To secure and register your brand name it must be unique, not too similar to another registered name, and shouldn’t contain any restricted wording. To check, conduct a Corporate Entity Search through the state and if there are potential trademark issues conduct another quick search using the TESS System through the U.S. Patent Office.
Keep in mind your brand name should contain the words ‘Corporation,’ ‘Company,’ ‘Incorporated,’ or ‘Limited.” Abbreviations for these words are also acceptable. If needed, Illinois will allow you to have it reserved for 90 days by filing a Reservation of Name Application.
Your Illinois Registered Agent is responsible for receiving and helping to handle/process all official documents on behalf of your brand like state filings, tax forms, legal notices and so forth. Here are the qualifications
You can hire an outside professional service and pay up to $160/year, or get a qualified agent free of charge when you incorporate with IncFile or Incorporate.com. They handle this along with so much more depending on the startup package you choose.
To become an officially recognized corporation, you’ll need to file Articles of Incorporation with the secretary of state. This is a declarative document this discloses the basics of your Illinois corporation for the public record including:
Filing fee: $150 plus preliminary payment for franchise tax at a minimum rate of $25
Think of this as the hard copy record book where all critical corporate documents are kept like the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, meeting minutes, stock certificate ledger, stock certificates, stock certificate stubs, stock transfer documents, etc. It’s the ultimate company binder! They’re very common and while not necessary having one is highly recommended for all serious business entities.
Appoint at least 1 director who among other things will oversee the corporation in Illinois until the first shareholder meeting where new directors will be voted in. Prepare an “Incorporator Statement” with complete names and addresses of each director and keep it in your records book. Once elected, an initial meeting should:
Where you choose to bank is no small matter when we’re talking about a corporation. Often startups and solopreneurs just use personal accounts, but that’s not going to fly with a corporation. Instead you and your CFO, if you have appointed one, need to find the best bank or credit union to handle the business banking services you’ll need to grow.
Look at different fee-structures, perks, incentives, and overall costs and savings and think ahead! You could start with a smaller bank for better deals, then switch to a much larger bank when your volume demands it. To get started, check out this quick breakdown of Business Checking Accounts.
To ensure that you will not face penalties, fines, and fees when operating a business, you need to completely fulfill your Illinois business taxes and licenses obligations to the state. To get started, see the resources below:
It’s common to “wing it” during initial bootstrapping phases which tend to be fast and furious. Goals and objectives are immediate and close to home. But as a corporation funding and attracting partners will require something more official and concise.
To be taken seriously when approaching investors, angel funds, banks or VCs you’ll need an executive summary and pitch. You’ll need to show them structured financials and forecasts. You’ll need to have serious marketing methods and other important core fundamentals figured out. Learn more through our free resources below.
From astonishing marketing potential and room for brand expansion, to ecommerce and social selling, business websites aren’t optional anymore. Not as far as we can tell anyway. The issue is if you don’t have an in-house designer you trust, what do you do?
Note that this article on how to form a corporation in Illinois isn’t a legal document or legal advice. It’s for informational purposes and the information above is subject to change. For specific legal questions regarding how to form a corporation in Illinois or business in general, please consult with a lawyer or other accredited professional.