How To Fill Out The Illinois Articles of Organization
The Illinois Articles of Organization is the official document filed with the Illinois Secretary of State, Department of Business Services to establish a Limited Liability Company (LLC). After the filing is approved by the state, the business can officially begin to transact business and register for the necessary business licenses and permits.
To file the Illinois Articles of Organization, you will need to submit the completed LLC-5.5 Articles of Organization form to the Illinois Secretary of State. If you are looking to file the Articles of Organization for an Illinois Series LLC, you will want form LLC-5.5(S)
The form can be completed and sent by mail or filed online. In this example, we will show the steps of filling out the Articles of Organization paper form.
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Let’s go over how to fill out the LLC Articles of Organization in Illinois. To get started, download form LLC-5.5 from the Illinois Secretary of State’s website.
Step 1: Pick a Name for the LLC
The first step in filling out the Illinois Operating Agreement is to pick a business name.
There are a few requirements when choosing an LLC name.
1. The name of your LLC must not be too similar to the name of another business entity already registered with the state of Illinois. You can verify name availability by doing an Illinois LLC name search with the Illinois Secretary of State to be sure the LLC name is available.
2. The name of the LLC must include one of the following entity identifiers at the end of the business name:
– Limited Liability Company
Enter the LLC name including the identifier to continue. If you choose a name that is taken, the Secretary of State will return your application.
Step 2: Enter the Principal Place of Business
The address of the principal place of business may be, but is not required to be, the actual place of the business. It can also be the main location where the business records are kept.
A physical address must be used for the principal place of business as P.O. Boxes are not acceptable.
Step 3: Select the LLC’s Effective Date
While you cannot back-date the formation date of your LLC, you can choose to delay the start date of the LLC if you want to have the paperwork finished, but aren’t ready to start the business.
Normal LLC processing in Illinois is usually 3-4 weeks.
Either select the filing date or a date up to 60 days after the filing date.
Step 4: Appoint a Registered Agent
One requirement to have an LLC in Illinois is to appoint an Illinois registered agent. The registered agent is a party that is physically located in the state of Illinois that will receive important notices and service of process (which means to accept papers that start a lawsuit) on behalf of the LLC.
Provided the LLC member lives in the state of Illinois, they may act as the registered agent or the agent can be an adult resident of the state or registered agent service.
Related: Should you be the registered agent?
Step 5: Enter the LLC’s Business Purpose
This section will include a basic overview of what the business does.
It is generally recommended that the business purpose is somewhat generic because if the business significantly changes over time, an amendment is supposed to be made to the Articles of Organization.
Step 6: Elect the Duration of the LLC
Most LLCs will select perpetual as there isn’t a set end date in mind for the business. However, if there is a predetermined date the LLC will close, enter the date here. This is more common for investment-related entities.
Step 7: Include any Additional Provisions
This is an optional section should additional information regarding the regulation of the LLC needs to be included.
Step 8: Enter the Names of LLC Members and Managers
This section is looking for the names and addresses of managers and/or members with the authority of manager.
Include the name of at least one person in this section
Step 9: Organizer’s Signature
The Organizer is someone who is involved with the LLC formation. The Organizer may or may not be a member, such as a mentor, attorney, or accountant, but any of the initial member(s) could be listed as an organizer.
If the organizer agrees to the terms, they will sign and provide their contact information, along with sending the state filing fee.
Related: Who can be an LLC Organizer?
You’ve filed your Illinois LLC Articles of Organization! Now what?
After the LLC is officially filed with the Illinois Secretary of State, there are a few additional things to follow up on. Below is a list of some of the tasks to consider.
Prepare an Illinois LLC Operating Agreement
The operating agreement is an internal document that covers items like ownership rights, profit and loss distribution, member responsibilities, and more.
Illinois Business Statute Section 805 ILCS 180 states that an LLC Operating Agreement is optional. Despite the Operating Agreement not being required, it is recommended to have one as it can help to prevent disputes among members and protect the LLC’s legal status.
Obtain an EIN
The EIN or Employer Identification Number (also called a Federal Employer Identification Number or FEIN) is a unique 9-digit tax identification number that is assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The EIN will be needed before filing business tax returns, opening a bank account, hiring employees, registering for business licenses and permits, and more.
Related: How to Apply for an EIN