Illinois Corporation Foreign Qualification

What is an Illinois Foreign Corporation?

An Illinois Foreign Corporation is an Inc. originally formed in another state that registers to do business in Illinois. The process of registering a foreign Corporation in Illinois is called foreign qualification. Foreign qualification is used to register a foreign company so that it may transact business in the state of Illinois. There are a few requirements when filing an application for registration in Illinois.

Foreign Corporations can register the Foreign Corporations name in Illinois for the period of one year, a renewal will be required to continue the registration for another year.


How to Register A Foreign Corporation in Illinois

Illinois Foreign Corporation Requirements

  1. Name
  2. Jurisdiction
  3. Addresses
  4. Registered Agent
  5. Officers/Directors
  6. Purpose
  8. Estimates
  9. Date Doing Business
  10. Certified Articles


A corporate name that is the original name will appear exactly how it is spelled on the Application for Authority to Transact Business in Illinois. If the name is unavailable, an assumed corporate name may be used.


The original state or country of incorporation, the date of incorporation and the period of duration is all required information to list.


The Principal Office, wherever it’s located, and the Principal Office in Illinois will be recorded on the application. If there is no office in Illinois, simply state so.

Registered Agent

A Registered Agent is required to have a business registered in Illinois. The Illinois Registered Agent will accept any service of process for your Corporation. The agent will provide their name and address for the application.


The name and address of the Officers and Directors is required information for the application.


A brief statement of why the Corporation was formed and what kind of business it wants to transact in Illinois will be provided.


Authorized and issued shares are to be outlined on the application. The class, series and par value of the shares authorized and shares issued are required information.


You will give an estimate of the total value of property, property in Illinois, transactions and transactions in Illinois for the following year.

Date Doing Business

If the business is already doing transactions in Illinois, list the date it began.

Certified Articles

A certified copy of your Articles of Incorporation that is no more than 90 days old will be submitted with the filled out application.


How to File a Illinois Foreign Corporation Qualification Document

Steps to Foreign Corporation Qualification in Illinois

  1. The first step in a foreign corporation registration is to choose a name for your corporation to use ini Illinois. It must conform to state law, and the name cannot already be in use within the state. If your company name is taken, you must elect an Assumed Name.
  2. A foreign corporation qualification starts with filing an Application for Authority to Transact Business in Illinois. This form is filed with the Secretary of State Department of Business Services. There is a $150 filing fee for this form, as well as an accompanying franchise tax fee. The minimum FT is $25. Along with the Application, you must include a Certificate of Existence from your home state.
  3. When filing a foreign corporation registration, you must appoint a registered agent in Illinois. A registered agent accepts service of process and certified business mail on behalf of clients. The agent is designated on the Application for Authority.
  4. Finally, wait for processing. The Secretary of State typically takes two to three weeks to process a foreign corporation qualification.


Foreign Corporation Registration Quick Facts:


Am I Required to Have a Business Office in Illinois to Foreign Qualify?

No. A foreign corporation does not have to maintain a physical business office inside the state. It must however, appoint a registered agent with a registered office inside the state.


Illinois Registered Agent

An Illinois registered agent:

  • Accepts service of process (notice of a lawsuit) and other business mail on behalf of clients
  • Maintains a registered office (physical street address) in the state
  • Keeps the registered office open during regular business hours
  • Forwards all client documents to clients in a timely manner


Annual Report and Taxes

Once a foreign corporation qualification is complete, you must file an annual report each year. The AR is due the day before the first of the anniversary month. If your corporation registered in Illinois in December, the AR must be filed by November 31. The AR fee is $75.

In addition, corporations must also pay a franchise tax each year. The minim tax is $25, but can be higher depending on the amount of paid-in capital represented within the state.


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