How to Start an LLC in Ohio

The midwestern state of Ohio is one of the best places in the U.S. to start a small business with the Ohio Secretary of State. This state was named the second-best place in the country to start a business by Site Selection magazine. Its economy is in the top 10 wealthiest in the U.S., making Ohio an economic powerhouse.

Ohio also boasts a business-friendly tax system and has many policies aimed at helping small businesses. Major industries in the state include finance, manufacturing, biotechnology, trade, transportation, healthcare and education.

If you want to register a business in Ohio, one of the best ways to do so is by forming an Ohio LLC. Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are a business entity designed for startups and small- and medium-sized businesses. Ohio LLCs give you many of the protections and advantages of larger corporations without all the rules, regulations and compliance issues common to larger business entities.

We’ll tell you what you need to know about the Ohio Secretary of State, Ohio business registration, filing for your Ohio LLC and much more. Whether you’re starting a business in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton or somewhere else, we can help.

Briefly, the benefits of starting an Ohio LLC include:

  • Separating and limiting your personal liability from your business liability and debts
  • Quick and simple filing, management, compliance, regulations and administration of your Ohio LLC
  • Easy tax filing and potential advantages for tax treatment

Learn more about the benefits of the LLC business structure here.

Six Quick Steps for Setting up Your Ohio Company

This guide has plenty of information on how to form your Ohio LLC, but you can break down the basics of forming a business in Ohio into just a few simple steps.

STEP 1: Gather Information for Your Members

First, you need to gather basic information about your LLC, including the names and addresses of the managers or members. The LLC members are typically the people who own and run the business. They are also the ones who can take profits out of the business to pay themselves.

STEP 2: Search for and Choose a Unique Business Name for Your Ohio LLC

You will need a distinctive and original name for your Ohio LLC that's not used by any other business in OH. To find out if another company is using your chosen business name, carry out an Ohio business entity name search on the OH Secretary of State website.

There are a few rules you'll need to follow when choosing an LLC name. You can find out more in our guide to searching for and naming your Ohio LLC.

Learn about Ohio LLC business naming rules.
STEP 3: Provide an Official Address for Your Ohio LLC

Every Ohio LLC must have a designated street address. That could be your home address (if you’re running the company from your residence), your company’s office building or any physical address of your preference. The address must be inside the state of Ohio, but it cannot be a P.O. Box.

STEP 4: Assign an Ohio Registered Agent

Every Ohio LLC must have a “Registered Agent.” This is an official position; the Registered Agent is someone who receives official legal and tax correspondence and has responsibility for filing reports with the Ohio Secretary of State.

This position can be filled by you, another manager in the business or a dedicated Registered Agent service. Your Registered Agent must have a physical street address in Ohio and must be present to receive important documents for your company during business hours.

At Incfile, all of our packages include an Ohio Registered Agent service that is free for the first year and just $119 per year afterward. We also have a dashboard where you can log in and easily view any document your Registered Agent has received on your behalf.

Learn more about Ohio Registered Agents.
STEP 5: Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service

You will need an EIN to identify your business with the IRS. You use this number when filing and paying taxes or when submitting payroll information and payments for your employees. You can obtain one directly from the IRS, or we can get one for you as part of the Ohio LLC business formation process.

STEP 6: File Articles of Organization with the Ohio Secretary of state

Once you've gathered all the information for your LLC, you’ll need to file a formal document with the Ohio Secretary of State. This document is known as your “Articles of Organization,” and filing the document creates your Ohio LLC. Here’s what is typically included:

  • Your business name and address
  • Details of your Registered Agent
  • Tax closing month

You can file your Ohio Articles of Organization online, mail in a form or have Incfile do it on your behalf. There is a fee to file and start an LLC in Ohio, but you only need to file your Articles of Organization once.

Form your LLC now.

Review Information from the Ohio Secretary of State

The Ohio Secretary of State has plenty of information on forming and running a business in Ohio. Check out additional resources below.
These are all the basic steps for forming an LLC in Ohio. You’ll find other useful information below.

Special Types of Ohio LLCs

A regular Ohio LLC is suitable for most business needs, but you also have a few other options to incorporate a special type of LLC.

Form a Professional Ohio LLC

Some states, including Ohio, allow certain occupations to form “Professional LLCs.” These types of businesses typically have special requirements and licensing. You can find more details on the occupations that the OH Secretary of State allows to form Ohio professional LLCs here.

Form a Foreign LLC in Ohio

If your business is already operating in another state and expanding to Ohio, you’ll need to form a foreign LLC.

More information on Ohio filing and licensing requirements here.

What to Do After Forming Your Ohio LLC

Want to know your next steps after creating a new LLC in Ohio? We’ve got you covered. Here’s our guide to understanding your ongoing requirements, setting up new bank accounts, protecting your business name, getting accounting in place and more.

Read the Rest of the Guide for More

You’ll find plenty more insight and guidance on the other pages of this guide, including:

Naming Your Ohio LLC

How to search the Ohio business registry of the Secretary of State and find the right name. Includes information on naming rules, fictitious names, reserving an Ohio LLC name and more.

Ohio Registered Agents for LLCs

How to appoint a Registered Agent to your new LLC or change to a different Registered Agent. Includes information on Registered Agent rules and searching for Ohio Registered Agents.

Fees and Requirements for Ohio LLCs

How to understand the various fees you’ll need to pay and the requirements you’ll need to meet for both federal and Ohio rules. Includes details of Employer Identification Numbers (EINs), Ohio and federal business licenses, annual reports and more.

Federal, State, Sales and Other Taxes for Your Ohio LLC

How to understand the various taxes you will need to pay to the federal and Ohio government. Includes details of federal taxes like income and self-employment, and Ohio taxes like sales tax and income tax.

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Fees and Requirements in Ohio


State fee

State filing time

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Filing Time and Price

The state charges this amount to file a new business entity. This fee goes directly to the Secretary of State.

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Compliance Requirements

This report is mandatory and must be filed within the specified time frame in order for the entity to remain in good standing with the state. Failure to file this report can lead to the company being revoked or administratively dissolved.

Other State Requirements

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