Starting a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is serious business. To do it right and keep your business thriving, you must hire the best LLC formation service available.
The right LLC service will help you file all the necessary paperwork to get your LLC formation off on the right foot.
The wrong LLC service will delay your LLC formation with clumsy procedures and inaccurate paperwork.
To make sure you get the best LLC service in Illinois for your business, I’ve reviewed, compared, and ranked the 18 best LLC services in Illinois. Here’s what I found.
1. Northwest Registered Agent—9.45/10 (Best Overall LLC Service)
The best service for Illinois LLC formation is Northwest Registered Agent because they provide everything you need to form a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and offer industry-leading small business advice.
Northwest Registered Agent helps you prepare and file necessary paperwork such as your Articles of Organization. They also offer business document templates to help you write your LLC Operating Agreement.
In addition to the start-up forms you need to file, Northwest also offers free registered agent service for the first year, provides you with a business address available during business hours, accepts Service of Process on behalf of your LLC, and sends you compliance alerts to keep you in good standing with the Illinois Secretary of State. A safe and simple online platform stores and manages your important documents.
Northwest also offers a free tax consultation and a free 90-day trial of their Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service. You can purchase additional services, such as a Certificate of Good Standing, state-certified copies of your LLC formation documents, and assistance with applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for a low fee.
But what really sets Northwest apart from the rest are their Corporate Guides. Their US-based team of former lawyers, accountants, and business owners answer your questions every step of the way, whether you need help with the formation process or a problem down the road, they are there for you.
Other LLC services only allow you to call their customer support representatives to help with things like resetting your password or receiving an update on your application timeline. Often these representatives are located outside the US and are largely unfamiliar with running a business here.
Northwest does the opposite—they go above and beyond for their customers.
The high level of customer service provided by the Corporate Guides could cost you up to $5,000 a day elsewhere, but these guides are included in their LLC Formation Package service.
Northwest usually charges $225 for all this, but I’ve negotiated an exclusive deal for BoostSuite subscribers. If you subscribe through my dedicated sign-up page, you’ll receive an 82% discount and pay only $39* to form an Illinois LLC.
Northwest’s only con is their lack of assistance with building an online presence. They don’t offer a free year of a domain name, web hosting, or Google advertising credits, nor do they provide a free website builder.
But don’t despair. These services are available online for as little as $15 per month, so Northwest’s one major con isn’t a dealbreaker.
Northwest Registered Agent is my #1 pick because of the value they provide.
They cover the basics you need to establish your Illinois LLC, including drafting and filing your Articles of Organization. They also provide access to additional, essential business document templates.
Northwest is the only LLC service with a US-based customer support team who not only answer pretty much all your Illinois LLC questions but also provide small business support on a range of topics, including HR, logistics, marketing, and anything else you run up against.
If you want an Illinois LLC service that will truly support your growing business, head to Northwest today.
2. Harbor Compliance—7.45/10 (Best Premium Service)
Harbor Compliance is the only LLC service provider that allocates an account manager dedicated to serving the needs of every client forming an LLC. This is why they’re #2 on my list.
Harbor Compliance offers full-service Limited Liability Company (LLC) formation with all the basics you need to get your LLC in Illinois off the ground.
They include a free year of their registered agent services, help you apply for your Employee Identification Number (EIN), provide a free Operating Agreement template, and prepare and file your Articles of Organization.
But the best part about Harbor Compliance is their individualized customer support service.
A dedicated project manager supports you as you establish your business entity. They walk you through the entire process, answering any questions you may have about any type of business issue, challenge, or concern.
Harbor Compliance expects to be reimbursed handsomely for their quality customer service.
Their Formation Package costs $399 and their Compliance Package costs $799. That’s 10 times the cost of Northwest if you use BoostSuite’s exclusive deal.
While Harbor Compliance provides everything you need to form your LLC, it doesn’t have the tempting low rates of Northwest. If having your own personal account manager is worth the extra price you’ll pay, check out the Harbor Compliance website.
3. IncFile—7.15/10 (Best Budget LLC Service)
For the grand total of $0, IncFile submits your Articles of Organization and even throws in a free year of their registered agent service.
Considering that most Illinois LLC services cost as much as $99, this is of considerable value.
The biggest drawback with IncFile is that even though they charge you nothing to file your formation paperwork, if you want any other LLC-related service, it’s going to cost you.
The only way to get the basic services that are included with the Northwest Registered Agent Formation Package, such as a draft Operating Agreement template, compliance notifications, a tax consultation, and online storage for your important documents, is to upgrade to IncFile’s $149 package.
IncFile is a good option if you want help filing your initial formation paperwork for $0. If you are on a tight budget, find out more by heading over to their website.
ZenBusiness is my #4 pick for best Limited Liability Company (LLC) service in Illinois because of their high quality. In fact, they used to be first on my list, but they removed an essential feature from their services.
The first benefit you’ll notice with ZenBusiness is the price of their Starter Package. They offer all the basics your LLC in Illinois needs for only $49 plus the state filing fee.
