Illinois LLC

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How to Form an LLC in Illinois

Quick Start Guide ← you are here
This Quick Start Guide is a brief overview of how to form an LLC in Illinois.

Detailed Lessons:


Illinois LLC Costs:
Illinois LLC filing fee: $150
Illinois LLC annual report: $75

Need to save time?
Hire a professional to form your LLC in Illinois:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

(check out Northwest vs LegalZoom)

Note: Illinois LLC fees have been reduced. If you see higher state fees on another website, that information is outdated. For details on the new fees, please see: Illinois LLC filing fees reduced

Here is a quick overview on starting an LLC in Illinois

How to Form an LLC in IllinoisAn Illinois LLC (Limited Liability Company) is a legal entity/business structure created in order to protect your personal assets in the event of a lawsuit. If your business is sued, your personal assets (such as your bank accounts, homes, and vehicles) are protected.

An Illinois LLC can be formed to run and operate a business, or an LLC can be used to purchase assets, such as real estate, aircraft, boats, and vehicles.

To form your own Illinois LLC, you can either follow the steps in our Quick Start Guide below, or you can go through the detailed lessons above.

Need to save time? Hire a professional to form your Illinois LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

(check out Northwest vs LegalZoom)

1. Illinois LLC Name

• The first step to forming your own Illinois LLC is making sure your desired name is available and unique.

• Under Illinois law (805 ILCS 180/1-10), your LLC’s name must be “distinguishable upon the record”. This means it must be unique when compared to the existing companies registered in Illinois.

Search your Illinois LLC name here:

Designator: your LLC name must end with a proper designator. Illinois law allows the following designators:

– LLC (most common)
– L.L.C.
– Limited Liability Company

2. Illinois Registered Agent

• By Illinois law (805 ILCS 180/1-35), all LLCs are required to designate a Registered Agent in their LLC filing forms, the Articles of Organization.

• A Registered Agent (either a person or company) receives documents, notices and legal mail (called Service of Process) on behalf of your LLC.

• Your Registered Agent must have a street address in Illinois (PO boxes are not allowed). Also, if the Registered Agent is a person, then he/she must be a resident of Illinois. To remain in compliance with the state, your LLC must continually maintain a Registered Agent, and the Registered Agent should be available during normal business hours

Who is qualified to be your Registered Agent in Illinois?

The following can be your LLC’s Registered Agent:

– You
– A friend or family member
– A Commercial Registered Agent

Commercial Registered Agent in Illinois: If you don’t have an address in Illinois, or prefer not to use a friend or family member’s address, we recommend hiring Northwest Registered Agent ($125 per year).

Northwest has been in the business for over 20 years and they have great customer support. Any mail that is sent to your LLC will be scanned by them and uploaded to your online account.

Special offer: If you hire Northwest to form your Illinois LLC ($39 + state fee), they’ll include their registered agent services free for the 1st year.

3. Articles of Organization

Filing methods: You can form an LLC in Illinois by mail or online. If you file by mail, you’ll fill out the Articles of Organization (Form LLC-5.5) and mail it to the Secretary of State. If you file online, you’ll be submitting the Articles of Organization to the Secretary of State electronically.

Mail filing: Download Articles of Organization (Form LLC-5.5)

Online filing: LLC Articles of Organization online

Illinois LLC filing fee: The cost to form an Illinois LLC is $150 (for both mail and online filings).

Payment methods: If filing by mail, the state doesn’t accept personal checks. You must use a money order or certified check made payable to the “Illinois Secretary of State”. If filing online, you can make payment with a debit or credit card.

Illinois LLC approval times: 10-15 business days, unless you pay $100 extra for an “expedited filing”, then your LLC will be approved in 1-2 business days.

Recommendation: We recommend the online filing as it’s easier to complete.

Mailing address:

Secretary of State
Department of Business Services
Limited Liability Division
501 S 2nd Street, Room 351
Springfield, IL 62756

Important: if filing by mail, you must send 2 copies of the Articles of Organization.

