How Much Does It Cost to Form an OH Corporation?
Legal business registration — and keeping your business in compliance — involves necessary expenses and investment. Some of these costs are payable to the Ohio Secretary of State, while others are due to additional state entities or the federal government. Here are some common requirements and fees.
Please note that fees for a State of Ohio business license or permit may be due when you first form your business, on an ongoing schedule or on an ad hoc basis. Find more details below.
Initial Ohio Corporation Filing Fees
When starting a business in Ohio State, you’ll need to file a form and pay a filing fee. Here are the current Ohio corporation filing fees and times:
When you use Incfile to register a business in Ohio, we charge you the state filing fee and forward it to the Secretary of State when we file your incorporation paperwork
Just pay the required Ohio corporation filing fee.
Employer Identification Number
Every corporation in the country should have a unique EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the Internal Revenue Service. You'll use it when you open a business bank account, file taxes and pay employees. You can get one directly from the IRS, or Incfile can get one for you.
If you want to do business in a state other than the one where your business is based, you must create a Foreign Corporation.
Ohio Foreign Corporation Registration
Before you can bring an arm of your business from another state into Ohio, you must request Ohio Foreign Qualification. This means the state gives you permission to conduct business there.
To request registration of a Ohio Foreign Corporation, you must complete an Application for License and pay a processing fee of $99. The state may have additional registration requirements, so contact the Ohio Secretary of State directly for more information and to ensure you're in compliance with OH corporation law.
Foreign Qualification to Operate in Another State
If you plan to expand your Ohio corporation into another state, you’ll first need Foreign Qualification or a Certificate of Authority from that state. This is necessary before you can create a physical presence, hire employees or bank in that state.
You'll likely have to complete at least one application and pay a filing fee, but each state has its own requirements. Before you start the process, compare state filing times and state filing fees so you can plan accordingly.
Above all, contact the state government entity that administers business (usually the Secretary of State) to confirm their requirements and for specific instructions.
If you need assistance, Incfile provides a complete Foreign Qualification service for all states.
Ohio Annual Report Requirements
Most states require business entities to file an annual (or other periodic) report. Ohio is unlike these states in that it does not require a periodic report.
Ohio corporations are currently not required to file annual reports.
State of Ohio Business License and Permit Requirements
Before you start doing business, you must secure the necessary state, federal or local business licenses and permits to operate your corporation. Some of the fees will only need to be paid once, while others may be ongoing charges.
Permits and licenses vary based on:
You are required to have Ohio corporation regulations if you form a corporation in the state. You don't need to file them with the Ohio Secretary of State, but make sure you have them with your documents and by all means, continue to follow them.
The regulations must then be adopted (and amended, if necessary) by the board of directors and shareholders.
Drafting a set of regulations can be extremely helpful in making sure you’re organized and can help protect your business from any future changes and events that may affect your business.
Other OH Corporation Filing Requirements and Fees
The State of Ohio requires you to complete a few more tasks before you can begin conducting business.
Appoint a Director
Some states require corporations to appoint a full board of directors. OH corporation law requires all corporations to have at least one director.
In Ohio, the board of directors must elect officers, for the corporation that "shall consist of a president, a secretary, a treasurer, and, if desired, one or more vice-presidents and such other officers and assistant officers as may be deemed necessary."
Issue Stock to Shareholders
To raise business capital and keep it separate from company owners' money, every Ohio corporation must sell stock to its shareholders. The Articles of Incorporation must authorize the sale of at least one class of share, and the corporation cannot sell more shares than are authorized.
Hold Annual General Meetings
Within Ohio you must hold annual shareholder meetings for the election of directors and the consideration of reports. The Ohio Revised Code Title 17, Chapter 1701, § 1701.39 states, "An annual meeting of shareholders for the election of directors and the consideration of reports to be laid before such meeting shall be held on a date designated by, or in the manner provided for in, the articles or in the regulations. In the absence of such designation, the annual meeting shall be held on the first Monday of the fourth month following the close of each fiscal year of the corporation."
Get a Trade Name or DBA
If you want to register an Ohio DBA (trade name), you must file a form with the Secretary of State and pay a filing fee of $25.
Change the Statutory Agent
If your corporation is based in Ohio, then you must have a Statutory Agent in the state. You'll need to appoint one when you file your Articles of Incorporation. You can also change to a new Statutory Agent later by filing a form and paying a fee of $25.
It’s free for the first year if you form your OH corporation with us and $119 a year after.
Reserving a Name for Your Corporation
If you're not quite ready to start your business, you can reserve a name for 180 days with the Secretary of State by filing a form and paying a fee of $39. First, conduct an OH corporation search and learn the state's business naming rules to ensure you choose a name that meets legal requirements.
Amending Facts About Your Corporation
When you incorporate, the Ohio business forms you fill out include certain facts about your business at that time. Through the years, some or all of this information may change. If it does, you'll need to file a Certificate of Amendment with the Ohio SOS along with a filing fee of $50. You can do this yourself or Incfile can do it for you.
Get a Certificate of Good Standing
Some organizations may request that you prove your corporation's compliance with laws and tax requirements. In most states - including Ohio - this proof is provided with a Certificate of Good Standing.
If you need to prove you have met your commitments, you’ll need to request an Ohio Certificate of Good Standing from the Secretary of State. You can do this by filing a Certificate Request with the Ohio SOS, and paying a fee of $5.
The information listed above details many of the fees a standard corporation will be required to pay in Ohio. In some circumstances, there may be other one-off, periodic or ad hoc fees not listed above.
Of course, your corporation will also probably need to pay federal, state, self-employment (if it's an S Corp) and other taxes. You'll find more information on the Ohio taxes page.
We charge you this fee at cost and then pay it to the Ohio Secretary of State on your behalf when forming your business.
It depends on various factors, including:
- governing organizations in your industry;
- federal, state and local regulations;
- where you're located; and
- the type of business you run.
Many new businesses need a business license, and you may be required to obtain additional licenses and permits. Our Business License Research Package can take the guesswork out of it for you and help you learn what your corporation needs to be compliant.