ZenBusiness help you draft your initial paperwork, including your Operating Agreement, help you choose a business name that’s not already taken, and notify you about upcoming compliance deadlines, such as your franchise tax payments and annual report submission. They store your formation documents and other important legal documents on their online document storage portal. They also include a consultation with one of their in-house accounting experts and throw in a virtual guide to setting up your business.
If you need more benefits, you can opt for their Pro Package, priced at $199, which includes assistance with applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN), troubleshooting if you miss a critical deadline, and a banking resolution. For $299, their Premium Package includes a business domain name, email address, and website.
Although ZenBusiness offers many benefits, one essential element is missing.
Their packages used to include a free year of their registered agent service but they’ve cut out that feature. Previously, they offered a complimentary $149 value service but they’ve changed their incentive to purchase to a 25% discount on each package. If you choose them as your registered agent, their packages cost $150.75, $310.75, and $410.75 respectively.
ZenBusiness is a reliable and trustworthy choice for the services they include in their packages, but since those packages no longer include a registered agent service, you should probably hire a different LLC service for your Illinois LLC.
Read more about their services and offers in my full ZenBusiness review.
5. Swyft Filings
Swyft Filings is a bit of a fledgling LLC formation service. But while they’ve only been around since 2012, they offer a lot for $49.
They give you a 30-minute tax consultation with one of their in-house accountants, for free. They also help complete and file your formation documents. They offer online access to track your filing process and they even register your business domain name as well.
The reason they aren’t higher on this list is, unlike ZenBusiness, they don’t offer to act as your registered agent in Illinois for free for a year.
They are almost four times the cost of Northwest, charging $149 for their service.
I covered Swyft Filings in more depth in my full Swyft Filings Review.
They charge $79 for their Basic Package and include pretty much everything you need. However, the Premium Package costs more if you want them to act as your Illinois registered agent. It will cost you $279.
Northwest is a much better value at only $39.
7. Inc Authority
Inc Authority has a pretty deceptive pricing strategy, so don’t fall for their tricks.
They will file the Articles of Organization for free, but if you want any other service, such as an Operating Agreement, EIN, or company seal, they will charge you $399 for their Basic Package and $799 for their Premium Package.
As you can see, “free” can be too good to be true.
8. Incorporate Fast
Incorporate Fast live up to their name by offering a $99 package that ensures your Articles of Organization are filed the same day it’s received! They are the only LLC service that does this.
With their Basic Package you receive sample legal documents, assistance with your Operating Agreement, and a free year of registered agent service. This is a great service!
The reason they are number eight on the list is they cost more than double what Northwest charges and do not offer a free tax consultation or online document storage.
BizFilings files your formation paperwork and provides a free year of their registered agent service, but they don’t even offer an Operating Agreement template, a business tax assessment, or online document storage.
They are also double the price of Northwest.
10. Rocket Lawyer
Although Rocket Lawyer offers mostly legal services, they also include an LLC formation service. It’s more of a complementary service to their legal services.
Their LLC service doesn’t have the best price and it doesn’t have the best service either but it might not be worth changing to another provider if you already use their legal services and want to stick with one company.
If you're interested in finding out more about their services, read my full Rocket Lawyer review.
LegalZoom is very similar to Rocket Lawyer. They are also primarily an online legal service company, but they do offer an LLC service. For $99, they provide a banking resolution and also file your Articles of Organization with the Illinois Secretary of State. That’s just about all they do for you.
If you have previously hired them for their legal services, it might be convenient for them to handle your LLC formation, but if not, look elsewhere.
Other Illinois LLC Services
I reviewed seven other LLC services. All offered underwhelming services, so I just wrote a quick review of each one.
Incorporate.com’s primary (and seemingly only) service is the drafting and filing of initial formation documents. They don’t offer much else besides this for $99.
CorpNet file your formation paperwork and provide compliance alerts for your franchise tax payments and annual reports and only charges $79.
Read more about Corpnet in my in-depth Corpnet review.
MyCorporation charges $133 to file your Articles of Organization and Operating Agreement.
I don’t know what the appeal of MyCorporation is at all.
15. Direct Incorporation
Direct Incorporation continues the trend of charging a lot for minimal services—$147. They at least include a banking resolution and help you apply for an EIN, but are not as comprehensive as other services.
For just $117, InCorp will help with your Operating Agreement and your Articles of Organization. Anything extra will cost you.
17. Nationwide Incorporations
18. SunDoc Filings
For just $79, SunDoc Filings submit your Articles of Organization. They offer additional services with their $99 and $279 packages. Northwest still offer much more value than either of these packages, so there’s really no point in doing business with SunDoc Filings.
*LLC formation prices are per state, per year and do not include state fees.
The Best LLC Service Review Summary
As a result of my research into LLC formation services, I have concluded that Northwest Registered Agent is the best choice for forming your LLC.
They have all the basics you need:
- Articles of Organization
- Compliance alerts
- Operating Agreement
- Online Document Storage
- Free year of registered agent service
- Free tax consultation with in-house accountants
- Three-month free trial of their VoIP service
For $39, their considerable number of services cost less than half the industry average and less than a quarter of some other companies, making them the clear number one choice.
Their experienced Corporate Guides are always there to consult during your business formation process. They are available to provide industry-leading small business advice and answer any questions pertaining to the management of your Illinois LLC.
For the best value for your money and no-hassle LLC service, head to Northwest Registered Agent today and get your new business rolling.
Best LLC Service Review Methodology
Why You Should Trust Me
You should trust me with your LLC service recommendations because I can guarantee I have spent more time than any other person researching this topic.
It all started when I formed my first company. I didn’t have the time or energy to learn how to complete my Articles of Organization, nor did I have the patience for having my documents rejected, so I decided to pay someone to do it.
Unfortunately, the services I paid for were both overpriced and underwhelming. I won’t name names because this was a long time ago and they have improved over the years.
When I decided to set up my second LLC, I chose Northwest Registered Agent, who made my life easy by providing efficient and comprehensive service.
For my third business venture, I used my ample start-up funds to switch to Harbor Compliance. Their dedicated account manager’s depth and breadth of experience was just what I needed.
These aren’t the only services I have had experience with. I started to look for new business opportunities after I sold my second business. I spoke with my entrepreneur friends and they told me about their challenges and issues, and a similar theme kept coming up. There’s a lot of small business advice available today, but it’s either contradictory, incomplete, too technical, or too dense to be useful.
This is what led me to my latest venture—starting BoostSuite—which has allowed me to help more than 1,000 entrepreneurs choose the right-for-them LLC formation service to start their new businesses.
How I Selected the Best LLC Service
A four-stage process led me to select the best LLC formation service.
Stage 1: Reviews
The first stage started with an investigation of online reviews for the top 50 LLC services in Illinois.
I spent many long nights and early mornings looking through review sites, such as the Better Business Bureau, Google Business, Trustpilot, and Facebook to weed out the scams from the legit operations.
Stage 2: Website Analysis
Once I knew which business I could trust and which ones I couldn’t, I went to their websites to see exactly what they had to offer.
I looked through detailed breakdowns of the available products and services and also each company’s prices to determine the best offers.
Stage 3: Speaking with Real Customers
Online reviews can only reveal so much, so to get a better understanding of a company's service, you need to speak directly with their past and current customers.
I reached out to customers to whom I had previously recommended an LLC service in order to get an unbiased viewpoint. I asked them how effective their support team was, how simple and easy their system was to use, and how fast the LLC’s application processing was.
This allowed me to see what was a scam and what was legit.
Stage 4: Speaking with Their Sales Team
The final step I took was speaking with their sales team to see how they would try to upsell to me. I asked every question a naïve person would ask in order to see how many times I was offered additional services.
I used five factors throughout my analysis to assess each service.
Factor 1: Offerings
As you can see, starting an LLC involves many steps. You need to apply for an EIN, file your Articles of Organization, set up a bank account, and choose a premium registered agent service to get an address in the state, to name a few.
The first factor I assessed for each LLC was the products and services they offered, so that you know exactly where your money is going.
Factor 2: Price
I researched the best price so you have ample cash to invest in the success of your business. The service providers with the best value moved to the top.
Factor 3: Ease of Sign-up
While price, product, and features are important, if you can’t enter your details on their sign-up form, none of those factors make a difference.
I signed up for each of these business formation services to make sure the onboarding process was simple and easy.
Factor 4: Ease of Use
While LLC services with a wide range of products and services offered at a good price are important, it won’t make a difference if you can’t navigate their software to complete their forms.
To test that these systems were easy to use and simple to navigate, I set up an account with each company and attempted to register my fake LLC. I sent the Illinois Secretary of State my forms and waited for my formation documents to arrive by email.
Factor 5: Customer Service
Many corporations offshore their customer support to foreign countries these days. This trend can lead to inaccurate or incomplete information when it comes to a topic as esoteric as legal services.
I wanted to see how the support network handled my requests and how fast they would respond, so I emailed them, talked to them on their online chat portals, and called to make specific requests.
As you can see, finding the right LLC service in Illinois won’t be a walk in the park. But to make your life easier, I assessed and ranked the top 18 LLC services with my four-stage process and compared them across five different factors.
Northwest Registered Agent is my top choice out of all 18.
For just $39, their Formation Package will get your LLC up and running. It provides services such as:
- Assistance with filing your Articles of Organization
- A draft Operating Agreement template
- A document storage portal
- A business name and address in the state
- A three-month
- A free trial of their VoIP service
- A business tax consultation with their in-house accountants
- A free year of their registered agent service
Their Corporate Guides provide the best customer support in the business. They will assist you during your business formation process and will advise you when you encounter challenges during your business journey.
If you need an affordable and reliable LLC service provider that also provides great customer support, head over to Northwest Registered Agent today and enjoy an 82% discount on their Formation Package.