State Guides

Illinois corporations: How to form and maintain your Illinois corporation

Should you form your corporation in Illinois? We’ve collected the relevant information that will help you make this decision.


  • Largest inland port in Western Hemisphere
  • Inexpensive occupancy costs
  • Qualified workforce
  • Home to one of the top 20 metro areas in US


  • Tax rate of 7.75%
  • Competitive market

Cost of doing business

  • $175 filing fee / $200 annual statement


  • Owners disclosed in original filing

Forming your corporation in Illinois

The name
In order to communicate to the public that your new business is incorporated, its official name will need to end with one of the following signifiers (or a relevant abbreviation): “incorporated”, “Company”, or “corporation.” In addition, it is required that the name of your business is not intentionally misleading to consumers, for any reason. Your company’s new name must also be completely unique, and not deceptively similar to any other organizations name or trademarks. There are also naming restrictions placed on certain financial institutions. Do a FREE name search now.

Board of directors requirements
You will need to form an official board of directors when incorporating in Illinois. Here are the states explicit regulations regarding these directors:

  • Required number of directors
    Illinois corporations must have at least one director listed in their incorporation documents.
  • Age restrictions
    Directors of corporations located in Illinois must be at least 18 years old.
  • Residence restrictions
    There are no residence restrictions imposed on the directors of C corporations in Illinois. However, S corporations are only allowed to have directors located in the United States.
  • What information needs to be included in the Articles of Incorporation?
    Illinois does require the names or addresses of directors to be disclosed in incorporation documents.

Requirements for the Articles of Incorporation

The Articles of Incorporation is a document that must be filed during the incorporation process in every state. Here is the information that must be included in this document when filing in Illinois:

Stock information
Illinois requires the number of initial shares outstanding, and their par value, to be disclosed during the incorporation process. The number of outstanding shares does not affect initial state filing fees.

Officer information
The state of Illinois does not require officer information to be disclosed during the filing process.

Registered agent information
All Illinois corporations must have a registered agent on file, and submit their name and address (which cannot be a PO box). This agent will be required to be accessible during standard business hours, and act as the state’s point of contact with the company. Learn more about registered agents.

Corporate record keeping requirements
Corporations in Illinois are required to keep formal documentation of all major company decisions, financial documents, and shareholder information.

Illinois corporate taxation and fee requirements

There are several tax and fee requirements that must be addressed by corporations in Illinois. They are as follows:

All states have complex taxation requirements. For more information regarding taxes in Illinois it is advised that you visit the state’s official business related website. 

Annual report requirements
Corporations in Illinois are required to pay a franchise tax and file an annual report within two months of the start of their anniversary month. The filing fee is $75, and the tax is calculated as a percentage of the company’s paid-in capital during that fiscal year. Learn more about annual reports.

Tax identification numbers
Illinois requires an EIN (employee identification number) for all corporations that will have employees, and most banks will require one to open accounts. Illinois does require corporations to obtain state tax ID numbers. Learn more about EINs.

Business license requirements

The business licenses and permits required in Illinois vary wildly depending on the county or municipality in which your new corporation is located. If you would like to see more in-depth information on licenses and permits, please feel free to visit the content in our learning library that covers these topics. Learn more about business licenses and permits.

Need an Illinois LLC instead? Click here.

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