Mon 23 May 2016 | By:

52 Best Resources for Starting a Business in Ohio

Resources for Starting a Business

It can be said that starting a business in Ohio can be a very good decision because of the state’s steady economic growth and development not to mention the fact that it also has one of the most unique business climates in the country.

Aside from being ranked second for the best business climate in 2010 by Site Selection magazine, and being ranked as the state with the seventh largest economy in the country, Ohio’s tax system has also been recognized as one of the best friendly ones in the entire country by the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

Business startup financing is also not a struggle as the state offers an array of funding assistance through various financing grants and development programs that can be effectively utilized by startups.

To get you started on a business venture in the Buckeye State, this guide outlines some of the best general and state-specific startup resources that are proven effective and efficient.


The Top Ohio Small Business Resources

1) is an online portal for the Ohio community offering the most comprehensive information and news. This online portal provides 24/7 relevant information and an extensive social interaction network covering a number of topics, including but not limited to real time news, politics, lifestyle, entertainment and business.

2) Ohio SBC

The Ohio Sustainable Business Council pushes for public policies that support for a more vibrant and progressive economy. The council is composed of business and networks of businesses that advocates several platforms and reforms all related to the state’s economic sustainability.

3) is a website focused on the promotion of the small business community in Dayton and its surrounding areas. also features a small business blog where local small business owners can also publish articles.

4) Ohio Growth Summit

The Ohio Growth Summit is an event organized by the Ohio Small Business Development Center to provide entrepreneurs, employees, and people from all walks of life the opportunity to take command of their business or career. OGS brings together successful business owners and entrepreneurs who can provide the best insights and strategy on how to grow a successful business.

5) SBDC Warren County

It is the mission of the SBDC Warren County to help people start, run, and operate a sustainable business venture to also sustain the economy of Warren County and its surrounding communities. From business advice, counseling, classroom learning courses, and startup resources, the SBDC Warren County also works with all business owners from different industries.

6) Columbus SCORE

Columbus SCORE is the premier mentoring association for small businesses across Columbus and the neighboring communities. SCORE is composed of experienced business professionals who volunteered for the express purpose of providing free, confidential one-to-one mentoring and counseling in all aspects of starting, operating, and running a small business.

7) Ohio Chamber of Commerce

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce provides a wealth of resources and information about various topics including health care, human resource, business, and more. The Ohio COC features information about businesses and how to run it.

8) American Small Business Centers

The American Small Business Centers provides comprehensive assistance to startup businesses and experienced business owners. The ASBC’s team provides the necessary guidance and experience base needed by newbie entrepreneurs and established business owners to sort out all the necessary business tools as it relates to business operations.

9) Greater Akron Chamber

The Greater Akron Chamber stands by its full support for the small business community, lobbying programs and representing its members before elected officials, raising issues that are vital to the best interest of small businesses. The organization also gives comprehensive assistance to newbie and experienced entrepreneurs for the formation of more small businesses and the further strengthening of startups.

10) Women’s Business Center Ohio

The Women’s Business Center Ohio is an initiative started by the Economic & Community Development Institute that helps guide individuals at any of the tasks involved in a business process. The WBC Ohio can provide you with the most comprehensive business assistance services at various stages of building a business for a very nominal fee.

11) Economic Development Alliance of Southern Ohio

The Economic Development Alliance of Southern Ohio’s primary mission is to accelerate the economy of Ohio through assistance in starting, running, and sustaining their business. Through direct consulting, peer-to-peer learning, guidance on various aspects of running a business, technical assistance, etc.

12) Southeastern Ohio Port Authority

The Southeastern Ohio Port Authority was created for the express purpose of serving the county’s various industries and businesses. As such, it is their goal to attract new investments in the area, in the process providing employment opportunities. They also work hand-in-hand with local companies to help in the development of their business.

13) Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council

The Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council dedicates its resources to bridging a direct link to minority business enterprises to the corporate members. Through the partnerships and collaborations established by the OMSDC, minority business enterprises have been able to innovate and deliver quality products.


How-To Guides for Starting a Business in Ohio

1) How to Start a Business in Ohio

The How to start a business in Ohio guide strives to point out to newbie entrepreneurs the simplest steps on how to accomplish this task without expending too much time and energy. Aside from the basic steps discussed in the guide, startup business resources are also included with the thought of helping entrepreneurs in some of the most challenging tasks of starting a business.

