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How to Start a Small Business in Illinois

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According to the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, small businesses represented more than 98 percent of all Illinois employers in 2010. In terms of quantity, there were approximately 1.2 million small businesses in the state at that time.

While these statistics change from year to year, it is safe to assume that updated numbers from the Small Business Administration, when released, will be similar.

There are several important steps to take if you want to start a small business in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity provides a step by step guide to starting a business in the Prairie State.

The agency provides information on a variety of topics, including but not limited to:

  • How to get started.
  • The many types of business structures.
  • How to register a business.
  • Your responsibilities as an employer.
  • How to protect your product or idea.
  • Where to turn for future assistance.

Each one of these points encompasses a variety of details. For example, there is a lot to learn as you ponder the many types of business structures. Understanding the pros and cons of each option, both from a business and tax perspective, is extremely important. In Illinois, your can organize your business as: "C" Corporations, "S" Corporations, Limited Liability Companies (LLC), Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP), General and Limited Partnerships, and Sole Proprietorships.

Getting Help with the Start Up Process

If you are an Illinois resident with hopes of starting a business, you may need assistance along the way. Fortunately, the state understands the importance of promoting small business activity. The Illinois Small Business Development Center Network is comprised of the following:

  • Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
  • Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP)
  • Business Information Center
  • Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC)
  • SBDC - International Trade Centers

All of these resources share the goal of aiding in the process of starting a business.

SurePayroll offers resources for handling payroll in Illinois.

As the fifth most populous state in the US, there is great opportunity to achieve small business success in Illinois. All you have to do is take the right steps in getting started.