How to Find the Best Registered Agent in Illinois

Starting a business? Our number one pick for registered agent services is Northwest Registered Agent

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If you’re thinking about starting a business in Illinois, you’ll need to follow a specific process to get your business off the ground. Like other states, Illinois requires paperwork to establish a business, whether you’re forming a partnership, limited liability company (LLC), S corporation, or other structure. 

For those planning to set up an LLC, we’ll explore how to set one up and how to select a registered agent. A registered agent, which must be listed on the LLC formation paperwork, is a person or company that receives official documents for the company.

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding finding and selecting the best registered agent in the Land of Lincoln.

What is an Illinois registered agent?

A registered agent is an individual who lives in Illinois or a business entity that’s authorized to do business in the state and willing to accept tax or other legal paperwork on behalf of your LLC.

How does an owner select a registered agent in Illinois?

A quick Google search will give you plenty of results for registered agents in Illinois. You’ll want to consider the cost, services offered, and reviews for each company.

Who can be a registered agent in Illinois? 

You must be at least 18 years old to be your own registered agent in Illinois. An Illinois street address is required and the agent must be able to accept legal paperwork delivered in person to their home or office.

A registered agent can be the owner, an employee, a friend, or a nearby business. A registered agent can also be a professional service. There are registered agent services that can be your LLC’s point of contact for a fee. 

Can I be my own registered agent in Illinois?

Although you can represent yourself, you’ll need to have a home or office in Illinois and be available during regular business hours to receive documents in person. It’s actually quite common for a business owner to serve as their own registered agent.

Why would a company choose to work with a registered agent service?

While serving as your own registered agent sounds like a good way to save a little cash, there are quite a few advantages to working with a registered agent service.

  • Expertise. A registered agent is more likely to have expertise in compliance matters, including state and federal regulations and deadlines. For new entrepreneurs, this expertise could be invaluable.
  • Regular hours. A registered agent can be available during normal business hours to receive your LLC’s important documents. Many start-ups can’t be tied to their home or office during all regular business hours due to travel, meetings, or errands.
  • Privacy. Lawsuits and legal documents are often delivered in person by law enforcement. As a business owner, you may not want customers or employees to witness that private moment. For privacy, some business owners opt for a registered agent service.
  • Time commitment. Many business owners can’t commit the time necessary to deal with accepting documents and filing annual reports. A service helps with all of this. 

How much does a registered agent service cost in Illinois?

Registered agent service fees vary slightly in Illinois, but most range from $49 to $99.

List of Illinois registered agent services 

There are plenty of resources to help you find a registered agent in Illinois, but if you’re looking for a few choices for registered agent services in Illinois to help you get started, consider these:

  • Northwest Registered Agent: Northwest is one of the most recognized names in the registered agent business. The company has decades of experience and local offices scattered across the U.S. to serve small businesses like yours. The cost for a registered agent service is comparable to others. Business owners can also take advantage of additional services like report filing.
  • ZenBusiness: ZenBusiness is fairly new to the market, but they’ve grown a strong following. Business owners love the affordable rates for a registered agent service, which are as low as $99 per year. The company offers worry-free compliance too, to help business owners file the necessary reports on time.
  • Incfile: Incfile is another trusted name for business services, including its registered agent services. Business owners can get a registered agent free for a year. That’s right, free. After the first year, the price kicks in at $119. An online dashboard, automatic mail forwarding, and tailored notifications also come with the service.

Illinois registered agent FAQs

Yes. Illinois requires every LLC to have a registered agent. Just about every state requires an LLC to designate a registered agent.

Yes, you can change your registered agent. Just fill out a Statement of Change Form online and pay a $25 processing fee to the Illinois Secretary of State.

Some states use the term “statutory agent” interchangeably with a registered agent. The terms “service of process agent” is also used. Service of process papers is filed when a company is sued. 

As you fill out the forms for your LLC, there may be a question asking if your appointed registered agent is commercial or non-commercial. If you’re using a registered agent service, choose commercial. If the person or company you’ve chosen to do the job isn’t getting paid to help you, choose non-commercial.

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