What you get back: Once the Illinois Secretary of State approves your LLC, you’ll receive back a stamped and approved copy of your Articles of Organization and a Welcome Letter. Your Welcome Letter includes your LLC’s Entity File Number, a unique identifier used by the Illinois Secretary of State.

• If you file by mail, these documents are returned by mail. If you file online, these documents are returned by email.

Need to save time? Hire a professional to form your Illinois LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

(check out Northwest vs LegalZoom)

4. LLC Operating Agreement

• An Operating Agreement contains the rules between the members of the LLC. This includes but is not limited to the rights and duties of each member, how profits/losses are divided, and how taxes are paid.

• The Operating Agreement is where you will list all the members (owners) of your LLC and how much of the LLC they each own. Even if you own the LLC by yourself (a “Single-member LLC”), it is highly recommended that you keep an Operating Agreement.

• The Operating Agreement does not need to be sent to the Illinois Secretary of State or to any other state agency. Just store a copy with the rest of your LLC’s business records.

• In the event you were to end up in court, having an Operating Agreement shows that you’re operating your business properly. This helps keep your personal assets safe and protected.

Free Operating Agreement for your Illinois LLC. Choose your preferred file type (they’re all the same agreement): PDF | Google Doc | Microsoft Word

5. Federal Tax ID Number (EIN)

• A Federal Tax ID Number is also known as an Employer Identification Number, or EIN for short. Other names (which all mean the same thing) are FEIN, Federal Tax Number, and Federal Employer Number.

After your LLC is approved, you should then apply for an EIN from the IRS. Do not apply for your EIN until you receive approval from the Illinois Secretary of State.

• The EIN is issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to various business. It’s used to identify your company, similar to a social security number for an individual person. It’s used to file taxes and handle payroll for employees, if applicable.

• EINs are also needed to open an LLC business checking account.

An EIN is $0: That’s correct. EINs are provided free from the IRS.

How to get an EIN: There are 3 ways to get an EIN for your LLC.
– by mail (approval takes 4 weeks)
– by fax (approval take 4 business days)
– or online application (approval is instant at the end of the application)

If applying by mail or fax: use Form SS-4. The mailing address is Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN Operation, Cincinnati, OH 45999, and the fax number is 855-641-6935.

Online application: the online EIN application is the most common (and fastest) method, but this can only be used if the “responsible party” has a social security number, and as long as the LLC is owned by individuals, and not another company (see below).

• No SSN/non-US citizens and non-US residents: You can still obtain an EIN from the IRS if you are a non-US citizen, non-US resident, or you don’t have a social security number. You just can’t get the EIN using the online application. You’ll instead need to mail or fax Form SS-4 to the IRS and where it asks for your SSN (line 7b), write “Foreign” instead.

LLC owned by another company: If your LLC is owned by another LLC (or another company), you also cannot get an EIN online. If you try, it’ll return an error message at the end. You’ll need to file Form SS-4 by fax or by mail.

6. Illinois LLC Annual Report

• Every LLC in Illinois is required to file an Annual Report every year. It is due before the first day of the LLC’s anniversary month, starting in the year after formation.

For example:
• If your Illinois LLC was formed on November 15th 2018, then your first Annual Report is due before November 1st 2019.
• If your Illinois LLC was formed on January 20th 2019, then your first Annual Report is due before January 1st 2020.

Illinois Annual Report Fee: The Annual Report fee is $75 (for both mail filings and online filings).

File Annual Report by Mail. Download Form LLC-50.1:

Mailing Address:

Secretary of State
Department of Business Services
Limited Liability Division
501 S 2nd Street, Room 351
Springfield, IL 62756

Important: If you want a copy of your filed report, send 2 copies of the completed Annual Report along with a self-addressed and stamped envelope.

File Annual Report online: A receipt and copy of your Annual Report will be emailed to you after submission.

Penalty if late/not filed: there is a $100 penalty if you are 60 days late. If you are more than 180 days late, the state will administratively dissolve your LLC. Note: the penalty used to be $300, but as of 1/1/2019, it was reduced to $100 by House Bill 4578.

