How to start an LLC in Ohio

By Bazal Razzaq

Chief Editor

Updated: September 21, 2023, 12:30pm

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LLC in Ohio

If you are planning to start an LLC in Ohio, you will have to file for Articles of Organization with the Ohio Secretary of State. It will cost approximately $99, and you can apply online or by mail.

We have compiled a step-by-step guide for how to start an Ohio LLC.

#1 Choose a Name for your LLC in Ohio

The first step of starting an LLC in Ohio involves choosing a suitable name. The name should be such that it complies with the Naming requirements set up by the Ohio Secretary of State, and can be searched by the potential clients. You can also follow the naming guidelines given below:

  1. The Business name should include “limited liability company” or its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.)

  2. The Business name should not include the name of any government agency (FBI, State Department, Treasury).

  3. Words such as Bank, University may require additional paperwork, and a licensed individual to be a part of your LLC.

  4. The chosen LLC name should not match with any other Ohio LLC, corporation, limited partnership, limited liability partnership or trade name.

You can check if the chosen name of LLC is already in use or not.

#2 Choose a Registered Agent in Ohio

To keep running an LLC in Ohio, one must regularly maintain an Ohio Statutory Agent. A Statutory Agent is also referred to as a Registered Agent who receives the company mail (Lawsuit and court documents).

If an LLC fails to maintain a Registered Agent, the Secretary of State has the liberty to dissolve it. A Registered Agent must fulfill the following conditions-

  1. He must be a legal resident of Ohio i.e. must have a physical address in Ohio.

  2. The Registered Agent must list an address on the LLC filing that is located in the State.

A Statutory Agent could be any one of the following-

  1. A friend or a family member.

  2. Be your own Registered Agent for your LLC.

  3. Hire a Commercial Statutory Agent.

#3 Articles of Organization for LLC in Ohio

You must file Articles of Organization with the Ohio Secretary of State. When it gets approved, the document officially becomes an Ohio LLC. The fee to file an LLC in Ohio is $99 which is a one-time payable fee. The LLC can be filed in Ohio either by online method or through mail. It will be good if you can determine whether the LLC is member-managed vs. manager-managed.

Ohio LLC Approval time-

Online Filing: 

  • The approval time for online filing is usually 1 working day.

  • The approval depends on the number of filing documents.

Mail Filing:

  • If you file your LLC in Ohio by mail, it takes about 1 business day along with the mailing time.

The Articles of Organization lists the following items-

  1. Name of your LLC.

  2. Starting date.

  3. Duration.

  4. Purpose of formation.

  5. Name and Address of Registered Agent.

  6. Signature of Registered/Statutory Agent.

  7. Name and Address of the person who submits the Articles of Organization.

#4 Prepare an Operating Agreement

The Operating Agreement contains the following items-

  1. Name of the owners of the LLC and the percentage of their share.

  2. The duties, rights, and obligations of the members to each other and towards the LLC.

  3. The distribution of profit and loss.

  4. How accounting will be managed.

#5 Apply for an EIN

The IRS issues the Federal Tax ID Number to identify your LLC. It is similar to the Social Security Number which is used to identify a person. The EIN is also known as the Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). You can apply for the EIN once your LLC in Ohio is set up successfully.

You can apply for the EIN in two ways-

  1. Apply Online: It takes only 10-15 mins.

  2. Mail or fax Form SS-4: You can download, fill and mail the form to the address given below. It takes about 4 business days along with mailing time.

IRS Fax number: 855-641-6935

IRS Mailing address:

Internal Revenue Service, 

Attn: EIN Operation, 

Cincinnati, OH 45999.

The EIN is required for the following reasons:

  1. To open a business bank account.

  2. For Federal and tax purposes.

  3. For hiring new employees.

#6 Annual Report of LLC in Ohio

The Secretary of State in Ohio has not mandated to prepare an Annual Report. Yes, you heard it correctly, you don’t need to have an Annual Report in place to run your Ohio LLC.

For further questions, You can consult the Ohio Secretary of State at 614-466-3910.

Working days: Monday- Friday

Working hours: 8 am to 5 pm, Eastern Time.

#7 Get Business Licenses and/or Permits

You must have a proper business license or permit to run a business in Ohio. Keep in mind, that not every business needs a permit or license. You may have to apply for a local and industry-specific license and permits depending upon the location of your LLC and the nature of your business.

Ohio has a well-maintained list of business licenses and permits that can be beneficial for your LLC.

#8 State Taxes in Ohio

IRS classifies LLCs as pass-through entities i.e. any profit or loss incurred gets reflected in the Personal tax return on Schedule C. All LLCs in Ohio must be registered with the Ohio Department of Taxation. You can log into Ohio Business Gateway for registration.

Ohio Department of Taxation imposes different taxes such as alcoholic beverage tax, commercial activity tax, corporation franchise tax, natural gas distribution tax, property tax, sales and use tax etc. Following is the detail of the Ohio Department of Taxation-

Department of Taxation Website | Department of Taxation Contact Information

Phone: 888-405-4039 (business tax assistance)

Working Hours: 8 am to 5 pm

Working Days- Monday – Friday

Frequently Asked Questions​

You would need specific licenses and permits depending on your location and the industry. For eg- If you intend to sell personal items or tangible services, you will need a vendor’s license.

The cost of setting up an LLC in Ohio varies but submitting the Articles of Organization costs $99.

On average, it takes three to seven working days.

It is not compulsory for business owners to file an Operating Agreement with the state of Ohio.

If you want to dissolve your LLC in Ohio, then file for a Certificate of Dissolution with the Secretary of State. You can attach a notice of the LLC’s dissolution to creditors and people who claim against the LLC to clear any business debts.

You don’t need a business plan to form an LLC but it can be beneficial if you have one. The plan allows you to lay down goals, plans and LLC structure.

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