How To Start A Successful Business in Illinois
The Elements of a Name
The state of Illinois has several restrictions when it comes to the name of your corporation. They are as follows:
- The name chosen must be distinguishable from any other on record with the Secretary of State
- The name must contain one of the following words (or an abbreviated version): Corporation (Corp), Incorporated (Inc.), Company (Co), Limited (Ltd.)
- The name can NOT include any words or phrases that may indicate the purpose of the company is banking, assurance, insurance, or fiduciary
- The name can only contain letters in the English alphabet, Roman numerals, and/or those symbols that the Department of Business Services can reproduce
- Unless an assumed name is adopted, the name chosen and registered is the name that the corporation must use when transacting business
The chosen name can be checked against the Department of Business Services records for availability. This check can be done online, over the phone or in writing. If the desired name is available, you may file a name reservation form to reserve said name for 90 days.
The Legal Stuff
In order to be legally recognized as a corporation, you must file an Article of Incorporation form with the Secretary of State. This form includes lists the name and address of the corporation, the purpose of the corporation, the registered agent (who accepts legal papers on the corporations behalf should they be involved in a lawsuit), and the authorized number of shares.
The form also covers optional provisions such as: First Board of Directors, Allocation factors, and regulating the affairs of the corporation. These optional provisions may also be set up in the corporation bylaws. Details on the Articles of Incorporation, and how to fill it out and file can be found here.
All corporations operating in the state of Illinois must also file an annual report with the Secretary of State. This report can be filed online or through the mail, but MUST be filed by the company’s anniversary date.
Fun with the IRS
All corporations must obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) by filling out and filing form SS-4 with the IRS.
All shareholders of an S-Corp must agree in writing to be formed this way by signing Form 2553: Election By a Small Business Corporation.