The state of Illinois has several statutory schemes for the creation of corporations. Entrepreneurs or aspiring charities can start an Illinois nonprofit corporation and several types of for-profit business corporations. The type of corporation chosen depends on the particular purpose of the business to be incorporated. Once an entrepreneur decides which kind of corporate entity to establish, he then picks a name and obtains incorporation documents from the Illinois Secretary of State. He can then form an Illinois corporation by filing the appropriate documents and fee.
Determine which kind of corporation to form. Of course, a charity, school, church or similar organization may form a nonprofit. Illinois uses the specific term “not-for-profit corporation.” However, the state has several kinds of business corporation structures.
You should first visit the CyberDriveIllinois.com website to find the filing forms for all of these Illinois business types. Click on “Services” and then “Services for Business” and then “Business Services Publications and Forms.” You will then see a list of links that includes not-for-profit corporations and domestic and foreign corporations. When clicking on the latter, you will see “Articles of Incorporation” links for a general, close, medical and professional service corporation.
Click to view the forms and read the “purpose” portion of the various articles to get some additional information about whether these corporate entitities apply to your business. If you are considering a close corporation, you will need to consult with an attorney to determine the difference between a general and close corporate structure and relevant legal requirements.
Choose a corporate name. Look near the top of the form you are using where it asks for your business name. You will see certain words that must appear in your Illinois corporation’s name. Include one of the necessary words when choosing your business name.
Fill out the appropriate articles of incorporation. Keep in mind that you will need to make IRS filings if you are seeking to start a tax-exempt nonprofit in Illinois. Visit the IRS.gov website and run a search for Publication 557 to get more information about how to do this. Read that publication first before submitting your Illinois filing documents.
Prepare the fee. The basic filing fee is $50 for a not-for-profit corporation and $150 for any of the profit corporations. In addition, you must pay a franchise tax of $1.50 per $1000 of paid-in capital represented in Illinois for profit corporations. There is a minimum franchise tax of $25, so the lowest filing fee for profit businesses is $175.
You may pay by certified check, cashier’s check, money order or a check from an Illinois attorney or CPA. Make checks payable to “Secretary of State.”
Make three copies. Send two copies of the articles of incorporation and the filing fee to start your Illinois corporation. Use the following address:
Secretary of State
Department of Business Services
501 S. Second St., Room 350
Springfield, IL 62756
CyberDriveIllinois Secretary of State Website