The TRUE Cost to Form an Illinois LLC

Starting your new business in the state of Illinois? Want to learn the costs of forming an Illinois LLC? We are here to help! Before you get your business up and running, you will need to form an LLC. You have to keep an eye on filing fees, registered agent charges, annual reports, etc.

To make sure you know how much it costs to start an LLC in Illinois, we have put together this comprehensive guide with the common Illinois LLC costs you’ll have to pay.

Quick Summary

We know that as a new business owner, you are going to be short on time. To save your time and energy, we will provide you with quick highlights about the true cost to form an Illinois LLC.

The LLC filing fee in Illinois is $150 for hard copy submissions.

If you file online and use an expedited filing service as well, it will cost you $250. Thinking about reserving the name of your LLC? You will have to pay $25 for an LLC name reservation in Illinois. Apart from these major expenses, you will have to pay annual report fees, business operating agreement costs, etc.

Form Your Illinois LLC Quickly

Don’t want to get lost in confusing legal paperwork? You can choose a qualified, professional LLC incorporation service such as ZenBusiness or IncFile. By paying a minimal service fee, you will be able to relax and let them handle the job for you!

  • Signup for ZenBusiness if you are looking for a professional LLC incorporation service with affordable rates and excellent customer feedback to help you form your LLC in Illinois
  • Signup for IncFile if you are working with a small budget, and can’t afford expensive services. With the free Silver package by IncFile, you can not only get your LLC formed but will also get a free year of registered agent services!

Illinois LLC Costs

Requirements Cost
LLC Name Reservation $25
Registered Agent $0-$125 (per year)
Certificate of Formation $150
Business Operating Agreement $0 (free templates available)
Federal Tax ID Number (EIN) $0 (free on IRS site)
Annual Report $75
Taxes Varies

To get your LLC formed in Illinois, you have to select a name for your LLC, choose your registered agent, and file the articles of organization. These are the essential steps that you have to take so that your company can be incorporated.

After that, you will have to get an EIN, pay annual report fees, business taxes, along with a few other expenses. Getting confused? Don’t be – we are going to explain all these details for you below!

Certification of Formation Filing Fee

Articles of Organization are the documents that you have to fill to incorporate your company. To legally create your LLC, you need articles of organization. You have the option to file the articles of organization for your Illinois LLC through mail or online.

  • Filing Paperwork by Mail. If you file your paperwork through the mail, you have to pay a one-time filing fee of $150. Within 10-15 business days, your Illinois LLC will be formed!
  • Filing Paperwork Online. You can file your documents online. It will also cost you $150. However, if you want to expedite your filing process, you will have to pay $100 additionally. Instead of 10-15 business days, your LLC will be formed in only 1-2 business days!

This is the biggest expense when it comes to forming your LLC.  We recommend that you file your paperwork online since it is easy, efficient, and you have the option for expedited filing as well. Moreover, make sure that you have selected the name for your LLC as well as your registered agent.

Want to save your time? Hire a professional LLC formation service!

Illinois LLC Name

Decided on your LLC’s name yet? If you have, and don’t have the filing paperwork ready, or haven’t selected a registered agent yet, you should reserve your LLC name. We know the time and effort it goes into selecting a name for your business and you don’t want someone else grabbing it just because you weren’t vigilant!

By paying a $25 fee, you will be able to reserve your name for a period of 90 days. This is non-renewable. On the other hand, for Illinois LLC formation, name reservation is not a prerequisite. This means that if you select a name, search the Illinois business database, and then file your articles of organization immediately, you can do so.

Illinois Registered Agent

Going to file your articles of organization? Haven’t selected a registered agent? Well, you can’t file your paperwork! A registered agent is an individual or service that will accept legal documentation on your behalf from the state of Illinois.

Moreover, a registered agent acts as a point of contact for receiving payment reminders, annual report notices, business tax notices, etc. For an individual to become a registered agent in Illinois, they are required to have a physical street address in the State.

Moreover, they have to be available during business hours in case the state of Illinois contacts your LLC. You have three options here. You can become your own registered agent.  If you become your own registered agent, you will have to be vigilant about potential legal issues and business filings which will create added pressure.

Moreover, your address will become part of the public records, thus, no privacy! However, you will not have to pay anything if you are your own registered agent. Secondly, a family member or close friend can act as your registered agent.

However, they would need to be a resident of Illinois. The third option is to hire a professional registered agent such as Northwest Registered Agent. Forming an LLC is a time-consuming and complicated process.

We recommend that you spend more time planning and growing your business instead of going through piles of paperwork. Hire a professional incorporation service such as ZenBusiness or IncFile to form your LLC and they will provide you free registered agent services for a period of time as well!

