April 7

Illinois Registered Agent

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An Illinois Registered Agent or Illinois Registered Agent Service is required by law for every business entity in the state of Illinois. A registered agent is an individual or business entity that will accept legal papers (documents) on your behalf if it is sued. The registered agent or registered agent service must have a physical street address in Illinois and be available during regular business hours.

In my Illinois Registered Agent guide, I’ll walk you through the detailed process of when you should get a registered agent or registered agent service for your Illinois business, how to pick one, if they are required and how to change one if needed. Typically you’re getting a registered agent when you setup your Illinois LLC. Check out my guide on how to setup an Illinois LLC so you can make sure you’re following all the right steps in the process. If you are just looking for the professional service to help you – use Northwest Registered Agent or ZenBusiness.

Best Illinois Registered Agent Service

ZenBusiness will be the best option for setting up a registered agent service in Illinois.  They can also help you with getting your LLC formed so if you’re looking for the best option, check them out today!

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The best Illinois Registered Agent for your Illinois LLC is when you’re using ZenBusiness. That team is at the top of my list for recommendations and always makes it easy to get your business setup. They will operate during normal business hours, accept legal documents on your behalf and because it’s required by law to have a registered agent – you will fulfill what’s needed with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.

You can look to use Northwest Registered Agent but usually you’re going to end up at ZenBusiness because whether you’re getting a domestic LLC, foreign LLC or any other type of Limited Liability Company together – they will help.

I have found that using a registered agent service from a local law firm will fulfill the need of having a registered agent and is an option. If you decide to go that route make sure you’re keeping track of whether it’s the fastest and easiest way to get setup for your LLC formation service.

The last option which I really don’t recommend and we can get into later is acting as your own registered agent. Don’t do it.

What is an Illinois Registered Agent?

A Illinois Registered Agent is not different from that of any other state. Each state has their own laws around this but it is required to have a registered agent for an individual or business entity that will accept legal documents on your behalf. They also need to have an Illinois physical street address and be open during normal business hours.

These are the requirements of a registered agent in Illinois (also called a statutory agent) and you need to be clear about having a registered agent’s address in the state they are operating.

The typical registered agent requirements in the state of Illinois are:

  • The Registered Agent must have a physical street address in the state of Illinois.
  • The Registered Agent must be available during regular business hours.
  • The Registered Agent must accept service of process on behalf of the company.
  • The Registered Agent must be an individual or business entity.
  • The Registered agent can not be the company itself.
  • The Registered Agent can not be a foreign corporation.

Why do I need an Illinois Registered Agent?

The most important reason you need a registered agent is because it’s required by law. Need I say more!? Well – the other reason is that a registered agent service will accept legal papers on your behalf. If you were to act as your own registered agent, you’d have your home address or whatever address you have on file with the Secretary of State’s office as public record.

You want to have a service or company that is going to act on your behalf to be the registered agent that is searchable on the Secretary of State’s search portal here.

If you’re going to be your own registered agent, you’ll need someone at that address during normal business hours so if it’s your home address or an address that is of someone you know – you cannot leave or go on vacation. There should always be someone there which is another reason why using a service like Northwest Registered Agent is the recommendation I always make.

When should I obtain an Illinois Registered Agent?

It’s very important to understand that when you’re setting up an Illinois LLC that whether you’re working towards a domestic LLC, foreign LLC or just a Limited Liability Company that you need to get a resident agent from the beginning.

You’ll need to transact business as you start up your business and if you don’t have a registered agent associated to your business the state may dissolve it and it’s not going to work for you.

You’ll be responsible for making sure that you do this and submit your annual reports that follow the state’s compliance deadlines on an annual basis in Illinois. A registered agent can also help you make sure you stay on top of the renewal of that service with the state so it doesn’t lapse and you end up with a dissolved business entity.

I highly recommend you understand the state fees associated with registered agents and check with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office to do just that. There will be Illinois registered agent services that you could use that are not the national providers so make sure you check that whatever service you use will help you with that.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent In Illinois?

Yes it is possible to technically be your own registered agent like we talked about but I don’t recommend you do that at all. It’s a terrible idea in my opinion for a few reasons. It may seem like the most logical thing to do in the beginning of your business journey but just because you’ll save some short term money doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.

If you’re going to do this, you’re most likely going to end up with official mail or legal papers that your served with at some point. If you do this it will be at the address that is on file – whether that’s your home address or another business address you want to use.

It’s also a challenge because the main requirements of having to always be there during normal business hours and have a physical street address in Illinois will be challenging if you ever wanted to take some time off and go somewhere new.

It’s required by law and if you’re going to try and be your own registered agent – that is one of the main requirements to be at that address during normal business hours.

How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost?

The cost of a registered agent is going to be depend and range on what type of service you do. If you’re going to do it on your own that will be around $0 but lots of time to trade off for that.

If you’re going to use Northwest Registered Agent as you’re forming your LLC, they will include the first year free and I believe the follow on years will be $125 but I’d check with them.

If you go another route, you can get up to $300/year and down to $39-49/year depending on the type of service you go with. Look at all your options or just go with NW Registered Agent.

How Do I Elect A Registered Agent In Illinois?

When you’re ready to go through the process for electing a registered agent in Illinois – it’s not that difficult – you just need to know what to do.

The first thing you’ll need to do is decide the type of business entity you want to be as the service provider.

After you’ve done that you’ll be able to go get the right paperwork and submit it to the right department which is typically the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.

You can go direct to the ilsos.gov site here where you’ll be able to get the appropriate paperwork.

There is a $25 filling fee for domestic or foreign business corporations and $75 if you want to expedite it in 24 hours.

If you want more information directly from them, you can go to this form and email them directly.

How Do I Change My Registered Agent In Illinois?

If you want to change your registered agent with the Illinois Business Services Department, you can go to this page.

It is possible but the guidelines of doing so are:

  • Your domestic or foreign Limited Liability Company needs to be in good standing to make the request
  • A non-expedited service will be reviewed in 10 days while expedited service is within 24 hours
  • Non-expedited charge: $25
  • Expedited Charge: $75

Illinois Registered Agent FAQ

Does Illinois require a registered agent?

Yes, Illinois requires that every LLC designate a registered agent. The registered agent must have a physical address in Illinois and be available during normal business hours to receive service of process on behalf of the LLC.

Does registered agent mean owner?

No, the registered agent is not necessarily the owner of the company. The registered agent is a third party designated by the company to receive service of process and other official correspondence on behalf of the company.

What is a registered agent service?

A registered agent service is a third party designated by the company to receive service of process and other official correspondence on behalf of the company.

Best Registered Agent

The best option for your registered agent service


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