Follow These Three Easy Steps:
Get Help Filing Your Articles of Organization:
Filing the Articles of Organization is Simple!
Step 1: Get Your Articles of Organization Forms
You can download and mail in your Illinois Articles of Organization, or you can file online. For this first step, choose your preferred method below.
Get Your Articles of Organization
Option 2: Access the Articles of Organization PDF from the Illinois Secretary of State website. This form will need to be mailed to the Secretary of State.
Step 2: Fill Out the Articles of Organization
In this step, we will help you complete the Illinois Articles of Organization.
You will need to know the following information to complete each section:
- Entity Name and Address
- Registered Agent Name and Registered Office Address
- Business Purpose
- Governing Authority Type
- Effective Date and Duration
Entity Name and Address
Having a creative and smart business name is important but not as important as having a legally correct name.
When you choose a name for your business, you have to make sure the name:
- Meets Illinois naming guidelines.
- Is not already in use by another business in Illinois
Follow the Illinois Naming Guidelines:
- Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company,” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.). If it is classified as a “low-profit LLC,” it must contain "L3C."
- Your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
- Your name cannot include any of the following terms: Corporation, Corp., Incorporated, Inc., Ltd., Co., Limited Partnership, and L.P.
- Your name must be the name under which your LLC conducts business unless you register for an assumed name.
- Your name cannot contain any word or phrase (e.g., trust, trustee, fiduciary) that indicates or implies that your LLC is in the business of a corporate fiduciary unless permitted by the Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation. If the LLC is organized to accept or execute trusts, the name must contain the word “trust.”
- The name may not contain any word or phrase that is restricted by any other state statute (e.g., LLCs are not permitted to operate as banks or insurers in Illinois).
- Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state. This includes Illinois reserved names.
Check Name Availability:
Is your name available in Illinois? Make sure the name you want isn't already taken by doing a name search on the Illinois Secretary of State’s "Cyberdrive Illinois" website.
To learn more about naming your business, including best practices and creative branding, visit our How to Name a Business in Illinois guide.
Not sure what to name your business? Check out our Business Name Generator.
Register Your Domain Name:
We recommend checking to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to make a business website today, you may want to buy the URL in order to prevent others from acquiring it.
After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free
Registered Agent and Registered Office
A registered agent accepts and sends legal documents on your LLC's behalf. When you register your Illinois LLC, you are required to list your registered agent and your registered office. Your registered agent can be anyone 18 years or older that lives in Illinois. It seems simple, but it's important to know that your registered agent must always be available at the registered office during regular business hours.
To learn more about choosing an Illinois registered agent, read our How To Choose an Illinois Registered Agent guide.
To learn more about what a registered agent does and how to choose one, read our What is a Registered Agent guide.
You must state whether members or managers will manage your LLC. Then, list the information of the managers or members with the authority of manager.
To learn everything you need to know about choosing your management structure, read our Management by Members or Managers guide.
In Illinois, you can form a limited liability company for any legal or non-prohibited activity.
Keep in mind that a business purpose that involves licensing, tax-exemption, or tax-deductible status requires specific language from the IRS or a professional license.
Effective Date and Duration
You must list the effective date of the Articles of Organization and the planned dissolution date of the company if it is not perpetual.
Step 3: File the Articles of Organization
To register your LLC, you will need to file the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State.
There are two ways to file your Articles of Organization:
- Complete the forms online.
- Submit a hard copy by mail.
File the Illinois Articles of Organization
Option 2: Download and mail in the Articles of Organization PDF from the Illinois Secretary of State website.
State Filing Cost: $150
Department of Business Services
Limited Liability Division
501 S. Second St., Rm. 351
Springfield, IL 62746
Turnaround Time: The filing will be processed within 10 days, or within 24 if expedited for an additional fee.
Steps After Your Illinois LLC Is Officially Formed
Once you’ve filed your Articles of Organization, you should take the following steps:
Create an Operating Agreement
An LLC operating agreement is a legal document that outlines the ownership structure and member roles of your LLC.
In Illinois, you aren’t required to have an Operating Agreement to officially form an LLC, but it's still a good idea to have one. You can start your operating agreement before, during, or after you file your Articles of Organization.
Your operating agreement will be kept in your LLC’s private business records; you do not file it with the state.
For more information, read our Illinois LLC Operating Agreement guide.
Get an EIN
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a social security number for your LLC. You will need an EIN if you want to hire employees or open business bank accounts.
You can get your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our What is an EIN article.
Open a Business Bank Account
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential to protect your business' corporate veil. When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your LLC is sued.
For reviews on some of our most trusted business banks, visit our 5 Best Business Bank Accounts for Entrepreneurs reviews on StartupSavant.com.
Get Licenses and Permits
When you are registering an LLC, you need to determine if your business needs any licenses or permits in order to remain compliant. On the federal level, there are a handful of business activities that require licenses and/or permits.
Find out how to obtain necessary licenses and permits for your business or have a professional service do it for you:
- Federal: Use the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guide to federal business licenses and permits.
- State: Apply for or learn more about licenses, permits, and registration with Illinois' Registration, Licenses, and Permits website.
- Local: Contact your local county clerk and ask about local licenses and permits.