(7 Simple Steps)
To secure and register your brand name it must be unique, not too similar to another registered name in Ohio, and shouldn’t contain any restricted wording. To check, conduct a Business Entity Search through the Sec. of State and if there are potential trademark issues conduct another quick search using the TESS System through the U.S. Patent Office.
Keep in mind your name must contain words like “Corporation”, “Incorporated”, “Company”, or “Limited”. Abbreviations like “Corp.”, “Inc.”, “Co.” or “Ltd.” are also acceptable. If needed, you can submit a Name Reservation form with the state.
Filing Fee: 39 (expedited options available)
An Ohio registered agent is an intermediary who is responsible for officially receiving and helping to handle/process important paperwork like state filings, tax forms, legal notices, and so forth. They can either be an individual residing in Ohio or any business entity, domestic or foreign, legally registered with the Secretary of State.
They’ll also need a physical street address; however, an individual agent may provide a certified P.O. Box after proving Ohio citizenship. So you can either appoint an agent or hire an outside professional and pay up to $160/year, or get one free of charge when incorporating through IncFile or Incorporate.com.
With a registered agent, once you’re ready to make your brand official, set up an account with the state to file Articles of Incorporation. It asks for basic information to disclose for the public record including:
Filing Fee: $125
Think of this as the hard copy record book where all critical corporate documents are kept like the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, meeting minutes, stock certificate ledger, stock certificates, stock certificate stubs, stock transfer documents, etc. It’s the ultimate company binder! They’re very common and while not necessary having one is highly recommended for all serious business entities.
Appoint at least 1 initial Director who among other things will oversee the Ohio corporation until the first shareholder meeting where new directors will be voted in. Prepare an “Incorporator Statement” with complete names and addresses of each director and keep it in your records book. Once elected, an initial meeting should:
Keeping tabs on the cash flow, finances, and expenses of your business can be a tedious process. Maintaining a unique and branded business bank account can help lessen the burdens of sorting/tracking, so make sure to open a separate bank account for your Ohio Corporation as discussed in your initial meeting.
If you haven’t appointed a CFO yet, be sure you understand your options in terms of local, state, and national banks as well as credit unions. Here’s a quick breakdown article of Business Checking Accounts from some of the biggest banks to begin your research.
As a legally starting an Ohio corporation, you’re required to be 100% compliant with all relevant local/state/federal agencies. Ideally you should have an attorney or at least be working with a professional filing service. Otherwise, here are four resources to get started: