Start Your C-Corp in Illinois with Inc Authority

With 30+ years in the game and over 250k customers under its belt, our partner, Inc Authority, is amongst the most reliable business formation services. Start your Illinois C-Corp for free

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Free Registered Agent Services

Free Registered Agent services for one year for both paid and free incorporation plans

Free business formation services, name search, tax advisory, and funding analysis

INC Care support with experienced staff to answer your questions through email or phone

Things to Know Before Starting a C-Corp in Illinois

Deciding on a structure for your business entity can be an uphill task. Most people who want to build their businesses into large Corporations choose a C-Corp in Illinois due to its formal structure, liability protection, and the ability to raise capital.

However, before you start your C-Corp in Illinois, here are some important things to take note of. 

  • If you’re starting a professional C-Corp in Illinois you’ll need to pay an extra filing fee of $50 on top of the $100 registration fee.
  • C-Corps are obligated to pay Illinois corporate taxes at a rate of 9.5% as well as a 4.95% individual tax rate. 
  • Illinois has a state sales tax rate of 6.25% and additional rates depending on your county. These are, however, capped at 4.75%.
  • Besides registration fees, the Illinois Secretary of State requires a minimum initial franchise tax payment of $1.50 per $1,000 in paid-in capital.


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1 Year Registered Agent

Choose a Name for Your Business

The name you choose for your C-Corporation must be distinct from any other companies in Illinois. It should also contain the word “Corporation,” “Company,” “Incorporated,” “Limited,” or abbreviations of each. 

You should conduct a business name search to find out if your name is unique or not.

You can do so using the Business Services name database on your state website, or you can have Inc Authority provide the service for free. You can also reserve your name with the Illinois Secretary of State for 90 days at an extra fee of $25.

Choose a Name for Your Business
Appoint an Illinois Registered Agent

Appoint an Illinois Registered Agent

You’ll need to appoint a Registered Agent to receive official notices on behalf of your Corporation. A Registered Agent may be an Illinois resident or a domestic or foreign organization that’s authorized to conduct business in Illinois.

If your Registered Agent is a C-Corporation, its corporate bylaws need to stipulate that it can take on agent roles. Your Registered Agent must also agree to receive any legal documentation on your behalf. 

Select Your Incorporator

An incorporator is a person or entity that officially signs and fills out your Illinois C-Corp’s Articles of Incorporation. They also get to appoint your initial corporate directors. They will need to include their names and addresses in your Articles of Incorporation.

Your incorporator can be an individual or a C-Corporation. They do not have to be a director, corporate officer, or employee of your C-Corporation.

Select Your Incorporator
File your Articles of Incorporation

File your Articles of Incorporation

To form your C-Corp in Illinois, you need to file Articles of Incorporation with the Department of Business Services. You can do so online or send it by mail. This costs $150 plus $4 for online processing.

You can also get expedited formation services for $250 if you want your documents to be processed in 24 hours. 

Your Articles of Incorporation should contain your business name, Registered Agent details, share structure, member details, and more.

Prepare Your C-Corp Bylaws

Corporate bylaws are an internal rule book that set the tone for how your business will be operated. These bylaws include items such as shareholder responsibility and profit sharing. The state of Illinois does not require your C-Corp to have them, but it’s important that you do so.

Corporate bylaws help improve your business’s credibility in the eyes of your banks, creditors, and the IRS. With Inc Authority’s premium plans, you can get samples of corporate bylaws to help get you started.

Prepare Your C-Corp Bylaws
State your Corporation_s Purpose

State your Corporation's Purpose

Businesses in Illinois need to include the purpose of their C-Corp in the Articles of Incorporation. For the most part, you can just state a general purpose for your business. This way, you can always expand your Corporation to venture into other fields and industries.

This is, however, different for professional C-Corporations, like medicine. For these, you’ll need to state your specific purpose. That said, professional businesses in Illinois are not eligible for online incorporation.

Authorize Company Shares

When filing your Articles of Incorporation, one of the key decisions you’ll need to make is to decide how shares are going to be structured in your Corporation. These decisions include class and series of shares and the number of shares that can be issued.

When authorizing company shares, you’ll specify the rights that come with each class, e.g. voting rights. You’ll also state any preferences, conditions, restrictions, limitations, or special rights that come with those shares.

Authorize Company Shares
Select Board Members and Hold the First Meeting

Select Board Members and Hold the First Meeting

Besides signing the Articles of Incorporation, your incorporator is also responsible for choosing the first members of your board of directors. These members serve until the first annual board meeting is held, where the shareholders elect a new board.

At your first board meeting, these directors choose your corporate officers, like your CEO, CFO, etc. They also make rules, grant permission to issue shares, choose an official stock certificate form, etc.

Obtain an Employee Identification Number

The Employer Identification Number (EIN), also called the Federal Tax Identification Number, is used to identify a business organization. It acts as a social security number for your business entity.

Some of the reasons your business will be needing an EIN include setting up a bank account for your business and to present your federal and state tax. You also need your EIN to be able to employ people.

Obtain an Employee Identification Number
Open a Corporate Bank Account

Open a Corporate Bank Account

It’s important to separate your personal finances from your Illinois C-Corp’s finances. A corporate bank account also helps you quickly accept payments, pay bills, and save money.