Reminders: Reminders are mailed to your LLC’s Registered Agent about 45 days before the due date.

7. Business Licenses and/or Permits

• Your Illinois LLC may need business licenses and/or permits, depending on the location of the business and the kind of industry it is engaged in. To find out the licenses and/or permits your LLC will need, you can contact the government agency that regulates your business’s industry, as well as the city, town, or county where it is located.

Need to save time? There are over 20,000 licensing and permit jurisdictions in the United States. If you want to save time, we recommend hiring a professional service company to do the research and prepare the applications for your Illinois LLC. If you’d like a hand, you can use our partner company, IncFile.

They will provide you with a comprehensive package of all the licenses, permits and tax registrations required for your Illinois LLC, as well as the necessary application forms. Your research package and applications will be emailed to you in 2-4 business days.

8. Taxes

Federal taxes: As your Illinois LLC enjoys “pass through taxation”, all of its profits/losses will be listed on a Schedule C and filed along with your personal income tax return (Form 1040) with the IRS.

Illinois State and local taxes: You must register your LLC with the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR), as well as with the local tax authorities in the town, city or county where it is located.

Recommendation: we recommend talking with a few accountants in Illinois for help as taxes can be quite complicated. Check out our how to find an accountant guide or you can use Thumbtack.

9. LLC Bank Account

Maintain your liability protection: Form a separate bank checking account for your Illinois LLC to keep your personal and business finances separate.

Items needed to open an account: Bring your approved Articles of Organization, EIN Confirmation from the IRS, and your driver’s license or passport. Banks may also require additional items, so make sure to call them ahead of time.

Benefits: Keeping a separate banking checking account will keep your personal finances from mixing or “commingling” with your business finances. It will also make accounting of your LLC’s assets a whole lot easier.

Know your choices: Call a few banks in Illinois and make comparisons. Some will charge monthly fees to maintain your LLC’s checking accounts, others won’t.

Debit card: You will be issued a debit card for your LLC after the account is approved and opened.

Credit card: If you want to build business credit for your Illinois LLC, we recommend getting one (or a few) credit cards under your LLC’s name. We suggest using to find business credit cards. You’ll also be able to get cashback or travel rewards.

10. Business Phone Number

Instead of using your home telephone number or your cell phone, you can purchase an affordable “virtual business number” specifically for your Illinois LLC. You can set this virtual business phone up to forward to your cell phone, go through voice prompts, or configure it any way you’d like.

We recommend using as they have the cheapest plans and their customer service is excellent.

They offer local phone numbers as well as 1-800 toll-free numbers. You can easily setup call forwarding, pre-recorded prompts, and get voicemail messages forwarded to your email.

Getting a separate business phone number for your Illinois LLC is also a good idea in order to keep your actual number private from those pesky “public record” websites.

Illinois State Agencies

Illinois Secretary of State
Department of Business Services
217-782-6961 (extension 7736 for the LLC department)

Illinois Department of Revenue
Monday – Friday, 8am – 4:30pm
Additional contact info is here

Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Forming an LLC shouldn't be so complicated. Our step-by-step guide will make the process a breeze – and no complex legal jargon! LLC University® teaches people how to form an LLC for free in all 50 states. We hope you find our free guides and resources helpful in your business journey.
Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.


  1. John Baisa April 20, 2017

    Hi Matt, myself and a partner need to form an LLC. We plan to get into real estate, we want to flip houses and or may do some wholesaling, but our may goal is to flip houses. I guess my first question is, should be be forming an LLC or as S-Corp or something else, what is the best thing to do fr our situation. We are in Cook County in the Chicago area, can you please advise. Thank you so much! John

    • Matt Horwitz April 22, 2017

      Hey John, you can’t “form” an S-Corp at the state level. An S-Corp is simply a tax election status made with the IRS that “sits on top of” an existing entity, like an LLC or a Corporation. Most real estate investors form LLCs and then once their net income reaches a certain level, speak to an accountant about the pros and cons of having the LLC taxed as an S-Corporation. Hope that helps!

