Ohio LLC – How to Start an LLC in Ohio (2022)


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How to Start an LLC in Ohio: If you’re interested in setting up an LLC in Ohio, you’ve come to the right place. Having an LLC not only protects your personal assets but also is less complicated than other business structures. Ohio laws make it easy to establish your LLC in Ohio. On this page, You’ll find all the steps that must be taken to ensure that your Ohio LLC has been correctly established. We recommend you read the whole article very carefully word by word, don’t miss anything 🙂

ohio llc

How to Start an LLC in Ohio

An LLC or a Limited Liability Company is a hybrid business entity combining a corporation’s characteristics with a partnership or sole proprietorship. It separates your personal assets from your business assets, thus giving you personal asset protection.

If you wish to start an LLC in Ohio, you mainly have to file your Certificate of Formation with the State and pay a filing fee of $99. There are some more steps to follow to get your LLC established in Ohio. The following steps explain everything you need to create your LLC in Ohio in 2022. Let’s get started! It is always recommended to hire a professional LLC formation service in Ohio to set up your LLC.

Step 1: Decide a Name for Your Ohio LLC

ohio name your llc

The very first step while forming an LLC in Ohio is to give a proper name to your LLC. Before you name your business, you must know that the name should be easy to remember, available in the state, and follows all the LLC naming guidelines.

Ohio LLC Naming Guidelines

There are a few specific requirements all the LLCs in Ohio have to follow while naming their Company. Some of the most important requirements are as follows:

  • Your business name should be available and no other existing business in Ohio can have the same name. Perform a name search from the below-mentioned source to be sure your name isn’t taken already.
  • “Limited Liability Company”, “LLC”, and “L.L.C.” – any one of these has to be used as a suffix in your business name.
  • You cannot use any name for your business that is confusing or misleading. Terms such as “Treasury”, “State Department”, “FBI”, “CIA”, etc. shouldn’t be included.
  • Terms like “Bank“, “University“, “Attorney“, “Doctor“, etc can be added only after the additional requirements by Ohio State Government are fulfilled.
  • (Optional) It’s better to name your business something for which your desired domain is available.
Important Links –Submit Offline Form to –
Ohio Business Entity Search – Online Name Search
Name Reservation Form – PDF
Name Availability Standards – Guidelines
Ohio LLC Name Search – Instructions
P.O. Box 670
Columbus, OH 43216

Reserve Business Name for Future

If you do not wish to file your LLC right now but want to hold the name you have decided then you can reserve your LLC name without filing the LLC. To keep the name, you have to file a name reservation application and pay $39 to reserve your name with the Ohio Secretary of State. It is a standard fee. You can expedite the process by paying additional charges.

Doing Business As (DBA) or Trade Name

Once you have a legal name for your LLC, you can register it. However, it is not mandatory. You can, instead, use DBA, Fictitious Name, or Trade Name. In that case, you must register your name with the Ohio Secretary of State by submitting an Application to Register a Trade Name in Ohio along with the filing fee of $39.

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Tailor Brands offer DIY website templates and incredible logo designs. If you plan to get a website then it is wise to have a “.com” domain for your business but these days you can also use other TLDs like “.company”, “.xyz” etc. With Tailor Brands, you can get everything you need at an affordable price.

Do I have to include LLC in my company email/domain?

It is not legally mandatory to use the word LLC in your domain name or email. If you want you can use it. However, it is recommended not to use LLC in the domain name. A domain name should be short and easy to remember.

Step 2: Assign a Registered Agent in Ohio

Ohio registered agent

The second step to forming an Ohio LLC is to appoint a Registered Agent. A registered agent is a person or business entity that will act or work on your LLC’s behalf. This person or business will receive important tax forms, legal documents, all notices of lawsuits, and other official government correspondence in Ohio. Hence, hiring a competent Ohio Registered Agent for your LLC is necessary. 

Make sure your registered agent is a resident of Ohio or has a physical street address. Their business address or the principal address should be in Ohio. Most LLC formation companies also provide registered agent services. Below are two great LLC setup services, even if you buy their cheapest plan (normally $49/year) you also get registered agent service and other services at a reasonable price.

LLC Service

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These LLC formation services are recommended registered agent services as they are authorized to conduct business in Ohio. Some LLC formation services offer standalone Ohio registered agent services. You can purchase only Registered Agent services from them without purchasing any other LLC formation services.

Who Can Be a Registered Agent?

A person who is above 18 years of age and has a physical address in the state of Ohio can be a Registered Agent. A Registered Agent can be an independent person or can be a business entity. One who is responsible for handling all the legal documents.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent?

Yes, you can be your own registered agent if you are a resident of the state of Ohio and you are above 18 years of age. To become a registered agent you must have the authority to conduct any type of business in Ohio.

Registered Agent Consent Application

In Ohio, there is no separate Consent Letter to be produced to the Secretary of State. At the time of change of Registered Agent (or the name or address), the new Registered Agent has to sign the consent letter. It comes with the Application form to Change the Registered Agent. The filing fee of $25 should be paid for it. For more information on the same, read our guide on Ohio Registered Agent.

Step 3: File Articles of Organization in Ohio

Ohio certificate of formation

The third and most important step in forming an Ohio LLC is to file the Articles of Organization. This Ohio Articles of Organization is a legal document needed to officially register your business with the Secretary of State. It costs $99 (by mail and online) to file your formation certificate in Ohio. (Read more on LLC cost in Ohio).

The Certificate of Formation includes details like the name of the LLC, registered agent’s name, address, employees’ details, and structure of the company (member-managed or manager-managed). Before hiring employees in Ohio LLC, one should know about the rules and regulations thoroughly. Also if you are expanding your existing business (an LLC) to Ohio then you need to register as an Ohio Foreign LLC.

How to File Online

Go to the Secretary of State Online Service. You will get the online service page. If you are already a subscriber then click on the “log in to Subscribe Account” option and log in with your credentials. If you’re not subscribed, then you can register and directly start filing your LLC by clicking on the “Online Filing” button below. Read more about the Ohio Articles of Organization for online registration.

How to File by Mail

If you prefer filing real-life forms for your Ohio LLC registration, then you can download Domestic LLC Formation Form. Read the form thoroughly, fill it out, and mail it to the following address,

Mailing Address:

Ohio Secretary of State
P.O. Box 670
Columbus, OH 43216

Processing Time: It takes 7 business days to get an Ohio LLC if you file it online or via mail. By paying an additional fee, it can be expedited.

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Step 4: Create Your Ohio LLC Operating Agreement

Ohio operating agreement

Moving on to the fourth step, filing your operating agreement. An operating agreement is a document that legally outlines the proprietorship and operating procedures of your LLC. This document is vital as it ensures that all business owners are on the same page regarding how they operate, thus reducing future conflicts.

When it comes to filing an Ohio LLC Operating Agreement, the state does not require you to have a comprehensive operating agreement, but it is ideal to have one that contains all the details of your business operation. Like Ohio, there are other states that do not have a mandatory rule to file operating agreements. But, this document would be useful if you decide to dissolve Ohio LLC later. Hence, having an operating agreement may not be necessary but it is definitely ideal.

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Step 5: Filing an Ohio LLC EIN

Ohio file EIN for llc

The Employer Identification Number or, simply, the E.I.N. is a nine-digit number given by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to make it easier to identify the type of business for tax purposes and taxes in general. The EIN is necessary for any active business or any form of business for that matter. 

EIN is needed when the LLC hires employees. Hiring employees in Ohio LLC requires following specific rules and regulations. On the other side, EIN for Ohio foreign LLC should be obtained if your LLC is based in other states.

To obtain EIN (aka FEIN) one has to fill up a form (Online or by mail) and submit it to the IRS. Enter details of your LLC, and finally complete the form and send it to the address given. You can also get an EIN Assistant who can help you with the process.

Mail to: Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN Operation, Cincinnati, OH 45999

Fax: (855) 641-6935 | Fee: Free

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Note: You don’t need a Social Security number when getting an EIN. You can proceed to fill out I.R.S. Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. You must then call the IRS at (267) 941-1099 to complete your application. Agents or employees will help you with that.


Congratulation, you are now done with all the necessary steps to form your Ohio LLC. If you do it yourself it should take you a long time to properly understand and do all the steps.

However, if you use TailorBrands it should take fewer hours and you always have live chat with expert support for any help you need.


After Starting Your Ohio LLC

After forming your LLC, there are still some things that you will need. Take note of the following:

This page has provided you with steps to LLC formation and filing processes. You now have to remember upcoming filing deadlines and filing fees or filing costs, including fees for late filings to make sure your LLC is up-to-date.

