Illinois State Requirements

Launch Your Illinois Nonprofit

In each of the 50 states, nonprofits are working hard to improve people’s lives and communities. Being a part of the Illinois nonprofit sector offers the opportunity to make a difference, whether that’s in the “Windy City” of Chicago, the government seat in Springfield, or throughout the beautiful heartland countryside that gives the “Prairie State” its nickname.

Impact Created by Illinois Nonprofits

Illinois nonprofit registration is available for entrepreneurial start-ups interested in serving a broad cross-section of the community’s needs. Illinois nonprofits operate in diverse fields such as local and state government, health and social services, workforce training and education, arts and culture, disability rights, veterans’ services, and many more. Currently, Illinois’ nonprofit registration office lists over 60,000 nonprofit organizations that employ nearly 578,000 individuals. Those numbers translate into over 10 percent of the entire workforce in the state. Residents of Illinois also donate almost 3 percent of their income every year.

The State of Illinois can be an ideal place to create your 501c3 nonprofit. The links below will connect you to documents to get you started:

Illinois State Registration Documents



Articles of Incorporation

Business Entity Search



Average Processing Time

2-4 Business days

Electronic Filing?


Charity Registration

State Requirement?


Charity Registration Search


$10.00-400.00, Depending on Revenue

Renewal Requirement?

Yes – Within a year of initial registration

990 EZ Requirement?


Annual Report

State Requirement?



Annually, by May 1



Other Exemptions

State Income Tax


Sales Tax Exemption

Must file once every 5 years – $0

Tax Returns

All organizations (except those classified as churches) are required to file an annual 990 form (990N, 990EZ, 990, or 990PF) to be exempt from Income Tax.

The 990 return is due on the 15th day of the 5th month after the end of the organization’s fiscal year.

Failure to file for 3 consecutive years could cause your organization to lose tax-exempt status.

State Requirements for an Illinois Nonprofit

As you start creating your organization’s business plan, you’ll want to keep in mind that Illinois’ nonprofit articles of incorporation require filing reports annually to maintain 501c3 tax-exempt status. Most states will want you to verify contact information, your nonprofit Board members’ list, and information about the person who registered the nonprofit in Illinois. State compliance regulations may also request employee data and current sales tax exemption forms. The articles of incorporation for Illinois nonprofits may also require an annual or bi-annual report in order to maintain your organization’s operating license.

The societal impact of Illinois nonprofits is impressive. If you’re eager to create social change and help those in need, then launching your entrepreneurial nonprofit in Illinois may be a great idea. We encourage you to visit our Nonprofit Education Center to make sure you understand the basics, and our testimonials page to learn about other successful nonprofit entrepreneurs’ stories. Contact us if you have questions or want more information. We’re here to provide expert advice and assistance at any time.