In Illinois, as in most states, the primary step in creating a limited liability company (LLC) is to file articles of organization with the state.Th ...
Cost to Start an LLC in Illinois
Written by: Coralee Bechteler
Coralee is a business writer with experience in administrative services, education, and software testing.
Edited by: David Lepeska
David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.
Updated on October 2, 2023
Cost to Start an LLC in Illinois
If you’re thinking of starting a limited liability company (LLC) in Illinois, you’ll want to know in advance how much it’s going to cost. LLC formation fees vary by state, so it’s wise to do a bit of research and prepare yourself, and your new business, for the necessary steps.
LLC Costs in Illinois
|Articles of Organization||$150|
|Certified Copy – Articles of Organization||$25|
|Certified Copy – Certificate of Good Standing||$25|
|Registered Agent Service||$50 – $300|
|Operating Agreement||$0 – $2500|
|Franchise Tax||a rate of $1.50 per $1,000|
|Business Licenses and Renewals||varies – check with state and local government|
Illinois Articles of Organization Cost
In Illinois, you form an LLC by filing Illinois articles of organization, which requires a $150 fee. It’s a simple process you can do online using Illinois’ Secretary of State’s business application service. You can expect processing to take about 10 days.
If you need a certified copy of the Articles of Organization, there is a $25 fee. If you need a Certificate of Good Standing, there is a $25 fee. If you’d like the state to hold your LLC name before you register, you can apply online here for $25 to reserve it for 90 days.
Completed forms and accompanying fees should be sent to:
Illinois Department of Revenue
Central Registration Division
P.O. Box 19030
Springfield, Illinois 62794
Illinois Registered Agent Cost
In Illinois, you are required to have an Illinois registered agent, also known as an agent of service in process. A registered agent is a person or business authorized to accept and respond to legal, tax, and financial documents on behalf of your business.
In Illinois, you can be your own registered agent, or it can be another member of the LLC. An individual who is not a member or a professional agency can also serve as the registered agent for your LLC.
Illinois Business Licenses and Permits Cost
Starting an LLC in Illinois requires obtaining the required licenses and permits from local, state, and federal governments. Fees for these vary, but most costs are minimal.
Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting your business include doing business as, health licenses and permits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties, as well as industry-specific permits.
You may also need state-level and local county or city-based licenses. The license requirements and how to obtain them vary, so check the websites of your state, city, and county governments to learn more.
Business license fees depend on the type of business and the agency issuing the license or permit. On average, business licenses cost between $100 and $300+, plus renewal fees.
You could also check this SBA guide for your state’s requirements, but we recommend using MyCorporation’s Business License Compliance Package ($149 + state fees). They will research the exact forms you need for your business and state and provide them to ensure you’re fully compliant.
Illinois Operating Agreement Cost
In Illinois, your LLC is not required to have an operating agreement in place. But it’s highly recommended, as an effective operating agreement can help avoid disputes and lawsuits that could threaten the stability of your LLC.
An LLC operating agreement is an important legal document that details who owns the business and provides essential information pertaining to member duties. An LLC operating agreement establishes the financial relationship between members and the basics of the working relationships between those members and the managers who oversee daily operations.
The operating agreement is not filed with the state, but instead remains private. It’s advisable to hire an attorney to ensure your operating agreement is thorough and legally binding.
Creating an operating agreement is free if you just draw it up yourself (here you can find free Illinois LLC Operating Agreement template). Alternatively, you can pay around $100 for guidance from an online business advisory.
This is an extremely important document, so it’s recommended that you use the services of a specialist or legal firm. If you choose to hire an attorney, the price will be around $500 for a single-member LLC and $2,500 for a multi-member LLC.
Illinois LLC Formation Service Cost (Optional)
Forming an LLC in Illinois tends to involve a lot of red tape and paperwork, so for many entrepreneurs just starting out it’s a good idea to hire an experienced service provider.
Some of the best services for forming an LLC in Illinois are ZenBusiness and Northwest Registered Agent. LLC Formation service will take care of all the key steps, keeping you updated while allowing you to focus on launching and growing your business.
The cost of professional services depends on your requirements and LLC formation plan. Most LLC service providers offer different plans/packages and there are many LLC services that offer free LLC formation.
Ongoing Illinois LLC Costs
Every state has a different fee structure and timelines for LLC documents and licenses. It’s important to stay up-to-date or your business could face significant penalties. The fees and timelines for Illinois are detailed below.
Franchise Tax Reports
A franchise tax is not a tax on a franchise business. It is a fee that the state imposes on registered business entities for the right to operate.
In Illinois, only LLCs that have specified to be taxed like a corporation with the Secretary of State need to pay a franchise tax. Illinois charges an annual franchise tax at a rate of $1.50 per $1,000 of a business’s paid-in capital.
Business License Renewal Fees
In Illinois, some business licenses and permits must be renewed periodically, which may have a small associated fee. This includes your business registration and certificate of resale, although these licenses automatically renew for no charge. Conversely, renewal of a retailer’s liquor license costs $750, while a food license to process meat and poultry has an annual renewal fee of $50.
Fees to renew additional licenses and permits are filed with various departments of Illinois, so be sure to check both state and county renewal regulations and fees. For example, business license renewals in Highwood cost $50, while the city of Elgin does not charge businesses an annual renewal fee.
We recommend creating specific calendar reminders that detail the renewal requirements for your licenses. This will support the running of your business without interruption.
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