2) How to Form an LLC in Ohio

A Limited Liability Company is one of the legal business structures that a business can form in Ohio. This guide walks the entrepreneur through the steps on how to form one. With these steps are resources proven to efficiently speed up the startup process as well.

3) How to File a DBA in Ohio

A ‘doing business as’ name can be used in lieu of the legal name registered with the state in order to do business transactions, provided that the name is registered through a DBA name registration. This Startup Savant guide outlines the three-step process on how to go about this task, including the links for the form download and the address where you can submit the application plus the filing fee.

4) How to Get an Ohio Registered Agent

An Ohio Registered Agent is a mandatory requirement for the incorporation of your business as well as in the maintenance of your good standing with the state. There are several key criteria to hiring an Ohio Registered Agent, and this guide discusses that thoroughly.

5) How to Form a Corporation in Ohio

By far, businesses commonly incorporate a Corporation in Ohio because of its many advantages that it can provide to startups. This Startup Savant guide outlines the steps involved in forming an Ohio Corporation as well as some additional necessary steps to help you operate legally in the state.

6) How to Incorporate in Ohio

The How to Incorporate in Ohio guide gives entrepreneurs a summary of the basic steps that must be accomplished to incorporate a business. Pointed out also in this guide are the requirements necessary to be in compliance with the state’s rules.


Top Ohio Startup Communities and Working Spaces


The EDGE is driven at the forefront of helping Northeast Ohio companies develop. Through the creation of programs, events, and other services for mid-sized companies, EDGE strives to bring a strategic resource that can help not just business owners but their leadership teams as well.

2) CMC The Perfect Small Office

CMC’s The Perfect Small Office offers various office spaces and locations at the best price. CMC includes seven different locations with warehouses, flex space, executive suites, showroom space, multi-office spaces, and more.

3) Women’s Small Business Accelerator

It is the very goal of the Women’s Small Business Accelerator organization to provide assistance to women business owners who are looking to develop a small business for their livelihood. This organization provides the necessary support, motivation, and educational programs to increase the success of women who are microbusiness owners.

4) Innovate New Albany

Innovate New Albany is a technological startup companies located in the heart of New Albany. Through Innovate New Albany, startups can gain access and leverage to a wide range of unparalleled useful resources to grow their small business.

5) Jumpstart

Jumpstart fosters entrepreneurs, builds ecosystems and impacts economies by providing a host of services and assistance to startup entrepreneurs. Jumpstart stays true to its name by providing companies with the right capital to jumpstart their venture. They also partner with different communities to build a stronger network and a community where small business development is highly encouraged.

6) Bad Girl Ventures

Bad Girl Ventures organization that is focused on helping women entrepreneurs in various aspects of running a business. BGV provides comprehensive education and resource to empower women entrepreneurs. More importantly, they also help you get access to capital and provide mentorship along the way.

7) The Salt Mines

The Salt Mines is composed of a community of entrepreneurs, startups, and freelancers looking for that one perfect place to work together and achieve goals together. This is where The Salt Mines was born. Now, The Salt Mines has excellent co working spaces and a device lab. Regular happenings and events are also scheduled during the weekends of during evenings.

8) Qwirk

Qwirk commits itself to providing entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups, and even small businesses with the right environment to start and grow their business. Qwirk is the answer to your office space rental requirements, plus they also have dedicated desks and rooms, conference rooms, and virtual offices.

9) The Perch

The Perch is a shared office environment intended for small businesses and startups. As a collaborative environment, The Perch is the perfect place for businesses looking to centralize their business activities in the Short North are in Columbus.

10) Dublin Entrepreneurial Center

The Dublin Entrepreneurial Center is home to a community of business entrepreneurs working together for the success of each of their respective business. As a part of DEC’s community, you are able to access modern facilities and state-of-the-art office spaces complete with access to a fast broadband network and other amenities.


Small Business Professional Services in Ohio

1) Dear Drebit

Dear Drebit is a business consulting and certified public accounting firm that has hundreds of dedicated expert professionals to help address your business’ needs. The Dear Drebit team is highly specialized in various industries and can help achieve your financial goals.

