Doing Business in Illinois with a Delaware LLC

doing business in illinois with a delaware llc

Doing business in Illinois with a Delaware LLC is very common. Since Delaware is known for having a favorable corporate law structure, it is often the most popular domestic choice for filing an LLC.

If your Delaware LLC will operate or have a physical presence in Illinois, you will need to register as a foreign entity in the state. Here's how the process works.

Illinois will require an Application for Admission to Transact Business form, a Certificate of Good Standing from Delaware and a filing fee. Two copies of the application, the Good Standing Certificate, and filing fee must be submitted at the same time to ensure the filing is not delayed.

The time frame to receive the approved documents can vary and will often take more than a month. Please be aware that the application cannot be filed online. Once approved, a stamped copy of the application form will be returned to you by mail.

Keep in mind that the Certificate of Good Standing must be no more than 60 days old or the application will be rejected. Illinois does require that you have a registered agent in that state, however clients will often act as their own Registered Agent if they have a physical address in that state.

If you would prefer not to act as your own registered agent, Harvard Business Services Inc. offers registered agent service in every state. A member or manager of the LLC will need to sign the application, but the signature does not have to be an original.

Publication of the application is not necessary unless specifically required by the county where your Registered Agent resides.

Once registered in Illinois, the state will require you to file an annual report. This report is due the day before the first day of your anniversary month. For example, if your filing date is May 5, you will need to file your annual report to Illinois by April 30. The cost of this report is $250.

In addition to the Illinois annual report, a Delaware LLC must also pay the annual Delaware Franchise Tax and Delaware Registered Agent Fee to remain in good standing.

If you would like our assistance in handling the entire foreign qualification, we would be happy to help! We can prepare the application, obtain your Certificate of Good Standing, pay the state fee and even walk it in to ensure it is approved in a timely fashion.

Often we get the documents approved and returned to our clients in seven to 10 days.

For assistance in registering your Delaware LLC to operate in Illinois, please call 1-800-345-2677 x6130 or email

*Disclaimer*: Harvard Business Services, Inc. is neither a law firm nor an accounting firm and, even in cases where the author is an attorney, or a tax professional, nothing in this article constitutes legal or tax advice. This article provides general commentary on, and analysis of, the subject addressed. We strongly advise that you consult an attorney or tax professional to receive legal or tax guidance tailored to your specific circumstances. Any action taken or not taken based on this article is at your own risk. If an article cites or provides a link to third-party sources or websites, Harvard Business Services, Inc. is not responsible for and makes no representations regarding such source’s content or accuracy. Opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Harvard Business Services, Inc.

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There are 4 comments left for Doing Business in Illinois with a Delaware LLC

Maria said: Tuesday, December 8, 2020

My company is incorporated in Delaware. I'm the incorporator and reside in Illinois. I only plan to do business online and will NOT have a physical location in any state. Do I still need to file a Foreign Entity in Illinois? Thanks.

HBS Staff replied: Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Typically, you will need foreign qualification for any state in which you are doing business. If you are unsure if your situation constitutes doing business, you can check with the Illinois Dept of State or consult an accountant or attorney for assistance.

V said: Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Hi, Application for Admission to Transact Business form and Certificate of Good Standing from Delaware have to be filed with the Illinois Secretary of State?

HBS Staff replied: Tuesday, February 11, 2020

If you have a Delaware corporation (not LLC) and wish to do business in Illinois, clients typically do not obtain a Certificate of Good Standing from Delaware. If you have additional questions or need assistance with filing, please contact us via phone, email, or live chat.

Roy said: Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Hello im curious does this apply no Non Profits as well?

HBS Staff replied: Monday, February 26, 2018

Yes, typically non-profit corporations also must file for Foreiqn Qualification. We recommend you double-check with your attorney or Registered Agent.

Wojciech Lisiewicz said: Friday, January 6, 2017

Hello, I was wondering how much it would cost to register my business, Automotive Marketing Media LLC, in Illinois through Harvard Business Services and how long the whole process would take?

HBS Staff replied: Monday, January 9, 2017


We will be happy to assist with your foreign qualification in Illinois. Each state has its requirements for completing this process. Harvard has experienced filing specialists who will obtain all the required documents and prepare and file the specific forms for your state in a timely manner. The cost, including all state and filing fees and the first year of Registered Agent service, will be $912. The typical turnaround is 10-15 business days.

Options for payment include credit card, certified or company check or money order. After payment is received, we will prepare a Certificate of Authority for signature, and forward via email. Once executed, the Authorization document will need to be returned to us. Then the Certificate will be filed with the Division of Corporations later that day. As soon as the approved document is available, we will forward a copy to you for your records. Please let us know if you have any concerns; to initiate this service, feel free to contact us by email or phone at 800-345-2677, Option 1.

For further information on Foreign Qualification, please visit

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