Your Ohio Registered Agent provides various services, including the acceptance of formal documents and correspondence from the Ohio Secretary of State (OH SOS).

Your LLC must have a Registered Agent (known in this state as an Ohio Statutory Agent) at all times. You can appoint one when you first start your business. You can also replace your existing Ohio Registered Agent at a later date, provided there is a smooth transition between the old and new agents.

 

Ohio Registered Agent Requirements

  • Every domestic and foreign corporation is required to maintain a Statutory Agent with a registered office within the State of Ohio at all times.
  • Your Registered Agent is allowed to be a natural person or a domestic or foreign (licensed to transact business in the state) artificial legal entity (Corporation, LLC, LP or LLP).
  • The Registered Office is required to be located at a street address in the state of Ohio — a P.O. Box alone isn’t allowed.
  • If the Registered Agent is a person, they must reside in Ohio.
  • If the Statutory Agent is a business, they must be able to conduct business in Ohio.
  • The Registered Agent in Ohio must be available in person during normal business hours to sign for any correspondence.

Note that the address for your Ohio agent does not need to be the same as your business address. In fact, you may be able to use an Ohio virtual mailbox as your business address.

Important: A virtual mailbox is not an acceptable replacement for a Registered Agent. They perform two separate functions and per state law, you are required to have a Registered Agent.

What an Ohio Statutory Agent Does

A Registered Agent’s main function is to accept official documentation and correspondence.

This includes:

  • Correspondence from the OH SOS
  • Service of process notices (e.g., if your LLC is sued or required to appear in court)
  • Official state and federal government correspondence and notifications
  • Tax forms and requests to complete permits, company filings and reports

Incfile Provides Free Ohio Registered Agent Service for the First Year

Incfile provides complete Ohio Registered Agent service for any LLC that’s formed in the state. Even better, if you choose to create your business through Incfile, your Registered Agent is completely free for the first year and only $119 a year after that.

Incfile is authorized to conduct business in Ohio and can legally act as your Registered Agent. Here’s what our Ohio Statutory Agent service provides:

An always-available Ohio Registered Agent who can receive correspondence, documents and legal proceedings on your LLC’s behalf

A digital dashboard where you can access, store and retrieve any information we’ve received for your business

Email notification whenever we receive documents for your business

Automatic forwarding of all legal correspondence, documentation and information directly to you

 

Appointing a Registered Agent Service for Your LLC

When you first form your LLC, you must appoint a Registered Agent. You can change it at any point after that. Here’s how to go about it.

Assign a Registered Agent When You Form Your LLC

Your business needs to have a Registered Agent as soon as it’s formed. You can do this through one of the following methods.

1
File Articles of Organization with the OH SOS

When you file your Articles of Organization with the OH SOS to formally create your business, you’re required to include details of your Registered Agent.

2
Work with Incfile and Secure a Free Ohio Registered Agent

When you form your LLC through us, we’ll include a free year of our Registered Agent service. Then we’ll use the information you provide to complete and file your Articles of Organization for you.

Assign a Different Ohio Statutory Agent Service After Formation

You can also change your Registered Agent service after you’ve formed your LLC. There are a couple of ways to do this.

1
Choose a Registered Agent Service and File a Form with the OH SOS

Once you’ve chosen a new Ohio Statutory Agent, you can complete the Statutory Agent Update form available on the OH SOS website. Once you’ve filled it out, send it to the Secretary of State with a fee payment of $25 so they can update your records.

2
Sign Up for Incfile’s Registered Agent Service and We’ll File the Change on Your Behalf

When you choose to use our Registered Agent service, we take care of all the form filling and filing for you. We’ll collect important information about your business, complete the form on your behalf and send it to the OH SOS. We’ll let you know once we officially become your Registered Agent.

Ohio Registered Agent Search

In some situations, you might want to know the name of the Statutory Agent that represents another LLC in Ohio. This information is available via the OH SOS business database.

If the OH Registered Agent isn’t available from the searchable business registry, contact the OH SOS to request the information.

What Happens If You Don’t Have a Registered Agent?

If you choose not to assign or provide details of a Registered Agent to the OH SOS, there may be several possible ramifications, including:

  • Getting served or sued and not finding out about it: If your LLC is sued and you don’t know about it, you could lose to a default judgment in your absence.
  • Falling out of good standing with the OH SOS: If you don’t respond to certain correspondence (such as a request to renew your business license), the state may revoke your right to do business.
  • Losing your status as an LLC in Ohio: A Registered Agent “proves” to the state that your business exists. Without it, you could lose your business entity protections and your LLC may be dissolved.
 

Acting as Your Own Registered Agent

If you have an address in the state, you can be the Registered Agent for your Ohio LLC. We don’t recommend this approach as there can be some drawbacks:

  • The Registered Agent must have a physical street address in Ohio. If you’re forming an LLC outside the state, you'll need to use an in-state Registered Agent.
  • You must always have someone available during business hours at the Ohio address to sign for important documents.
  • The Registered Agent’s name and address are part of the public record and available through the OH SOS website. If you prefer your name and address aren’t published, you should choose a Registered Agent service.
  • If you change your Ohio business address or move out of state, you need to file additional documentation with the OH SOS for the new address. This would not be necessary if you use a Registered Agent service, making a move or address change much simpler.

Other Useful Resources

FAQs About Ohio Statutory Agents

Do I Need to Appoint an Ohio Statutory Agent?

Yes. All business entities in the state are required to have a Statutory Agent. This is mandated by the OH SOS. See the details above.

When Should I Assign a Statutory Agent?

You must assign a Statutory Agent when you create your business with the OH SOS. You can change your agent afterward by filing the correct form. If you form your business through Incfile, we'll file all the necessary forms on your behalf. More information above.

Can I Be My Own Statutory Agent in Ohio?

Yes, but we don’t recommend it for the reasons listed above.

Does the Registered Agent for My Ohio-Based LLC Need to Have an Address in Ohio?

Yes. And if you use a company as your Registered Agent, that company must be legally able to conduct business in your state. You'll find more information above.

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