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Top 5 Reasons to Form an LLC in Illinois

Starting a business is an exciting journey, and choosing the right structure is crucial for your success. One popular option is forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Here are the top five reasons why forming an LLC in Illinois can be a great decision for your business.

1. Liability Protection

One of the most significant advantages of an LLC is the liability protection it offers. As a separate legal entity, an LLC protects your personal assets from business debts and liabilities. This means that if your business faces a lawsuit or financial trouble, your personal belongings like your home, car, and personal savings are generally safe. This protection provides peace of mind, allowing you to focus on growing your business.

2. Tax Flexibility

LLCs offer flexible tax options. By default, an LLC is treated as a pass-through entity for tax purposes. This means that the business itself doesn’t pay federal income taxes. Instead, profits and losses pass through to the owners, who report them on their personal tax returns. This avoids the double taxation faced by corporations. Additionally, LLCs can choose to be taxed as a corporation (C-Corp or S-Corp), which can provide further tax benefits depending on your situation.

3. Ease of Formation and Maintenance

Forming an LLC in Illinois is relatively straightforward and involves less paperwork compared to forming a corporation. You need to file the Articles of Organization with the Illinois Secretary of State and pay the necessary filing fee. Once your LLC is formed, maintaining it is also simple. Illinois requires an annual report to keep your LLC in good standing, but the ongoing compliance requirements are generally less burdensome than those for corporations.

4. Flexible Management Structure

LLCs offer a flexible management structure that can be tailored to fit your business needs. You can choose to manage the LLC yourself, involve other members in management, or hire managers who are not members of the LLC. This flexibility allows you to structure your business in a way that works best for you and your team. Additionally, creating an operating agreement can help outline roles, responsibilities, and decision-making processes, preventing future disputes.

5. Enhanced Credibility and Professionalism

Operating your business as an LLC can enhance its credibility and professionalism. Clients, customers, and partners often view an LLC as more legitimate and stable compared to a sole proprietorship or partnership. This can open doors to new opportunities and foster trust in your business relationships. The “LLC” designation after your business name signals to others that you are serious about your business and its legal standing.

Conclusion

Forming an LLC in Illinois offers numerous benefits, from liability protection and tax flexibility to ease of formation and enhanced credibility. By choosing this business structure, you can protect your personal assets, enjoy tax advantages, and run your business with greater flexibility and professionalism. If you’re considering starting a business or restructuring an existing one, an LLC in Illinois might be the perfect fit for your entrepreneurial journey.

Compliance and Maintenance of an LLC in Illinois

Forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Illinois is a great way to protect your personal assets and benefit from a flexible business structure. However, maintaining your LLC in good standing requires ongoing compliance with state regulations. Here’s an easy-to-read guide on what you need to do to keep your Illinois LLC compliant.

Initial Compliance Requirements

  1. Filing Articles of Organization:

    • To form an LLC in Illinois, you must file Articles of Organization (Form LLC-5.5) with the Illinois Secretary of State. This document includes basic information about your LLC, such as its name, address, and the name and address of the registered agent.
    • Filing Fee: The filing fee is $150.
  2. Appointing a Registered Agent:

    • Your LLC must appoint a registered agent in Illinois. The registered agent can be an individual resident or a business entity authorized to do business in Illinois. The registered agent receives legal and official documents on behalf of your LLC.
  3. Creating an Operating Agreement:

    • While not required by the state, it’s highly recommended that your LLC adopt an Operating Agreement. This internal document outlines the management structure, roles of members, and operating procedures. It helps prevent disputes and provides a clear roadmap for the LLC’s operations.

Ongoing Compliance Requirements

  1. Annual Report:

    • Every year, your LLC must file an Annual Report (Form LLC-50.1) with the Illinois Secretary of State to keep the business’s information current.
    • Due Date: The Annual Report is due by the first day of the LLC’s anniversary month.
    • Filing Fee: The filing fee for the Annual Report is $75.
  2. Maintaining a Registered Agent:

    • Ensure your registered agent’s information is always current. If you change your registered agent, you must update this information with the state.
    • Filing Fee for Change of Agent: There is no fee to update the registered agent information.
  3. Business Licenses and Permits:

    • Depending on your business type and location, you may need various local, state, or federal licenses and permits. Ensure you obtain and renew these licenses to comply with regulations and avoid penalties.
  4. State Taxes:

    • Illinois LLCs must comply with state tax obligations, including income taxes, sales taxes (if applicable), and employment taxes (if you have employees).
    • Register with the Illinois Department of Revenue to ensure you are compliant with all necessary tax filings and payments.
  5. Federal Taxes:

    • Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS if your LLC has more than one member or if you plan to hire employees. An EIN is also required if you elect to have your LLC taxed as a corporation.
    • Ensure you file federal tax returns and make timely payments to avoid penalties.
  6. Record Keeping:

    • Maintain accurate and detailed records of your LLC’s financial transactions, meeting minutes, and other significant documents. Proper record-keeping ensures transparency, simplifies tax preparation, and helps in case of audits or legal issues.

Additional Considerations

  1. Self-Employment Taxes:

    • LLC members may be subject to self-employment taxes on their share of the LLC’s profits. Consulting with a tax professional can help you navigate these requirements and optimize your tax situation.
  2. Changes in Business Structure:

    • If your LLC’s structure changes (e.g., adding new members), make sure to update the Operating Agreement and notify the Illinois Secretary of State if required.
  3. Dissolution:

    • If you decide to close your LLC, you must file Articles of Dissolution (Form LLC-35.15) with the Illinois Secretary of State and settle all outstanding debts and obligations.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

  • Penalties and Fines:

    • Failure to comply with Illinois’s requirements can result in penalties, fines, and interest on unpaid taxes. Non-compliance can also lead to the suspension or revocation of your LLC’s good standing.
  • Loss of Liability Protection:

    • Non-compliance can jeopardize the liability protection provided by your LLC, potentially exposing your personal assets to business liabilities.

Steps to Ensure Compliance

  1. Set Reminders:

    • Use a calendar or reminder system to track important deadlines, such as the due date for the Annual Report and tax filing deadlines.
  2. Consult Professionals:

    • Consider hiring a registered agent service to ensure your LLC’s registered agent information is always current.
    • Consult with a tax professional or attorney to help navigate complex compliance requirements and ensure your LLC meets all legal obligations.
  3. Stay Informed:

    • Keep up-to-date with any changes in state laws and regulations that may affect your LLC. Regularly review the Illinois Secretary of State’s website for updates.

Conclusion

Maintaining compliance for your Illinois LLC involves fulfilling several initial and ongoing requirements, such as filing necessary documents, paying taxes, and keeping accurate records. While it may seem like a lot of work, staying compliant protects your LLC’s legal status and allows you to enjoy the benefits of limited liability and flexible tax options. By understanding and adhering to these obligations, you can ensure your business remains in good standing and continues to thrive.

Advantages of Forming an LLC vs. a DBA in Illinois

Starting a business in Illinois involves several important decisions, one of which is choosing the right business structure. Two popular options are forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or operating under a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name. Each has its own set of benefits and considerations. Here’s a simple guide to help you understand the advantages of forming an LLC compared to a DBA in Illinois.

What is a DBA?

A DBA, or “Doing Business As,” allows a sole proprietor or partnership to operate under a different name without creating a separate legal entity.

Key Points about DBA:

  • Simple and inexpensive to set up.
  • The owner reports business income on their personal tax return.
  • No liability protection; the owner’s personal assets are at risk if the business incurs debt or faces legal issues.

What is an LLC?

An LLC, or Limited Liability Company, is a separate legal entity that combines the benefits of a corporation’s liability protection with the flexibility and tax advantages of a partnership.

Key Points about LLC:

  • Provides liability protection; the owner’s personal assets are generally protected from business debts and lawsuits.
  • Offers flexible tax options.
  • Requires more paperwork and fees to set up and maintain compared to a DBA.

