If you're considering starting a business in Chicago, creating a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is the perfect way for your venture to gain legal structure and protection. An LLC provides multiple distinct advantages including protection from liability, asset protection, and pass-through taxation. As someone looking to start a business in a particular city, it's important to understand the local laws and regulations that govern creating and operating an LLC.

Chicago follows the same laws as the state of Illinois when forming an LLC. In order to be in full compliance with local regulations, the state of Illinois requires LLCs to do several things. This includes registering with the state, appointing a registered agent, filing specific correspondence, and paying associated fees.

1. Registration with the State of Illinois

In order to create your LLC in Chicago, you must first file your Articles of Organization with the Office of the Secretary of State. This filing initiates your LLC's registration and kicks off the process of creating your company.

You may complete this process on the Secretary of State's website or in-person at their office. If you submit your Articles of Organization online, you will be charged a $150 filing fee. Submitting them in-person is free.

2. Appoint a Registered Agent

The state of Illinois requires your LLC to appoint a registered agent, which is somebody you pick to receive service of process (official notices) if your business were to be sued. The registered agent must have a physical street address in Illinois, and it should be a place of business since the notices will be delivered to that address.

Your own business address may not be used if your LLC's headquarters is located outside of the state. You can select any individual or business as a registered agent, as long as they have a physical presence in the state. For Chicago-based LLCs, it's best to choose an in-state registered agent for a smooth and hassle-free service of process.

3. File Correspondence

After your LLC is registered and your registered agent is appointed, you will have to file other important documents with the Secretary of State. These include the Application for Authority, which establishes your LLC's presence in other states and any foreign jurisdictions. You must also submit an IRS Form SS-4 if you wish to apply for a federal tax ID number.

4. Pay Fees

In addition to the initial filing fee of $150, the Illinois Secretary of State has several other fees associated with creating an LLC in Chicago. The fee for filing the Application for Authority is $200. The fee for filing an IRS Form SS-4 is determined by the Internal Revenue Service.

5. Seek Legal Counsel

When forming an LLC in Chicago, it's important to seek the professional help of an experienced local lawyer. UPCounsel has a wide network of experienced attorneys and offers comprehensive legal services for businesses of all sizes. Business lawyers from UpCounsel have an average of 14 years of experience, allowing them to provide high-quality, cost-effective legal counsel tailored for clients in Chicago. Additionally, UpCounsel attorneys have active profiles that display client ratings and reviews for recent work.

Creating an LLC in Chicago is a process that requires diligent research and attentive paperwork filing—but doing it right ensures that your business is running smoothly and is in full compliance with all rules and regulations. With the right legal advice, you can start your venture off on the right foot and confidently provide quality services and products to your local business community.