Starting an Ohio LLC

LLC Registration in Ohio

To form an Ohio LLC (Limited Liability Company), you’ll need to appoint an Ohio statutory agent and file Articles of Organization ($99) with the Secretary of State.

Your company will also need an operating agreement, EIN, bank account, website, and other essentials before you’re ready to start doing business.

But not everyone loves doing paperwork.

That’s why our value-packed Ohio LLC Formation package includes a year of registered agent service, free operating agreement, limited free mail forwarding, and more. On top of that, we provide domain name, website, email, and virtual phone service at no additional upfront cost.

Easy & Affordable LLC Formation
with Ohio Statutory Agent LLC

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This company was amazing! I had a representative who took 15 minutes of her time walking me [through] setting up my company correctly… Their software is fantastic and customer service was excellent… Thank you so much!

Vasilios Sahinidis, Google Review

Benefits of Creating an LLC in Ohio

  • Liability Protection
    When you form an LLC, you create a separate business entity. This helps shield you and your personal assets if your business is sued or owes debts.

    So, if you’re thinking of starting a sole proprietorship or general partnership instead of an LLC, you might want to reconsider. You may save a small amount of money by not registering your business with the state, but you won’t have any liability protection.

  • No Double Taxation
    If you’re trying to decide between forming a corporation or an LLC, choosing to start an LLC may simplify your taxes and keep you from paying both personal income and corporate taxes at the federal level.

    With an LLC, you can choose pass-through taxation. You’ll be taxed on your personal income from your LLC, but your LLC itself won’t be taxed on its gross income.

  • No Annual Report
    One great thing about registering an LLC in Ohio is that you don’t have to file an Annual Report or pay an annual fee to keep your business in good standing.

    Once your formation paperwork has been accepted, you’re good to go.


1. Name Your LLC

Your LLC must have a name that is unique and follows Ohio business naming rules. If your name is too similar to the name of another registered business or violates the naming rules, your formation filing will be rejected.

How do I make sure the name I want to use isn’t already taken by another business?

You can use the Ohio Business Name Search to search for names already in use.

How do I make sure my name is unique?

The Ohio Secretary of State’s office has published General Name Availability Guidelines that lay out the rules for determining if your desired name is distinguishable from (i.e.: not too similar to) business names currently in use. 

Some examples of actions that do NOT make a name unique include:

  • Adding punctuation: “Catz and Dogz” is too similar to “Catz & Dogz”
  • Having a different entity identifier: “Buckeye Bagel Boys, LLC” is too similar to “Buckeye Bagel Boys, Corp”
  • Adding or changing an article: “The Buckeye Bagel Boys” is too similar to “Buckeye Bagel Boys”

What other naming rules do I need to follow?

Your name must contain some variation of “limited liability company,” either the full term or an abbreviation like “LCC” or “Ltd.”

You also need to make sure that your name doesn’t contain any words or phrases that may mislead the public about the nature of your business or imply that your business is affiliated with a government agency when it is not. For example, you can’t use the word “bank” in your name unless your business is a bank or you have it approved by the superintendent of financial institutions before registering with the state. Even a name like “Buckeye Bagel Bank” would need to get approval.

You can read all the naming rules in the Secretary of State’s Business Name Availability Guidelines.

2. Appoint an Ohio Statutory Agent

In accordance with Ohio state statutes (Section 1701.07), every LLC must have an Ohio statutory agent, also known as an Ohio registered agent.

What are the statutory agent requirements?

To serve as a statutory agent, the individual or business you appoint must:

  • Have a physical address in Ohio
  • Be available to accept documents during regular business hours

Why not serve as my own statutory agent?

While you can serve as your own statutory agent, there are some disadvantages to doing so. First, you’ll have to be available year-round at the same address during regular business hours. If you travel or work flexible hours, you may miss a delivery. Second, you’ll have to put the address where you’ll be available on your formation paperwork, which becomes public record. If you work from home, that means your home address. Hiring a statutory agent ensures that your documents will always be received and helps protect your privacy.

 

3. File Your Articles of Organization

Registering your LLC with the state of Ohio means filing Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State’s Office. 

If you’re ready, you can start filing out your Articles now using our online form. Whether you decide to hire us to file your formation paperwork or file on your own, the form is free to use. You can save even save your progress and come back to finish it later!

What are the filing requirements?

