If you’re starting a business in Chicago, the process of incorporating is one of the first steps that you need to consider. Incorporating in Chicago involves establishing a legal business structure with the state, and it is essential for startups that want to protect their owners from liability. Here, we’ll provide an overview of the steps to get started with incorporating in the city of Chicago and clarify what you need to consider when doing so.

Incorporating your business can be complex and confusing. Even if you have already looked into the process, it may be wise to consult a lawyer who knows how to navigate the legal landscape. It's also important to note that different states hold different regulations, so if you want an attorney who is well-versed in Chicago’s laws and regulations, you will want to look for a lawyer with local experience.

Incorporating a business will require several steps, with the specifics depending on the structure you decide to use. Here, we’ll provide a basic overview of how to get started with incorporating in Chicago.

Choose a Structure

The first step in the process of incorporating your business is to determine which type of structure is best for your new company. There are numerous potential structures, such as limited liability company (LLC), partnership, sole proprietorship, “C” corporation, and “S” corporation. Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks, and it is important to select the structure that is best for the specific needs of your company. Again, consulting a lawyer may be a wise move, as they will be able to offer invaluable guidance when determining the appropriate structure for your business.

Notarize and Prepare Important Documents

After selecting a structure for your new business, it is time to start prepping and filing documents with the state. This will generally include things like articles of incorporation, name reservations, and business registrations. A lawyer can help you to ensure that all of the documents are prepared correctly and that the items are filed in time.

Obtain Tax IDs

Depending on your chosen business structure, you may need to obtain certain tax IDs. Generally, this will include an employer identification number (EIN) that identifies the business for tax purposes. An accountant or lawyer can help you to ensure that you have the appropriate documentation in place.

Transfer Intellectual Property

If you will be using any intellectual property in your business (such as a logo, slogan, or other related items), it may need to be transferred over to your company when it is officially established. Again, a lawyer can play a valuable role in making sure that these transfers are properly handled.

Get Licensed, Registrations, and Insurance

Finally, depending on the type of business that you are starting, you may need to obtain certain licenses and registrations. An attorney in Chicago can also help you to make sure that you have the appropriate licenses in place, and they can provide guidance regarding the types of insurance you should consider.

Incorporating your business in Chicago can be a complex process that involves numerous details, making it wise to consult legal counsel. Local lawyers in Chicago will be your best bet, as they will have the most knowledge regarding appropriate forms, documents, and filings. They can also help you to navigate the local regulations and ensure that your business is established correctly and that it is in compliance with all of the necessary state laws.


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