Illinois Department of Business Services
Businesses may be organized in many ways. The most common forms today are sole proprietorship, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company and corporation. This guide assumes you have selected “corporation’’ as the form of business organization most suited to your objectives. These guidelines should not serve as a substitute for statutory analysis or professional advice. To be sure you understand the legal, business, tax and financial obligations and consequences that may result from incorporating your business, you may want to consult an attorney and an accountant.
The Secretary of State’s Department of Business Services serves as an approval and record-keeping office for corporations in Illinois. Information on corporate filings is available by telephone, letter or over the counter at offices in Springfield and Chicago. Standard forms also are available at www.cyberdriveillinois.com.
All Articles of Incorporation must be submitted in duplicate (one original and one true copy). When using the standard Form BCA 2.10, the first four Articles must be fully completed (required provisions), and all responses must be typed or printed in black ink. Corporate existence begins only when the Department of Business Services has “filed’’ the Articles of Incorporation. The Articles of Incorporation must set forth the following: corporate name; initial registered agent and registered office; corporate purpose; authorized shares; initial issued shares and the consideration to be paid therefor. The next few pages outline these provisions and highlight some of the optional provisions. For convenience, the discussion follows the order of the standard form.