When you form your LLC in Illinois, you’ll have to pay certain costs to officially register your business with the state.
In addition to formation and ongoing costs, there will be business expenses like using a registered agent service, building a website, getting business insurance, and so on. So, how much does an LLC cost in Illinois?
In this guide, we break down the costs associated with forming your LLC, from the Illinois LLC filing fee to LLC upkeep prices and other business expenses.
Cost of Forming an LLC in Illinois
When forming your LLC, there are a few different costs that you may incur. These include the filing fee, LLC formation service cost, operating agreement draft, and registered agent costs.
Illinois LLC Filing Fee
The State of Illinois requires that all new LLCs file the Articles of Organization with the Illinois Secretary of State. The fee for filing this paperwork is $150. You may see this fee referred to as the “filing fee” or “state fee.”
If you decide to have an LLC formation service file the paperwork for you, you will pay their service fee on top of the $150 filing fee. Fees typically start around $29 for their basic filing service. Additional services will increase your total cost.
Most people choose to use an LLC formation service to create their LLC. The cost is low and they guarantee that your filing is done correctly. Check out our #1 rated LLC service:
For more details on the formation process, check out our Illinois LLC Formation guide.
Illinois Registered Agent and Registered Office
Every LLC that conducts business in Illinois is required to appoint a registered agent. Your agent can be an individual or a business entity. They must be available during normal business hours to accept mail on your behalf. Registered agents are important because they are responsible for receiving critical business documents including tax forms, correspondence from the government, and legal documents. Many businesses elect to hire registered agent services, which cost $130 or more annually.
Your registered agent can be:
- A registered agent service (most common)
- Yourself (not recommended)
- Another member of the LLC
- A business attorney
If you haven’t yet formed your LLC, we recommend using Northwest Registered Agent to form, as you will receive one year of registered agent services for free with a $29 formation.
Illinois LLC Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is a formal document that outlines an LLC’s ownership and responsibilities. In Illinois, LLCs are not required to file an operating agreement with the Secretary of State. It is, however, recommended, as they can help prevent or mitigate future conflicts.
Since there’s no state filing requirement, your only cost comes from the drafting of the document. Most single member and simple multi-member LLCs elect to draw up this paperwork themselves.
If you decide to draft the document yourself, using a free operating agreement template or document builder. That takes your total cost to $0.
Optional Illinois LLC Formation Costs
Along with the fees associated with forming an LLC, there are several optional LLC formation costs that you may encounter.
- Reserve a Name for Your LLC – Before you register the name of your new business, you will first need to confirm the name is unique and not already in use. Business name searches are done on the Illinois Secretary of State website. The reservation fee is $25, which is good for 90 days.
- Doing Business As (DBA) Name – If you want to operate your business under a different name than your LLC’s, you will need to file for a DBA (known in Illinois as an assumed name). The filing fees range from $30 to $150 based on the year you apply with the Illinois Secretary of State. If accepted, you will receive a Certificate of Assumed Name, which is good for five years.
- Expedited Illinois LLC Filing – Illinois offers expedited filing of your Articles of Organization for an additional $100 fee per filing.
- Certified Document Copies – To validate that the business information on file with the state is true and correct, you will need to request a certified copy of your paperwork. The fee for requesting a certified copy is $25.
- Certificate of Good Standing– A Certificate of Good Standing serves as verification that your LLC is registered with the state and legally permitted to conduct business in Illinois. Many lenders and banks require this document before doing business with you. The fee for requesting a Certificate of Good Standing is $25.
Illinois LLC Cost and Fees Over Time
There are a few things you need to address to keep your LLC in good standing with the state year after year. Each of these comes with costs and fees.
Annual LLC Fee Illinois
Each year, your Illinois LLC must submit an annual report with the Secretary of State. This report helps the state maintain accurate records of each Illinois business. This information is used by the government for tax purposes. Annual reports are public information that can be accessed by all interested parties.
Your LLC’s annual report is due by the first day of the month the business was created. The filing fee for this report is $75.
Illinois annual reports not filed within 60 days of the due date are assessed a late penalty. The late filing penalty is $100. See our Illinois LLC Annual Report article for a more in-depth overview.
Registered Agent Fee
If you use a professional registered agent service, you will pay their fee annually. Pricing will depend on the service provider that you use, but usually costs around $130/year. Using a registered agent service will save you time and the hassle of handling important legal documents and filings for the long term.
If you act as your own registered agent there are no maintenance fees. However, for privacy and compliance purposes, we don’t recommend being your own registered agent.
We recommend Northwest Registered Agent, which offers a year of its registered agent service for free when you use the company to form your LLC ($29 + state fees).
General Costs of Running a Business
Operating a business will obviously come with more than just LLC costs. These are a few of the expenses that you may run into.
Business Bank Account
An LLC separates your personal assets from your business assets. This separation is called the corporate veil. That corporate veil ensures that if your business is sued or incurs debts, your personal assets will be protected from any liabilities.
Commingling (mixing) your personal bank account with your business can pierce your LLC’s corporate veil, which means you are no longer protected by the separated entity of your LLC.
Using a separate bank account to accept payments and pay business expenses is the only way to prevent commingling funds and piercing the corporate veil.
Recommended article: Check out TRUiC’s Best Small Business Banks guide to find the best bank account for your business.
Business Permits and Licenses
Depending on the type of business you operate, your business may need the proper permits and licenses to legally operate in Illinois.
Alongside the permits required, your business may require industry-specific licenses to operate legally. Examples include licenses like the Illinois real estate license, Illinois insurance license, Illinois adjuster license, and so on.
See TRUiC’s How to Get a Business License in Illinois article for more information.
Every business needs a website. There’s no better way to get in front of your customers, build your brand, and grow your business.
Fortunately, the cost and difficulty of creating a business website have come down over the years. Websites are now simple to build and cheap to keep up.
We advise small business owners to use the GoDaddy Website Builder. It’s an extremely simple to use system, creates great business websites, and only costs about $15/month.
Having the proper insurance coverage can potentially save your entire business if there is a loss, accident, or lawsuit.
A few of the most common business insurance policies include:
- General liability insurance – Protects against claims of personal injury, physical injury, property damage, and more. This is the most common of all business insurance policies. Learn more about general liability insurance.
- Professional Liability Insurance – Protects against claims of inaccurate or negligent work. It’s most common in the “professional” space where businesses offer services or advice to other businesses or consumers. Learn more about professional liability insurance.
- Commercial Workers’ Compensation Insurance – This type of insurance protects your employees from on-the-job injuries or illnesses. This coverage is required if you have one or more employees. Learn more about Workers’ Compensation insurance.
The cost of business insurance varies widely based on business type, size, location, and other factors. Getting a quote is the only way to understand the actual cost of insurance for your LLC.
We recommend NEXT Insurance to help protect and grow your Illinois LLC. It features instant coverage with competitive pricing that’s tailored to fit your business’ needs.
LLC Cost in Illinois FAQ
Do you have to pay ongoing fees for an LLC every year?
All Illinois LLCs must file an annual report with the Illinois Secretary of State. Filing fees are $75 per year.
What’s the cheapest way to form an LLC?
Can you start an Illinois LLC for free?
No. All applicants must pay the state filing fee to start an Illinois LLC. The filing fee is $150.
How much does a registered agent cost?
Do I need to pay a franchise tax for my Illinois LLC?
No. The State of Illinois does not collect a franchise tax from LLCs operating in the state.
How much does an LLC formation service provider cost?
It depends on the LLC formation company you choose. We recommend Northwest Registered Agent, which starts at $29, plus the $150 state fee, and includes the first year of registered agent services for free.