Operating a business in the city of Chicago requires you to know the ins and outs of the regulations put in place in order to legally form your entity. Because of the differences between local and federal laws surrounding starting an LLC, understanding the requirements for Chicago-specific LLC formation is paramount. While forming an LLC in Chicago can be tricky, it’s possible to make the process go smoothly with the right knowledge of where to start. Here are the top five things to consider when starting a Chicago LLC.

1. Understand Illinois LLC Requirements

The first step in forming an LLC in Chicago is to understand the relevant requirements. In the state of Illinois, for example, there are a set of steps that must be taken and a variety of documents and forms that must be completed. This necessitates a thorough understanding what an LLC in Illinois looks like in practice and the regulations around it. There is also heightened paperwork required in Chicago for certain types of businesses, with different standards of discussion than smaller enterprises elsewhere in Illinois. Gathering an understanding of the requirements suited to your industry in Chicago should be the first step when beginning the process.

2. Select a Unique Business Name

The second step is to choose a unique name for your business. In the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois generally, there are certain name requirements that must be met, such as avoiding prohibited words like “bank” and having the word “LLC” at the end of the name. Additionally, you will need to be mindful of other businesses with similar or duplicate names, as they could end up infringing on the trademark of your business.

3. Appoint a Registered Agent

As you move forward with the LLC formation process, it’s necessary to appoint a Registered Agent. This is a person or entity responsible for accepting legal notices and documents on behalf of the LLC. These can include subpoenas, documents related to lawsuits and communication from the Illinois Secretary of State. For a Chicago LLC, it’s important to choose a registered agent that has both physical presence in and knowledge of the name requirements for Illinois LLCs — and many of the best positions for this role can be found on UpCounsel.

4. Filing Articles of Organization

Next comes the filing of Articles of Organization. This document is necessary for the creation of an LLC in Chicago, and includes information such as the LLC’s name, contact information, registered agent and members. It is a key document for the formation of an LLC, and it is important to make sure you include all relevant information and follow the rules and regulations put forth by the Illinois Secretary of State.

5. Comply With Local Regulations

Depending on the city you are in, there may be additional steps and regulations to adhere to. Moreover, there are often different regulations in the city of Chicago than those in other areas of the state of Illinois. It is important to research what local regulations you need to comply with, and ensure you are adherent to them in order to legally form your business entity.

When it comes to legally operating a business the city of Chicago, there are a variety of factors and requirements to consider. Knowing and adhering to the necessary steps to form your LLC is paramount. These five considerations are a good place to start – from understanding the legal requirements of an LLC in Illinois to researching local ordinances – to ensure a successful and compliant LLC formation process.


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