Registered/Statutory Agents and Your Ohio LLC
The Ohio Secretary of State requires every OH LLC to have a Registered Agent, also referred to as a Statutory Agent. Once you have assigned an Ohio Statutory Agent, they can receive official correspondence and documents on behalf of your OH business. Statutory Agents can be individuals or other specialized Registered/Statutory Agent service businesses.
Your LLC must have an Ohio Statutory Agent at all times. You can appoint a Statutory Agent when you first start your business. You can also replace your existing OH Statutory Agent at a later date, provided there is a smooth transition between the old and new Statutory Agent service.
Here’s what we cover:
- Information on the Ohio Secretary of State and OH Registered Agent Services
- Rules for Ohio Statutory Agents
- What to Expect from an Ohio Statutory Agent Service
- Incfile Provides a Free Ohio Registered Agent Service for the First Year
- How to Appoint an Ohio Statutory Agent for Your LLC
- Ohio Registered Agent Search
- Issues with Not Having an Ohio Statutory Agent
- Assigning Yourself as the Ohio Registered Agent for Your LLC
- FAQs About Ohio Statutory Agents
- Useful Resources for Ohio Statutory Agent Services
Information from the Ohio Secretary of State on Registered Agent Services
In Ohio, a Registered Agent is formally known as a “Statutory Agent.” We’ll use those names interchangeably in this guide, since their functions and requirements are identical.
Here’s some important information from the Ohio Secretary of State on OH Registered Agent services.
“The statutory agent must be one of the following: (1) A natural person who is a resident of this state; or (2) A domestic or foreign corporation, nonprofit corporation, limited liability company, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, limited partnership association, professional association, business trust, or unincorporated nonprofit association that has a business address in this state. If the agent is a business entity then the agent must meet the requirements of Title XVII of the Revised Code to transact business or exercise privileges in Ohio.”
Rules for Ohio Statutory Agents
There are certain rules that you must follow when you’re appointing an Ohio Registered Agent service for your business. They are:
- If the Registered Agent is a person, they must reside in Ohio.
- If the Registered Agent is a business, they must be able to conduct business in Ohio.
- The Registered Agent must have a physical street address in Ohio, not a P.O. Box.
- The Registered Agent must be available in person during normal business hours to sign for any correspondence.
Note that the Registered Agent address does not need to be the same as your Ohio LLC business address.
Services Provided by an Ohio Registered Agent
Your Ohio Registered Agent carries out several valuable services for your business. They accept official communications and documents from the OH Secretary of State on your behalf. This may include:
- Correspondence from the Ohio Secretary of State.
- Service of process notices (e.g., if your OH LLC is sued or required to appear in court)
- Official Ohio state and federal government correspondence and notifications
- Tax forms and requests to complete permits, company filings and reports
Incfile Provides a Free Ohio Registered Agent Service for the First Year
If you have an LLC that’s incorporated in Ohio and you need a Registered Agent, we can help. Incfile provides a complete Registered Agent service for any Ohio business. We’ll even act as your Registered Agent free for your first year (normally a $119 annual cost).
We are authorized to conduct business in Ohio and can legally act as your Registered Agent.
Here’s what the Incfile Ohio Registered Agent service provides for your LLC::
- 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 Ohio business
- Email notification whenever we receive documents for your business
- Automatic forwarding of all legal correspondence, documentation and information directly to you
How to Appoint an Ohio Registered Agent for Your LLC
You can appoint a Registered Agent when you first incorporate your Ohio LLC or at any point after that. Here’s how to go about it.
Assign Your Ohio Registered Agent When You Form Your LLC
Your business needs to have an Ohio Registered Agent Service as soon as it’s formed. You can achieve this through one of the following methods.
You will need to include details of your Registered Agent in your Certificate of Formation. This is the form that you file with the OH Secretary of State to formally create your business.
When you incorporate through us, we complete and file your Articles of Organization based on the information you've provided. Additionally, we give you a free Ohio Resident Agent Service for the first year, and we'll include details of your Ohio Resident Agent in the form that we file.
Change Your Ohio Registered Agent After Your LLC Is Formed
You can also change your Registered Agent service after you’ve formed your LLC. There are a couple of ways to achieve this.
Once you’ve chosen a new Ohio Registered Agent, you can complete a form. Once you’ve filled it out, send it to the secretary of state so they can update your records. The Ohio SOS may charge a nominal fee to assign or change a Registered Agent, and we do pass that fee on to you.
When you choose to use our OH 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 Ohio Secretary of State. We’ll let you know once we officially become your Registered Agent.
Ohio Statutory Agent Search
In some situations, you might want to know the name of the Statutory Agent that represents another Ohio LLC. If you do, you can search the business database of the Ohio Secretary of State, as these will often provide details of a specific business’s Statutory Agent.
If the OH Statutory Agent isn’t available from the searchable business registry, contact the Ohio Secretary of State requesting the information.
What Happens If You Don’t Have an Ohio Statutory Agent?
What happens if you choose not to assign or provide details of a Registered Agent to the Ohio Secretary of State? There are 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 Ohio Secretary of State: If you don’t respond to certain correspondence (like the request for your annual report), certain states may revoke your right to do business.
- Losing your status as an Ohio LLC: 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.
You Can Appoint Yourself as Your Own Ohio Registered Agent
If you have an address in Ohio, you can choose to be the Registered Agent for your 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 Ohio, you will need to use an in-state Registered Agent.
- You always need to have someone on hand 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 Ohio Secretary of State's 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 would need to file additional documentation with the OH Secretary of State for the new address if you act as your own Registered Agent. This would not be the case if you use a Registered Agent service, making a move or address change much simpler.
FAQs About Ohio Registered Agents
Yes. All OH LLCs are required to have a Registered Agent. This is mandated by the Ohio Secretary of State.
You can either do it when you incorporate your Ohio business through paperwork filed with the Ohio Secretary of State or afterward by filing the correct form. If you form your business through Incfile, we will file all necessary forms on your behalf.
Yes, but we don’t recommend it for the reasons listed above. If you still want to be your own Registered Agent, you need to fill in the correct forms and pay a fee to the Ohio Secretary of State.
Yes. Additionally, if they are a business providing Registered Agent services, they must be legally able to conduct business in your state.
Additional Resources for Ohio Statutory Agent Services
You might find these resources helpful: