Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation that substantially reduces startup, annual filing and other fees for limited liability companies (LLCs), the organizational structure preferred by many of Illinois’ 1.2 million small businesses.
The new law will encourage more businesses to form in Illinois rather than go to other states to escape high fees. Effective immediately, the filing fee for new LLCs drops to $150 from $500 and annual report fees drop to $75 from $250. Previously, Illinois charged fees that were among the highest in the nation.
“This is a step in the right direction for our small businesses,” Rauner said. “The new rates are more competitive with other states. By easing the fee burden for LLCs here, we are sending a message to entrepreneurs and small business owners in Illinois: Start here and stay here.”
The governor signed the bill in the presence of dozens of small business advocates gathered at Level Office, an LLC that provides shared office space for startups. Level Office began in Chicago and now has facilities across the country.
“This is a clear win for business in Illinois,” Rauner said as he penned the legislation into law to rounds of applause.
Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Sean McCarthy said reducing LLC fees sends a positive signal.
“We support businesses that are looking to grow, invest and create new jobs in our state, regardless of their size,” McCarthy said. “SB 867 helps alleviate unnecessary burdens to allow Illinois businesses to thrive.”
State legislators also hailed the action.
“It’s about time,” cheered Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, a chief co-sponsor in the House. “This should be just the first step of many to make Illinois a more business-friendly place.”
“This legislation provides some relief for the small business owners, who drive the Illinois economy,” added state Rep. David S. Olsen, R-Downers Grove. “It sends a clear message to those who provide jobs in our state that we want to ease their burden so they will remain and expand their businesses here. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to find more comprehensive measures that will provide tangible relief for business owners across our state.”
State Rep. Peter Breen, R-Lombard, said landing a more competitive stance with neighboring states on the LLC fee front is a key step for Illinois.
“We need further significant reform to our state’s business laws and regulations to help small businesses create more good-paying jobs in our state,” he added.
Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) was a strong supporter of the measure and voted YES when SB 867