What is an Illinois LLC search? It is a vital tool for entrepreneurs and business owners to verify the availability of a full entity, business type, or desired business name, research existing companies, and maintain compliance with state regulations. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the process of conducting an Illinois LLC search and provide tips for effective searching to help you succeed in your business endeavors.
- Understanding Illinois LLC searches and their importance
- How to search for an LLC in the state of Illinois, including searching by business name or file number
- Tips on effective searching, naming requirements, and reserving a name; plus, information on maintaining current LLC info with annual reports and changes
What is an Illinois LLC search?
An Illinois LLC search is a free tool offered by the Illinois Secretary of State that allows users to search for registered business entities, including limited liability companies (LLCs), other limited liability companies, partnerships, and other types of limited liability partnerships, companies and company structures within the state. Entering the desired LLC name in the search tool gives you access to important information about a business entity, like its file number, entity name, and whether it's active or inactive.
The search tool also enables you to obtain specific details about a particular LLC and acquire a certificate of good standing, demonstrating that the company complies with state regulations.
The purpose of the Illinois LLC name search is to determine if other businesses are operating with the same name and address and ascertain whether a company with a similar name could confuse a consumer or violate a trademark.
More key takeaways
- It makes it easier to find information on different types of businesses, including LLCs and corporations
- Easy way to check if a business name is taken
- Lists vital business information like business name, hours of operation, and management info
Why conduct an Illinois LLC search?
Undertaking an Illinois LLC search serves several purposes, such as confirming business details, determining name availability, and studying business types and competitors. In Illinois, businesses can operate under an assumed name, which is distinct from their legal name and filed with the Secretary of State's office.
Conducting an Illinois LLC search can help you identify potential conflicts with existing businesses using similar names, ultimately ensuring your desired new business name is unique and distinguishable from others in the state.
What data does an Illinois LLC search show?
An Illinois LLC search will allow a business owner to view a file detail report on an LLC.
According to the Illinois Secretary of State website, the report reveals the most requested information for the existing business, including the official name, date of formation/registration, jurisdiction, name of registered agent, address of registered office, status (active/inactive), and names and addresses of any managers.
Illinois LLC search shows the most requested information on existing businesses. This includes:
- Official business name
- Date the business was formed/registered
- Jurisdiction of the business
- Name and address of the business' registered agent
- Business status
Performing an Illinois LLC Search
The Illinois Secretary of State's online Illinois name database offers various methods for performing an LLC search, including searching by business name and file number. More detailed information at your disposal simplifies your search and ensures you obtain the exact data you need, whether verifying a desired name's availability or investigating an existing business.
Illinois Secretary of State search for LLCs
In Illinois, the Secretary of State's website has a free, searchable business name and entity database available to the public.
Choose to search for an LLC name with one word below:
- Partial word
- File employer identification number (a nine-digit file number is assigned to Illinois businesses as employer identification number for taxation purposes)
If you discover an LLC with the exact name as the one you submit and are hoping for, you'll need to submit a different LLC name.
Once your business complies, you can purchase a certificate of good standing report. The cost is $25 or $5 for a not-for-profit.
Searching by business name
If you want to search for an Illinois LLC by business name, follow these steps:
- Navigate to the Illinois Secretary of State's Business Entity Search Tool website
- Input the desired LLC name in the search box
- The search results will provide essential information, including the official name, date of formation/registration, jurisdiction, name of registered agent, and registered office address
- Keep in mind that there is a $25 filing fee associated with reserving an Illinois LLC name
Searching by file number
Looking up by file number offers a handy and efficient method to retrieve specific information about an Illinois LLC using the unique ID number given to each business entity. To search an Illinois LLC using its file number, follow these steps:
- Visit the Illinois Secretary of State's Business Entity Search website
- Select "File Number" as the search method
- Enter the LLC's file number
- Obtain information about the LLC
This free method allows you to access all publicly available information on file with the Secretary of State's office.
Tips for effective LLC searching
For a successful Illinois LLC search result, consider different variations of the business type's desired name, alternate spellings, abbreviations, and synonyms. Looking up similar names is important to circumvent potential disagreements and misunderstandings with existing businesses, and the search result, if it confirms your selected name, stands out from others in the state.
To verify the results of your search, utilize the Secretary of State's Corporation/LLC Entity Database, which provides the option to view a File Detail Report on a Corporation/LLC, offering detailed information about the entity.
Forming an LLC in Illinois after your business is in operation
Not all businesses start as corporations or LLCs. Many business owners decide to create a corporation or an LLC and do the name searching as their businesses realize their potential.
"I started my business as a sole proprietor in 2001 and was very happy on my own until I found demand for my business was starting to increase," says Eric Marie, the CEO of Get an Eric, a handyman/contractor company in Chicago.
