Step 1) Pick a Name for your Ohio LLC

Choose a Business NameThe name you choose for the Ohio LLC should be distinguishable and should not closely resemble any existing business entity registered with the Ohio Secretary of State.

More importantly, the actual LLC name should have any of the following words or its corresponding abbreviations: ‘Limited Liability Company’, ‘Limited’, ‘ltd.’, ‘ltd.,’, ‘L.L.C.,’, or ‘LLC,’.

To double check the name’s validity, use the business name database tool. If available, a Name Reservation should be filed via mail to the Ohio Secretary of state. A $39 filing fee is required.


Step 2) Hire an Ohio Registered Agent

Choose a Registered AgentAn Ohio Registered Agent is a must when starting an Ohio LLC. Certain statutory requirements must also be observed when hiring one for compliance purposes.

The Registered Agent can either be an individual residing in Ohio or any business entity, domestic or foreign, legally registered with the Secretary of State to conduct business.

The Registered Agent should provide a physical street address; however, an individual agent may provide a P.O. Box provided that the agent certify that he is an Ohio resident.

With all these requirements, a Registered Agent service can reach up to $160 per year. However, a free Registered Agent service comes when you start an LLC through IncFile.


Step 3) File Articles of Organization

Register an LLCTo jumpstart the formation of an Ohio LLC, an Articles of Organization for a Domestic Limited Liability Company should be filed to the Ohio Secretary of State online or through postal mail. The following information should be provided:

Filing Fee: $99


Step 4) Request an Ein

Get an EIN for Your LLCAn Employer Identification Number is required as you start business operations. The EIN is a series composed of nine numbers that uniquely identifies a business entity much like the social security number’s purpose for an individual.

A free request for an Employer Identification Number can be submitted online at the IRS website.


Step 5) Open a Bank Account for Your Business

Best Business Bank AccountWhen starting an Ohio LLC, it is never a wise decision to commingle your personal funds with that of the business.

This can only lead to confusion and even problems and delays for completing some statutory requirements. Hence, you should separately open a bank account for your business.

Recommended Resource: With a plethora of business bank accounts to pick from, this roundup should give you a fair idea on what to choose.


To-Do After Starting an Ohio LLC

As soon as the steps above are accomplished, you are now legally recognized as an Ohio LLC. Now the steps below should also be accomplished for the legal business operations of your Ohio LLC.

1) Make a Solid Business Plan

Write a Business PlanA business plan if made carefully can be the perfect business tool by which you can accomplish goals and deliver results. Although not a requirement in starting an Ohio LLC, it comes highly recommended to make one.

As intimidating as the thought of writing a business plan might be, a good business plan helps entrepreneurs make sound business decisions based on hard, raw facts. The resources below help you with getting a business plan started.

How to Write a Business Plan


 2) Keep Track of your Ohio Business Taxes and Finances 

Small Business TaxesFiling the necessary Ohio business tax returns will ensure that you are in compliance with statutory requirements.

Take time to familiarize with the Ohio tax system to ensure that you can deliver all compliance requirements. For starters, make sure to register at the Ohio Business Gateway.

Recommended Resource: Xero is a simple-to-use small business accounting software even for non-accountants that helps keep track of business expenses and finances, a key to effectively completing tax requirements. Try the 30-day trial of Xero for free!


3) Obtain the Required Ohio Business Licenses 

Business LicensesOhio business licenses are usually comprised of several types with different sets of requirements. However you may want to skip this task, doing so can be detrimental to business operations.

Instead, you should list down all your business activities and cross reference it to the federal, state, and local lists of licenses that need to be obtained.

Recommended Resource: To get professional help to sort out all requirements for Ohio business licenses and permits, you can look into this comprehensive package. Alternatively, this roundup of resources by SBA can also be of help.


4) Create an LLC Operating Agreement 

Create an Operating AgreementAn Operating Agreement is a must in every Limited Liability Company. Its utmost importance lies in the fair settlement of issues when disputes among the LLC members arise. The Operating Agreement effectively outlines the agreed-upon rules, procedures, and regulations on how the LLC operates and its members.

Having an Operating Agreement in place also ensures that your business will not be subject to state-default rules should conflict between members arise. A fully customizable Operating Agreement can be modified to fit your business requirements.


5) Create a Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteA business website provides the perfect online visibility to your audience. It does not only provide information, but it engages and converts audience for your business as well.

A well-thought-out business website can be made with the use of Bluehost. With just a click of a button, you can easily install WordPress, and begin on making a website.

Resource for Getting Started: To begin making a business website, use this basic step-by-step guide.

Please be advised that this guide is only an informational article on starting an LLC in Ohio. It should not be treated as a legal document or advice. The expertise of a business lawyer or an accountant is still the best source of information when it comes to forming an LLC. In addition to the requirements above, periodic reports should also be submitted. Check these deliverable reports here.

Need Help Forming Your LLC?

Have a reliable LLC filing 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