An Illinois LLC search allows individuals to search for and find specific details about particular businesses. They can also obtain a Certificate of Good Standing for the business. People can search using the entity's entire name or just a part of it. While this is the most obvious way to search, individuals can also search using the file number, which is a more exact search, allowing them to go directly to a business's summary page.

Corporation/LLC Search in Illinois

You might conduct a business entity search to get the following information about a company: 

  • Whether it's a legally formed entity 
  • The good-standing status of the company
  • The business address 
  • Registered agent's contact address 

In Illinois, individuals can also use the business entity search tool to perform the following actions for their own LLCs: 

To get detailed information about a specific LLC or corporation in the state, visit the Corp/LLC page at the Illinois Secretary of State website. Here, you can search for any existing corporation or LLC in the state. You'll choose the type of search and search method. You'll also be able to select either or both entity types for a search.

You have the choice to search using the following criteria: 

  • By name, using the exact entity name
  • By keyword, using a part of the entity name
  • By partial word, using the beginning part of any word in the entity name

Input the entity name and click “Submit.” On the next page, you'll see a list of results that match your search contents. You'll see limited details, such as the following: 

  • Company name 
  • Entity type
  • File number

Click the entity name for additional information. The following page has the file detail report, which includes information such as the following:

  • Name of registered agent
  • Address of registered agent
  • Duration date
  • Filing date of the annual report
  • Status 

If this isn't the entity you were searching for, click “Return to the Search Screen” to try a new search. 

Requirements for Naming an LLC in Illinois

To name an LLC in Illinois, you have to follow a few rules and requirements. If you're forming an LLC, you must use the abbreviation “LLC” or “L.L.C.” at the end of your business name. LLC is the abbreviation that's most often used. 

An LLC isn't a corporation, so your LLC name can't include any of the following words or abbreviations that would identify it as such: 

  • Corporation
  • Corp
  • Incorporated
  • Inc 

Your LLC name has to be unique and distinguishable from existing businesses that are registered in the state. The following outlines what makes a business name distinguishable or not.

Different designators — the identifiers found at the end of an entity's name — and grammatical differences don't make a name unique or distinguishable. This includes articles (such as “a” versus “an”), singular versus plural versus possessive forms of a word, and punctuation like periods, hyphens, commas, etc. Numerical differences (“3” versus “three”) and using the ampersand symbol versus the word “and,” are other examples that don't make a business name distinguishable enough to use.

Following are examples of names that aren't distinguishable from each other:

  • Peachtree Farm, LLC versus Peachtree Farms, LLC.
  • Capitol Investment Firm, LLC versus Capital Investment Firm, Inc. 
  • The Copy Shop, Inc. versus Copy Shop, Inc.
  • Bea and Bob, LLC versus Bea & Bob, LLC.
  • Mary Jane & Jay Gallery, LLC versus Mary-Jane-Jay Gallery, Inc.

Search by File Number

You can conduct a search if you have an entity's file number. This is the most convenient way to search because as long as you enter the file number correctly, you'll immediately be directed to the right entity instead of having to scroll through a list of results. You'll be able to get all information that's publicly available on file with the Secretary of State's office.

Because there are different ways to find the information you need about an existing business or to conduct specific actions for your company, having as many details as possible will streamline your search options and make sure you get the exact information you want.

If you need help with an LLC search in Illinois or another state, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.