Disclosure: We earn a commission from some partner links. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations.
Looking for a business opportunity in Illinois? Congratulations, you've made a great choice! The economic appeal of the Land of Lincoln can't be overstated. Illinois is regularly ranked in the top 5 states by both Gross Domestic Product and Gross State Product. Some of the largest US companies chose to be incorporated or build their headquarters here, including Boeing, State Farm, John Deere, McDonald's, Kraft Heinz, and Caterpillar among others. Thus, your Illinois-based LLC or corporation will be in a good company.
A registered agent (aka statutory agent, or agent for service of process) is a person or business that acts as a middleman between your organization and the state. Its primary responsibility is receiving letters, notices, lawsuits, and other mail sent to you by the Illinois government and legal institutions. A registered agent in Illinois is required to be at least 18 years old and be a state resident, or in other words, have a physical IL address. It also must be present at the location during business hours to accept and sign the delivery papers.
How to Appoint a Registered Agent for LLC in Illinois?
The procedure is very simple. First, you decide who is going to represent your LLC. It can be one of your employees, another individual, or a third-party service (however, you cannot choose your own company to act as an agent for itself). Then you file a consent form with the Illinois Secretary of State, and that’s it. You’ve got yourself a registered agent!
Surely, it sounds easy, and can be done by one person, but, as we’ve mentioned above, it’s just one of the many steps toward a fully-functioning LLC. To spare yourself from unnecessary hassle, it would be a better idea to hire a professional provider and order one of their formation packages. Besides handling the red tape, they’ll cover all aspects of setting up the company, and they’ll even hook you up with some extra goodies.
There is a catch, however: we’re looking at dozens of companies that provide business formation services in the state of Illinois. Which one of them is going to give you the best treatment without ripping your wallet? It’s time to find out!
Registered Agent in Illinois: Best Local Providers
Although there are plenty of large companies that can act as your registered agent in all 50 states, we will not go that way just yet. Instead, we’re going to have a look at some Illinois-based services which are more acquainted with local laws and thus, have a bit of an advantage over the top dogs.
Order Processing Time
Top Registered Agent in Chicago, Illinois: G & G Law
As the biggest city in Illinois and the third biggest in the USA in terms of population, Chicago is a highly attractive place for small and large businesses alike. According to Wikipedia, the Chicago metropolitan area was ranked the country’s top spot for corporate relocations for six years in a row.
If you want to join the likes of Boeing, Sears, Motorola, McDonald's, or United Airlines, and start your business in Chicago, we’ve got a nice little firm that can help you with that.
G & G Law is a small company with fewer than a dozen employees “focused on providing the best legal services” to its clients. G & G can also handle the formation of your LLC or S-Corp, and it can be your registered agent. The founder of the company, Michelle Green, is a jack-of-all-trades herself as she’s both a lawyer and a proud owner of two businesses.
G & G Law Pros
Here are some of the company’s advantages:
Customer Service. G & G Law use a customer-first approach, which is apparent from their corporate slogan, “First, we listen.” Online reviews only help cement the company’s reputation as a personalized and down-to-earth service. Former clients emphasize the professionalism and great communicative skills of G & G’s representatives who were able to answer even the trickiest of questions;
Processing Time. Not only are people at G & G Law friendly and informative, but they also work fast. Their website guarantees a same-day response to everyone which is something many big services fail to do due to their size;
Legal Help. Since G & G is a law firm first and foremost, you can always count on getting quality legal assistance on top of registered agent and business formation services. The company covers intellectual property, all kinds of agreements, employment issues, and business acquisitions.
G & G Law Cons
As for their drawbacks:
High Price. G & G Law charges $650 for a single-member LLC and $1,950 for a multi-member LLC which is way above the average asking price of most national providers. Additionally, we could not find the registered agent fee, but we expect it to be expensive as well;
Brand Recognition. All local services share one common problem: they get lost in Google search behind more prominent companies with national reach. G & G is no exception. To make things worse, there’s a real estate attorney also called G & G Law that is located in Brookfield, Connecticut. It’s nearly impossible to find Michelle’s team online unless you know exactly what you’re looking for.