  2. John Holleman May 26, 2017

    I’m working on forming an LLC and based on info that I got from other sources, doing this in DL, NV or WY seemed like a really good plan. You’re the only source that I found who suggested that this may not be such a good idea. You also provide sufficient info to enable me to form the LLC without your help. However, your web site is so full of info & guidance, it strikes me as really good idea to hire you as I’m concluding that your expertise will smooth out quite a few bumps in the road.

    • Matt Horwitz May 26, 2017

      Hey John, thank you for the kind words. I’m glad you found our information helpful and didn’t form the LLC out of state, since I assume you’re doing business in Illinois. Although we used to, we are not currently offering filing services. We may in the near future though.

  3. Marla Grogan September 15, 2017

    Hi. Thanks so much for your information. You make it easy to understand how to form a LLC.

    I’m forming a single member LLC, I’m also the registered agent & organizer. Question: when I’m signing as ‘Organizer’, it asks to print my name & title. Do I put a title (i.e., ‘owner’)? Or just print my name alone?

    • Matt Horwitz September 15, 2017

      Hi Marla, you’re very welcome! Thank you for the kind words :) For the ‘Name and Address of Organizer’ section, use your first and last name followed by a comma and the word “Organizer”. Example: John Doe, Organizer. Hope that helps!

  4. Christian October 17, 2017

    Hi Matt, this is more of an IRS question than Illinois LLC. I’ve changed my business address and I know that I have to use form 8822b. However, I’m not sure if I should fill out the whole thing (sections 5-9) or only my actual business address change (section 7).

    Please take a look here:–2014.pdf

  5. Chris November 1, 2017

    Hi Matt.
    Really useful information – thanks.

    Do you have any thoughts on whether an LLC is the correct vehicle for an overseas company looking to hire an employee in Illinois?

    As I understand it, we need a US corporate entity to handle payroll and comply with employment regs, but is an LLC the correct choice?

    • Matt Horwitz November 1, 2017

      Hey Chris, to be honest, I’m not sure. I’d apply our “knights of the roundtable” strategy and phone a few accountants. Hope that helps and best wishes.

  6. Jess March 4, 2018

    Hi Matt! First I just want to commend you on this article!! I was researching and finding different sites that weren’t as helpful or useful so I’m very excited I came across this! I just had a quick question.. if I were to apply for my EIN before filing for an LLC would I have to reapply again? Thanks in advance!

    • Matt Horwitz March 10, 2018

      Hey Jess! Thank you for the kind words. Glad you found us :) We just recommend obtaining your EIN after your LLC is approved in case your LLC name is rejected, then you’re left with an EIN attached to the wrong LLC. If you have any issues though, you can always cancel an EIN by mailing a letter to the IRS. Hope that helps.

  7. Matthew Capes April 16, 2018

    Hello Matt, I am opening a kayak rental business and would like any feedback you may have. I’ve been told that I should fille an LLC for that type of business. Any help would be great thanks.

    • Matt Horwitz April 17, 2018

      Hi Matthew, when compared to operating as a Sole Proprietor, forming an LLC will protect your personal assets from business liability. I recommend checking out our Learning Center as many of the articles there will help you understand the big picture. I’d start off with LLC vs Sole Proprietorship. Hope that helps and let us know if you have any specific questions.

  8. James April 30, 2018

    Hey Matt,

    Very helpful site you’ve built. Thank you for that. I’ve looked in so many places and I can’t seem to find reliable, concrete information regarding a Series LLC.

    Would it be possible to make a guide about setting up one of those in IL? I can’t imagine it being much different than a regular LLC (saw there are Series Articles of Organization on the state website), but how does ownership structure and control prongs work?

    For example: If I own Umbrella LLC as the parent and I create subsequent ABC1 LLC, ABC2 LLC, ABC3 LLC, how does it affect the formation process? Furthermore, what if I bring someone else to run one of the subsidiaries? Could they own AND control it? Or would my Umbrella LLC need ownership?

    Thank you in advance for the help!

