Forming an LLC in Illinois offers excellent liability protection, flexible management, and pass-through taxation benefits.
While you and your LLC shareholders may want to reap these benefits as quickly as possible, knowing how long the SOS takes to review and approve your LLC articles of organization is essential.
Working with our LLC experts and business advisors with over thirteen years of experience in the industry, we've researched the LLC formation in Illinois and the processing times of different registration papers.
Here's what you should anticipate.
- It takes 21 business days to form an LLC in Illinois via mail.
- Online filings for Illinois LLCs are approved within 1 to 2 working days on standard processing.
- The Illinois Secretary of State offers an expedited shipping option for LLC owners at an additional fee of $250.
How Long Does It Take To Form an LLC in Illinois?
It takes 21 business days to form an LLC in Illinois by mail. This is the standard time the Illinois Secretary of State takes to evaluate and approve your articles of organization.
However, if you want to register and have your LLC approved more quickly, you can apply online on the SOS website.
The Illinois Secretary of State also offers an expedited shipping option but at an additional cost on top of the standard filing fee.
Illinois LLC Processing Time
The Illinois Secretary of State offers different processing times for the articles of organization depending on the LLC owner's filing method.
Here are four filing methods offered by the Secretary of State's office in Illinois and their different LLC processing times.
1. Online Filings
LLC owners in Illinois who want to register their business entities online can do so on the MyTaxIllinois website . You can alternatively use the CyberDriveIllinois website, although this has some restrictions to process your LLC.
To use the MyTaxIllinois website, you must create an account on the webpage using your email and password. After you log in, navigate to the 'Register A New Business' Tab.
You'll be directed to the REG-1 form, where you'll fill in your business information, including business type (in this case, select the limited liability company option), legal name, FEIN, and DBA name.
Also, remember to specify whether you're registering a series LLC in Illinois or a standard limited liability company.
Online filing for domestic and foreign LLCs in Illinois is processed within 1 to 2 business days for non-expedited options.
When you file articles of organization online, ensure you have all your information on hand so you don't experience website time-outs.
The SOS has built an automatic time-out security feature that occurs after every 30 minutes of inactivity.
This can be a huge inconvenience because your information will not be saved after the time-out, and you'll have to restart the process again.
Also, avoid filing on Sundays between 3:00 AM and 6:00 AM CST as there is scheduled website maintenance and, as a result, slow response times.
2. Mail Filings
Illinois mail filings are available for domestic and foreign LLC owners who prefer submitting paper forms.
The non-expedited processing for all mail submissions is 21 business days, excluding holidays and weekends. You cannot request expedited shipping via mail; you must visit the office in person.
For paper submissions, you must download Form LLC-5.5 from the Illinois Secretary of State website, fill it out, and print and mail it.
When filling in your articles of organization, you must include your LLC name and address of the principal place of business; P.O. Box alone is unacceptable.
Also, you must give a specific effective date (the day your LLC comes into existence) of your LLC on the form, which shouldn't be more than 60 days from the date of filing.
Remember that all mail LLC filings are sent to the following SOS office address:
Central Registration Division Illinois Department of Revenue
PO BOX 19030
SPRINGFIELD IL 62794-9030
3. In-person Filings
If you decide to hand-deliver your articles of organization, you will personally take the forms to the Department of Revenue's office in Illinois.
Illinois requires you to download the form online, fill it and print it.
In-person filing is a good paper form option because you can request expedited shipping and pay the extra $250 state fees for a 24-hour delivery.
4. Expedited Filings
In Illinois, you can register your LLC and pay for expedited processing to be approved quickly.
The Illinois SOS offers a 24-hour expedited shipping option for an additional $250 state fee. This holds for LLCs and professional corporations in Illinois.
If you're filing your LLC legal documents online and select expedited service, you'll pay $400 ($150 for the articles of organization and $250 for expedited shipping).
See our article on how much does an LLC cost in Illinois.
Steps To Start an LLC in Illinois
Here's a rundown of the steps to register an LLC in Illinois.
- Step 1: Look up an LLC in Illinois, search for its name using the Department of Business Services and select an available LLC name for your Illinois entity.
- Step 2: Hire a professional and authorized Illinois registered agent service to handle legal notices during normal business hours.
- Step 3: Draft and file LLC articles of organization with the Illinois Secretary of State and pay the $150 state filing fee.
- Step 4: Create an LLC operating agreement or hire a law firm attorney to draft it for your Illinois LLC.
- Step 5: Per business law, apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website .
- Step 6: Apply for state and county business licenses and permits to conduct business in the state of Illinois.
- Step 7: Open a separate LLC business bank account for managing your corporate income.
- Step 8: File an Illinois LLC annual report before the end of the month prior to your anniversary month.
What Is the Fastest Way To Get an LLC in Illinois?
The fastest way to get an LLC in Illinois is to file online and pay for expedited shipping.
Much Does It Cost To Expedite an LLC in Illinois?
It costs $250 to expedite an LLC in Illinois. This expedited processing option offers a 24-hour delivery time.
Should You Hire an LLC Service in Illinois?
Establishing an LLC in Illinois can be an uphill task because of the legal paperwork and filing fees that come with it.
This is why we recommend hiring the best LLC formation services in Illinois to handle the complicated filing for you.
While working with professional services will not shorten the processing times, it's a smart choice if you want to file your Illinois LLC correctly and avoid costly mistakes.
These six LLC services rank top regarding service features, affordable pricing, extended customer service hours, and comprehensive compliance.