How to Start an LLC in Illinois

Last Updated on February 5, 2022

The following steps are to create a domestic LLC, which is the most common filing. We have more information about forming a foreign LLC (an out-of-state LLC wanting approval to operate in the state) or a professional LLC (designated for LLCs offering professional services).

To get started, you can apply on the Illinois Secretary of State’s website or file Form LLC-5.5.

Step 1: Choose the type of LLC

Indicate whether you wish to establish a “standard” or domestic limited liability company or a limited liability company that has the ability to establish as a series LLC.

A limited liability company with the ability to establish a series, commonly referred to as a “Series LLC,” has the ability to essentially create a mini LLC within the larger LLC umbrella. Real estate investors will often use the Series LLC to protect each property individually.

Step 2: Provisions

Read over the provisions. Agree to continue.

Step 3: Name the LLC

Enter the name you want for the LLC. The name of the LLC also has to differ from other entity names in the state of Illinois. Learn how to check LLC name availability in Illinois.

The name of the LLC must include one of the following designators at the end of the business name:

    • Limited Liability Company
    • LLC
    • L.L.C.
    • L3C

Illinois LLC Register Name

Step 4: Principal Place of Business

In this section, enter the street address, city, state, and zip code of the initial principal office (sometimes referred to as the registered office address). This address can be the LLC’s physical address, the address where the business records are stored, or the address of the registered agent.

Illinois Limited Liability Company Principal Place of Business

Step 5: Registered Agent

To have an LLC in Illinois, an Illinois Registered Agent must be identified for service of process. This can either be a resident of Illinois or a commercial registered agent service and must have a physical street address in the state to act as a point of contact to receive legal documents, tax notices, summons, subpoenas, etc. on behalf of the LLC. A PO Box is not allowed.

You can act as your own registered agent in Illinois and you are not required to pay for a registered agent.

Illinois LLC Registered Agent

Step 6: Names and Addresses of Managers and Members

This section is looking for the names and addresses of managers and/or members with the authority of manager.

    • Member-Managed LLCs have members (owners) that are active in the day-to-day operations of the business.
    • Manager-Managed LLCs have managers hired by the LLC members to run the business, similar to a CEO of a corporation.

If the LLC is Member-Managed, all of the members would typically be entered. If there is only one member, enter that member’s information. Member-Managed LLCs would enter the name of the manager(s).

Illinois LLC Member Manager Managed

Step 7: Organizer’s Signature

The Organizer is someone who is involved with the LLC formation. The Organizer may or may not be a member, such as a mentor, attorney, or accountant, but the initial member(s) could be listed as an organizer.

If the organizer agrees to the terms, they will sign and provide their contact information.

Illinois LLC Organizer Signature

Step 8: Review

Review the information to ensure it is all correct.

Step 9: Select Processing

Choosing “no expedited service” saves $100, in filing fees, but the application won’t be reviewed for 10 business days, resulting in a total processing time of 3-4 weeks. Requesting expedited service will reduce the time of reviewing the application down to 24 hours, resulting in the LLC’s total processing time to 1-2 business days.

Illinois LLC Expedited Service

Step 10: Pay and File the Articles of Organization

Pay and file the Illinois Articles of Organization.

If mailing the LLC form, send 2 copies of the Articles of Organization and payment of state fees to:

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