Best Overall Service

LegalZoom is the biggest name in the LLC formation service industry. They’ve been a prominent player in this market for years, and they advertise more than most of their competitors combined.

They also serve a very high volume of customers, so there’s no denying that LegalZoom is a popular service. In addition, LegalZoom has thousands of mostly positive customer reviews available online.

However, their pricing is acceptable but uninspiring. Their LLC formation packages are threadbare and lacking value compared to many of their competitors.

If you prioritize using the company with the largest volume of customers or the biggest brand power, LegalZoom is certainly worth a look.

Are you interested in receiving personalized customer support? If so, give Northwest Registered Agent a look. Northwest provides all of its clients with support from their Corporate Guides.

These highly trained representatives walk you through each step of the formation process, and you can contact your Guide at any time to ask questions or get advice.

Northwest’s pricing starts at $225, and that rate includes 12 months of their registered agent service.

While their competitors typically only scan the government documents they’re legally required to scan, Northwest scans all documents they receive on your behalf.

They provide solid overall value, and they also receive strong reviews from their customers, albeit in a smaller volume of feedback than ZenBusiness has to offer. If you’re looking for personalized service, Northwest is a good IL LLC service.

Who doesn’t like getting things for free? Along with ZenBusiness, IncFile is one of the only companies we’ve ever heard of that actually offers to form your Illinois LLC at absolutely no charge, as long as you pay your own state fee.

This is a bargain, and it gets even better when you realize that IncFile is far from a barebones service. With IncFile, that free formation package we just discussed actually comes with a free year of registered agent service.

In addition, they have a positive reputation for customer feedback, as they have thousands upon thousands of reviews available online, and nearly all of them are perfect five-star scores.

The only real drawback of IncFile is that their customer support team can sometimes take a bit to get back to you. Still, it’s hard to complain about a company that offers to form your LLC for free, while still throwing in a full year of registered agent service.

What Is an Illinois LLC?

LLCs are formal legal entities that are typically taxed similarly to sole proprietorships and general partnerships, in that the owners include any company profits or losses into their personal returns — the LLC itself does not owe income taxes.

An LLC may also elect to be taxed like a corporation, although this is not a very common option.

There are similarities to corporations too, especially when it comes to financial responsibilities. In an LLC, the owners or members are not usually personally accountable for the financial status of the business. This means that if someone sues your LLC, your personal assets are not at risk.

While Illinois does not legally require LLCs to create an operating agreement, it’s still strongly recommended. This document can help clear up any disagreements between your owners, and it’s also just generally convenient to have a roadmap of your LLC’s operational aspects.

In Illinois, you’ll pay $250 for online LLC formations and $150 for those filed on paper forms (online submissions are automatically expedited for 24-hour service, hence the additional $100 fee). You can pay by check, money order, or credit/debit card. It typically takes the state 24 hours or less to process online submissions, while those on paper take 7-10 business days.

The ongoing LLC maintenance requirements in Illinois include the annual report. You need to file it by the first day of your anniversary month each year, and there is a $75 filing fee.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Can I Get More Information About Forming LLCs in Illinois?

We invite you to take a look at our comprehensive guide to forming a limited liability company in Illinois. This article walks you through the LLC formation process in this state step by step, ensuring that you don’t miss any crucial elements.

How Can I Search Illinois’ Business Name Database?

One of the most important steps in forming an Illinois LLC is choosing a business name. Once you come up with ideas for your name, you should search through the Secretary of State’s corporation and LLC search to make sure your desired name is available. For more information on conducting a business name search in Illinois, check out our full article on the topic.

Where Can I Find the Illinois Articles of Organization?

You can fill out the Illinois Articles of Organization on the Secretary of State’s website.

What Are Illinois’ Ongoing LLC Maintenance Requirements?

All LLCs operating in the state of Illinois are required to submit an annual report to the Secretary of State. It’s due by the first day of your anniversary month each year, and there is a $75 filing fee.

Where Can I Learn More About the Illinois LLC Licensing and Permitting Requirements?

Chances are, you’ll require at least one license or permit to operate your LLC in compliance with Illinois state law. Unfortunately, Illinois does a poor job of explaining its business licensing requirements, as the state’s official Registrations, Licenses, and Permits webpage includes little valuable info. We recommend checking with any relevant state agencies, along with your municipal and county governments, to find out what licenses you might need.

How Quickly Does Illinois Process LLC Formations?

Online filings typically take around 24 hours for the Secretary of State to process. If you don’t file online, the Secretary of State should be able to process your LLC’s formation within 7-10 business days.

Which Company Provides the Best Illinois Registered Agent Service?

If you want more details about what these companies can offer in this state, or you’d like to take a look at some other options, check out our complete guide to Illinois registered agents.

How Can I Dissolve My Illinois LLC?

Unfortunately, not all businesses last forever. If the time comes when you need to close your LLC’s doors, you’ll need to do so in a manner consistent with the state’s regulations. That’s why we wrote our guide to Illinois LLC dissolutions, so you can complete the process in a compliant manner.

What if I Need to Expand a Business From Another State to Illinois?

If your LLC already exists in another state, you don’t actually need to “form” it in Illinois. Instead, you’ll need to foreign qualify the business in this state. This process is somewhat similar to LLC formation, but there are some crucial differences as well. Take a look at our guide to foreign qualifications in Illinois for more information.

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