For already prepared documents, skip to step 3
Step 1: Check Name Availability
Decide on 3 corporate names in order of your preference. We’ll quickly check what names are available.
Step 2: Prepare or Upload your Articles
Our straightforward online form will easily walk you through the required information.
Step 3: Specify Service Level and Service Options
Choose from the a la carte options, or select the appropriate filing package.
Routine order processing time: 5 - 7 Business Days
Rush order processing time: 24 Hours
During normal business hours, you’ll receive email confirmation within one hour.
Your filing is now on its way!
If we receive your Illinois Articles of Incorporation by 12 p.m. PST (Mon. – Fri.), your corporation will be submitted. It could even be active the same day. If this happens, the file date will be the submission date that your company is given. Many filing services mail the document to the state. If you do this, keep in mind proof of filing will take several weeks longer.
Your Post-Filing Responsibilities
- File a Statement of Information: The Illinois Secretary of State requires that you file a Statement of Information after the Articles of Incorporation are filed.
- Employer Identification Number or EIN: We’d be happy to obtain the EIN for your new company if you like. Simply add it to your order and we will obtain it within 1 to 2 days (24-48 hours).
- Illinois Corporate Kit: Our kits include bylaws and meeting minutes, a seal embosser, a custom binder, 20 Stock certificates, and more. You can order you kit at the time of filing. You can also go to our Corporate Kid order page to place the order individually.
At the time of filing, add these optional services to your order:
- Additional Certified Copy of Articles: It’s possible you’ll need this down the line for loans, banks, or professional licensing requirements.
- Certificate of Good Standing: You might require additional copies if you plan to qualify or register in states other than Illinois.
The SunDoc Filings Advantage
- We have filed thousands of documents since 1999
- All filings received by 12 p.m. PST are submitted same day
- Most filing companies mail in your filings
Illinois Corporate Formation Guidelines
The corporate name must contain the word "corporation," "company," "incorporated," "limited" or an abbreviation of any of these words. The name must be distinguishable upon the records in the office of the Secretary of State from the name or assumed name of any domestic corporation or limited liability company or of the name or assumed name of any foreign corporation or foreign limited liability company authorized to transact business in this State, or a name the exclusive right to which is, at the time, reserved or registered in the manner provided in this Act.
The name must not contain any word or phrase which indicates or implies that the corporation (i) is authorized or empowered to conduct the business of insurance, assurance, indemnity, or the acceptance of savings deposits; (ii) is authorized or empowered to conduct the business of banking unless otherwise permitted by the Commissioner of Banks and Real Estate pursuant to the Illinois Banking Act; or (iii) is authorized or empowered to be in the business of a corporate fiduciary unless otherwise permitted by the Commissioner of Banks and Real Estate under the Corporate Fiduciary Act. The word "trust", "trustee", or "fiduciary" may be used by a corporation only if it has first complied with the Corporate Fiduciary Act. The word "bank", "banker" or "banking" may only be used by a corporation if it has first complied with Section 46 of the Illinois Banking Act. A corporate name found to be available may be reserved with the Secretary of State for a 90 day period for a filing fee of $25.
It is acceptable to state either alone or with a specific purpose clause, “The purposes for which the corporation is organized shall be to transact any and all lawful business for which corporations maybe incorporated pursuant to the provisions of the Business Corporation Act of 1983.”
AUTHORIZED SHARES AND MINIMUM PAID IN CAPITAL
The minimum number of authorized shares is one (1). The amount of paid-in capital can never be $0, as there must always be at least one issued share.
PREEMPTIVE RIGHTS / CUMULATIVE VOTING
Preemptive rights are denied in absence of a specific grant. Cumulative voting is automatically granted unless specifically denied.
REGISTERED AGENT AND REGISTERED OFFICE
The corporation must maintain a registered agent and office to receive service of process in Illinois.
DIRECTORS / INCORPORATOR
The minimum number of directors is one (1). Minimum number of incorporators is one (1) (a natural person of at least the age of 18 or a domestic or foreign corporation) and there is no requirement that the incorporator be a resident of Illinois.
FILING PROCEDURES Submit the original signed Articles of Incorporation and one (1) true copy, which may be a signed, carbon or photocopy to the Secretary of State on official form. Signatures must be in black ink. The Secretary of State will return one original certified copy.
Illinois Corporate Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the SunDoc Filings advantage?
There are numerous advantages to filing with SunDoc Filings. First of all, in order to form an Illinois corporation or an Illinois subchapter S corporation, you need to file your Illinois Article of Incorporation with the Illinois Secretary of State, which is a complicated process. We’ll help you do this and form your Illinois Corporation quickly and easily. We’ve been in this business since 1999, and we know all of the states requirements. We can handle the formation of your Corporation professionally and efficiently. Let us make this process painless for you. Let us prepare your Articles of Incorporation with the SOS for the formation of your Illinois corporation.
How do I form an Illinois Corporation?
Several steps are involved in the formation of an Illinois Corporation. First, we’ll need to check for the availability of corporate names. You’ll pick three that you prefer, and we will check on their availability with the Illinois Secretary of State.
