How to File Articles of Organization for LLC in Illinois: Guide

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Last updated February 17, 2023
Written by Dmytro Kondratiev
Editor, lawyer
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Are you an entrepreneur on the verge of formalizing your business by creating an LLC in Illinois? If so, you’ve chosen the right path from the start. An LLC framework is a perfect match for smaller and bigger enterprises alike. It makes an easy start for a local private venture and will catch up with the dynamic potential of a growing venture.

The best thing about an LLC in a legal plane is that this entity structure sets apart the owner and company assets. It’s a proverbial corporate veil that stands on the guard of the members’ personal property against the enterprise's liabilities. In the meantime, the company operates independently as a legal person with its own rights, powers, responsibilities, and duties.

Registering an LLC is rather a formality. You just need to submit the LLC statute to the state and get it approved by the regulator. There are some specific details pertinent to this process in each state, so here, we’ll consider how to file the Articles of Organization in Illinois. You’ll find out everything you should know to successfully handle the registration on your own.

LLC Organizational Instruments in Illinois

LLC structure and formation requirements are regulated by the state. Hence, the rules toward the foundation documents are also state-specific. If you are a first-time filer and wonder what the Articles or Certificate of Organization in Illinois, an Operating Agreement, and a Certificate of Good Standing mean for an LLC, keep on reading.

What Are the Articles of Organization?

Your LLC’s main document, it’s a kind of passport or a certificate of birth since it brings your enterprise to a legal existence as an entity that will be controlled and managed by you, yet won’t be directly associated with you.

Once registered by the state, an LLC statute activates your limited liability shield that will split your own and company funds and ensure your money and property won’t be used to offset financial problems and unfulfilled commitments of your firm.

The Articles of Organization is a must-have instrument for your Illinois LLC. Unless you file it with the state, your LLC won’t be considered formed. At the same time, this document is quite simple and straightforward. It enlists the basic info about your future enterprise that is to be made a part of public records and appear in business databases and registries.

Is an Operating Agreement a Requirement?

Straight off the reel, unlike an LLC statute, an Operating Agreement is not required by law in the state of Illinois. As such, the instrument needs no filing and state registration and works as an enterprise bylaw. To be enforced, an Agreement should be simply signed by the LLC members.

The major difference between this instrument and the Articles of Organization is in its function. While the statute verifies the entity formation and legitimacy, an Agreement is an internal operational tool used for day-to-day business management.

Yet another characteristic feature of this bylaw is its customizable content. While there are certain standard aspects to be covered, it’s up to you and your LLC partners to decide on the points to be included in this document. The main aim is for the business owners and managers to agree on the key management and operational principles to avoid any disputes and misunderstandings in the future.

Common issues normally stipulated in the Operating Agreement are the company ownership and management structure, member and manager voting rights, regular powers and duties, profit distribution, operating routines, and a dissolution procedure. You can add any other related entries you deem necessary.

An important thing to remember about this internal member agreement is that it has a priority over default laws in court and will enable you to run your enterprise as you want rather than to be governed by generic rules.

What Is a Certificate of Good Standing?

It’s yet another document issued by the state regulator. While the Articles of Organization are submitted to initiate and certify legal entity formation, a Certificate of Good Standing is issued to verify that an already formed enterprise is legitimate and is in full compliance with compulsory requirements set forth by the state.

Usually, this instrument is provided on demand. You might need it when applying for a business loan, opening a supportive credit line for your venture, or getting a foreign qualification for your firm in another state.

Info to Be Included in the Articles of Organization in Illinois

The Articles of Organization is a more or less standard document that has a unified form and content across the states. At the same time, each state might have some specific legal nuances to be considered when executing an LLC statute. Thus, the Articles of Organization in Illinois should cover the following info:

  1. Your LLC legal name: Naming your company is a vital preparation step to take before filing. With an LLC, you can choose any moniker for your company you want. The rule of thumb here is that it should be distinguishable from all other business names already registered in the state. So, before using a prospective company moniker in a statute, you should perform a name search first to make sure the version you’ve set your eyes on is available;
  2. Your LLC principal address: Note that P.O. boxes are not allowed for LLC registration in Illinois. You should use a real street address, be it your home or office. A representative agent address or a virtual office with a physical address is also apt for this purpose;
  3. Your Illinois registered agent info: A representative agent is a law requirement an LLC should observe. In fact, you can’t proceed to file your LLC statute without appointing an agent first. Though this role seems rather formal, it’s a highly important one. Its main function is to receive and process your legal mail and timely inform you about any crucial letters and notifications. As such, the mail-handling rep is a vital element of your entity’s compliance status. In the meantime, the agent rules are not limiting and you are entitled to designate any adult individual or a legal person with a registered physical address in the state. You can do this job by yourself or delegate it to a dedicated service as well. The info to be included in the statute is an agent's full name and address; 
  4. Your LLC effective date: Specify the date when your LLC is to be formed. You can choose between a filing date and any later date within a 60-day period. If you register an LLC in October, November, or December, yet won’t need it during these months, you can move the effective date to January, 1st and significantly save on taxes;
  5. Your Illinois LLC purpose: Since this point is optional, you can either state your business purpose in brief or leave it blank and let a general statement appear in that place;
  6. Your Illinois LLC duration: Under the law, the LLCs are perpetual entities. However, should you establish a firm for a specific purpose or a period of time, you can specify the date on which your LLC is to be dissolved;
  7. Your LLC manager or member data: If you choose a manager-managed LLC structure, state the names and addresses of your enterprise managers. If you reserve the management for the LLC members, enter their data accordingly;
  8. Other provisions: You can stipulate any individual regulations or conditions for your future legal entity if any.

The LLC statute in Illinois should be signed by a single person that is an LLC organizer. If the entity has multiple co-owners, there is no need for all of them to put their signatures.

Filing the Articles of Organization for Your LLC in Illinois

Though an important step to make, filing the Articles of Organization with the state regulator is a quite simple procedure. You are only three steps away from your future entity.

1. Find the Right Form

As we’ve already mentioned, the LLC statute is a no-frills document generic by nature. So, you won’t have to search high and low to find the necessary form. The web abounds in the Illinois Articles of Organization templates, and even ready-made samples of existing company statutes are available. 

The easiest and quickest way to get the right form is to download a pdf template from the Illinois Secretary of State’s website, which is an LLC 5.5 form if you want to submit your documents on paper. Or you could fill out a digital template following the instructions if you choose to file online.

2. Fill Out the Document

The preparation of the Articles of Organization in Illinois is about collecting all the info you should provide in your LLC statutes. So make sure you have the required data before you sit to fill out the document form. Then, it will take you mere minutes to complete a template or an online form.

Want to know the requirements for articles of organization in other states? Select state:

Articles of Organization
Select your state
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

3. Deliver Docs to the State

To file your LLC statute in Illinois, you can either mail it to the regulator’s office or submit an application online.

Surely enough, online filing is much more convenient since it saves you the need to go anywhere. You can do it from anywhere you have access to the Internet. Just enter the LLC formation page on the Illinois Secretary of State’s website, choose a standard or series LLC and follow the instructions to fill out the form.

Online applications are approved within 10 business days and entail a standard filing fee of $150. Should you want to speed up the process, you can go for expedited filing that will be completed within 2 business days and cost you $250.

To file by mail, print out 2 copies of your Articles of Organization and send them to the following address:

Secretary of State

Department of Business Services

Limited Liability Division

501 S 2nd Street, Room 351

Springfield, IL 62756

Paper applications are normally reviewed within 15 workdays and the filing fee is still $150. The original of your approved statute will be forwarded to your registered agent address along with a letter containing the LLC file number.

Can My Articles of Organization Be Declined by the Illinois Secretary of State?

Unless a foundation document is approved by the state regulator, your Illinois LLC can’t be registered. The most common reason why the filing applications are declined by the state office is an improper business name. Other issues that might cause denial include formation document errors, the lack of filing fee payment confirmation, and violation of the statutory requirements and regulations.

Notably, some states require not only a statute form but also an Operating Agreement to register an LLC. And when filing a professional LLC, you should also provide your valid professional licenses.

Illinois Secretary of State Contacts

Address:501 S 2nd Street, Room 351
Springfield, IL 62756
Phone:217-782-6961 (7736 extension for an LLC department)