The LLC or Limited Liability Company business structure is the go-to for small-to-mid-sized businesses in Illinois. The state’s numerous incentives, tax exemptions, tax credits, and simpler rules and regulations for small businesses make this business structure so popular among entrepreneurs. So once you have ensured that LLC is the right business structure for you, you can start an LLC in Illinois by following the steps below:
Find a Business Name
Many entrepreneurs believe that naming a business is no big deal. But the primary step for starting an LLC in Illinois is vital for many reasons. Firstly, your business name will become its identity. Therefore, you must choose a name that reflects your business. The name must also be easy to remember so your audience can recall it as needed. A simple and catchy name can play a significant role in your business’s success.
Moreover, Illinois has certain rules that your business name must comply with. You can find these rules on the Government of Illinois website. It is recommended that you brainstorm more than one name idea since a business name you come up with might have already been taken. Carry out a search to ensure that the name you like is available to register it ASAP with the Illinois Secretary of State.
Get a Business Address
After registering the business name, you must register an address for it. Illinois allows out-of-state business addresses. However, it does not allow P.O. Box addresses as business addresses. While you can provide your home address if you don’t have an office address yet or if you plan to run your small business from home, consider getting a virtual address. A virtual address maintains the privacy of your home address and keeps things running smoothly in case you happen to move to your place of residence.
Name a Registered Agent
A registered agent is a person or entity who deals with business documents and paperwork on behalf of the business and the Illinois Secretary of State. You cannot start an LLC in Illinois without naming an agent.
You can name yourself as your business’s agent, a business partner or manager, or a firm providing these services. The only requirements for the agent from the state include the agent or their representative’s presence during office hours to handle the paperwork and a physical street address in Illinois.
Prepare and File Articles of Organization
The Articles of Organization is a document containing all the essential information about the business requiring registration. The information it requires usually includes the business name, address, purpose, and duration, registered agent name and address, names and addresses of business members, the regulation of business affairs, and the name and signature of the person submitting the form.
The articles of organization can be filed online or through the mail. Illinois requires an annual report on articles of organization from LLCs. This report contains any changes made during the year and their reasons, allowing the state to stay updated on the businesses.
Get a Certificate of Establishment
The Illinois Secretary of state takes up to three weeks to review the articles of organization. Once approved, it mails a certificate of establishment for the LLC through mail to the business address. The process can be expedited to 24 hours through an additional fee.
Though obtaining the certificate of establishment is the last legal step of starting an LLC in Illinois, you need to execute a few more steps before you can practice your business. These steps include opening a bank account and registering your business with Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The latter step allows your business to report and file taxes and obtain an Employee Identification Number or EIN. If you don’t carry out these steps, you will not be able to hire employees and might end up paying a hefty penalty.
Prepare an LLC Operating Agreement
An operating agreement contains business details and the business’s operations and procedures framework. The details include business purpose, articles of organization, liability clauses, business management structure, roles and responsibilities of business members, profit sharing, business members’ financial or otherwise contributions to the business, ownership rights, voting rights, etc. On the other hand, the processes outlined in the operating agreement may include eliminating or adding business members and business dissolution terms.
You don’t need an operating agreement to start an LLC in Illinois. However, getting one can be significantly advantageous for your business. An operating agreement can ensure greater protection for you and your business. In case of a lawsuit against the business, the state considers the framework in the operating agreement to determine the result. Hence, an operating agreement can prove highly useful during unwarranted claims or requests. Check out the standard Illinois LLC operating agreement before drafting one for your business.
Get a Website and Market Your Business
Following the steps mentioned above will bring you to a great place to finally start providing your products or services. But you now have the task of building a website and marketing your business to your audience. Without these steps, your audience cannot know if your business even exists or if it’s worth trusting.
Therefore, you must create a tempting website to appear professional and trustworthy. The steps required to create a website include finding a hosting company, designing a layout, writing copy, adding images, building and publishing the website, and managing it regularly. If it sounds overwhelming, you may want to check out Trady.com.
Trady.com is a website-building service dedicated to trades and home services companies. Not only building a website with Trady.com is fast and cheap, but it also comes with exclusive features such as online bookings and payments. Moreover, you can also enjoy scheduling, follow-ups, invoicing, and reminders with Trady.com. The platform also manages the website, freeing you this responsibility so you focus on what you do best!
Trady.com also provides end-to-end marketing services for businesses. From digital marketing campaigns to adverting on local high-traffic websites and publishing ads in local newspapers and magazines, Trady.com takes care of it all. The holistic services of the platform ensure that your audience discovers your business and becomes your customers. Try Trady.com’s 14-day free trial to find out more.