How to Open an Illinois Credit Services Organization [2023 Guide]

Published: Jan 4, 2022
illinois credit services organization


Do you want to launch your business operations as an Illinois credit services organization? In order to start your activities in the state, you need to register with the Secretary of State. 

The registration is required for all applicants who want to engage in improving customers’ credit scores, history, or rating. It is enforced by state authorities to ensure that credit services organizations (CSOs) in Illinois run their activities in compliance with the law. 

In the sections that follow you can discover the requirements that you have to fulfill to start your business. 

Meet the Illinois Credit Services Organization Registration Requirements

The operations of CSOs in the state are regulated by the Illinois Credit Services Organization Act. The criteria that you need to satisfy are detailed below. 

Business Documents

To start a business in Illinois, you have to register a business entity with the state Department of Revenue

You also have to provide the following documents for your CSO registration:

  • Name and address of your CSO business
  • Information about the registered agent authorized to accept service of process on behalf of the CSO
  • Information about any person who directly or indirectly owns or controls 10 percent or more of the outstanding shares of stock
  • Disclosure of any litigation or unresolved complaint filed with a governmental authority in any state
  • Notarized statement that certifies that there has been no litigation or unresolved complaint

Provide a Credit Services Organization Bond

In order to operate as an Illinois credit services organization, you have to obtain a surety bond. It functions as a security mechanism that for consumer protection against potential illegal actions on your side. 

The amount of the Illinois credit services organization bond that you have to provide is $100,000. The bonding process entails that you pay a premium, which is a fraction of this amount. It depends on the stability of your personal and business finances. If they are in good shape, the rates that you can get are in the range of 0.75% to 5%

You need to file the $100,000 surety bond on the official form provided by the Secretary of State. Your bond coverage should be active 2 years after you stop your activities as a credit services organization. 

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Complete the Registration Application

illinois credit services organizationYou have to file your application for registration with the Illinois Secretary of State

Once approved, you need to keep a copy of the registration statement in your files. You are required to showcase the statement in case a customer requests it.

As a registered CSO, you cannot charge your customers for incomplete services, nor can your salespersons, agents or representatives. You have to strictly follow the regulations set in the state Act regarding your operations as a CSO. 

Registration Fees

The registration filing costs $100 that you need to provide at the time of application.


Do you need more information about the Illinois credit services organization registration and bonding? You can reach us at 877.514.5146

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Robin Kix

Robin Kix is currently the Renewal Department Manager. Since joining Lance Surety in 2014, she has helped thousands of businesses throughout the nation remain compliant at the federal, state and local level. She has significant experience supporting commercial bond lines, particularly in the automobile, transportation and construction industries. Robin and her team work together to create a positive customer service experience at the time of every policy renewal, whether that be finding the best pricing or offering additional assistance.