G & G Law Contact Information
Address: 4619 N Ravenswood Suite 205A, Chicago, IL 60640
Phone: (773) 609-3487
Despite being a bit expensive for our taste, G & G Law excels at providing professional legal help and formation services to Chicago residents. What sets this provider apart is its amazing customer support and unparalleled awareness of the state laws.
Chicago Honorable Mentions
My Business Advocate;
Reda Ciprian Magnone LLC;
Advanced Corporate Agent Services.
Top Registered Agent in Springfield, Illinois: Illinois Registered Office
We’re moving on to the state capital, Springfield. The city is mostly associated with the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, who spent over 20 years in Springfield practicing law, and later was buried there. The majority of jobs in the Illinois capital come from the state itself, as well as from medical and educational institutions. Small businesses also feel at home there, and you can become one of them.
Whether you decide to form an LLC or a corporation or just need a resident agent in Springfield, you can use the assistance from Illinois Registered Office. The company offers a few interesting features that are worth checking out.
Illinois Registered Office Pros
The main advantages of the company are:
Great Pricing. IRO is ready to become your agent for just $49 per year, and that’s one of the cheapest price tags you can find not only in Illinois but in the entire country. Starting an LLC is going to cost you $303 which includes a free operating agreement, 12 months of registered service, and lifetime support. But the most impressive fact is that the price is already finalized, so there are no extra fees or upsells anywhere;
Online Dashboard. Upon reception, Illinois Registered Office immediately scans your mail and uploads it to your profile. If you have any questions, you can directly ask one of IRO’s knowledgeable employees or use a convenient online guide that contains tons of relevant information;
Exclusive Address. The company’s office is located just a couple of blocks away from the Illinois Secretary of State. Instead of filing your Illinois Articles of Organization online or by mail, an IRO staff member literally walks down the street and submits the documents in person. Let’s agree that it’s not only cool but also extremely efficient.
Illinois Registered Office Cons
And here are some disadvantages that we cannot but mention:
One-trick Pony. IRO only provides basic business formation and agent services, which is both a good and bad thing. On the one hand, everything is transparent and you get what you see. On the other hand, if you need to register a DBA, for example, you have to look elsewhere;
Cancel Policy. We’ve found a couple of negative reviews on the Internet that complained about being unable to cancel a certain service and get a refund after the order had already been accepted. IRO offers no money back for the termination of registered agent services too, so you’d better do it right before your annual subscription is expired. Any correspondence that the company receives after you cut the ties can only be viewed and forwarded for an additional fee.
Illinois Registered Office Contact Information
Address: 2501 Chatham Rd Suite R, Springfield, IL 62704
Phone: (312) 442-0270
Illinois Registered Office is a great choice for a Springfield address. It’s cheap, it’s honest, and it does exactly what it promises, which is a rare thing these days.
Springfield Honorable Mentions
Registered Agent Solutions Inc;
SPI Corporate Solutions.
Top Registered Agent in Naperville, Illinois: Parcorp Services Ltd
Naperville is the third-largest city in The Prairie State with decent business opportunities thanks to its rapid growth in the 1990s. In 2018, Naperville was ranked among the 25 best American cities for small businesses.
Parcorp Services Ltd fills the city’s void in the statutory agent and incorporation departments. Let’s see what they’re all about.
Parcorp Services Pros
Complete Package. It’s hard to find a better-equipped registered agent offer than one by Parcorp. You get free forwarding of all federal and legal documents, corporate tax filing, mail tracking, online compliance manager, assistance with other state requirements, and much more;
National and International Coverage. Although it’s based in Naperville, Parcorp operates in all 50 states and a number of countries outside North America. So, opening a foreign entity or a US subsidiary will not be a problem if you ever decide to expand.
Parcorp Services Cons
Cost. The annual agent fee charged by Parcorp is $189. Yes, there are discounts available for multi-state services, but many companies can represent your business for less than 100 dollars;
Lack of Online Presence. Besides an old-looking website and an email address, Parcorp has a dead Twitter page and a broken Facebook link. Staying competitive with so few means of communication can be problematic.
Overall, Parcorp Services Ltd has lots of experience and useful features to be considered as your Naperville agent of choice.
Naperville Honorable Mentions
Collander Law Offices
Top Registered Agent in Illinois: Honorable Mentions from Other Cities
Alliance Corporate Solutions (Manhattan, IL);
Illinois Registered Agent (Monee, IL);
Sosin, Arnold & Schoenbeck Ltd (Orland Park, IL);
Reda & Des Jardins (Lake Forest, IL).
