There are several ways to run a business in Illinois. This is called your business "entity."
If you are the only owner of the business, you are a sole proprietor. There is no government filing or approval required to operate your business as a sole proprietor. Millions of Americans do it this way. Just report the profits and losses from the business in your tax return on IRS Form 1040 on a separate sheet called Schedule C. And pay your federal and state income taxes if the business earns a profit.
If you have a business partner, the business is a partnership. That means that you and your partner share responsibility for running the business and share the profits and losses. Exactly how you want to do this should be spelled out in a partnership agreement.
Limited Liability Company/Corporation
Many business owners decide to operate as a limited liability company (LLC) or to incorporate their businesses. It is not required. But it may be a good idea because it helps protect you personally from debts and liabilities connected with the business. You can create a corporation or LLC even if there is only one owner (shareholder or LLC member).
There are resources and grants available for people looking to start small businesses in Illinois. Use the links below to learn more and get the help you need:
Updated: June 2018