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 is a strict yearly requirement, and it helps keep the state’s records up-to-date regarding business activities within its borders. 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.
If you’d like to hand off this responsibility to save time and focus on running your business, affordable LLC services are a great solution. Not only will they form your business in the first place, but they’ll also manage ongoing requirements like ongoing report filing. Once you're ready to lock it down, have ZenBusiness file all the paperwork.
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, being 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 each year 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/or country where the LLC was formed
- The date the LLC was formed or admitted to Illinois
- 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 the following address:
Secretary of State Department of Business Services
Limited Liability Division
501 S. Second St., Rm. 351
Springfield, IL 62756
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!
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
About Filing the Illinois LLC Annual Report
Should I use an Annual Report service, hire an attorney, or prepare and file my own reports?
This question largely comes down to personal preferences, but we do have some general insights. The DIY route can be quite a bit of work, as you’ll need to keep track of your due dates and complete the entire report on your own with no assistance. As for hiring an attorney, this can be prohibitively expensive for many businesses, as a lawyer can charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars to prepare and file your Annual Reports.
You can think of business services companies as a middle ground between these options. While most of these companies charge a fee to prepare and file your Annual Reports, that fee will be significantly less expensive than an attorney’s fee. At the same time, you still aren’t going it alone. Instead, you have an experienced professional guiding you through the entire process.
I’ve heard the most about LegalZoom. Are they the best Annual Report service?
LegalZoom is the most well-known of all business services companies, thanks to its long track record and extensive advertising campaigns. That said, all of that brand power comes at a cost, as LegalZoom’s pricing and features don’t always compare advantageously to its competitors. While we do appreciate LegalZoom’s Annual Report filing service, it isn’t our top choice.
When is my Annual Report due each year?
You must file your LLC’s Annual Report before the first day of your anniversary month. Therefore, if you formed your LLC on June 15, you’ll need to file your report by May 31 of every subsequent year.
Does Illinois require LLCs to file initial reports?
In some states, LLCs are also required to file initial reports. These reports are typically quite similar to annual reports, with the difference being that an initial report either accompanies your formation documents or follows their filing within a couple of months.
In Illinois, you do not need to file an initial report for your LLC. The state gathers all of the information it needs for your first year in business from your Articles of Organization filing.
What if I need more time to complete my Annual Report?
Illinois does not formally offer extensions for Annual Report filings but the state does have a bit of a grace period built into its deadlines. While your reports are technically due by the last day of the month before your LLC’s anniversary month, Illinois will give you an additional 60 days before penalizing you for a late filing.
Where can I find more official information about Illinois’ LLC annual reporting requirements?
To be perfectly honest, Illinois doesn’t do a great job of providing helpful info about Annual Reports online. The LLC Annual Report Business Services page has some helpful tips, but that’s about it. If you have questions that this article and that page can’t answer, you should probably call the Secretary of State’s office for further assistance.