You’ll need to provide the following information on your form:

  • Name and address of the person or business that your approval certificate will be sent to
  • LLC Name
  • Effective Date (if you want to delay the cration of your LLC up to 90 days)
  • Purpose (optional)
  • Name and mailing address of your statutory agent
  • Statutory agent signature
  • Signature(s) of the individual(s) filing the formation paperwork (if your LLC is owned by another business, you can simply print that business’s name in the signature box)

What is the filing fee?

  • Regular Service – $99 ( completed 3-7 business days after your document is received)
  • 3-Day Expedited Service – $199
  • 1-Day Expedited Service – $299
  • Same-Day Expedited Service – $399 (must be delivered in person by 1 PM)

How do I file my Articles of Organization?

You can file by mail, in person, or online.

Online By Mail In Person

Ohio Business Filings Online

  • Regular Filing
    Ohio Secretary of State
    PO Box 670
    Columbus, OH 43216
  • Expedited Filing
    Ohio Secretary of State
    PO Box 1390
    Columbus, OH 43216

Ohio Secretary of State’s Office
Walk-in Client Service Center
180 E Broad Street, Suite 103
Columbus, OH 4321

 

 

Avoid the Hassle!

LLC Formation + Registered Agent + Web Presence

4. Draft Your Operating Agreement

 

Ohio law doesn’t require LLCs to adopt an operating agreement, but it’s a good idea to have one, anyway. An operating agreement outlines the internal rules governing your LLC, along with the roles and duties of its members.

What is in an operating agreement?

An operating agreement typically contains information relating to how your LLC is organized and managed, including:

  • Members’ ownership percentage
  • How profits and losses are distributed
  • Powers and responsibilities of members and managers
  • Meeting requirements and regulations
  • Voting rights
  • Procedures for solving disputes among members
  • Procedures for actions such as selling or dissolving the LLC

Why is an operating agreement important?

An operating agreement helps protect the LLC and its members by clarifying ownership interest, duties, and procedures. Without an operating agreement, you may rely on vague or unverifiable verbal agreements that might not hold up in court. And if you do end up in court, you’ll have to abide by the state’s default LLC laws, which may not be in your favor. Having a clear record of ownership interest will also help when you file your Beneficial Ownership Information report.

How do I write an operating agreement?

Because an operating agreement is a legal document, many businesses hire an attorney to take on this task. Other business owners use a template to draft their own operating agreement, which can be much more cost-effective (you may still want to have it reviewed by a lawyer). In fact, we provide a free, attorney-drafted operating agreement that you can adapt to your business as part of our Ohio LLC Formation package.

 

 

5. Get an Employer Identification Number

Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) are issued by the IRS and used to identify your company when you file federal taxes. While not all LLCs are required to get an EIN, most are. Luckily, the process is relatively quick and simple.

Does my LLC need an EIN?

If you own a single-member LLC that doesn’t have any employees, you can file taxes using your social security number. However, if you own a multi-member LLC or have employees, you’ll need an EIN.

How do I get an EIN?

You must apply for an EIN with the IRS. The fastest and easiest way is to apply for an EIN online, but there are other ways to apply. Getting your EIN is free. We offer EIN filing service for those want to avoid the hassle of applying altogether. 

 

6. Submit Your Beneficial Ownership Information Report

 

After forming your LLC with the state of Ohio, ironing out ownership interest, and getting an EIN, you must submit a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) report. This is a federal filing submitted online with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) that designed to help reduce fraud and other financial crimes in the US.

What information is required on my BOI Report?

You’ll need to provide information about your business, about all beneficial owners, and up to two company applicants. A beneficial owner is anyone who owns 25% or more of your LLC or with substantial control over business operations and profits. A company applicant is anyone responsible for filing your formation documents or directing them to be filed.

Company Information Individual Information
  • Legal business name PLUS any DBAs or trade names
  • US business street address
  • Tax ID (SS, EIN, TIN)
  • Jurisdiction of formation 
  • Full legal name
  • Residential address
  • Birth date
  • Copy of photo ID (driver’s license, passport)

When is my BOI report due?

During 2024, BOI reports must be filed within 90 days of company formation. In 2025 and after, companies have 30 days to file.

How do I file?

You can file online using the FinCEN database. There’s no filing fee. We offer BOI filing for just $9 to save you from the paperwork.