    • Matt Horwitz April 30, 2018

      Hey James, thank you! Although the formation may be similar to some extent, the taxes and established case law just aren’t there yet, so we’ll get bombarded with post-formation questions that frankly, will likely be beyond our scope. Also, I don’t feel we’ll provide a ton of value yet since we haven’t fully researched the topic. We don’t write about anything that isn’t fully researched and understood first. Additionally, we have a large list of content items that we need to address in front of this subject. Wish I had some place to refer/recommend, but at this time, I don’t. Thanks for your understanding.

  9. Anthony May 21, 2018

    If there is an incorrect spelling on the approved LLC for is there a charge to correct it?

    • Matt Horwitz May 22, 2018

      Hi Anthony, what part of the filing had a typo? Thanks.

      • Anthony May 22, 2018

        The address instead of suite # it says Sterling

        • Matt Horwitz June 17, 2018

          Hi Anthony, we recommend filing an Articles of Amendment in order to fix that correction. You can also try calling the state, since if it was their error, there is a chance they will correct it without you having to pay the Articles of Amendment filing fee. Hope that helps.

  10. Kim Barnes July 18, 2018

    Hi Matt. I am a member of a not for profit corporation. French Marines of Fort de Chartres. We were told we should become a LLC to protect our personal assets in the event of a lawsuit.Would this be the llc5.5?

    • Matt Horwitz August 12, 2018

      Hi Kim, yes, Form LLC-5.5 is the Illinois Articles of Organization, the document used to create the LLC. It can also be filed online. We have both filing instructions here: Illinois LLC Articles of Organization instructions. However, you may also want to speak to a few attorneys to determine the best asset protection strategy for the details of your situation. Hope that helps.

  11. Dina August 9, 2018

    Hi Matt. I am trying to open company in Illinois which will help other people who are willing to open their own LLC and they don’t know how to do that or simply don’t want to deal with applying for Articles, FED ID, Annual reports…
    Any suggestion or advice what exactly do I need to open company like that? Any permits or how to start something like that?

    • Matt Horwitz August 15, 2018

      Hey Dina, you would just form a regular LLC like you would for any business. You don’t need any permits or licenses to do that. Hope that helps and best wishes.

  12. Jeff August 20, 2018

    Hi Matt,

    Any information on setting up a Series LLC and what advantages/disadvantages that may have? I am in Illinois…and have a couple of different business ventures that I am balancing.

    • Matt Horwitz August 31, 2018

      Hey Jeff, since there isn’t a ton of established case law and detailed tax information, at this time, we’re not getting into Series LLCs. Maybe in the near future. Thank you for your understanding. We recommend a few conversations with some tax attorneys in the state. Hope that helps.

  13. Raimont Manson October 19, 2018

    Bro this site is so awesome. I’m forming a LLC for low and high voltage. I already had a ein number. Will I be able to use it when my LLC is approved? (My name is unique so I’ll be fine) And where do I look to get construction bids on low and high voltage jobs?

    • Matt Horwitz November 22, 2018

      Thanks Raimont! Is the EIN for your Sole Proprietorship or another business entity? If another business entity, you’ll need to get a new EIN after your LLC is approved. If the EIN was for your Sole Proprietorship, you can transfer it to the LLC by writing a letter to the IRS. You can also just get a new EIN for your LLC too. We’re not sure about where to bid on jobs. Hope that helps.

  14. Amber October 30, 2018

    Hello, there!

    Thanks so much for this awesome information. I have 2 questions and I’m hoping you can provide some guidance.

    1. For 2017/2018, I was a sole proprietor and applied for an EIN. I am in the process of creating an LLC with a completely different business name as I am re-branding. Can I roll the old EIN over to the new business or will I need to cancel the old EIN and re-apply for a new number?

    2. I have lived in NYC for more than a decade but am originally from Chicago and toggle between both cities. My plan is to incorporate in Illinois even though a lot of my business is conducted online. Are there any best practices you’d recommend for filing as a foreign agent? I’m wondering if I need to also file in NYC if I’ll be there for stints at a time. Again, much of my business is conducted online as I’m an online marketer.

