Step 1) Choose a Name for Your Ohio Corporation

Choose a Business NameBefore officially registering your Ohio Corporation, you must first come up with a name for your business. This name should be unique or does not closely resemble to existing business entities registered with the Ohio Secretary of State.

The actual name should also contain any of the following: ‘Corporation’, ‘Incorporated’, ‘Company’ or the corresponding abbreviations of these words. A word or abbreviation from a foreign language with a similar meaning can also be used.

To verify the name’s validity, the business name database tool can be used. If the name is available, a Name Reservation can be filed good for 180 days through mail application. A $50 filing fee should be paid.


Step 2) Process the Articles of Incorporation

Register an LLCFor the legal incorporation of your business, you must file an Articles of Incorporation to the Ohio Secretary of State. This form should be filed through mail. The following information is required when filing:

Filing Fee: $125


Step 3) Retain the Services of an Ohio Registered Agent

Choose a Registered AgentAn Ohio Registered Agent is an individual or another business entity that receives service of process on your Corporation’s behalf. To qualify for the position, the individual should be a resident of Ohio, and if a business entity, it can either be domestic or foreign legally registered to operate within Ohio.

The Registered Agent must provide a physical street address, but an individual can provide a P.O. Box address provided that the agent has certified that he is an Ohio resident.

Hiring the services of a Registered Agent can cost you about $160 every year, but you can avail the services of one free of charge if you form an Ohio Corporation with IncFile.


Step 4) Maintain a Corporate Records Book

File Annual Reports & Publication RequirementsA Corporate Records Book is simply an organizer where all the legal documents and paperwork of your Corporation are stored. This binder should be kept in your corporate office as well for easier access.

A Corporate Records Book is available at your nearest office and school supply store, or you can also order via Amazon directly.


Step 5) Elect Initial Directors for your Ohio Corporation

Choose the Initial DirectorsAn initial number of directors have to be elected to serve on the board until such time that the annual meeting with the shareholders can be scheduled. These initial directors help in making crucial decisions on a number of business matters.

An Incorporator’s Statement has to be created by the incorporator, listing down all the names and addresses of each incorporator and should then be stored in the Corporate Records Book.


Step 6) Schedule the Organizational Meeting with the Board of Directors

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of DirectorsThis organizational meeting you have scheduled should be crucial to deciding on several areas of your business operations. The following agenda should be decided:

Should you decide on an S Corporation status, then this should also be discussed during this organizational meeting.  Be ready with the minutes of the meeting to be signed by each of the member of the board of directors.


Step 7) Comply with the Requirements for Ohio Business Taxes and Licenses

Business LicensesComplying with Ohio business tax returns and obtaining the necessary business licenses are your obligations as an Ohio entrepreneur. To begin the process of compliance with these requirements, follow these steps:


Step 8) Begin a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountKeeping track of the cash flow, finances, and expenses of your business can be a tedious process. Maintaining a different business bank account can help lessen the burden of sorting all these out, so make sure to open a separate bank account for your Ohio Corporation.

Recommended Resource: For the best business bank accounts for your Ohio Corporation, you can look up this roundup of business banking accounts.


To-Do After Starting an

Ohio Corporation

As soon as the steps above are accomplished, you can be legitimately recognized as an Ohio Corporation. Now the next few steps below may not be mandatory, but these steps immensely help build a successful business.

1) Create a Funding-ready Business Plan

Write a Business PlanThere are several reasons why you need a business plan even if this document is non-mandatory in the incorporation requirements.

First off, it helps secure the necessary funding for your Ohio Corporation. Second, it is the very tool that helps set your business to the path of success.

A business plan should not be haphazardly created, but rather it should be created with the intent of setting the right business goals and implement an effective course of action to achieve these goals. Begin your business plan with the resources below.

Quick Links on How to Write a Business Plan


2) Create a Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteWhen you want to engage your target audience and reach out to more prospective customers, it is through a business website that you can effectively accomplish this.

Through the help of Bluehost, you can easily install WordPress with just a click and begin creating a professional business website.

Resource for Getting Started: This website startup guide should help you how to get started on a customized, professional-looking website.


3) Draft Corporate Bylaws

Prepare Corporate BylawsCorporate bylaws summarize the entirety of how a business should be run and operated. It outlines several key rules and regulations as it relates to business operations, and establishes the rights and responsibilities of the people behind a Corporation – the officers, directors, and shareholders.

Although not a state-specific mandatory requirement, experts highly recommend the creation of corporate bylaws for smoother business operations and to prove the legitimacy of your Corporation.

As this guide is intended for informational purposes, we recommend that a business lawyer’s expert opinion should always be consulted when it comes to the intricacies involved in forming an Ohio Corporation. Also, take note that a Biennial Report for corporations should be filed for maintenance purposes. For details on this requirement, check here.

Need Help Forming Your Corporation?

Have a reliable incorporation service like IncFile or LegalZoom do the work for you. Just answer a few questions about your business and they’ll take care of the paperwork.

Although both offer virtually the same service, IncFile is $100 less and our top pick. Enjoy!

Visit IncFile Or Visit LegalZoom