How to File Illinois Articles of Incorporation


Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
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Steve Goldstein runs LLCBuddy, helping entrepreneurs set up their LLCs easily. He offers clear guides, articles, and FAQs to simplify the process. His team keeps everything accurate and current, focusing on state rules, registered agents, and compliance. Steve’s passion for helping businesses grow makes LLCBuddy a go-to resource for starting and managing an LLC.

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File Illinois Articles of Incorporation

Incorporating a business is essential for entrepreneurs looking to establish their venture as a separate legal entity. By filing Articles of Incorporation, business owners in Illinois can enjoy myriad benefits, such as limited liability, tax advantages, and increased credibility. However, the incorporation process may seem daunting for many, especially those not well-versed in the legal intricacies of their state. This article is a comprehensive guide on how to file Illinois Articles of Incorporation, taking you through the necessary steps and requirements to establish your corporation successfully.

Whether you are a startup founder or a seasoned business owner, understanding the process of filing Articles of Incorporation in Illinois, popularly known as The Prairie State, is crucial for the seamless formation of your corporation. The following sections will outline the paperwork, fees, and registration procedures specific to Illinois, along with tips on navigating potential roadblocks and ensuring your application is approved. Let’s dive in and explore the ins and outs of incorporating your business in Illinois.

What is Articles of Incorporation in Illinois?

The Articles of Incorporation is a legal document required to file with the state government to legalize the creation of your corporation. In other words, filing these documents with the Illinois Secretary of State ensures the formation of the corporation in Illinois officially. The Articles of Incorporation is similar to filing the Illinois LLC Articles of Organization while filing an LLC in Illinois.

Illinois, also known as The Prairie State, has some rules when it comes to file the Articles of Incorporation. We shared the step-by-step process here to file the incorporation document with the Illinois SOS. Checking with the SOS is recommended for more information.

It is always wise to consult a legal professional before you file your company under the Illinois SOS. FIling process can be easy, but it is sensitive. If you miss anything, it can totally stope the filing process.

LLCBuddy Editorial Team

How to File Illinois Articles of Incorporation

You can file the Articles of Incorporation in several ways based on the state you are willing to start your corporation. In Illinois, you can file it in two ways, online and by mail. The details are similar to the details you need when forming an LLC. Here are the details you must submit while filing the documents-

Step 1: Get the Form and Enter the Details

The first step is to get the Articles of Incorporation form from the Illinois Secretary of State. You will get both offline and online forms on the site, as available. You must pay the $150 for filing in-person and by mail when submitting the form. Following are the details you must add to your incorporation form-

Name of the Entity

The first thing you need to do is submit your company’s name. Make sure to mention the exact name of the company that you decided on. Like the LLC naming guidelines, you must also follow the Illinois corporation naming requirements too. There are a few points to note when you name your company. They are,

  • You cannot have a name used by other companies or businesses.
  • You cannot have any name that is misleading or the same as government organizations.
  • Banks, Insurance, Insurer, or any such names cannot be used as they reflect the financial organization.
  • You must add terms like corporation, limited, company, incorporated, or incorporation. You can also add abbreviations like co., ltd., inc., and corp instead of the above terms.

Address of the Corporation

The next section of the form is to provide your main address. It is necessary to have a physical street address in Illinois. For those running an online business, you must provide any address in the state (including your home address) where you will receive all the business and legal documents and mail. While sharing your address, make sure not to use abbreviations, such as N.Y. for New York or L.A. for Los Angeles.

Illinois Registered Agent

The next point is to provide information about the Registered Agent. The Illinois Registered Agent is an individual or business entity that is responsible for receiving all the legal and official documents on behalf of the company. They must be aged above 18 years and have eligibility to conduct business in the state. The Registered Agent should be legit and experienced because, in case of any lawsuit, you need an expert to handle your issues. In most cases, the Registered Agent’s official address is the company’s official mailing address. If you form an LLC, hiring a registered agent is the most crucial step in the process.

Shares and Stocks

The next important information you must provide is about the stocks and shares. While filing the Articles of Incorporation, you must mention a minimum of one share. In Illinois, to start a corporation, you need at least Three director(s) initially. When filing the incorporation documents, you must provide the share of directors in the corporation. It decides the ownership of the company.

If you amend Illinois Articles of Incorporation in the future, you will not be able to change the initial directors. You might need an additional form to change the initial directors’ details. You must check with the Illinois SOS while filing the Articles of Incorporation amendment.

Additional Documents

You might need additional documents to submit along with the incorporation documents. In Illinois, you can attach a cover letter with the documents as an additional document. if you are willing to start a foreign corporation in Illinois, then you must add one document along with the Articles of Incorporation. Foreign corporations in Illinois must submit the Illinois Certificate of Good Standing along with the incorporation documents.

