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How do I Incorporate My Business?

Updated: Dec 5, 2022

If you decide that incorporation is the right step for your business, there are certain steps required to create a legal entity in Illinois. And remember, if you are incorporating your business in a state outside of Illinois, be sure to check with your state or speak with an attorney in your state to understand what steps you must take to correctly incorporate your business in that state.

  • You will need to prepare and file formation documents (sometimes called articles of incorporation or articles of organization, depending on the legal entity you choose) with the Illinois Secretary of State. In the formation document, you will generally have to include:

    • the name of the business;

    • the address of the business;

    • the name of the owner(s);

    • the name and address of the registered agent; and

    • if the entity is a C or S corporation, you may also need to identify the numbers of shares (i.e. stock) that the corporation will authorize and issue to its shareholder(s) (i.e. owner(s)).

  • As mentioned above, you will need to identify a registered agent and the registered agent's address. In Illinois, a registered agent must be a person or company in the state of Illinois. If it’s an individual, the registered agent must be 18 years of age or older. The registered agent must be available during business hours to receive legal documents on behalf of the business. In many cases, the business owner and business mailing address may be one and the same as the registered agent. But again, make sure to speak to an attorney to ensure that you are making the correct registered agent designation that complies with Illinois state business laws.

  • Finally, while you’re not required to file this with the Illinois Secretary of State, you should always create an operating agreement for your legal entity. An operating agreement outlines the obligations and decision-making processes of the business and its owner(s). The purpose of the document is to govern the internal operations of the business according to the business owner(s) desires.

Please contact Serna Legal Services at 312-601-9859 or if you’d like to learn more about the process and requirements to legally incorporate your Illinois business. With a lawyer’s help, you can save yourself and your business thousands of dollars due to errors in the incorporation process and you can avoid liability to yourself as a business owner.

This content is published by Serna Legal Services, LLC and is available for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice on any subject matter. By viewing this content, the reader understands there is no attorney-client relationship between the reader and the publisher. The content should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney, and readers are urged to consult their own legal counsel on any specific legal questions concerning a specific situation.

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