How Much Does Starting an Ohio LLC Cost?

Legal business registration — and keeping your business in good standing — involves some necessary expenses. Some of these costs are payable to the OH Secretary of State, while others are due to the federal or other state government entity. We’ve summarized the most common requirements and fees here.


Note that Ohio business license and permit fees might need to be paid when you first form your business, on an ongoing schedule or on an ad hoc basis. Find more details below.

Initial Ohio LLC Fees

When you first form your business, you’ll need to file as an LLC with the OH Secretary of State and pay a filing fee. Here are the current Ohio LLC fees and filing times:

State Fee State Filing Time Expedited Filing Time
$99 4 Weeks 3 Business Days
State Fee $99
State Filing Time 4 Weeks
Expedited Filing Time 3 Business Days

When you form through Incfile, we charge you this fee and forward it to the OH Secretary of State when we file your formation paperwork.

Incfile can file your formation paperwork for you for free — just pay the required Ohio LLC filing fee
Ohio allows you to form your LLC more quickly by paying a rush fee

Employer Identification Number

Every LLC should have a unique Employer Identification Number (EIN). This is provided by the Internal Revenue Service, and you use it when filing taxes, opening a business bank account and paying employees. You can get one yourself at no cost from the IRS or have Incfile obtain one on your behalf.

Foreign LLCs

When you want to do business in a state other than the one where your business is based, you must create a foreign LLC.

Ohio Foreign LLC 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 an Ohio Foreign LLC, you must complete a Registration of a Foreign Limited Liability Company form and pay a filing fee of $99. The state may have additional requirements so contact the OH Secretary of State for more information.

Foreign Qualification to Operate in Another State

If you plan to expand your Ohio LLC into another state, you’ll first need Foreign Qualification or a Certificate of Authority from that state. This is necessary if you'll have a physical presence, employees or banking in that state.

This process will likely entail completing one or more applications and paying filing fees, but each state has its own requirements. Before you move forward, compare state filing times and state filing fees to be prepared. 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 complete Foreign Qualification service for all states.

Annual Report Requirements

Ohio does not require LLCs to file annual reports.

Ohio Business Licenses and Permits

You must ensure you have the appropriate state, federal or local business licenses to operate your LLC. Some of the associated fees only need to be paid once, while others are ongoing charges.

Permits and licenses vary based on:

1

The industry your LLC operates in (e.g., restaurants will need health permits)

2

The location of your LLC (county or city) (e.g., a license to conduct business from the city of Cleveland)

3

The type of business you run (e.g., healthcare providers must meet HIPAA requirements)

Remember that operating your business without the required licenses can expose you to risks and fines from federal, state and local governments.

You can research these permits and licenses yourself, or use Incfile’s Business License Research package, which includes:

  • A complete report on all the licenses, permits and tax registrations your LLC will need
  • The application forms you'll need to file with the state, regional and federal licensing authorities

Operating Agreements

The state does not require you to have an Ohio LLC Operating Agreement in place.

An Operating Agreement is a document that covers how the business will be run, how managers and members are chosen, rights and duties of members and several other key areas.

This document can be extremely helpful in making sure you’re organized and prepared for any future events that may affect your business.

Incfile can draft a general Operating Agreement template when you form your Ohio business.

You can make changes to the template based on your specific requirements.

Other Potential LLC Fees or Requirements in Ohio

There are several other fees or requirements that you may need to meet during the life of your LLC. These ad hoc fees will only be payable in specific circumstances, which we’ve listed below.

Obtaining a Trade Name or Fictitious Name

If you want to establish an Ohio DBA (fictitious name or trade name), you must file a form with the Secretary of State and pay a filing fee of $39.

Incfile can file your Trade or Fictitious Name forms on your behalf

Changing the Statutory Agent

Your LLC needs an Ohio Statutory Agent (Registered Agent), which must be appointed when you first form your LLC. You can also switch to a new Registered Agent later by filing a form and paying a $25 filing fee.

Have Incfile serve as your Registered Agent.

It’s free for the first year if you form your LLC with us and $119 a year after.

Reserving a Name for Your LLC

If you don’t want to form your OH business right away, you can reserve a name for 180 days with the Ohio Secretary of State for a fee of $39. First, perform an Ohio business search and learn about rules pertaining to business names to ensure the name you choose meets all state requirements.

Amending Certain Facts About Your LLC

Your business formation documents state certain facts about your Ohio business when it was originally formed. Over time, these facts might change. If they do, you need to file a Domestic Limited Liability Company Certificate of Amendment form with the OH Secretary of State and pay a $50 filing fee. You can do this yourself or have Incfile complete the filing on your behalf.

You may want to file Articles of Amendment when you:

  • Add, remove or change an LLC member or manager
  • Change the business address of your LLC
  • Alter the stated business activities of your LLC

Getting an Ohio Certificate of Good Standing

Some organizations will request that you prove your LLC’s compliance with laws and tax requirements. If you need to prove that you've met your commitments, you'll need a Certificate of Good Standing from the OH Secretary of State.

Incfile can obtain a Certificate of Good Standing on your behalf

The fees listed above detail many of the charges a standard LLC will be required to pay. In some unusual circumstances, there may be other one-off, periodic or ad hoc fees not listed above.

Of course, your LLC will likely need to pay self-employment, payroll, federal, state and sales taxes. More information about taxes can be found on the Ohio Business Tax page.

FAQs About Ohio LLC Fees

What Happens to the State Fees I'm Charged When Forming My LLC?

We charge you this fee at cost and then pay the fee to the Secretary of State on your behalf when forming your Ohio business.

Who Do I Get Business Licenses and Permits from for My LLC?

It depends on various factors, including:

  • The type of business you run
  • Where you're located
  • Governing organizations in your industry
  • Federal, state and local regulations

Many new businesses need a business license, but you may be required to have additional licenses and permits. Our Business License Research package can take the guesswork out of it for you and help you learn what your LLC needs to be in compliance.

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