Registered Agent in Illinois: Best National Providers
It’s time to increase the scale and look at some real trendsetters of the business formation industry. These are the companies that operate on the national level, kickstarting new enterprises in every corner of the USA (and sometimes even beyond). They offer years of experience along with a well-tuned network of services that cover all the bases in starting any kind of legal entity.
Top National Registered Agent: LegalZoom
As we’ve seen earlier, the Illinois agent market is dominated by law firms, so it will be a good idea to compare them with one of the best legal services in the country. LegalZoom is a household name in this area for a good reason. The company from Glendale, California has been solving legal puzzles and growing new businesses since 2001, always being lauded for its professionalism and dedication.
Here are the main advantages of this company:
Amazing Track Record. Over 2 million successfully formed businesses, over 3 million estate planning documents, and almost 700,000 legal consultations – the numbers speak for themselves. LegalZoom is arguably the most accomplished provider on our list by a wide margin;
Legal 101. LZ employs a super-team of professional lawyers and attorneys that can handle any legal issue you throw at them: real estate assistance, trademarks, patents, reviews, last wills & testaments – you name it. They’re as good with Illinois’s laws as with any other state’s which is a big plus for business formation;
Good Client Support. Apart from having extensive knowledge, LegalZoom’s employees get an extra point for being available all week long – yes, even on weekends! The company utilizes built-in live chats and social media, as well as more traditional means like email and phone.
Still, we have to mention their drawbacks:
Huge Receipt. At $299/year in agent fees, LegalZoom will be too much for most small businesses to afford. The identity theft protection and unlimited online storage are nice touches, but even they can’t justify the enormous price tag. Now, you may think you can cheat your way out and order full company incorporation hoping to get a registered agent for free for at least 6 months, as most other providers do, but not in this case. Unfortunately, LegalZoom does not include agent services in any of its packages, so it’s either 300 dollars or bust;
Slow Turnaround. LegalZoom is notorious for its sluggish approach to filing the documents with the state. By choosing their cheapest formation plan, you’ll have to wait for up to 30 days before your company gets registered with the state. But even if you do pay more, it’s still not going to be as fast as some of LZ’s rivals.
LegalZoom Contact Information
Address: 101 North Brand Boulevard, Suite 1100, Glendale, CA 91203
Phone: (888) 379-0854
LegalZoom is not a provider for everyone. It’s too expensive and slow for most people’s liking, but LZ makes up for it with its reliability, resourcefulness, and brand power.
Top National Registered Agent: ZenBusiness
Next, we have ZenBusiness, a relatively young but very ambitious business formation company from Austin, Texas. It’s one of the first names that appear on Google when you search for registered agents or incorporation help. Zen seems to do well with the latter, but is it as good with the former? Let’s check it out!
So, what are the advantages of this company? They are:
Unparalleled Value. ZenBusiness is the king of basic LLC and Corp plans. You can get all your papers done and filed with the state of Illinois for a measly $49. The Starter package also includes a free operating agreement and an entire year of agent services. It doesn’t get any better than this;
Customer Feedback. Despite being in the game for less than 10 years, Zen’s reputation has been off the charts. The customers have spoken by leaving close to 7,000 online reviews, which are all overwhelmingly positive;
Guaranteed Money Back. A 60-day refund policy is a great way to earn the trust of your clients by letting them have a taste of your services and decide whether they are up to snuff. For a small business that counts every cent, this is a welcome feature.
Like any other company, Zen isn’t perfect. Here are several drawbacks:
Questionable and Overpriced Add-Ons. ZenBusiness lives and dies by its well-tailored formation plans that sell like hotcakes. However, the company stumbles a bit when it comes to additional features, with registered agent services being one of them. A standalone agent feature costs $99 per year (annual compliance not included), and if you need customized notifications, expect to pay 50 dollars on top of that;
Lack of Experience. For a company that was founded in 2015, it’s incredible to see over a million successful deals that ZenBusiness has managed to complete by now. Quite a few people may question the legitimacy of them all and, as a result, go with more experienced albeit expensive providers.
