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How do you register a business in Illinois?

How do you register a business in Illinois?

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Starting a new business can be a very exciting venture for those involved. The process of setting up a new business can, however, seem complicated to some businesspeople especially when legal filings are required.

There are many choices to make and no shortage of specific processes to complete. Following is a guide to help people understand the basics of how to get a new company registered and operational in Illinois.

As indicated by the United States Small Business Association, one of the most important first steps toward starting a new business involves business owners identifying the structure they wish to operate under. There is no right or wrong choice here and each structure offers its own set of benefits and challenges.

Some of the most common legal business structures from which to choose include:

  • Sole proprietorships
  • Limited liability corporations
  • Limited liability partnerships
  • Limited partnerships
  • Not-for-profit corporations

Most businesses must be registered directly with the state with the exception of sole proprietorships. In the state of Illinois, local counties manage registrations for sole proprietorships operating within their jurisdictions. The county clerk offices generally provide required information for each locale.

Once the business structure is determined, the next step is to select and register the business name. This will ensure that no infringement occurs on existing business names and that no subsequent business can claim that name.

For any partnership, corporation or other business which is not a sole proprietorship, filing with Illinois Revenue is the next required step in the process. If a filing is made electronically, the registration can be complete within two business days and sometimes even only one business day.  If filed on paper by regular mail, the process of completing registration takes between six and eight weeks to finalize.

The state filing to register a business must be done before any employees can be legally hired and before even a single transaction takes place. The registration documentation should always be posted at the location of the business and it is the responsibility of the business owner to ensure the state is notified of any critical updates, such as a change of location.

Getting a new business off the ground in today’s marketplace can involve a myriad of activities. Marketing alone can often take much energy from entrepreneurs, especially with a plethora of online options. Making sure that some of the preliminary steps in setting up a new company are properly handled up front can help give people the time needed to give mindshare to the other functions that will affect a business’ ultimate success.

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