Advantages of Forming an LLC

  1. Liability Protection:

    • One of the most significant advantages of an LLC is liability protection. Your personal assets (such as your home and savings) are typically shielded from business liabilities. This means that if your LLC faces a lawsuit or owes debts, your personal belongings are not at risk.
  2. Tax Flexibility:

    • LLCs offer flexible tax options. By default, an LLC is treated as a pass-through entity, meaning profits and losses pass through to the owners’ personal tax returns. However, LLCs can also choose to be taxed as a corporation (C-Corp or S-Corp), which can provide tax benefits depending on your situation.
  3. Credibility and Professionalism:

    • Forming an LLC can enhance your business’s credibility. Clients, suppliers, and investors may view an LLC as more professional and established compared to a sole proprietorship operating under a DBA.
  4. Perpetual Existence:

    • Unlike a sole proprietorship or partnership, which may dissolve upon the owner’s death or withdrawal, an LLC can continue to exist even if ownership changes. This provides stability and continuity for the business.
  5. Deductible Business Expenses:

    • LLCs can deduct ordinary and necessary business expenses, such as salaries, rent, and operational costs, directly from their taxable income. This can reduce the overall tax burden on the business.

Advantages of a DBA

  1. Simplicity and Cost:

    • Setting up a DBA is straightforward and less expensive than forming an LLC. It involves registering your business name with the county clerk’s office, and the fees are relatively low.
  2. Ease of Management:

    • A DBA is simpler to manage in terms of paperwork and compliance requirements. There are no annual reports or state filings required beyond the initial registration.
  3. Flexibility in Business Name:

    • A DBA allows sole proprietors and partnerships to operate under a different name without changing the legal structure of the business. This can be beneficial if you want to market your business under a unique brand.

Illinois-Specific Considerations

  1. State Taxes:

    • Both LLCs and DBAs must comply with Illinois state tax laws. LLC owners report their share of the profits on their personal state tax return, while sole proprietors do the same under a DBA.
  2. Annual Reports for LLCs:

    • Illinois requires LLCs to file an annual report with the Secretary of State and pay a fee. This ensures the LLC remains in good standing with the state.
    • DBAs do not have annual reporting requirements, making them easier to maintain in this aspect.

Conclusion

Choosing between an LLC and a DBA in Illinois depends on your business goals, needs, and risk tolerance. An LLC offers significant advantages in terms of liability protection, tax flexibility, and business credibility, but comes with higher setup and maintenance costs. A DBA is simpler and cheaper to establish but lacks the liability protection and tax benefits of an LLC.

Consider your specific situation and consult with a business advisor or attorney to make the best decision for your business. Whether you choose an LLC or a DBA, understanding the benefits and requirements of each structure will help you make an informed choice and set your business up for success in Illinois.

Tax Advantages of Forming an LLC vs. a DBA in Illinois

When starting a business in Illinois, one crucial decision is choosing the right business structure. Two common options are forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or operating under a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name. Each has distinct tax implications and benefits. Here’s a simple guide to understanding the tax advantages of forming an LLC compared to a DBA in Illinois.

What is a DBA?

A DBA, or “Doing Business As,” allows a sole proprietor or partnership to operate under a different name without creating a separate legal entity.

Key Points about DBA:

  • Simple and inexpensive to set up.
  • The business owner reports income and expenses on their personal tax return.
  • No liability protection; the owner’s personal assets are at risk if the business incurs debt or faces legal issues.

What is an LLC?

An LLC, or Limited Liability Company, is a separate legal entity that combines the benefits of a corporation’s liability protection with the flexibility and tax advantages of a partnership.

Key Points about LLC:

  • Provides liability protection; the owner’s personal assets are generally protected from business debts and lawsuits.
  • Offers flexible tax options.
  • Requires more paperwork and fees to set up and maintain compared to a DBA.

