Last Updated 17 August 2017 | By:

How to Form an LLC in Ohio

7 Simple Steps

How to Use this Guide

Use our free guide below to form an LLC in Ohio or have a reliable service do it for you:

IncFile ($49 + state fee) for basic & quick LLC formation.

LegalZoom ($149 + state fee) for the most popular LLC service available.

Step 1) Verify & Secure Your LLC's Name

Choose a Business NameTo 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 LLC name should contain words like ‘Limited Liability Company’ or ‘Limited Company’. Abbreviations for these words like ‘L.C.’ or ‘L.L.C.’ are also acceptable. If needed, you can submit a Name Reservation form with the state as well.

Filing Fee: 39 (expedited options available)

Step 2) Appoint A Registered Agent

Choose a Registered AgentAn 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 when you start an LLC through business filings services like IncFile or CorpNet.

Step 3) File Articles Of Organization

Register an LLCTo legally form an Ohio LLC, download and file official Articles of Organization with the Ohio Secretary of State. You can either File Online or through postal mail. It’s a declaration of the basics of your brand for the public record including:

  • Name, address, and ownership info.
  • Name, address, and signature of your Ohio Registered Agent.
  • Founding date, hours of operation, etc.

Filing Fee: $99

Step 4) Get An EIN

Get an EIN for Your LLCAn EIN, or Employer Identification Number, is required by both state and federal governments for essentially the same reasons individuals are required to have a SSN.

It’s a nine-digit number that’s used to track business activity and makes it possible to open a business bank account, hire employees, and so on.

Almost every transaction your business engages in will require an EIN. That said, you can get one quickly, easily and free of charge by applying online through the IRS Website.

Step 5) Open A Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountWhere your company chooses to bank is an important decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly or off-the-cuff. It’s as critical as the “legal stuff.”

These days you have a large assortment of choices between local, state and national banks and credit unions. Take the time to get familiar with this side of banking before making your decision based on which choice has the most to offer.

Another important thing to remember is to COMPLETELY separate your brand’s accounts from any others of any kind. Don’t muddy your financial waters. If you’re interested, check out this brief breakdown on Small Business Checking Accounts to start your research.

Step 6) Draft An Operating Agreement

Create an Operating AgreementTo be frank, while it’s not mandatory or required by law, it’s foolish to be in business without one. For starters, it “defines each member or manager’s rights, powers, and entitlements.

This includes capital accounts, membership interest, distributions of profit and allocated tax responsibility, etc.” It also adds a layer of protection for everyone involved as well as your brand’s LLC status. Even solopreneurs should have one.

To get started, consider checking out an online template to help create your LLC Operating Agreement.

Step 7) Tackle Ohio Business Taxes & Licensing

Business LicensesFirst, make sure to register at the Ohio Business Gateway. It’s an incredible resource for a large variety of things you’ll need over time.

For taxes, get friendly with the Ohio Dept of Taxation. As you’ll see, or already know, Ohio’s a startup-friendly state and the regulatory environment is pretty easy relative to the nature of your business, whether you work with the public, and a number of other variables.

If you don’t have a legal team, to get professional help sorting out licensing/permitting requirements, consider professional Business License Research packages or another similar service. Alternatively, conduct a License Search through the SBA (who you should also consider joining).

Need Help Forming an LLC?

How To Form An LLC OnlineIf you’d like help forming an LLC in Ohio, feel free to read our reviews of the two most popular services available.

  • IncFile LLC: Pricing starts at $49 + state fee. Best for basic & quick LLC formation.
  • LegalZoom LLC: Pricing starts at $149 + state fee. Best if you’re looking for the most popular LLC service available.