Signature

Finally, the signature of the directors and shareholders are required on the form. You can have more than one share and director. All your initial directors must submit their official signature while filing the corporation in Illinois. Get their signatures to file the Articles of Incorporation.

Step 2: Submit the Articles of Incorporation in Illinois

Once you are done filling up the form, now it is time for you to submit it. The form can be submitted in two ways, online and by mail. Checking with a legal professional or a formation service while filing your corporation is recommended. It is sensitive, and one mistake can stop the entire filing process immediately.

  • Online filing: Create an account/Log in to the SOS site, get the online form, fill it, and submit online
  • Offline filing: Send the form by mail to Department of Business Services, Limited Liability Division, 501 S. Second St., Rm. 351, Springfield, IL 62746

Cost of Filing the Articles of Incorporation in Illinois

The cost of filing the Articles of Incorporation in Illinois is an important aspect to consider when starting a new business. This one-time fee is necessary for officially registering your corporation with the Secretary of State and can vary depending on the specific requirements and regulations of Illinois. In some cases, additional fees may be required for expedited processing or other optional services. It is crucial for entrepreneurs to budget for this expense and research the specific costs associated with their Illinois in order to ensure a smooth and successful incorporation process. To file the Articles of Incorporation in Illinois, you must pay a filing fee. The filing fee is $150 for filing in-person and by mail.

FAQs

What is an Illinois Articles of Incorporation?
An Illinois Articles of Incorporation is a document filed with the Illinois Secretary of State that establishes a corporation as a legal entity in the state.
What is the purpose of filing an Illinois Articles of Incorporation?
The purpose of filing an Illinois Articles of Incorporation is to legally form a corporation in the state of Illinois.
What information do I need to provide when filing an Illinois Articles of Incorporation?
When filing an Illinois Articles of Incorporation, you will need to provide the name of the corporation, the registered agent name and address, the number of shares of stock that the corporation is authorized to issue, and the names and addresses of the incorporators.
Where do I file an Illinois Articles of Incorporation?
An Illinois Articles of Incorporation must be filed with the Illinois Secretary of State.
How much does it cost to file an Illinois Articles of Incorporation?
The filing fee for an Illinois Articles of Incorporation is $150.
How long does it take to form a corporation in Illinois?
It typically takes 1-2 business days to form a corporation in Illinois after the Articles of Incorporation have been filed.
What are the legal requirements for forming a corporation in Illinois?
In order to form a corporation in Illinois, you must file an Articles of Incorporation with the Illinois Secretary of State, appoint a registered agent, and obtain a Certificate of Good Standing from the Secretary of State.
How do I appoint a registered agent in Illinois?
To appoint a registered agent in Illinois, you must provide the name and address of the registered agent on the Articles of Incorporation when filing with the Secretary of State.
Do I need a special license to form a corporation in Illinois?
No, you do not need a special license to form a corporation in Illinois.
Is there a minimum number of shareholders required to form a corporation in Illinois?
No, there is no minimum number of shareholders required to form a corporation in Illinois.
How many directors are required to form a corporation in Illinois?
The number of directors required to form a corporation in Illinois depends on the corporation’s bylaws.
What information do I need to provide on the Articles of Incorporation?
You will need to provide the name of the corporation, the registered agent name and address, the number of shares of stock that the corporation is authorized to issue, and the names and addresses of the incorporators on the Articles of Incorporation.
What is the difference between an LLC and a corporation in Illinois?
The main difference between an LLC and a corporation in Illinois is that an LLC is not required to have directors, whereas a corporation is required to have directors.
Are there any tax benefits to forming a corporation in Illinois?
Yes, there are certain tax benefits to forming a corporation in Illinois, such as the ability to deduct certain business expenses from your taxes.
Is it possible to form a corporation in Illinois without hiring a lawyer?
Yes, it is possible to form a corporation in Illinois without hiring a lawyer. However, it is recommended that you consult with a lawyer to ensure that your documents are properly filed and that you comply with all applicable laws.
How do I obtain a Certificate of Good Standing in Illinois?
You can obtain a Certificate of Good Standing in Illinois by submitting a request to the Illinois Secretary of State.
What is a corporate seal?
A corporate seal is an official seal that is used to authenticate documents and documents of the corporation, such as contracts, deeds, and other legal documents.
Do I need to register my corporation with the IRS?
Yes, you will need to register your corporation with the IRS in order to obtain an Employer Identification Number.
Do I need to register my corporation with the Illinois Department of Revenue?
Yes, you will need to register your corporation with the Illinois Department of Revenue in order to obtain a tax identification number.
Do I need to register with the Illinois Secretary of State?
Yes, you will need to register with the Illinois Secretary of State in order to obtain a Certificate of Good Standing.
Do I need to hold annual meetings of shareholders and directors?
Yes, you will need to hold annual meetings of shareholders and directors in order to comply with Illinois law.
Do I need to keep corporate records?
Yes, you will need to keep corporate records in order to comply with Illinois law.
Do I need to file annual reports with the Illinois Secretary of State?
Yes, you will need to file annual reports with the Illinois Secretary of State in order to maintain your corporation’s good standing.
What is the difference between a regular corporation and a professional corporation in Illinois?
The main difference between a regular corporation and a professional corporation in Illinois is that a professional corporation is owned and controlled by licensed professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, and accountants.
What is the difference between a corporation and an LLC in Illinois?
The main difference between a corporation and an LLC in Illinois is that a corporation is required to have directors, whereas an LLC is not required to have directors.
Do I need to register my corporation with the Illinois Department of Employment Security?
Yes, you will need to register your corporation with the Illinois Department of Employment Security in order to obtain a tax identification number.
What happens if I don’t file an annual report with the Illinois Secretary of State?
If you do not file an annual report with the Illinois Secretary of State, your corporation may be dissolved.
What happens if I don’t pay my taxes in Illinois?
If you do not pay your taxes in Illinois, you may be subject to fines and penalties.
Is there a limit to the number of shares of stock that my corporation can issue?
Yes, the number of shares of stock that your corporation can issue is determined by the Articles of Incorporation.
What is required to file Articles of Incorporation in Illinois?
To file Articles of Incorporation in Illinois, you must provide the name of the corporation, the purpose of the business, the street address of the registered office, the name and address of the registered agent, the number of shares the corporation is authorized to issue, the name and address of each incorporator, and the duration of the corporation.
How much does it cost to file Articles of Incorporation in Illinois?
The fee to file Articles of Incorporation in Illinois is $150.
How long does it take to file Articles of Incorporation in Illinois?
It usually takes the Illinois Secretary of State two weeks to process Articles of Incorporation.
What happens after I file my Articles of Incorporation in Illinois?
Once your Articles of Incorporation are filed with the Illinois Secretary of State, you will be issued a Certificate of Incorporation. This Certificate is evidence that your corporation was legally formed in the state of Illinois.