Tax Advantages of an LLC

  1. Pass-Through Taxation:

    • By default, an LLC is treated as a pass-through entity for tax purposes. This means the business itself does not pay federal income taxes. Instead, profits and losses pass through to the owners’ personal tax returns, avoiding double taxation faced by corporations.
  2. Flexible Tax Classification:

    • An LLC can choose its tax classification. It can be taxed as a sole proprietorship (for single-member LLCs), a partnership (for multi-member LLCs), or as a corporation (C-Corp or S-Corp). Electing S-Corp status can offer additional tax benefits, such as reducing self-employment taxes.
  3. Deductible Business Expenses:

    • LLCs can deduct ordinary and necessary business expenses directly from their taxable income, reducing the overall tax burden. This includes costs like salaries, rent, and operational expenses.
  4. Self-Employment Tax Savings:

    • By choosing to be taxed as an S-Corp, LLC owners can potentially reduce self-employment taxes. Only the owner’s salary is subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes, while distributions are not.

Tax Implications of a DBA

  1. Simplified Tax Reporting:

    • A DBA doesn’t change the tax structure of the business. Sole proprietors and partnerships report income and expenses on their personal tax returns using Schedule C. This simplicity is advantageous for small or newly started businesses.
  2. No Additional Tax Benefits:

    • Operating under a DBA doesn’t provide any additional tax benefits beyond those available to sole proprietorships or partnerships. Owners are subject to self-employment taxes on all business profits.

Illinois-Specific Considerations

  1. State Taxes:

    • Both LLCs and DBAs must comply with Illinois state tax laws. LLC owners report their share of the profits on their personal state tax returns, while sole proprietors do the same under a DBA.
  2. Annual Reports for LLCs:

    • Illinois requires LLCs to file an annual report with the Secretary of State and pay a fee. This ensures the LLC remains in good standing with the state.
    • DBAs do not have annual reporting requirements, making them easier to maintain in this aspect.

Conclusion

Choosing between an LLC and a DBA in Illinois depends on your business goals, needs, and risk tolerance. An LLC offers significant tax advantages, such as liability protection, flexible tax classification, and potential self-employment tax savings. However, it comes with higher setup and maintenance costs. A DBA is simpler and cheaper to establish but lacks the liability protection and tax benefits of an LLC.

Consider your specific situation and consult with a business advisor or attorney to make the best decision for your business. Understanding the benefits and requirements of each structure will help you make an informed choice and set your business up for success in Illinois.

The Cheapest Way to Start an LLC in Illinois with AAAFiling

Starting a business in Illinois is an exciting venture, and forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a popular choice for many entrepreneurs. If you’re looking for the cheapest way to start an LLC in Illinois, AAA Filing is here to help. We provide affordable and reliable services to file LLC in Illinois and make the process easy. Here’s how we can help you start LLC in Illinois without spending a fortune.

Why Start an LLC in Illinois?

Illinois is a great place to start a business. Here are some benefits of forming an LLC in Illinois:

  • Limited Liability Protection: Protect your personal assets from business debts and liabilities.
  • Tax Advantages: Enjoy pass-through taxation, meaning business profits are only taxed once on your personal income.
  • Credibility: Enhance your business’s credibility with customers and partners.
  • Flexibility: Benefit from flexible management and ownership structures.

The Cheapest Way to Start an LLC in Illinois

AAAFiling offers the most cost-effective way to form an LLC in Illinois. Here’s how we do it:

1. Competitive Pricing

Our services are designed to be affordable. We offer transparent pricing with no hidden fees, so you know exactly what you’re paying for. Our packages are tailored to meet different needs and budgets, making it easy for you to choose the right one.

2. Easy Online Process

We have simplified the LLC formation process. Our user-friendly online platform allows you to quickly and easily enter your business information. We handle the rest, from preparing your documents to submitting them to the Illinois Secretary of State.

3. Expert Support

Our team of experienced professionals is here to guide you through every step of the process. We ensure that your documents are completed correctly and submitted on time, reducing the risk of delays or rejections.