Cost of Ohio LLC

Forming an LLC in Ohio is no doubt more cost-effective than other structures of a business. There are some fees and charges one has to bear to form an Ohio LLC. LLCs have pass-through taxation. Hence, your Ohio LLC won’t bring you a massive tax burden. Here are some of the fees and taxes are needed to be paid while forming an LLC in Ohio,

Fees/TaxAmount to be Paid
Name Reservation Fee$39
DBA Filing$25
Certificate of Formation Fee$99
LLC Annual Fee$91
Sales Tax5.75%

In Ohio, an LLC name reservation is not mandatory. You can register your LLC name at the time of registering your LLC. If you wish to hold the name for some time without registering your LLC, then you can do that online or by mail. Your LLC name will be reserved without registering your LLC. It can be renewed by paying $39. It can be expedited by paying an additional fee.

In Ohio, an Annual Report has to be produced every year. It costs $91. Also, the State of Ohio requires LLCs to pay a Sales Tax of 5.75% every year. Read our guide on LLC costs in Ohio for more information.

Ohio Foreign LLC

If you are interested in forming a Foreign LLC in Ohio then you need to file the Certificate of Foreign LLC to the Ohio Secretary of State. Foreign LLCs allow you to operate your business in more than one state. Along with the Certificate of Foreign LLC, you need to submit some more documents like the Certificate of Good Standing, etc. to the Ohio SOS to form your foreign LLC in Ohio. To know more in detail, check out our guide on Ohio Foreign LLC.

Reasons to Start an LLC in Ohio

The availability of a skilled workforce that is full of dedication and passion is one of the most significant advantages of incorporating an Ohio LLC. Apart from this, there are many other benefits like business funding options and a reduction in tax liabilities one can consider when starting a business in Ohio. Read more on Ohio’s classification of LLC tax. The benefits are discussed in detail mentioned below.

Loan Programs in Ohio 

Many loan programs are provided to the LLC in Ohio. The main reason behind offering these loans is to help the company grow and maintain a proper cash flow in the LLC so that the businessmen can focus on implementing their unique idea. Some of the assistance programs are discussed below –

  • The first service is Business and Industry Guaranteed Loans, which USDA provides.
  • Then there is a 166 Direct Loan, which is offered by the Development Services Agency.
  • After that, there are loan schemes for a certified development company known as a 504 Loan program, and SBA handles it.
  • After that, a loan is given to businesses that want to start an LLC in Ohio but rural areas. For them, there is Rural Business Development and Opportunity Grant, which USDA also controls. This loan is easy to get approved as the state is always looking forward to developing rural areas of the state.
  • At last, there is a loan service provided by the Ohio Development Services Agency, which is for those LLCs who are working in a particular niche that works for the development of the community.

Ohio New Market Tax Credit 

There are zones divided in the state of Ohio based on income zones. Those zones with less income are categorized as low-income community zones, and when an LLC decides to start their business in this area, they are given several tax benefits. These benefits will boost the company’s confidence to provide better services in the community and help them in their growth with personal business growth.

Ohio Enterprise Zone Program 

The enterprise zones of Ohio state are decided by the municipal corporations, which are open for business establishments. When a business plans to incorporate into such a place, they start receiving these benefits as they save themselves from real estate and personal property taxes. There are two divisions in this zone, also named Full Authority zones and Limited Authority Zones, that differ in offerings and rebate percentages.

Large Scale Businesses in Ohio

Ohio is known for its favorable business climate and taxation policies. That is why many people are deciding to start an LLC in Ohio. Here’s the list of the Top 4 businesses to look for.

Health care and Biosciences

There are around 1,000 biotechnology and medical research firms that are operating in Ohio that are generating employment for 100,000 people directly. Due to the investment that these firms have and their inventions, they are successful in generating a turnover of $140 billion, which is 15% of the state’s total GDP. Along with the biotech firm, 600 firms of medical device firms contribute hugely to the economy.

Education Businesses

The USA’s best education system is available in Ohio, with around $37 billion to contribute to the GDP. Various state universities like Kent State University and Toledo State university give jobs to about 400,000 people in Ohio.

Iron and Steel

According to the statistics of the state, the iron produced here is around 14 million tons. There is a well-established electrometallurgy industry in Ohio that is giving jobs to more than 34,000 workers. The state is responsible for 15% of raw steel made every year and contributes to around $7.2 billion every year.

Motor vehicle Assembly

With the increase in the demand of the automobile sector, the manufacturers have chosen Ohio to manufacture their vehicles. The benefit here is that the tax rate is lower than in other states. The big companies that are present in the state are General Motors, Ford, and Honda.

The small businesses that are established in the state are:-

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Online courses
  • Transcription businesses

Ohio LLC Formation Review

Time needed: 5 minutes.

Just to recap, here are the easy steps again when forming an LLC in Ohio. Click on the steps in this list to read the full detail.

