You did it. Your Illinois LLC is officially up and running, ready to take on challenges, roll in the profits, and change the world.
There’s no doubt that this is an exciting time in your business journey. After starting your LLC, it’s easy to get carried away in all the excitement and expectations. After all, as a new business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate.
But the state does too. They need to keep updated records on thousands of businesses so that they can effectively reach out with any important tax or legal communications down the road. How do they do it? With your cooperation, of course.
In Illinois, an LLC’s annual report consists of two parts: a Franchise Tax and a Public Information Report. Each LLC must submit these filings to the Illinois Comptroller every year to keep their information current. Unsure how to go about it? Never even heard of it? No worries at all. That’s why we’re here. Keep reading for everything you need to know.
For brevity’s sake, we’ll refer to these two combined filings as the “Annual Report” in this guide.
What is an Illinois Annual Report? Why is it Important?
Consider an Annual Report the state’s yearly checkup on your LLC. It’s similar to a census in that its purpose is to collect the necessary contact and structural information about each Illinois business.
Each state has its own annual reporting requirements, and some don’t even require them. But in most states, you’re required to submit one per year that includes your LLC name, principal office address, registered agent information, and member/manager names and addresses. Both domestic and foreign LLCs must submit Annual Reports, so you’ll need to do so even if you expand to Illinois from out of state.
Don’t be intimidated, but it’s not something you want to take lightly. This is how the state updates your LLC’s record with the most recent information. They need to know how to reach you with important information about your business status, upcoming filings, taxes, and service of process.
For example, if you change your registered agent, or your current agent resigns, you’ll need to keep the state informed so they can update their contact information. Miss one of their communications and your LLC in Illinois might end up falling out of good standing or, even worse, administratively dissolved.
Moreover, keeping your information current will help other businesses and potential customers find you. If the Secretary of State has the most updated data on record, people can find your business by performing a name search.
How Much Does the Illinois LLC Annual Report Fee Cost?
If you’re putting together a budget for all your LLC’s costs – like formation costs, name reservation fees, and initial operating expenses – it’s important to include annual filings like this one, just so that there are no surprises.
Costs vary from state to state. Some are free while others can be several hundred dollars. Illinois doesn’t charge too much for its Annual Reports, just $75. But you’ll need to pay it every year, so make sure to include it in your budget.
Due Date and Frequency for an Annual Report in Illinois
This filing comes around like clockwork, once per year. It’s due on the last day of the month before your LLC’s anniversary month (the month it was formed). So, for example, if you originally formed your LLC on September 19, your Annual Report due date will be August 31. If you want to get it done early (which we recommend), you can file your report up to 45 days before the due date.
What Happens if You Don’t File?
You might be thinking, “that sounds like a pain. How bad could it be if I just fly under the radar?” The short answer: don’t try it. Failing to file your Annual Report can yield some serious consequences.
There’s no late fee immediately after missing your reporting deadline, but if two months pass and you still haven’t filed, the state will impose a $100 penalty in addition to your $75 Annual Report fee. And if you haven’t filed by six months after your due date, the state will administratively dissolve your LLC.
When you sit down to file your Annual Report, you’ll probably want to know what you’re in for. Like most states’ reports, this one is fairly simple and only requires a few pieces of information. Here’s what it requires:
- LLC name
- Registered agent name
- Registered office address
- State and county where the LLC was formed
- The date the LLC was formed
- Principal place of business address (P.O. boxes not allowed)
- Names and addresses for each member and/or managers
Start to finish, the form won’t likely take longer than a few minutes, since all of this information is readily available in your business documents (like the Articles of Organization) or online record.
When it comes time to file your Annual Report, there are two ways you can go about it: online or by mail.
Online: This is the fastest and easiest route. On this page, enter your LLC’s file number. Don’t know your file number? You can find it by searching your business name on the Secretary of State’s entity search page. Then, follow the onscreen instructions to confirm or update your LLC’s information. At the end of the module, enter your contact and payment information and submit your form.
Filing by Mail: Download, complete, and print the paper Annual Report form. Include a check for your $75 payment and mail it to one of the following addresses:
Secretary of State Department of Business Services
Limited Liability Division
501 S. Second St., Rm. 351
Springfield, IL 62756
Illinois Secretary of State
Division of Business Services
69 W. Washington St., Suite 1240
Chicago, IL 60602
Does the State Send Reminders?
Reminders are always nice. They help you stay on top of your business requirements and ensure that you won’t fall out of good standing.
The Illinois Secretary of State will mail a reminder and a paper copy of the Annual Report to your registered agent 45 days before it’s due. You can disregard the paper form if you plan to file online. You should also consider setting up your own reminders on your phone, calendar, planner, etc. You don’t want to forget and get hit with penalties!
Can I Hire a Service to Handle it?
You probably have a full plate as it is, and the thought of adding one more responsibility to your to-do list might make you shudder. You’re not alone.
Plenty of other LLC owners have outsourced their reporting duties to LLC services. These companies will take the entire process off your hands, handling your Annual Report each year. If that piques your interest, we recommend ZenBusiness, which is an experienced and trustworthy LLC company.
But their services aren’t restricted to forming an LLC or managing Annual Reports. They can also help you form your business, draft an operating agreement, handle registered agent responsibilities, and much more, all for a reasonably low price.
If thinking about your LLC responsibilities ties your stomach in knots, let ZenBusiness take some of those worries off your plate.
There you have it, everything you need to know about Illinois’ reporting requirements. Follow this guide to a T and your LLC will be prepared to operate smoothly and in good standing long into the future.
And remember, if at any point it seems overwhelming, you’re not alone. A good LLC service like ZenBusiness (or LegalZoom) can be a valuable resource, taking care of all the little details, so you can focus on growing your business.