IncFile’s free package is a great option if you want to get your LLC formed free of cost and get a whole year of free registered agent service! Read our comprehensive Best Registered Agent Services review to know more about high-quality registered agents!

Illinois Operating Agreement

What is the hierarchical structure of your company? What will be the governing rules and principles for the working of your company? How will you share the profits? All this, and a lot more, is part of your business operating agreement.

Unlike the articles of organization, you don’t have to file the business operating agreement with the state of Illinois. This is an internal document and paperwork that defines how your taxes will be paid, how your LLC will be run, etc.

You can easily find operating agreement templates online and customize them according to the needs of your LLC. However, if you choose a professional LLC formation service, they will provide you with customized business operating agreements as part of their incorporation packages.

You can also buy operating agreements separately from these companies by paying $40-$60. You can also get the help of a business attorney to make sure that all the legalities are covered. However, LLC incorporation services charge less than a professional business attorney!

Illinois EIN Number

As citizens of the US, we all have social security numbers. Similarly, for LLCs, the government has EINs. EIN stands for Employer Identification Number and you get one from the IRS after your LLC is formed. With the help of EIN, the IRS can easily identify your LLC for filing and tax purposes.

With the help of an EIN, you can open a bank account in Illinois for your business. Moreover, you can handle employee payroll, apply for specific permits and licenses, and a lot more. Before you apply for EIN, you have to wait for your LLC to be formed. In case your LLC filing is rejected due to any reason, you will have an EIN for a non-existent LLC.

You can apply for an EIN yourself from the IRS and it will cost you nothing. However, it is possible that you will not be able to understand the legal jargon, and will end up wasting time and effort. Therefore, you should get the help of professional LLC formation services.

EIN acquisition is part of most of the packages offered by LLC formation services. You can buy this service separately by paying $40 to $100 as well. Moreover, a business attorney can help you with EIN acquisition as well but the charges for this will vary from one lawyer to other

Illinois LLC Bank Account

It is a prudent choice to keep your personal and professional bank account separate. To open a business bank account in Illinois for your LLC, you need a copy of your articles of organization, the business operating agreement, and your LLC’s EIN.

Moreover, if your LLC has multiple members, you can also bring the banking resolution to authorize the other members to open business accounts in the name of your LLC. Northwest Registered Agent not only helps you with LLC formation but also provides banking resolution templates to ensure a smooth business for you!

If you open a business bank account yourself, you will save money since opening a bank is free of cost. However, you will have to pay in terms of the time you spend going to the bank several times to get a bank account opened! Hire a professional LLC formation service and save your time and energy folks!

Illinois Business Attorney Fees

Have questions about the LLC formation procedure? Have been searching all over the internet for information but are still not satisfied? It is better that you consult a business attorney instead of taking chances and making errors on your own.

Even though the rates of professional attorneys are pretty steep, at least you will have peace of mind! Business attorneys usually offer free consultations for the first time and then charge you for the rest of the consultations.

Another option that you have is to contact the customer services of a reputed LLC incorporation service. Northwest registered agent has a stellar customer service system with personalized and one-on-one customer service. If you have any queries, their Corporate Guides will be happy to answer them for you!

Moreover, LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer are comprehensive legal services that offer legal assistance as part of their LLC formation packages.

Foreign Qualification Fees

Do you have an LLC in another state and are now expanding your business into the state of Illinois? You will have to pay foreign qualification fees. Instead of filing the articles of organization, you will have to submit an application for transacting business in Illinois.

You will have to pay $150 for this as well. However, it is a one-time fee, so you don’t have to worry about the hefty expense every year.

Illinois LLC Annual Fees

Every LLC in Illinois is required to submit an annual report. This report keeps the state aware of the status of your LLC and keeps your information up-to-date. The annual report fee is $75. However, the real killer is the late submission penalty fee.

If your annual report is late by 60 days, you will have to pay a $100 penalty every year after that! You can submit the report online or send a hard copy. It is better to use a professional LLC formation service for this because we, as humans, tend to miss deadlines.

And we can’t afford to miss the annual report filing because of the hefty penalty!

Illinois LLC Taxes

Since LLCs are “pass-through” entities, the members of the LLC have to file their personal taxes instead of the LLC filing a tax return. Moreover, there is no Franchise Tax for your Illinois LLC. However, LLCs have to pay “Personal Property Tax”.

This tax is 1.5% of your overall income. Other than that, there may be additional taxes for your company as well. Which taxes you are going to pay is determined by the type of business you own, the location of your LLC, etc.

From income withholding tax to accommodations tax, there are various kinds of taxes you will have to pay. If you are selling goods through your Illinois LLC, you are legally obligated to pay sales tax to the state.