    Again, thank you for such awesome information. I’ve been looking for a resource like this for quite some time and your site is a tremendous help.


    • Matt Horwitz November 22, 2018

      Hey Amber! You’re welcome!

      1. You can do either. You can write a letter to the IRS to transfer the EIN over from your Sole Proprietorship to your LLC (as long as you’re the only LLC Member). You can also apply for a new EIN for your LLC and then cancel the other EIN after you file your final return.

      2. Do you mean for filing as a Foreign LLC? I’m not sure what a “foreign agent” is. That term isn’t used. If regarding whether or not you need to file as a Foreign LLC in New York, it’s a bit of gray zone. Where do you reside and pay state taxes? Will you have any employees in NY? What kind of business activities will you be doing in NY?

      • Amber Laws December 6, 2018

        Thank you for getting back to me!

        Regarding #2, I meant filing as a foreign LLC in NYC. Since I toggle between NYC and CHI, I was not sure. I technically have residences in both states. My employees are virtual (I typically outsource to SE Asia).

        Quick update, I did register my business in IL because a) it made sense financially and b) I want to be eligible for certain resources when I return. I may need to consult my accountant to get a better perspective on this. It’s just tough because there does not appear to be a clear cut answer when a business is essentially virtual (meaning I can work from anywhere).

        • Matt Horwitz December 6, 2018

          You’re welcome Amber! You’re correct, “which state” for an online businesses can be a gray area. Basically, state law + tax code moves slow. Much slower than entrepreneurial innovation. You’re likely okay with just the Domestic Illinois LLC for now. If later there is a need, you can always register as a Foreign LLC when the time comes. Hope that helps.

  15. Kay December 3, 2018

    Great article, thanks for the information! I am forming an LLC in Illinois, a home based business but the majority of my work with clients will be at their homes, so not really any public traffic. I’ve seen recommendations to use a registered agent, and also to get a USPS or UPS mailbox street address instead of using my home address for privacy reasons and to avoid junk mail. However, I’ve also seen horrible reviews of the mailbox street address services, especially regarding price increases and high cost and process to make a change. What would you recommend, privacy or risk of price/change hassles?


    • Matt Horwitz December 6, 2018

      Hey Kay, you’re very welcome! Great question. In this case, you could use an Illinois Registered Agent service, specifically Northwest Registered Agent ($125 per year), since they’ll let you use their address for your Registered Agent’s address, Principal Place of Business address, Manager/Member’s address, as well as the LLC Organizer‘s address. Having said that, you could use a private mailbox (commercial mail receiving agency). The Illinois statute (805 ILCS 180/1-35) is silent on the use of CMRAs. We haven’t run into price increases issues, however, one issue is that you can’t use USPS mail forwarding on a CMRA address if you later change your address. If you go the CMRA route, we recommend keeping a spreadsheet of every place the address is used so you know where to make updates if/when needed in the future. Furthermore, we have a mailbox rental questionnaire which you can use to make phone calls and “interview” a few places in your area. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any follow-up questions.

  16. Kimberly December 13, 2018

    Great site! I have a question. I currently have an LLC oiginally my main purpose was real estate. I am now adding management and consultant (not in relation to real estate) as another component of the business. I was told I should establish a division. I have been looking all over. Are you able to advise how I can form a division of my LLC in IL?

    • Matt Horwitz December 18, 2018

      Thanks Kimberly! The word “division” isn’t an official term used in the context of forming an LLC, so we’re not sure exactly what you’re looking to do. It could be a new LLC owned by a you, a new LLC owned by your current LLC, or just additional activity within your existing LLC.

  17. Kimberly December 18, 2018

    Hello Matt,

    Context, I have already formed my business but I was advised that if my business would do more than realestate I can establish a division of the LLC that would handle business management and a different SIC and NAICS could be attached to that part of the division (business). In Illinois is this something that we can do or no? Hopefully I am explaining this properly.

