If you own or are getting ready to start your own business you should highly consider setting your company up as an LLC. When you set up an LLC it allows you to legally keep your personal assets separate from your business assets. Forming an LLC gives you personal liability protection and allows you to more easily segregate your financial assets and financial responsibilities. In most cases you are not personally liable for your LLC’s debts.
The good news is setting up an LLC is a simple process and there are few requirements to get started and maintain your company status. LLC’s also offer a very flexible ownership structure that is easy to understand and follow.
Note: Read my previous post that discusses the differences between a LLC and a C Corporation.
Filing For An LLC In The State Of Illinois
It has never been easier for Illinois residents to file for and become an LLC. As long as you have an internet connection you can file for LLC status right on line. If you do not have an internet connection or just prefer to do things the old fashioned way you can also print out the forms, fill them out and mail them.
Steps To Take When Filing For An LLC In The State Of Illinois
When you are getting ready to file for an LLC in the state of Illinois you will need to do the following:
- Decide on a name for your LLC. Once you have selected a name you will need to make sure that it is not already being used and meets all name requirements. For example, LLC or L.L.C. or the words Limited Liability Company must be included in the company name.
- Next you will need to visit the Illinois Secretary Of State web site. Once on the site you will either need to fill out form LLC – 5.5 and submit it on line or you can print it, fill it out and mail it in to the state.
- When filling out the form you will be asked pertinent information like what is your company’s name, what is the address of the company and more. Keep in mind that your company’s address cannot be a PO box or a c/o address and if you submit your application as such it will be rejected.
- You will be asked to submit your payment right on line while you are applying. Acceptable forms of payment include major credit cards (Visa, Discover, American Express or MasterCard) or an electronic funds transfer. If mailing your application you can also pay via check.
- The cost of forming an LLC in Illinois is just $500.00. When submitting your application on line you will also need to include an additional $100.00 in your total payment to cover an expedited service fee.
- Once you have submitted your application via the internet you will usually hear within 24 hours whether or not your application has been accepted. If you submit your form on a weekend or a holiday you can expect it to take a bit longer to process.
Do I Have To File On My Own Or Can I Get Help?
While most people find the process of applying for an LLC in Illinois pretty simple and straightforward, if you are feeling overwhelmed or unsure of what to do, you do have other options. There are a variety of companies that you can use to file your application for you. Some of the more popular choices are Legal Zoom and Rocket Lawyer.
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How It Works When Using A Company Like Legal Zoom or Rocket Lawyer
If you decide to have someone else do the work for you instead of filing on your own you can usually expect the following:
- You will still need to come up with a company name or a potential name. The company you decide to work with will take it from there and make sure that the name you have selected is a legal name and available.
- It is very easy to work with these companies and an internet connection is all you will need.
- You will be asked to fill out a brief questionnaire so that the company has all of your personal information that is needed for them to file the paperwork for you.
- The company will then do all the leg work for you. They will fill out the required paperwork and submit all of the forms needed.
- The company will collect fees from you to cover the cost of filing and depending on what additional services you opt for, you may be charged additional fees.
- Once the paperwork has gone through and been accepted you will receive your LLC documents.
- Most companies offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
- There are usually other perks for using these companies to file including data bases to help you find a lawyer, access to legal documents you can use, access to accounting software and more.
- You may also be entitled to extra tips and information for starting your company, customized membership certificates and more.
So Should I File On My Own Or Get Help
The question then remains should I file for an LLC on my own or get help. Either way will accomplish the same goal, so really it is a personal preference. Many people find it easier and faster to do it on their own. Especially with the simple on line application this is the option chosen by many.
On the other hand, if you are nervous about filing on your own getting help may ease your mind. It takes the worry away that you might mess up on your application. Additionally, you very often are entitled to other great services when using a company like Rocket Lawyer and going that route may have added benefits that you won’t receive when filing on your own.