Also Read

Why Illinois Articles of Incorporation is So Important

The Illinois Articles of Incorporation serve as the foundation of a business entity, outlining key information such as the name of the corporation, the purpose for which it was formed, the registered agent responsible for accepting legal documents on behalf of the corporation, and the initial incorporators of the business. By formally filing this document with the Illinois Secretary of State, a business is established as a separate legal entity from its owners, offering protection and liability separation for those involved with the company.

As crucial as the Illinois Articles of Incorporation are in the formation of a business, their importance extends far beyond just the initial creation of a company. They provide a roadmap for how the business will be structured, operated, and governed, which helps to set clear expectations for all stakeholders involved with the organization. This clarity helps to ensure transparency and accountability within the corporation, helping to prevent misunderstandings or disputes down the line.

Furthermore, the Illinois Articles of Incorporation also play a key role in establishing the credibility and legitimacy of a business in the eyes of customers, investors, and partners. By formalizing the business entity through this document, a company signals to the world that it is a professional and serious undertaking, committed to following the legal requirements and standards set forth by the state of Illinois. This can help to instill confidence in potential customers and partners, making it easier to build relationships and grow the business in the long run.

In addition to these benefits, the Illinois Articles of Incorporation also offer important protections and advantages to business owners. By establishing the business as a separate legal entity, owners can protect their personal assets from liability related to the business, safeguarding their financial well-being in the event of legal disputes or financial difficulties. This separation also allows for easier transfer of ownership or sale of the business, providing flexibility and opportunities for growth and expansion.

Overall, the Illinois Articles of Incorporation are a critical document for any business looking to establish itself in the state of Illinois. By formalizing the structure and governance of the business, this document provides a solid foundation on which to build and grow a successful company. From protecting personal assets to establishing credibility with customers and partners, the benefits of filing the Illinois Articles of Incorporation cannot be overstated. It is a vital step in the process of starting a business and one that should not be overlooked or taken lightly.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the process of filing Illinois Articles of Incorporation is a crucial step for businesses looking to establish their presence in the state. This legal document serves as the foundation of the company’s structure and outlines essential information, such as the company’s name, purpose, and management team. To ensure a smooth and successful filing process, it is vital for business owners to familiarize themselves with the State of Illinois’s requirements, adhere to the applicable laws and regulations, and provide accurate and complete information in the Articles of Incorporation.

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