Eager to turn your great business idea into a reality? Incorporating your business has become a more streamlined process in recent years, but that doesn’t mean you can dive in without doing your research first. Knowing the specifics of incorporating a business in Chicago is key to starting in the right direction.

Regardless of your location, there are certain steps you must take in order to legally incorporate your business. Incorporating your business not only gives you protections from personal liability but also provides tax benefits and credibility. The basic steps you need to incorporate a business, something that can vary by state, include:

1. Choose a business structure:

There are several types of legal business structures available for incorporation, the most common of which are Corporations (C-Corps) and Limited Liability Companies (LLC). Choosing the right type for your business will depend on a variety of factors like liability and regulation.

2. Name your business:

You will need to select a name that complies with the regulations in the state where you plan to incorporate. Additionally, you will find out if your desired name is available by checking with the Illinois Secretary of State to ensure there are no existing businesses with the same name.

3. File your formation documents:

In order to incorporate your business in Illinois, you must submit documents to the Secretary of State to officially register your business. Depending on which business structure you select, this could include filing Articles of Incorporation, a Statement of Intent, or limited company forms.

4. Obtain an EIN:

You will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS in order to hire employees, file business taxes, and open a business bank account.

5. Assign Registered Agent:

You will need to assign a Registered Agent for your business. This is a person or entity designated to receive legal notifications and documents on behalf of your company, as well as handle correspondence with the Secretary of State.

6. Create a corporate book:

Creating a corporate book is essential for every corporation and is recommended for LLCs. A corporate book generally contains vital documents like Articles of Incorporation, Company Bylaws, Corporation Resolutions, and a corporate seal.

7. Comply with State Requirements:

There may be additional requirements for operating your business depending on the type of corporation and industry, so you should check with the Secretary of State’s Office and the Illinois Department of Financial Institutions.

Now that you know the basic steps for incorporating in Illinois, you may have questions about the specifics of compliance. This is where an experienced attorney can make a real difference. When it comes to incorporating in Chicago, it’s important to work with a lawyer who knows the local regulations.

The attorneys on UpCounsel’s network have an average of 14 years of experience, and profile displays of our online attorneys include client ratings and reviews of recent work, so you can make an informed decision about who to work with. Whether you need a one-time consultation or an entire freelance legal department, UpCounsel has you covered.

Having a lawyer help you with the incorporation process is a great way to ensure that your business is legally compliant and to gain the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve gone through the proper procedures. UpCounsel’s attorneys are dedicated to providing the highest quality, and cost-effective legal services, making them the perfect fit for small businesses right up to Fortune 1000 companies.

Now that you’ve learned the basics of incorporating in Illinois and where to turn for legal help, you’re one step closer to getting your business up and running. It may feel like a daunting process, but when you break it down into individual steps and work with the right legal counsel, incorporating your business in Chicago is within your reach.



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