ZenBusiness Contact Information
Address: 5511 Parkcrest Dr., Suite 103. Austin, TX 78731
There is a lot to like about ZenBusiness. The prices are attractive, and the features are plentiful, but they’re better consumed in one package-sized piece. Getting just a registered agent service alone without a full formation plan seems like a waste.
Top National Registered Agent: Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest is one of the very few providers on this list that has built its business around registered agent services, and honestly, NW sets the bar quite high. Are they as good as advertised for your Illinois-based company? Let’s find out!
Northwest Registered Agent Pros
Customer Service. Perhaps, building long-term trustworthy relationships with its clients is Northwest’s strongest suit. Every employee you’re ever going to speak to on the phone or in an online chat oozes professionalism and friendliness. Whatever question you might have, Northwest staff always seem to have the answer;
Mail Forwarding. Apart from standard processing of federal and legal correspondence, you can also get 5 regular documents scanned for free. For an extra $20 per month, Northwest will remove all limitations and manage all deliveries on your behalf. Paired with the company’s Privacy by Default system, you can be sure your information stays protected at all times;
Fast & Reliable. Northwest Registered Agent uses a simple yet effective mail-processing algorithm. They receive correspondence, open it, scan it, and upload it to your account – all within one day. The same goes for your LLC’s Articles of Organization, which are getting prepared and filed in less than 24 hours;
Online Resources. If you’re one of those people who like to sort everything out themselves, Northwest has an entire online library dedicated to business formation and other related topics. Knowledge is always valuable, especially when it’s free and coming from real experts.
Northwest Registered Agent Cons
Middle-of-the-pack Fees. $125/year for an Illinois address is a fairly decent deal, although there are much cheaper alternatives out there. Forming an LLC is also going to cost you a few dollars more than in some other places but the overall value is still pretty good.
Northwest Registered Agent Contact Information
Address: 522 W. Riverside Ave. Suite N, Spokane, WA 99201
Northwest Registered Agent beats its opponents with meticulous customer care and a great cost-to-value ratio. It’s a top-3 choice for agent services not only in Illinois but in every other state.
Top National Registered Agent: Honorable Mentions
Benefits of Using an Illinois Registered Agent Service
There are several benefits of getting a registered agent:
You can switch office locations without changing the legal address;
You may choose not to have a physical office at all and work from home/co-working hub;
Your business has more privacy;
Your company can have a free working schedule;
You can focus your attention on things that matter.
You will never miss an important document or a lawsuit.
The last point is key here. If someone sues your company and you fail to appear in court to defend yourself, it may spell disaster. This is the reason why registered agents are required by business laws in all US states, including Illinois.
Best Registered Agent Review: How Do We Choose?
We pride ourselves on delivering you the most complete guide on the Internet and helping you make the best investment of your time and money.
Why You Can Trust Our Choice
We always select our top picks with the help of facts, not assumptions. What you see is our honest opinion based on personal experience. If we don’t like something about any particular platform, it’s going to be reflected in the overall rating.
How We Selected the Best Registered Agent
We stack up the most popular and highest-rated business formation companies and registered agents by evaluating them in three categories:
When searching for the best registered agent in Illinois, you have to consider several factors:
Experience and track record;
Customer support quality.
Small domestic services offer a more personalized approach and a good understanding of business mechanics in their hometown. In the opposite corner, we have large companies with hundreds of staff members, customized formation options, and nearly unlimited resources. Some are cheaper, others are super-expensive, but at the end of the day, each service brings something unique and worthwhile to the table.
There is no wrong answer here, so it’s up to you to weigh every option and make a choice that will most benefit your business in the long run.
How can I change my registered agent in Illinois?
In order to change your registered agent at any time, you need to file a special Certificate of Change of Agent with the Illinois Secretary of State Division of Corporations.
Can I be my own registered agent in Illinois?
Yes, any Illinois resident over 18 years old or a business with a physical Illinois address can become a registered agent. However, your company can’t serve as an agent for itself.
How to find a registered agent in Illinois?
Perform an online search for “Illinois registered agent” or “best registered agent in Illinois”.
Do I need a registered agent in Illinois?
Yes, every company incorporated in Illinois is required by law to have a physical location in the state available during standard business hours in order to receive federal and legal correspondence and notify the owners about it.