Steps in Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) Corporation Entity Search

Performing an IL SOS corp search is an important first step in forming a business in the state of Illinois. The Secretary of State Office in Illinois uses the CyberDrive system for searching existing business entities. It is searchable by filing number and name since the database includes all limited liability companies and corporations registered within the state.

The first step is visiting the website of the Illinois Secretary of State, where you'll find the search tool with information about all existing corporations within the state. Use the tool to search by filing number or name. Upon performing a search, you'll get a list of all businesses that match the keywords you input, along with their corresponding filing numbers.

When you get to the page of corporation details, you have reached the end of your search. On this page, you can view all business entity data, such as:

  • Incorporation date
  • Business status
  • Registered agent name and address
  • Officers
  • Directors
  • Managers 

If you want to perform a search to look up LLCs, visit the website of the Illinois Secretary of State and use the CyberDrive system to search by partial word, name, filing number, or keyword. The list of results on the LLC search will include a preview with the file number and name of the entity. 

The Secretary of State's office keeps a number of details on file for every registered business entity, including:

  • Name and address of the registered agent
  • Business status
  • Filing date
  • Type of LLC
  • Filing date of annual reports
  • State of formation
  • Type of management
  • Duration

If the search includes a series, you may be able to see more information in the file detail report, which is visible when you select an LLC.

This file detail report will also include the names and addresses of the business secretary and president if it's a corporation. The report on an LLC will include detail about whether it is managed by managers or members. You can see the file detail report on both LLCs and corporations, as well as request a Certificate of Good Standing on any existing business. Additionally, the website search functionality allows you to perform an early search to determine whether a business name is available since all information is updated in real time.

If the business has satisfied all requirements outlined in the file detail report, an LLC or corporation can buy a Certificate of Good Standing. After you complete the purchase, the Certificate of Good Standing will be immediately available for printing. You can also request a printed copy to be mailed to you on the website, although the fee is $25 and the processing time takes five days or more plus shipping time. If you prefer a digital copy, you will receive the Certificate of Good Standing by email within three minutes. It will arrive as a PDF. 

When you request the Certificate of Good Standing by mail, you can pay an additional $20 fee for expedited service, as well as provide your daytime phone number and business name. Another option is to request the Certificate of Good Standing by fax, although this requires payment of an additional $2 processing fee. If you choose this route, you will need to complete the fax order form with all information normally included on a fax cover sheet, including your daytime phone number. 

You can also purchase the Certificate of Good Standing by phone. When you call in to make your request, the representative will provide a processing timeframe. Have your credit card details and name of the business ready when you call. The final option is purchasing the Certificate of Good Standing in person at the Secretary of State's office. This option requires payment of an additional $20 counter service fee, although it will be processed in an expedited manner. You can often receive the documents within 24 hours.

In order to receive a Certificate of Good Standing for an LLC or corporation, you must pay a $45 fee. For nonprofit organizations, the fee goes down to $16. If you pay by credit card, a 2.35 percent fee will be added and all major credit cards are accepted.

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