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 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)
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 when you start an LLC through business filings services like IncFile or CorpNet.
To 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:
Filing Fee: $99
An 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.
Where 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.
To 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 this savvy Operating Agreement Tool which you can customize yourself.
First, 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).
It’s common to “wing it” during the initial bootstrapping phases which tend to be fast and furious. Goals and objectives are immediate and close to home. But don’t forget to think forward a bit, into the possibly near future where outside funding and attracting partners will require something more official and concise.
To be taken seriously when approaching investors, angel funds, or VCs you’ll need an executive summary and pitch. You’ll need to show them structured financials and forecasts. You’ll need to have serious marketing methods and other important core fundamentals figured out. Learn more through our free resources below.
From astonishing marketing potential and room for brand expansion, to ecommerce and social selling, business websites aren’t optional anymore. Not as far as we can tell anyway. The issue is if you don’t have an in-house designer you trust, and this is your first rodeo, what do you do?
Note that this article on how to form an LLC in Ohio isn’t a legal document or legal advice. It’s for informational purposes and the information above is subject to change. For specific legal questions regarding how to form an LLC in Ohio or business in general, please consult with a lawyer or other accredited professional.