    • Matt Horwitz December 18, 2018

      Hi Kimberly, while yes, that context does make sense, again, the term “division” is not an official entity term used at the state level. The IRS does however use the word “division” when talking about a disregarded entity LLC. If that’s what the person who told you about the “division” is referring to, then they may be talking about a Parent/Child LLC setup. This is where one LLC is owned by another LLC. Again, you can’t form a “division” in Illinois. You would need to determine if this advice you received was about an LLC being a Member of another LLC or if were about a Series LLC, or some other entity setup. But just talking about “establishing a division” in Illinois doesn’t make sense. Hope that helpful. Thank you.

  18. Mary January 8, 2019

    I am SO grateful to have come across your site as well as the information on Northwest to help with creating an LLC ! I have looked at numerous other sites and your site and Northwest’s services are by far the best. I am starting a mobile drug testing business in which we will go to jobsites to test company DOT or NonDOT employees for their random testing programs, job fairs where prospective employees can complete their drug screen right after the interview as well as random testing programs at high schools etc. I have already obtained 3 small contracts and other potential companies are very interested. This business is strictly service based, myself and my partner are providing the service of completing the drug screen for the employer. We both work full time and will be doing this on the side, testing the waters so to speak. We feel that an LLC is a good option but how do we bypass being double taxed? Is an S-Corp the most beneficial? Thank you in advance for your guidance!

    • Matt Horwitz January 8, 2019

      Mary, thank you! That is so great to hear :) I’m not sure what you mean by double taxed, since an LLC isn’t double taxed. Regarding the S-Corp: the S-Corp isn’t a state entity (like an LLC or Corporation). It’s a tax election made with the IRS that “sits on top of” either an LLC or a Corporation. So instead of the question being LLC vs S-Corp, it’s really LLC taxed in default status vs LLC taxed as an S-Corp. Here’s the link about LLC/S-Corp: LLC electing S Corp status. Hope that helps!

  19. Crystal January 11, 2019

    Hi Matt,

    What happens if I choose a Registered Agent and they move? Is it difficult to change this information once the LLC is formed?

    Thank you in advance!

    • Matt Horwitz January 11, 2019

      Hey Crystal, you’ll want to update the Secretary of State. Pretty easy to do. The filing is called the “Statement of Change of Registered Agent and/or Registered Office”. It’s $25. You can file by mail (Form LLC-1.36/1.37) or online (Illinois LLC Change of Registered Agent). Hope that helps!

      • Crystal January 11, 2019

        Thank you!

  20. Loretta February 18, 2019

    Hi Matt, I have reserved the name for my LLC, with the state of Illinois for 3 months. Once I am ready to file my articles of organization, how is it determined that my name is reserved when I apply? will my reservation Information automatically be linked to me name?

    • Matt Horwitz February 18, 2019

      Hi Loretta, they are not automatically linked. You can include a copy of your approved name reservation when you submit your Articles of Organization with the identical name. Hope that helps.

  21. Loretta February 19, 2019

    Thank you Matt, for your response. Does this mean that I should apply by mail, or can I apply on line and attach a copy of my reservation?
    Thank you

    • Matt Horwitz February 19, 2019

      Hey Loretta, you’re welcome. Apologies for not mentioning this in the first reply. Unfortunately, there isn’t an “upload” step in the online Illinois Articles of Organization filing. To be safe, it would probably be best to file the Articles of Organization by mail along with your name reservation approval. If you submit the Articles of Organization online, an examiner will cross-reference the LLC name with their records. They’ll see your name reservation on their end. And they’ll look to see if your name is on the Articles of Organization (“connecting” the filings). Having said that, it’s not a standardized process. Meaning, depending on who you speak to at the Secretary of State’s office, you’ll get a different tone of confidence. In summary, there’s a chance it’ll work if you file online, but it definitely go through if you file by mail. Hope that helps.

      • Loretta February 19, 2019

        Thanks again Matt!!

  22. Gary Langfield June 24, 2019

    I am trying to start a staffing agency for temporary employment. As it stands right now I have no idea what I need or don’t need. I believe having an LLC is the best option for me right now but I don’t know how to make the actual decision. Do you have any helpful information about the legality of a staffing agency that would help me with the decision process?

