLC?

An LLC is best fitted for those who want to make sure that their own assets are protected. This is the most useful if you are planning on starting a business that is medium to high risk. For businesses that have a lot at stake, your best option is an LLC which can assure you protection even if the company faces lawsuits or other hardships.

Who is better off with a corporation?

A corporation holds some similar advantages in that it also protects from liability. However, if you opt for a corporation, there are a few different steps that you need to take in the formation and running of the company. You would need to elect a board of directors as well as conduct annual meetings and form bylaws that are used to run the company. This can turn into quite a difficult and long process.

Why would someone want to create an LLC?

You may want to create an LLC if you are looking for a business structure that is very easy to set up as well as run. Limited liability companies boast the benefit of protecting you from any damage to the business by ensuring that your personal assets are held completely separately. You can even form these companies anonymously so that you do not have to share any personal details online. In some states, you do not need to include your name, address, or financial information. You can even keep your business anonymous in states where this is not initially allowed through a double LLC structure.

Work With a Lawyer to Create Your LLC

When it comes to forming your own LLC, there are a lot of things to take into consideration. To make sure that you get all the best options, you would benefit from working with a lawyer. Here are just a few of the ways that working with one could help you before you start your limited liability company.

1. Save money

One of the most important parts of running a business is ensuring that you are saving money wherever possible. Increasing profits and reducing expenses are crucial if you want your company to thrive. That's why working with an experienced lawyer is so beneficial; they can make sure that all decisions regarding setting up or maintaining your business are made in such a way that costs and taxes remain low throughout their lifetime. Taking this step will pay off immensely in terms of saved money, allowing you to reinvest those funds back into your business and fuel further growth.

2. Save time

Whether you are a new business owner, or you have gone through the processes before, ensuring that all of your forms and files are completed correctly can be time-consuming. There is a lot that needs to be done when setting up your new company, and any time saved means that you can put more of your efforts into things that require your attention. One of the easiest ways to save time is by working with a lawyer who can take care of all the paperwork and ensure that you are getting the best for your business all while leaving you with more time to focus on the parts of your company that are important to you.

3. State knowledge

Another way that a lawyer can help you is through state-specific knowledge. Our team is highly skilled in their fields and know a lot about the state they work in. This means that nothing is left to guesswork. With plenty of prior experience and expertise in the area, working with one of our lawyers means that you can rest assured everything abides by the Illinois state rules so you have nothing to worry about.

For any advice or help with setting up an LLC, the best option is to speak to a professional. Forming a business can be overwhelming and take up valuable time - but enlisting an experienced professional will save you both money and energy when it comes to getting your LLC off the ground quickly.

If you're prepared to establish your Illinois LLC and require guidance, please reach out to us. A member of our experienced team of paralegals will assist you. You can either fill out the contact form or dial +1 (307) 683-0983 to connect with us. We look forward to helping you navigate the process smoothly.