"I needed contractors and began thinking about hiring full-time. To do this, I needed to form a limited liability company, an LLC."
In Marie's case, he had been in business in Illinois for a long time.
"The search for my company name and its availability as an LLC in Illinois was quite simple," he says.
Originally, Marie decided to register the new business name and type as an LLC. "But after considering the nature of my business ... across borders and state lines, it became clear that it would be best if I paid for an agent, which could cover my business in multiple states," he says.
Illinois LLC naming requirements
When picking a general business license and name for your Illinois LLC, it's vital to understand the state-specific naming prerequisites, which include mandatory designators and forbidden terms. These requirements ensure your general business license and name are unique, easily distinguishable from other entities, and compliant with Illinois state regulations.
In Illinois, LLCs must include "L.L.C." or "LLC" in their legal name, signifying the business's legal structure and differentiating it from other limited liability companies, partnerships, and other entities. The inclusion of mandatory designators is vital for adhering to Illinois laws and rules that govern LLCs.
Specific terms are prohibited in Illinois LLC names, including words that suggest banking or government affiliation and other restricted words. Avoiding forbidden terms when choosing your Illinois LLC name is key to conforming to state rules and averting possible conflicts with other businesses or government agencies.
Reserving your Illinois LLC name
Securing your Illinois LLC name is a vital step to stop other companies from registering it before you can file your LLC formation papers. By submitting a name reservation request form to the Illinois Secretary of State website and paying a $25 fee, you can secure your desired name for a limited period, giving you time to prepare and file your LLC formation documents.
How to reserve a name
To reserve an Illinois limited liability company name, you must submit a name reservation form to the Secretary of State and pay a fee of $25. To file the form, visit the Illinois Secretary of State website and follow the instructions for the Application to Reserve a Name (Form LLC-1.15).
Check, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and ATM/debit cards with the Visa or MasterCard logo can make payment for the fee.
Name reservation duration
A name reservation in Illinois is valid for 90 days, giving you ample time to prepare and file your limited liability company formation documents. Suppose you need to extend the reservation period. In that case, you can renew the name reservation by submitting a new application before the expiration of the existing name reservation within a 60-day window.
How long is the wait for Illinois LLC name approval?
If you have provided all needed detailed legal information, it typically takes ten days to approve articles of organization, says attorney John Wood of Grant Park Legal Advisors in Chicago.
"If you meet the state's requirement, you may also file your articles of organization only and pay an additional $100 for 'expedited' 24-hour service," he says.
Updating and maintaining your Illinois LLC information
Keeping your Illinois LLC information current and complying with state regulations by submitting annual reports and making needed modifications to your LLC name or registered agent is imperative. Regularly updating your LLC information demonstrates to potential business partners and the public that your limited liability company name is in good standing and fulfilling its obligations.
Filing annual reports
An Illinois business must submit annual reports to update their information and sustain good standing with the state. To file an annual report, follow these steps:
- Gather the necessary information
- Complete the annual report form
- Submit the form online or by mail
- Pay the $75 filing fee
Annual reports must be filed by the end of the month before the registration anniversary month.
Changing your LLC name or registered agent
If you want to alter your Illinois LLC name or registered agent, submit the necessary forms to the Secretary of State and pay the relevant fees. If you wish to change your LLC name, you'll need to file an Amendment form and pay a $250 fee, which includes a $150 filing fee and a $100 expedited fee.
For changes in your registered agent, complete and submit a "Statement of Change of Registered Agent and/or Registered Office" form via the Secretary of State's online filings page.
In conclusion, conducting an Illinois LLC valid business name search is essential for entrepreneurs and business owners to verify the availability of their desired business name, research existing companies, and maintain compliance with state regulations. By understanding the purpose and process of Illinois LLC searches, following the steps and methods for performing a valid business name search, and adhering to Illinois LLC naming requirements and procedures, you'll be well-equipped to succeed in your business endeavors and remain in good standing with the state.
Frequently asked questions
How can I look up an LLC in Illinois?
Visit the Illinois Secretary of State's website to look up an LLC in Illinois. Use the Business Entity Search and select "Name" as the Search Method, inputting the business entity type's desired name into the search box. After clicking "Continue," click "Submit" to browse the existing business list.
How do I find the owner of an LLC in Illinois?
Search state databases, submit a public information request, check the company website, and dig into alternative public records to find the owner of an LLC in Illinois.
What is an LLC in Illinois?
In Illinois, an LLC corporation is a business entity or corporation registered with the Secretary of State formed for any lawful purpose.
How long does an Illinois LLC name reservation last?
An Illinois LLC name reservation lasts for 90 days.
What is the fee for filing an annual report for an Illinois LLC?
The fee for filing an annual report for an Illinois LLC is $75, so ensure you have the correct paperwork and payment ready.