To open a business bank account in Illinois, you need to provide a few details. As mentioned earlier, you’ll need your company EIN and a copy of your Illinois C-Corp’s Articles of Incorporation.

Familiarize Yourself with State Taxes

Every year, Corporations are required to submit an annual report and state franchise tax form to the state of Illinois. In addition to this, the state imposes a tax on the net profits of Corporations as well as a “personal property replacement tax.”

Familiarize Yourself with State Taxes

Why Choose Inc Authority to Form a C-Corp in Illinois

Creating a C-Corporation in Illinois can be a daunting process, and you’ll need a business service to do it for you. However, choosing a business service to do it on your behalf can be difficult too. 

Inc Authority stands out over its competitors for several reasons. These include:

5-Star Ratings

5-Star Ratings

Inc Authority has an outstanding rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, with 94% of users giving it a rating of 5 stars. Their customers particularly appreciate their prompt customer support and the extensive package options.

Genuinely Free

Genuinely Free

Inc Authority provides a generous number of free services for business formation. These include free Registered Agent services, tax advisory, business name search, and more. This way, it’ll be easy for you to incorporate your business.

Extensive Experience

Extensive Experience

Inc Authority is among the most established companies in the market for company creation services. The firm has been in operation for the past 32 years and has been instrumental in the launch of over 250,000 companies.

Create Illinois C-Corp for Free


Here are some services Inc Authority offers for free. 

  • Business name check: This helps check the availability of the Illinois C-Corp business name you want to use.
  • Business formation: Inc Authority submits the Articles of Incorporation for your Illinois C-Corp to the Secretary of State on your behalf. 
  • Registered Agent services: You get Inc Authority as your Registered Agent for free for one year. 
  • Storage of digital documents: This lets you keep digital versions of your business papers such as corporate bylaws, annual reports online.   
  • Tax advice: Inc Authority assigns you a tax consultant to help build the ideal tax structure and save on taxes.

Business funding analysis: Your funding requirements will be evaluated by specialists, who will also recommend reliable sources of finance.


The Starter package provides the following features for an extra cost.

  • Corporate bylaws: You will have access to templates that will help you draft extensive bylaws for your Illinois C-Corp.
  • Stock certificate: Inc Authority offers templates for the creation of stock certificates to issue to shareholders. 
  • Employer Identification Number: Applying for an EIN for your C-Corp can be difficult, and Inc Authority provides the service on the Starter plan. 
  • Corporate forms and documents: To set up and maintain C-Corps, you’ll need different business documents that this feature provides. 
  • Annual compliance notifications: Inc Authority notifies you of future deadlines and requirements for your company’s compliance annually. 
  • Advanced tax consultation: This entails a more in-depth analysis of the tax requirements that your business must meet to get the best possible tax savings. 
  • Web domain and email addresses: You get one business domain and five professional email addresses for your Illinois C-Corp.

Price: Custom


This premium package has features that are also available as add-ons if you want to include them in your Starter package. Here are the features.

  • Customer success advisor: This feature gives you access to a dedicated customer success manager who will walk you through the process of forming your Illinois Corporation. 
  • Private banking specialist: The specialist will help you identify the most suitable banking solutions and checking accounts for your Illinois C-Corp.
  • Personalized business advice: This feature ensures you get business advice tailored to your personal success.
  • Expedited filing: You’ll get priority filing with Fast Track especially if you’re under pressure to launch your business quickly. 

Price: Custom

Other Services

  • Federal trademark: Inc Authority helps you conduct a comprehensive trademark search and file your trademark application.
  • Business plan: You’ll get a specialized advisor who will learn about your objectives and then develop a strategy to achieve them.
  • Business credit: Inc Authority provides a credit coach who will work with you to help you build or repair your credit.
  • Revocable living trust: Transferring your assets, especially estates, into a revocable living trust might be confusing, but the experts at Inc Authority help with this.
  • Business funding: To help businesses gain funding, Inc Authority provides advice on how to meet requirements before applying for money.
  • Website and marketing: You’ll get a unique and engaging website, a logo, business cards, and search engine-friendly content.

Price: Custom


Here are the steps to follow when forming a C-Corp in Illinois:

    1. Choose a unique name for your business entity.
    2. Appoint an Illinois Registered Agent to receive legal correspondence on behalf of your C-Corp
    3. Select your incorporator to submit your Articles of Incorporation
    4. File your Articles of Incorporation.  
    5. Prepare your C-Corp bylaws to set the tone for your internal operations
    6. State your Corporation’s purpose, especially if you’re a professional business
    7. Authorize company shares and allocation
    8. Select board members and hold the first meeting
    9. Obtain a business Employer Identification Number
    10. Open a corporate bank account
    11. Familiarize yourself with state and local taxes 

The main difference between an Illinois C-Corp and an S-Corporation is that a C-Corps are subject to double taxation on both the company and shareholder levels. S-Corps, on the other hand, get pass-through taxation, which means that they only get taxed at the shareholder level.

When it comes to taxes, limited liability, and regulatory requirements, there’s no distinction between Inc. and C-Corp. Both are abbreviations you can use interchangeably to refer to the same thing.

Illinois C-Corporations are separate legal entities from the shareholders who own them. This means that shareholders get liability protection for their personal assets in the event of a lawsuit.

Forming a Corporation in Illinois costs $150 and an extra $100 for expedited filing. If you want to reserve your name before registration, you can also do so for 90 days at $25.