If you are in the process of forming a business with the Secretary of State, you are probably wondering what is the difference between a domestic corporation (corp) and a foreign corporation.
You are a domestic corp within the state that you are forming. For example, if you are forming (incorporating) your business in IL as a new business, then you are a domestic corp in IL.
You would be a foreign corp if you first formed (incorporated) in Delaware and then you wanted to register your Delaware corp in Illinois. From the perspective of the Illinois Secretary of State, your business would be considered a foreign corp because it was formed outside of the state of Illinois (in Delaware).
So when we are discussing the difference between domestic and foreign in the context of formation purposes, “foreign” has nothing to do with international. For secretary of state purposes and formation, it just means whether you have been formed in that state or in another state because formation of a business is done at the state-level (not at the federal level).
We hope that helps bring clarity to the domestic corporation vs foreign corporation question.