How to File LLC in Illinois with AAAFiling

Starting your LLC with AAAFiling is straightforward. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Visit Our Website: Go to www.aaafiling.com and navigate to our Illinois LLC formation section.
  2. Choose Your Package: Select a package that fits your needs and budget. We offer a variety of options to make sure you get exactly what you need.
  3. Enter Your Information: Provide the necessary details about your business using our online form. This includes your business name, address, and other required information.
  4. We Handle the Rest: Our team will prepare and submit your documents to the Illinois Secretary of State. We’ll keep you updated throughout the process.
  5. Receive Confirmation: Once your LLC is approved, you’ll receive confirmation and all relevant documents.

Benefits of Using AAAFiling to Start Your LLC in Illinois

  • Save Money: Our affordable packages help you start your LLC without overspending.
  • Save Time: Our efficient process and expert team handle everything for you, so you can focus on your business.
  • Peace of Mind: With our professional support, you can be confident that your LLC formation is handled correctly and promptly.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for the cheapest way to start an LLC in Illinois, AAAFiling is your best choice. We make it easy and affordable to file LLC in Illinois and get your business started. Visit www.aaafiling.com today to learn more and get started on forming your Illinois LLC. Let us help you make your business dreams a reality!

For more information and to begin your LLC formation, visit www.aaafiling.com. Start your LLC in Illinois the easy and affordable way with AAAFiling!

Step-by-Step Guide to Filing an LLC in Illinois

Starting a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Illinois is a great way to protect your personal assets and enjoy the benefits of a flexible business structure. Here’s a simple, step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process of forming an LLC in Illinois.

Step 1: Choose Your LLC Name

  1. Select a Unique Name:

    • Your LLC name must be distinguishable from other business names registered in Illinois. It must include “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C.”
  2. Check Name Availability:

    • Use the Illinois Secretary of State’s online database to ensure your desired name is available.
  3. Reserve Your Name (Optional):

    • If you want to reserve your chosen name before filing, you can submit an Application to Reserve a Name along with a $25 fee. This reserves the name for 90 days.

Step 2: Appoint a Registered Agent

  • Registered Agent Requirement:
    • Every Illinois LLC must appoint a registered agent. This agent can be an individual resident or a business entity authorized to do business in Illinois. The registered agent receives legal and official documents on behalf of your LLC.

Step 3: File the Articles of Organization

  1. Prepare Form LLC-5.5:

    • Complete the Articles of Organization (Form LLC-5.5). This document includes your LLC’s name, address, registered agent information, and management structure (whether your LLC will be managed by members or managers).
  2. Submit the Form:

    • File Form LLC-5.5 with the Illinois Secretary of State. You can file online, by mail, or in person.
    • Filing Fee: The filing fee is $150.

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

  • Draft an Operating Agreement:
    • While not required by the state, an Operating Agreement is highly recommended. This internal document outlines the management structure, roles of members, and operating procedures. It helps prevent disputes and provides a clear roadmap for the LLC’s operations.

Step 5: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

  • Apply for an EIN:
    • An EIN, also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, is required if your LLC has more than one member or if you plan to hire employees. You can obtain an EIN for free from the IRS by applying online.

Step 6: Register for State Taxes

  1. Register with the Illinois Department of Revenue:
    • If your LLC will have employees or collect sales tax, you need to register with the Illinois Department of Revenue. This ensures you are compliant with state tax requirements.

Step 7: Obtain Necessary Business Licenses and Permits

  • Identify Required Permits:
    • Depending on your business type and location, you may need specific local, state, or federal licenses and permits. Check with local government offices and the Illinois Business Portal to determine the necessary permits for your business.

Step 8: File the Annual Report

  • File the Annual Report:
    • Every year, your LLC must file an Annual Report with the Illinois Secretary of State to keep the business’s information current.
    • Due Date: The Annual Report is due by the first day of the LLC’s anniversary month.
    • Filing Fee: The filing fee for the Annual Report is $75.

Conclusion

Filing an LLC in Illinois involves several steps, but breaking it down makes the process manageable. By following this guide, you can ensure that your LLC is properly registered and compliant with state regulations, allowing you to focus on growing your business. If you have any doubts or need assistance, consider consulting with a legal professional like AAAFiling.com to help navigate the process.

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