The information in this article applies to professionals who receive their licenses from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (the “IDFPR”). The IDFPR licenses a wide range of professions including counselors, licensed social workers, psychologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, physicians, people in medical professions, salon owners, hairdressers, barbers, cosmetologists, nail techs, chiropractors, architects, engineers, pawnbrokers, and many others. You can find a full list of regulated professions on the IDFPR’s website, or ask a PLLC attorney if you’re unsure.
In August 2018, Illinois updated the Illinois Professional Limited Liability Act and the Illinois LLC Act. Before this change, businesses providing professional services could form either an LLC or a PLLC. Now, those working in an applicable profession under the IDFPR cannot provide their professional services under an LLC. The law requires them to form a PLLC instead, and any such businesses already formed as LLCs must convert to PLLCs.
Setting up a PLLC confers the same legal benefits as setting up an LLC: they both provide liability protection. Both entities create a shield between your personal assets and your business’s assets, which makes it harder for someone with a collection or judgment against your business to collect your personal assets. They keep your personal accounts, property, and real estate away from judgment collectors and creditors, limiting your liability as your business grows. This liability protection does not extend to individual malpractice claims, although it can apply to a partner’s malpractice.
To form a PLLC, you must file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. Unlike regular LLCs, PLLCs cannot be filed online at the time of this writing, so they must be directly mailed to the Secretary. When filing, the business must put PLLC or P.L.L.C. after their business name (i.e. “Jane Doe Therapy PLLC”) and include specific language in the purpose clause. We also recommend drafting and entering into an Operating Agreement that outlines the high-level management and governance of your business.
If you prefer, you can delegate this process to a PLLC attorney at G & G Law.
First, we learn about your business and how you expect to operate your business. This includes information needed to fill out the Articles of Organization, such as your business name and address, among other details that will become important later. As part of this process, we help you draft a purpose section that the State will accept your filing. Then, we mail it in and monitor the Secretary’s records to see when it’s approved.
When the Secretary does approve your PLLC, they send a copy of your filed Articles of Organization back to your registered agent (a representative for your business for administrative purposes). After the Secretary approves your business, we will send you details on how to operate a PLLC in Illinois, such as how to get an EIN, set up a business bank account, and register your PLLC with the IDFPR. Finally, your PLLC attorney will help you craft an Operating Agreement. This is an important document that outlines a PLLC’s decision-making, governing, and financial and functional operations.