Next, we’ll begin preparing your Illinois Articles of Incorporation and verify that they are free of errors. After that, we’ll file the Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State of Illinois and form your Illinois corporation. In the end, the Secretary of State will file your Articles of Incorporation, and we will send the final file document to you.
What are the advantages of forming an Illinois Corporation?
There are several advantages to forming an Illinois corporation. First, there’s the corporate veil. This offers limited liability to shareholders or owners, and it means that no one is personally liable for obligations or debts of the corporation. Shareholders can only lose if they invest their personal money by purchasing stock in the corporation.
Next, another advantage is that because Illinois corporations are independent legal entities, they continuously exist. This means that they won’t shut down just because a shareholder decides to retire or passes away.
Another benefit is that corporations usually have a simpler time when it comes to setting up insurance, pensions, profit-sharing, retirement funds, stock option plans and other business dealings. Finally, it is quite easy to transfer Illinois corporations. It is much easier than transferring is with other business entities. Most of the time, shares of stock are able to be sold without restriction to third parties, and there is no need to obtain permission from the Illinois Corporation.
How do I obtain an EIN or Employer Identification number or Tax Payer ID number for my Illinois Corporation?
We have numerous supporting services available alongside our Illinois corporation formation services. For example, we can obtain an employer identification number for you. These numbers are needed when it comes to hiring new employees, opening bank accounts, and starting lines of credit for your Corporation. Choose our Illinois premium package and obtainment of this number is included.
How do I form an Illinois S Corporation?
If you are interested in forming an Illinois S corporation, this means that you are going to be taxed like a partnership or LLC and with a pass-through tax structure. It’s important to know that Illinois corporations will start out as C corporations or stock corporations. When you want to obtain or form an S corporation, you need to file with the Internal Revenue Service for this status. You can read more about Illinois C corporations below. Don’t forget to check with an accountant or directly with the Internal Revenue Service to see about limitations. If you have an S corporation with the state of Illinois, you will not be double taxed. You will probably not file a tax return either. Shareholders on their tax returns will report separately stated incomes, loss, deduction, and credit. They’ll also need to report their share of non-separately stated losses and income.
What are the advantages of a C Corporation in Illinois?
If you plan on publicly trading the corporation’s stock, you’ll probably want to create a C corporation in the state of Illinois. S corporations in Illinois cannot have higher than 75 shareholders. Choosing a C Corporation will allow for 76 shareholders or higher.
It is also possible for Illinois C corporations to have multiple classes of stock like common shares and preferred shares. These corporations are double taxed because both the individual owners and the corporate entity itself have to file yearly tax returns. On the other hand, S corporations in Illinois can only issue one type of stock. They are also limited to no higher than 75 shareholders, and they can only be owned by registered aliens or legal US citizens.
How do I obtain or prepare corporate bylaws for my Illinois Corporation?
SunDoc Filings will prepare your initial bylaws in standard language and will include MS Word format meeting minutes if you purchase our premium package. You can prepare these as needed.
What are the corporate bylaws and why are they so important for my Illinois corporation?
Essentially, corporate bylaws will be the blueprint of your corporation in Illinois. The bylaws will have your privileges, rights, and the powers of all officers, shareholders, and directors. Moreover, most Illinois bylaws will have the full number of directors plus their names as well as the names of the president, vice president, CFO (chief financial officer) or treasurer, and secretary.
Your bylaws will also contain rules about how your Illinois corporation will operate. These rules will pertain to how the corporation can take out loans, open bank accounts, write checks, obtain credit, issue stock certificates to shareholders, and enter into contracts. Finally, the bylaws will have a reference list of shareholders that is in alphabetical order. This will include names, addresses, and titles in the corporation. It will also include the number of shares that each shareholder owns in the corporation.
What is an Illinois corporate seal?
If you order a Illinois Corporation kit with SunDoc Filings, it will include a handheld corporate seal embosser. A corporate seal embosser is a handheld device. It imprints all types of paper with your corporation’s name, the state that your corporation was formed in, and the date that it was formed. Many lending corporations and banks will require that you have this device in order to stamp loan papers and other legal documents.
What is an Illinois corporate kit?
SunDoc Filings offers Illinois corporate kits in numerous styles and colors. In your kit, you will receive a hardbound binder where you can put all of your important documents. Keep your Articles of Incorporation and bylaws in this binder. Your binder will also come with a slip cover that is either built-in or goes around your binder to keep it safe.
On the spine of your binder, we will professionally imprint or hot-press the name of your Illinois corporation. Your binder will also include 20 custom stock certificates. These certificates will feature your corporation’s name, the amount of shares, the par value the corporation is authorized issue, and the titles of your president and secretary underneath their respective signature lines. You can order an Illinios corporate kit by placing the order individually at our Corporate/LLC Kit order page.
Operating Your Corporation
You’ve finally formed your Illinois corporation, obtained your employee identification number from the Internal Revenue Service, decided between an S corporation status or a C corporation, prepared your bylaws, issued shares of stock, and utilized your corporate seal embosser. It’s now time to check local, city and county business licenses that your company will need. Keep in mind that if you plan to operate your corporation from your home, you’ll definitely want to check with the county or city to see if a work at home permit is necessary.
Once you have met all of your licensing requirements, you can start operating your Illinois corporation.