In the paragraphs that follow, we provide much and maybe even all the help and direction you need.
But before we get to that, let us mention that if you want more than just step-by-step instructions for filing the articles of formation, you may be interested in our $34.95 Illinois LLC kit. Our kit provides not only LLC set-up instructions but also discussion of the advantages and drawbacks of an LLC, sample forms and two sample operating agreements, and the procedure for getting an EIN for banking and tax purposes. You can click the button below to order and download the kit…
Before you buy the kit, however, see if you can’t get your LLC formed using the following instructions:
1. Check if the LLC name you want is available
As a first step in forming an LLC in Illinois, you may want to check if the LLC name you want to use is even available in the sate.
You can use the form found at
to check about name availability. A preliminary check of corporate name availability may continue to be conducted via telephone by calling (217) 524-8008.
You can also file an Application for Reservation of a Name and pay $300 per name to reserve a name for 90 days. The reservation of a corporate/LLC name is an option, not a requirement.
2. Download the LLC application form from the Illinois Department of State’s web site
Note that you must fill in this form online prior to printing. The URL, or web page address, for this form (see Figure 1 and Figure 2) is as shown below.
Illinois also has an e-filing option. All e-filings are handled on an expedited basis and cost an extra $100, for a total filing fee of $600. If forms have been filled out properly they will be turned around in 24 business hours. There are restrictions on LLCs that file on line. Those restrictions and the on-line filing can be found at
Scroll down and click on “LLC Articles of Organization.”
Both versions of filing ask for the same information and follow roughly the same format. For purposes of simplicity these instructions are for the first version (download and print) but can be used for either version.
3. Identify the name you want to use for your new LLC
Enter your business or investment name onto the lines provided. (I used the example name, “Great Lakes Explosives LLC.”) Note that the name goes onto the first page the form in two places and onto the second page of the form in one place. The name must include the phrase “Limited Liability Company” or one of the standard abbreviations, “LLC,” or “L.L.C.” For example, all of the following names should be acceptable:
- Great Lakes Explosives Limited Liability Company
- Great Lakes Explosives LLC
- Great Lakes Explosives L.L.C.
4. Provide your name and address to the Secretary of State’s office
Illinois wants to know the name and contact information for a real person within the state of Illinois who the state can contact if it has questions or concerns about an LLC’s operation or if legal documents need to be served. Accordingly, enter your name and address information onto the lines that ask for this information.
5. Provide date
State whether the Articles of Organization will be effective on the filing date or at a later date not to exceed 60 days after the filing date.
6. Identify the registered agent
Illinois state wants to know the name and contact information for a real person within the state of Illinois whom can act as the contact person should the state have questions or concerns about an LLC’s operation. You can pay someone else to be this registered agent, but it’s really easiest and cheapest to just be your own registered agent.
Accordingly, enter your name and address information on the lines labeled “Street Address of Registered Office,” and “Name of Registered Agent.”
7. Write the purposes for which the LLC is organized
This will be the transactions of any or all lawful business for which the LLC may be organized. In most cases you don’t need to add anything to this part of the form.
8. Date of dissolution
If you know when the company will dissolve, provide the latest date of the event. If the LLC duration is perpetual, leave this blank.
9. Determine the management style and list names
If the LLC is managed by the managers, check box “a” and list the names and business addresses of the managers. If the LLC has management vested in the members, check box “b” and list the names and addresses of the members.
10. Give names, addresses and signatures of the organizers
Organizers are required to sign to the accuracy of the information provided above.
11. Submit the application
After you complete the Articles of Organization document, print it (make sure organizers sign it) and mail the document and a check for $500 to:
Secretary of State
Department of Business Services
Limited Liability Division
Room 351 Howlett Bldg.
501 S. Second St.
Springfield, IL 62756
You can also deliver your articles of organization in person.
Processing lead times vary, but in general, it takes several weeks to get your LLC certificate back from the Secretary of State’s office. Note that you can pay an additional $100 ($600 total) ($850 total for a series LLC) and file on-line to receive 24 business hours turn around.