    • Matt Horwitz June 25, 2019

      Hi Gary, we don’t have industry-specific information. You could call a few attorneys for some guidance on entity structures though. Hope that helps.

  23. Betty December 29, 2019

    Hi Matt,
    You have so much great info. here.
    In Illinois, what is the Anniversary date of the LLC? The date on the “Assumed Business Name Application? The date the EIN was acquired? Some other date?

    • Matt Horwitz December 29, 2019

      Thanks Betty! Great question. An Illinois LLC’s anniversary date is the date it was approved by the Secretary of State. You can find that date on your approved Articles of Organization or by searching your LLC name on the state’s database and looking for “Organization/Admission Date”. You can find the state’s database link on this page: Illinois LLC name search. Hope that helps!

  24. Rex Lu January 10, 2020

    Hello Matt, thank you for the marvelous job at informing and educating with this article. As a 19 year old, turning 20 in less than 10 days, this was very easy to understand and provided me with the correct path to complete the requirements and objectives.

    My two questions are as stated, (1) If I were to fill my home address and registered myself as my own “agent’, what steps would need to do if I move within the same state? Also what steps would I need to take if I were to move out of Illinois to let’s say New York or Texas?

    (2) Since both of my businesses are online, all of my employees will be hired, and employed virtually online. I know under this scenario I would just file the LLC under my current location which is the state of Illinois. But in the future when I get bigger and older, I would like to consider having a hub or office area where I would have hired employees working physically in person although most but not all of the business will still take place online.

    I hope you can give me some advice, and a wholesome sorry for any typos or confusion in advance.

    • Rex Lu January 10, 2020

      Sorry, I forgot the actual question to #2, my question is with that information provided would I need to file them as managers in the LLC-5.5 form? Also I will have supervisors that will be higher than managers in the chain of command, so would they also being required in the “managers” section even if they’re not considered as managers?

      Just to clarify, I will have two different titles, Team Manager and Project Supervisor and the PS position will be higher than the TM position.

      • Matt Horwitz January 10, 2020

        Hey Rex, you’re very welcome! If you are going to be the Registered Agent for your Illinois LLC and your address within Illinois changes, you can file what’s called a “Change of Registered Agent and/or Agent’s Office Address”. This can be filed online or by mail (the form is LLC-1.36/1.37). If you move out of state, you will need to change the Registered Agent to another person in Illinois or to a Commercial Registered Agent.

        Regarding expansion, where an LLC needs to be registered as a foreign LLC depends on where your LLC is “transacting business”. Having W-2 employees (if that’s what you mean) constitutes transacting business and you would need to register your LLC as a foreign LLC in all states where you have W-2 employees. Furthermore, you also need to register your LLC with those states’ Department of Revenue (or equivalent agency) in order to process payroll and properly withhold taxes. You can also just hire people as Independent Contractors, which may be simpler to start with as you don’t need to run payroll or worry about foreign LLC qualification.

        Please read LLC officer titles. The word Manager, in regards to LLCs, is FAR different than the general term “manager”, as in “he’s the store manager”. If you’re hiring people (which by the way, doesn’t mean they have to be W-2 employees), you likely don’t want to make these people LLC Managers or Members. You can give them the title “manager”, but you don’t need to put their names in your LLC Articles of Organization (LLC 5.5) or your LLC Operating Agreement, which would give them authority to bind your LLC in contracts and agreements. You can give (and restrict) their rights via any type of agreement (a contract), such as an Independent Contractor Work for Hire agreement or an Employment Agreement (if you go the W-2 employee route). You can use whatever titles you want for the people you hire. Again, those titles and those people’s names don’t need to (and you likely don’t want them to) appear in your Articles of Organization or Operating Agreement. Hope that helps!

        • Rex Lu January 10, 2020

          Yes that most certainly helped a lot, thank you so much for all of your wisdom. You’re a lifesaver!

          • Matt Horwitz January 11, 2020

            You’re very welcome Rex!


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