(215 ILCS 5/121) (from Ch. 73, par. 733)
    Sec. 121. Transacting business without certificate of authority prohibited.
    (1) It shall be unlawful for any company to enter into a contract of insurance as an insurer or to transact insurance business in this State, without a certificate of authority from the Director; provided that this subsection shall not apply to contracts procured by agents under the authority of section 445, nor to contracts of reinsurance.
    (2) The following acts, if performed in this State, shall be included among those deemed to constitute transacting insurance business in this State:
    (a) maintaining an agency or office where contracts are executed which are or purport to be contracts of insurance with citizens of this or any other State;
    (b) maintaining files or records of contracts of insurance; or
    (c) receiving payment of premiums for contracts of insurance.
    (3) Any company that violates any of the provisions of subsections (1) and (2) of this section shall be guilty of a business offense and shall be required to pay a penalty of not less than $100 nor more than $1000 for each offense, to be recovered in the name of the People of the State of Illinois by the State's Attorney of the county in which the violation occurs and the penalty so recovered shall be paid into the county treasury. Each day in which a violation occurs shall constitute a separate offense.
    (4) The failure of a company to obtain a certificate of authority shall not impair the validity of any act or contract of such company and shall not prevent such company from defending any action in any court of this State, but no company transacting insurance business in this State without a certificate of authority shall be permitted to maintain an action in any court of this State to enforce any right, claim or demand arising out of the transaction of such business until such company shall have obtained a certificate of authority. Nor shall an action be maintained in any court of this State by any successor or assignee of such company on any such right, claim or demand originally held by such company until a certificate of authority shall have been obtained by such company or by a company which has acquired all or substantially all of its assets.
(Source: P.A. 83-345.)