2) Dinn Hochman & Potter LLC Attorneys

Dinn Hochman & Potter LLC Attorneys is a small business law firm that caters to the legal needs of small businesses in Northeastern Ohio. The firm comes up with timely and expert solutions, strategies and agreements that meet the specific needs of these small businesses.

3) The Business Backer

The Business Backer is in the business of helping small businesses find funding solutions as well as mentorship. With a team of expert advisors, The Business Backer has secured hundreds of millions of dollars in funding. It is also part of The Business Backer to help small businesses through connecting customers with the partners that help their business succeed.

4) LWS Tax & Accounting Services

LWS Tax and Accounting Services is a small business accounting firm that helps your company perform its operations well through their efficient and timely accounting and bookkeeping services. Aside from these basic services, LWS also provides controllership and financial statement preparation services to achieve your financial goals.

5) Ohio Business Help

Ohio Business Help is a business and leadership coaching firm that provides entrepreneurs with the right coaching and mentoring to build a strong business. In fact, before you sign up for the services of Ohio Business Help, you get a free one hour of coaching on leadership and other important topics about running a business.

6) HCMM Inc.

HCMM Inc. is at the forefront of helping small businesses become more successful with their timely solutions that is highly customized for the specific needs of the clients. The solutions of HCMM are not only field tested and employs best practices, but it is also implemented by a pool of the most talented individuals.

7) R&R Business Consultants

R&R Business Consultants is a marketing firm situated in Columbus, Ohio. As a leading marketing firm, R&R Business Consultants employs visual demonstrations, product training, and daily reporting to achieve the marketing campaign goal for your business.

8) HHL Group Inc.

HHL Group Inc. is a certified public accounting and business firm in Medina, Ohio. With an experienced group of professionals, the HHL Group is committed to providing solutions that truly bring balance to your business. Some of the services of HHL Group include manufacturing, real estate and construction, personal financial planning and more.

9) Moore Business Consulting

Moore Business Consulting is committed to helping you build a better business through its business consulting services. As a highly experienced business consultant and coach, Jay provides strategies and creates a strong business plan for a more sustainable and progressive business that will increase your business’ profit.

10) JLP CPAs

JLP CPAs is a team of trusted accountants and business advisors that provides exemplary accounting and business services in Northeast Ohio. JLP offers a comprehensive range of services including full service accounting plus bookkeeping, payroll, tax, planning and preparation, business advisory services, incorporation assistance, QuickBooks, and more.

11) Bradley Miller Law

Bradley Miller Law LLC takes care of all your business’ legal needs so you will have peace of mind. The firm promises to help you deal with the daily legal issues you face, including the draft and review of contracts, go over written business documents, respond to government agencies, deal with employee issues, and more.

12) Lloyd D. Cohen Law Offices

Lloyd D. Cohen Law Offices is an expert in small businesses. Lloyd D. Cohen is an expert and trusted advisor and a small business attorney that can help entrepreneurs overcome various legal and financial obstacles.

13) Peterson Conners

Peterson Conners is a reliable business law office in Columbus. Client committed, Peterson Conners is focused on helping their clients’ long-term success through the services they provide. From formation and structure of entities, financing and capitalization, securities, business dispute resolution and more, Peterson Conners effectively assists your business in all these needs.




SCORE was formerly identified as the Service Corps of Retired Executives, and is now known as SCORE, the Counselors to America’s Small Business. As a non-profit organization that is a partner resource of the US SBA, SCORE primarily provides free business mentoring to small business all throughout the United States.

Aside from this, SCORE is also known to host regular seminars, trainings, and workshops for a very nominal fee. The business mentoring is provided by hundreds of volunteers across the country who are expert business professionals with most of them retired from their profession.

2) SBA

The United States Small Business Administration is a government agency that advocates small businesses and startup entrepreneurs. The mission by which the US SBA works on is based on the 3Cs policy – counseling, capital, and contracts.

The SBA has an extensive network of partners including development centers, women’s business centers, SCORE and other non-profit organization to deliver the best business support counseling. The SBA also provides government backing for startup capital for small businesses. It also assists in the awarding of federal contracts to small businesses.

