How to Start an LLC in Ohio by Michael H. Cohen, Esq.

How to Start an LLC in Ohio

Find out how to start an LLC in Ohio, including how to file the paperwork you need, how much it costs, and more.

by Michael H. Cohen, Esq.
updated August 11, 2017 · 4 min read

LLCs in Ohio are affordable and easy to form. And as with other states, the State of Ohio has some unique LLC requirements.

Interested parties must register with the Secretary of State by filing the necessary forms, paying the necessary fees and meeting all naming and formation requirements.

The specifications required of an Ohio LLC:

Registration. LLCs are required to complete and submit Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. This can be done by mail, online or in person. The Articles of Organization must include the following pertinent information:

  • Contact details for return of the approval certificate
  • LLC name
  • Effective date
  • Duration, if applicable
  • Purpose of the LLC
  • Name, address and signature of registered agent
  • Name and signature of a member, manager or authorized representative

All documents submitted must be accompanied by the payment for the filing fee.

Forms and fees. LLC registrants are required to file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. There is a $125 filing fee that must be paid upon submission of the documents. Processing time is reduced to two business days for an additional $100, one business day for $200 and, for $300, documents may be processed within four hours, if delivered in person before 1 pm. Fees are subject to change, check with the Secretary of State for the most recent fees.

Timeline. The usual processing time for documents and filing is between three to seven business days. However, if received document volume is dense, processing time may be longer. Expedited processing services are available, which reduce processing time to within four hours.

Naming requirements. LLC naming requirements can be confusing. However, the easiest way to ensure that your LLC name will be approved is to make it distinguishable from other LLCs and include specific words required of LLCs. You may opt to have a preferred name checked for availability before filing your LLC formation documents with the Secretary of State.

Formation requirements. To form an LLC, a registrant must first file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. All submissions must be accompanied by a filing fee that is about $125.

An LLC with more than one member is also strongly advised to have a limited liability operating agreement among its members.

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Starting an LLC in Ohio

Before you begin the registration process for an LLC in Ohio, it’s important to know what an LLC is and whether or not it is a viable business structure for your company, so be certain to read up on the definition and benefits of an LLC.

These steps will guide you through the LLC registration process with the Ohio Secretary of State:

1. Decide on a name for your business. You can choose any name for your LLC as long as it ends with “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited” or any variation of its abbreviation—e.g., LLC, L.L.C. or Ltd.

Names may be reserved for up to 180 days. You must file a name reservation application with the Secretary of State by submitting a completed request form, along with the required $50 fee. This process may be done by mail.

You may also have a preferred name checked for availability by accessing the Ohio Secretary of State website.

2. Assign an agent for service of process. Registered agents are individuals or corporations authorized to do business in the state and which have permanent addresses in Ohio. Registered agents accept legal documents on behalf of the LLC and make sure its members are notified.

3. Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. If there are two or more members in your LLC, your company will need to obtain an EIN from the IRS, for tax purposes.

4. Create an operating agreement. Although LLCs in Ohio are not required to have a limited liability company operating agreement, it is wise to have one in place with other members should your LLC have more than one member. The State of Ohio recognizes limited liability company operating agreements as governing documents.

5. Familiarize yourself with the LLC’s continuing legal obligations. Continuing legal obligations may include, but are not limited to, state taxes, annual reports and so on. Please note that LLCs are not required to file annual reports in Ohio.

Filing an LLC and Fees

Following are the forms and fees that are required when starting an LLC in Ohio:

1. Forms. Complete and submit Articles of Organization, along with the required filing fee, to the Secretary of State.

2. Fees. The filing fee for Articles of Organization is $125. This fee can change, check with the Secretary of State for the most recent fee.

3. Limited liability company operating agreement. Although the LLC operating agreement is not submitted with the Articles of Organization to the Secretary of State, it is a good idea to have one in place for LLCs with more than one member. This document should be kept on file by the registered agent.

4. Taxes. LLCs in Ohio are treated as corporations, limited liability partnerships or single-member LLCs and are subject to federal income tax classifications. Depending on the type of taxation you opt to have for your LLC, you will have different federal tax responsibilities.

You should always make sure to acquaint yourself with the state laws regarding taxation, as your LLC may be subject to other taxes akin to the kind of business your LLC is involved with.

Ready to form an LLC in Ohio? LegalZoom provides online LLC formation and filing services, including providing a registered agent in Ohio.

Ready to start your LLC? START AN LLC ONLINE NOW
Michael H. Cohen, Esq.

About the Author

Michael H. Cohen, Esq.

Healthcare and FDA lawyer Michael H. Cohen is Founder & President of the Michael H. Cohen Law Group. The Michael H. Cohe… Read more