Orr disappointed with veto of Assumed Business Name bill

August 14, 2015
Press Release
Vital Records

Cook County Clerk David Orr on Friday expressed his dismay with Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of SB 1360, which would have helped business and customers alike, in maintaining an accurate and relevant index of businesses, while modernizing the record-keeping of their registrations.

“Quite simply, Gov. Rauner is wrong about the filing requirements for small businesses in the state of Illinois and in Cook County, and he’s wrong about the purpose of this bill,” Orr said.

Gov. Rauner, in his veto of SB 1360, stated that every business with an assumed name in Illinois “is required to register that name with the Secretary of State and each county in which the business operates.” That is not correct, Orr said. “Small, mom-and-pop type businesses, which register with the county do not have to register with the state. Corporations and LLCs register with the state, not Cook County.”

SB 1360 passed both Houses in May with the support of Republicans and Democrats. It amended the one-time Assumed Business Name registration with a renewal or cancellation every five years. A nominal renewal fee – which works out to $5 a year – would have brought longterm benefits to businesses by bringing the system up to date.

Gov. Rauner stated that the filing requirements between the state and local governments were “redundant,” something else that is also not correct, Orr said.

“There is no significant overlap of business registrations between the county and the state,” Orr said. “The vast, vast majority of the 500,000 businesses that have registered in Cook County have not filed with the state and they do not renew with my office. This creates a mountain of registrations and makes it very difficult for a small business owner starting out to determine if they can hang their own name on the shingle. That’s why this bill was valuable for small business.

“If the governor is suggesting that all businesses should file with the state, he’s talking about fees for small businesses six times higher than SB 1360. A quick look at the Secretary of State’s website suggests that corporations, LLCs, and LLPs pay $150 every five years – the small business renewal fee under SB 1360 was $25 every five years. Bringing all businesses under the state’s registration system would be a costly burden on small businesses.”

“I want to thank the sponsors and members from both sides of the aisle for supporting SB 1360. They understood that this was a good, pro-small business reform, which would have been helpful to small business, made government more efficient, and brought transparency to the ownership status of the state’s businesses,” Orr said.

“The state is able to go after defunct corporations to clean the rolls of registrations at the state level, and this bill would have provided the county with that same ability, to clean the rolls of small businesses that haven’t been around in decades. If the governor wants to help small business, and make government more efficient, we would look forward to discussing these issues with his office.”