  1. Name your Ohio LLC

    The first thing you must do is to choose a company name, which should be unique, easy to find, and available in the state.
    name your llc

  2. Choose a Registered Agent

    In Ohio, it is mandatory to select a registered agent for your LLC. Get a professional Registered Agent from LLC formation services like NorthWest Registered Agent to get things done hassle-free.
    registered agent

  3. File a Formation Certificate

    Filing a formation certificate is necessary when forming an LLC in Ohio. Depending on the state, it could be called any of the following: Certificate of Formation, Articles of Organization, or Certificate of Organization.
    articles of organization

  4. Create an Operating Agreement

    An operating agreement is not a strict requirement in Ohio but something encouraged when you start an LLC to avoid future conflicts.
    operating agreement

  5. Get an EIN

    The Employer Identification Number (EIN), also called Federal Tax Identification Number, serves to identify a business entity like a social security number but for a company.
    file EIN for llc

How Fast Can I Form an LLC in Ohio

The business filing procedure for LLC in Ohio may take up to 7 business days. The procedure can be expedited after the payment of additional fees to the state.

If you want to start a new business in Ohio, you can’t go wrong by choosing a name for your company. After all, it is one of the most important parts of starting a company. An easy-to-remember name will attract more customers and revenue. Here are a few ways to choose an easy-to-remember name for your company. If you have any questions about this process, contact an attorney.

When it comes to choosing a bank, you may want to use a local Ohio bank if possible. This is because the fees for business bank accounts vary based on the type of account you have and whether you qualify to hold an account with that bank. Additionally, Ohio has favorable taxation. For instance, the Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) rate is only three percent as of 2020, making it relatively easy to register an LLC in Ohio.

The next step is to file your Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State of Ohio. Once the Articles of Organization are approved by the Secretary of State, your LLC will be officially formed. The cost for filing an LLC in Ohio is $99, and you can choose either a paper or online filing method. The online option, however, is the fastest and cheapest. Processing time for filing articles of organization is usually three to seven business days.

Typically, an LLC will take seven business days to be formed in Ohio, although it is possible to expedite the process. During this time, you must submit an operating agreement, or “bylaws” if you have one. This document will lay out the business’s rules and procedures. It is essential to follow this document as it will help all owners stay on the same page. And if you fail to complete the operating agreement, you’ll be barred from using the name.

One of the most important aspects of LLC formation in Ohio is the name. Your business name must be unique and distinguishable from other businesses in the same industry. To check if your business name is available, search the name search engine of the Secretary of State’s website. Remember to keep the name short and sweet, though. You can also include the designation “Limited Liability Company” in the name. And, if you have a name that sounds too familiar, use an acronym like “LLC” for your company to avoid confusion.

Operating agreements are not required in Ohio, but they are highly recommended. Operating agreements set forth the rights and responsibilities of the members of the LLC. They also establish the organization’s goals and mission. These agreements are also considered governing documents in Ohio. Despite these advantages, Ohio LLCs must follow several other steps in order to remain in good standing with the state. You can also choose to incorporate a limited liability company in Ohio by hiring a lawyer.

F.A.Qs

Can I file an LLC in Ohio by myself?

If you are a resident of Ohio, then you can file your LLC by yourself. However, it is always worth having a professional than doing it yourself to handle legal complexities, paperwork, and other documentation.

What is the cost of forming an LLC in Ohio in a year?

Apart from the formation fee of $99 (domestic LLC) and $99 (foreign LLC), LLC costs in Ohio include filing fees for Annual Reports every year. LLCs are liable to pay sales tax of 5.75% every year.

How long does it take to get an LLC in Ohio?

It takes 7 business days to get an Ohio LLC if you file it online or via mail. If you hire a professional LLC service, then it might take less than that. We recommend Tailor Brands which has impeccable turnaround time.

How to renew my LLC in Ohio?

Every year all the LLCs have to submit an Annual Report to the Ohio Secretary of State and renew the LLC. It is mandatory to renew your LLC every year.

What is the tax structure for an LLC in Ohio?

Generally, for the LLCs, it is a default tax structure. Once you will obtain the EIN, you will get the various tax structure options to select. Sometimes LLCs choose S Corp to reduce federal tax burdens. Read more on the Ohio Classification of LLC Tax.

In Conclusion

LLCs are easier to establish than other business structures. Small businesses, especially start-ups can easily start an LLC in Ohio at a bare minimum cost. LLCs have a ‘pass-through taxation’ advantage for which they are excluded from certain taxes. The formation of limited liability companies requires much lesser documents and legal processes. Share your queries with us, and leave a comment below.

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