You have to submit the sales tax returns annually to the state of Illinois. To know which taxes are applicable to your LLC, you should consult a professional business attorney or tax consultant. LLC formation services such as ZenBusiness or IncFile offer business tax consultation services so that you can know everything clearly.

It is better to get professional help in this case because you are not going to be well-versed in the tax requirements of your state as well as federal taxes.

Business Licenses

Do you need a business license for your LLC in Illinois? Well, this depends on the location of your business as well as the type of your business. For example, if you are going to open a brewery in Illinois, you will need a Liquor Manufacturing License.

Moreover, every city and county has its own licensure rules for businesses. Make sure that you check out the rules of your local government to see what permits and licenses your business requires. The cost of each license varies.

You might need federal and state licenses as well, so check the respective websites to know more. Instead of making errors on your own, hire a professional to check the licensing requirements for your business in Illinois.

How to form an Illinois LLC yourself

Running a successful business is a dream that most of us have. Forming your Illinois LLC is the first step you have to take to make your dream a reality. We know how important your time is and so we have put together this list of steps you have to follow to get your LLC up and running.

One of the lesser-known Illinois LLC costs is the cost of your time to prepare and file the paperwork when you could be focusing on your business!

To make sure that you don’t waste your time and make errors, get a professional LLC formation service such as ZenBusiness or IncFile to handle all the paperwork for you.

  • Signup for ZenBusiness if you value excellent customer services and are looking for affordable rates and stellar quality
  • Signup for IncFile if you have a small budget yet want professional services with glowing customer reviews to handle your paperwork.

However, if you want to form your LLC yourself, here are the steps you need to follow!

  1. Naming your Illinois LLC

The first thing you have to do is decide the name of your LLC. After choosing the name, search the Illinois business database to ensure that the name you have selected is not already taken up by someone else.

You can reserve your LLC name for a period of 90 days as well. Moreover, the name of your LLC must contain the words LLC, L.L.C, or Limited Liability Company. Illinois law doesn’t allow abbreviations such as Ltd. Or Co. Moreover, words such as Corp., Inc., etc. are also not allowed.

Check the Illinois State Name rules to know more.

  1. Choosing a Registered Agent

The next thing you need to do is select your registered agent. Anyone who has a physical address in Illinois can act as the registered agent for your LLC. You are legally obligated to designate a registered agent for your LLC otherwise your articles of organization will be rejected.

We advise that you hire Northwest Registered Agent or pick one from our Best Registered Agent Services review instead of becoming your own registered agent.

  1. Filing your Articles of Organization

After choosing a name and registered agent for your LLC, you have to file the articles of organization with the Secretary of State of Illinois. The paperwork must include:

  • The name of your LLC
  • The address of your LLC
  • Name and address of the Registered Agent

A few other things such as the name and addresses of your managers, duration of the LLC, are also required. The filing fee for the articles of the organization is $150 and you can file online or through the mail.

  1. Creating a Business Operating Agreement

Once your LLC is formed, you should get a business operating agreement. As we have discussed above, you are not legally obligated by the state of Illinois to create a business operating agreement. However, this internal document will help you a lot in the future in case of any legal issues.

With the help of the best LLC formation service you choose, you can get a business operating agreement customized to your LLC.

  1. Getting an EIN

Even if you don’t have any employees, if your LLC has more than one member, you are required to get an EIN. You can easily obtain an EIN by filling an online application on the IRS website. It doesn’t cost you anything if you do it on your own.

However, choosing a professional LLC service for EIN acquisition will take loads off your back!

Cost to Start an Illinois LLC: Conclusion

To get your business up and running and form your LLC, you have to pay a filing fee of $150 in the State of Illinois. You will also have to get a registered agent, business operating template, EIN, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I form an LLC?

If you are starting your business in Illinois, it is a good idea to form an LLC. If you form an LLC, it will limit your personal liability in case of lawsuits and business debts. Moreover, you will have a lot of flexibility when it comes to management, taxation, and ownership.

How can I check if the LLC name I have chosen is available?

To ensure your LLC’s name is distinct and unique, you can search the Illinois State Business database for free. The name search option is available on the official website of the state.

How much does it cost to form an LLC in Illinois?

For filing your articles of organization, you will have to pay $150. If you want to reserve the name of your LLC, you can do so by paying a $25 reservation fee.

Do I need a business operating agreement for my LLC in Illinois?

No, you are not legally obligated to get a business operating agreement. However, it is an important document that prevents any managerial and financial misunderstandings in the future.

Are there any business licenses that I have to get to operate my LLC in Illinois?

This depends on the type of your business and the location of your business. To check which local licenses you need, you check with your local government’s office. For state licenses, you can check the Illinois state website.

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