 

Our Ohio LLC Formation Package

You may be wondering: why have a statutory agent form my LLC in Ohio? The answer to this question is twofold. First, as a statutory agent, we can offer more than the average business formation company. Second, our Ohio LLC Formation package is an incredible deal.

Why Hire An Ohio Statutory Agent to Form Your LLC?

One-Stop LLC Formation

When you sign up for Ohio business formation services with most big-time national brands, that’s all you get. And if you file yourself, you’ll still need to shop for statutory agent service, an operating agreement, web services, and the like. With us, you’ll get your LLC statutory and get everything you need to hit the ground running, including domain, website, email, and phone service.

What you get:

  • Formation paperwork filed AND state filing fees covered
  • A year of statutory agent service (just $49/year after the first year)
  • A free structure-specific operating agreement and other attorney-drafted business documents
  • Use of our business address on your formation documents
  • Business mail scanning
  • Ohio Business Presence, including domain, website, SSL certificate, email, and phone
  • Lifetime client support and access to your online account
  • Access to additional services and filings (EIN, BOI, DBA)

Where your money goes:

ServiceFee
Ohio State Filing Fee$99
Our LLC Formation Service Fee$100
One Year Registered Agent Service$49
Total$248
 

 

Additional Steps for LLC Success

 

Beyond the basics of getting your Ohio LLC registered, you may need to take a few more steps to get your LLC ready for business and support its success.

Get a domain name and website

These days, starting a business is almost synonymous with starting a website—entrepreneurs and those interested in becoming small business owners often look into launching a website even before registering with the state. When it comes to choosing a domain name (the URL customers will type to go directly to your site), go with something memorable and close to your business name.

Setting up business email addresses (and a business phone number, too) is important to keep your business and personal communications from overlapping and to make your business appear professional.

You can get domain name, website, email, and phone service with our Ohio Business Presence package, which can be added to our Ohio LLC Formation package at no additional upfront cost.

Open a business bank account

Opening a dedicated bank account for your business is crucial to keeping your personal and business finances separate. If you’re funneling business funds into your personal account, you could face real trouble come tax time.

Look for a banking institution that offers high-interest savings and checking accounts, low-interest loans, and low fees. When opening your account, you may need to bring your personal ID and copies of your formation paperwork or other documents.

Obtain professional or industry licenses or permits

While Ohio doesn’t issue a general business license, some professions and industries require a specialized license. For example,  if you start practicing as a family therapist, you’ll need a license from the Counselor, Social Work, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. As a restaurant owner, you may need a Certificate of Occupancy, a liquor license, and food handlers’ permits for your employees. 

Professional and industry licenses are typically issued through the state agency or board in charge of regulating that field. You can also find licensing information for many professional licenses online using eLicense Ohio. The state also provides Business Checklists for a variety of industries that list the licenses required and where to get them.

Register with the Department of Taxation

Ohio charges sales tax, so you’ll need to register with the Department of Taxation in order to collect and pay tax on the goods and services you sell. You can register, pay taxes, and find business resources online through the department’s website.

Hire employees

You may operate your LLC with your members alone, but if you need more help, you’ll probably take on some employees. That means reporting your new hires, setting up payroll, and paying into unemployment insurance. Check out the state’s guide to Hiring Your First or Next Employee for a full rundown of what’s required of you as an employer. 

 

 

Ohio LLC FAQs

Do I need a statutory agent?

Yes. Ohio law requires that all LLCs have a statutory agent. You can serve has your own agent or hire a service.

Do I need to file an annual report in Ohio?

Nope! Ohio doesn’t require LLCs to file annual reports.

If I hire you to form my LLC, do you have any control over my company?

No. If Ohio statutory Agent LLC files your formation paperwork, you can use us as your LLC organizer for privacy reasons. (The organizer is the individual(s) authorized to file your formation papework.) However, being your organizer doesn’t grant us any position, interest, or power in your company.

Can I order LLC formation without registered agent service?

No. Our LLC formation always includes registered agent service. This allows us to increase your privacy through use of our business address and to offer filing and other business services to support your LLC.

What other filing services do you offer?

As your registered agent, we can Employer Identification Number (EIN), Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) report, DBA or Trade Name filings, and more. We can file paperwork to help you do business across state and international lines, as well.

Why do you charge less than other business formation services?

We charge less because we can. We’re a local company that wants to help other local businesses succeed. Our prices are enough to keep us in the black—we don’t need to overcharge.