How to Register a Business in Illinois (2024)

Updated on December 17, 2023


If you’re starting a new business in Illinois, properly registering your company is a crucial first step. This guide will teach you how to legally register your small business in Illinois in just a few easy steps.

Choosing the right business structure, such as an LLC, corporation, sole proprietorship or partnership, is key when establishing your business from a legal and tax standpoint. We’ll overview the different options so you can pick the best structure to register for your company.

Obtaining your federal EIN and registering for your state tax ID will legitimize your IL business. We’ll provide step-by-step instructions for new business owners on how to get an EIN and register for sales tax in Illinois if you plan to collect and remit sales tax.

Additionally, understand exactly what licenses and permits you’ll need to operate legally in IL based on your industry and location. We’ve researched for you so you can easily comply with all Illinois rules and regulations right when starting your company.

Follow our simple guide on how to register your small business properly in the state of Illinois. Our actionable advice will save you time and money when establishing your company’s legal entity so you can focus on growing your brand and revenues.

Steps for Business Registration in Illinois

  1. Determine Business Type: Before registering, decide on the legal structure of your business. This choice affects how you’ll be taxed, your level of personal liability, and compliance requirements. Common structures include:
    • Sole Proprietorship: Simplest form, owned by an individual, offering complete control but with personal liability for debts.
    • Partnership: A business owned by two or more people. Similar to sole proprietorships, it includes shared ownership and liability.
    • Limited Liability Company (LLC): Combines the benefits of a corporation and a partnership/sole proprietorship. It offers liability protection to owners (members) but is more flexible in management and taxation.
    • Corporation: A more complex structure that is a separate legal entity from its owners. It offers liability protection but with more regulations and tax obligations.
    Consult a legal or business advisor to choose the best structure based on your business needs and goals.
  2. Register with the Illinois Department of Revenue: Mandatory for businesses in Illinois or with Illinois customers.
  3. Registration Methods:
  4. Complete Necessary Schedules:
  5. Depending on your specific business activities, you may need to comply with various specialized registrations and schedules, including:
    • Schedule REG-1-A for businesses involved in liquor sales requiring additional information for liquor licensing.
    • Schedule REG-1-C for businesses dealing with cigarette and tobacco products, ensuring compliance with state regulations.
    • Schedule REG-1-D and REG-1-G for businesses self-assessing taxes on electricity and gas use.
    • Schedule REG-1-L to provide detailed location information on your Illinois business site.
    • Schedule REG-1-R to identify responsible parties within your business structure.
    • Telecommunications Tax Location Information under Schedule REG-1-T, if applicable to your business.
    These specific schedules and more can be found on the Illinois Department of Revenue website. Reviewing these requirements carefully is important to ensure compliance with all state regulations related to your business activities.
  6. Obtain a Certificate of Registration or License: Once you register your business, the Illinois Department of Revenue will issue you a Certificate of Registration or License, along with a taxpayer ID. You can print these documents from your account on MyTax Illinois. If you can’t print them, contact the Central Registration Division to get a paper copy mailed to you.
  7. Update Registration Information: Keep your business information up to date. If there are changes, like a new address or ownership, update your registration. You can do this online on MyTax Illinois(), by calling 217-785-3707, or in person at their offices. Not updating your information can lead to issues with your tax filings and important updates.

Things to Consider

  • Register your business before making any sales, purchases, or hiring employees.
  • For updating information, contact the Central Registration Division.


Business registration in Illinois is a straightforward process, especially with the option of online registration. Proper registration sets the foundation for legal operation and compliance with state tax laws.

Additional Resources

Priyank Singh

Priyank Singh, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Stilt, specializes in technology-driven financial solutions. He is having experience of starting FinTech Company, understanding regulations and coming up with creative solutions to solve difficult problems.