3) Startup Savant

Startup Savant is an online business blog founded with the goal to provide comprehensive information and resource for aspiring small businesses entrepreneurs who want to experience the financial freedom through entrepreneurship.

As starting a small business in quite challenging, Startup Savant has come up with the most comprehensive how-to guides on basically every task in forming a business. Business hacks that make work easier are also featured in this business blog. To boot, inspirational stories of successful business owners are also featured in the blog.

4) is the website counterpart of the Entrepreneur magazine. As an online web portal, features news stories on any topic related to business and entrepreneurship.

Articles about business, small business management, and entrepreneurship are extensively featured at From insights, profiles, guides and business advice, everything can be found in

5) AllBusiness

AllBusiness is the ultimate resource for anything related to small businesses. This online business magazine provides entrepreneurs with the requisite tools and resources to easily start, run, and operate a successful business venture.

Aside from these, AllBusiness also features the latest small business expert articles, sales and marketing, product reviews and videos. Business planning essentials are also found in the website plus the basics on getting started on a business.


Wealthy Gorilla is the self-improvement inspirational blog that is geared for ambitious individuals. Specifically targeted for business owners and entrepreneurs, Wealthy Gorilla strives to strike a balance between a successful business and a healthy well-being. Features on self-motivational stories, inspirational quotes, and motivational articles are regularly featured in Wealthy Gorilla.


Ohio Startup Toolkit to Get Started on a Budget

1) Business Planning

Business planning is part of every organization’s arsenal of strategies and methods to achieve favorable results and meet business goals and objectives. To strongly implement this, a business plan should be created to ensure that there is a written document where all these are recorded and use for reference.

Depending on the organization, a business plan may be a few pages’ long or composed of hundreds of pages of formally written document. Regardless its length, a good business plan should include an executive summary, products/services offered by your business, market analysis summary, strategy and implementation, and financial planning.

Writing a business plan is not the easiest of tasks, but with the help of LivePlan, you can overcome this hurdle. LivePlan is not just the average business plan software. It comes a comprehensive guide and a financial wizard in one package.

2) Online Incorporation Service

Incorporation is a quite complex process, but it provides businesses with many benefits and advantages. Because of the numerous tasks involved in getting a business incorporated, it could significantly take up too much time and energy for startup entrepreneurs like you.

However, the assistance services provided by online incorporation companies are a welcome alternative to incorporating a business yourself. With companies as LegalZoom and IncFile, you only need to answer an online questionnaire that requires all the necessary information required of you and your business to get incorporated.

Usually these questionnaires take less than 15 minutes to answer, and then take care of the rest of the process for you.

3) Building a Business Website

Having a business without a website means that you are losing out on so many great opportunities to build a sustainable business. More than a representation of your business’ image, a website is one of the most effective marketing strategies you can use for your business.

If designed professionally with all the right elements of a good website, it could bring about the targeted audience you need, plus invite a few more prospective customers to look into your business. Thankfully, gone are the days when you need to pay thousands of dollars for a fully customized website.

Today, with such web hosting services such as Bluehost, you can easily install WordPress through a one-click installation feature. From there, with the help of Bluehost’s easy-to-use dashboard, you can begin designing a professional-looking, fully customized website.

4) Accounting Software

There are several tasks during business operations that can be automated; hence, saving you time, energy, and operating costs while being efficient and accurate at the same time. Small business accounting software specifically serves that kind of purpose.

With the growing popularity of small business software such as Xero, FreshBooks, and QuickBooks, accounting and bookkeeping tasks are made more efficient, accurately, and timely. In fact, these applications also include a host of other features that help in other aspects of business operations from bank reconciliation tools, finance and expense tracking tools, payroll systems, report generation, etc.


Wrapping Up on Starting a Business in Ohio

Wrapping Up and Starting a BusinessWith the conducive for small business environment that Ohio has, it is much easier to start your first business venture in the Buckeye State.

As long as you know how to utilize the resources above to your best advantage, you have gathered all the requirements needed to accomplish each task of the business process, and you are willing to work hard to accomplish all these, you are on your way to starting a successful business venture!

About Ryan James

Half hardworking hermit, half avid adventurer, Ryan founded Startup Savant to simplify entrepreneurship and pay it forward by donating a portion of all revenue to support children's education via