Ohio LLC

How To Start an LLC in Ohio

You got your Ohio-based business up and running, and you felt an LLC business structure suits your goals best. The next step is to set up your LLC Ohio to enjoy its benefits. Items to add to your checklist include naming your company, selecting a statutory agent, filing articles of organization, creating an operating agreement and requesting an EIN from the IRS. GovDocFiling has the experience and resources you need for every step of the process.

Start Your LLC For Free Now

What Is an LLC?

LLC stands for “limited liability company.” This legal entity type lets a person own and operate a business with a corporation’s limited liability and a partnership’s flexibility. LLCs are popular because they offer a low-cost option to become a business owner.

Anyone who owns an LLC is a member. Because most states don’t restrict ownership, members may include corporations, individuals, other LLCs and foreign entities. LLCs may have as many members as a company wishes, and most states allow for single-member LLCs.

Not all businesses qualify for an LLC, including insurance companies and banks. In some states, property developers and other professionals must set up special LLCs.

Steps To Form an LLC

While it only takes five steps to create an LLC in Ohio, take your time. Each step involves several components, and taking your time ensures you do everything right the first time. Below, we explore the basic steps to help you fully understand how to get an LLC in Ohio.

Step 1

Name Your LLC

Before naming your LLC, it’s a good idea to look into Ohio’s naming requirements:

  • You must use a different name from other Ohio businesses. Search the Secretary of State's site to check the availability of a business name you have in mind.
  • Your company must include the words "L.L.C.," "Limited Liability Company" or "LLC."
  • Business names cannot include words that name a government agency, such as "Treasury," "CIA," "State Department" or "FBI."
  • If you want to use forbidden words, such as "attorney," "credit union," "bank" or "lawyer," you may need licensure documents or supplementary paperwork.

If you want to set up a commercial site, check your business name’s availability as a web domain. Are you unsure whether you want to use a specific business name? For a $39 fee, you can reserve one. That way, you need not worry about someone else claiming your business domain or business name.

Step 2

Select a Statutory Agent

Another item to cross off your “how to get an LLC in Ohio” checklist is appointing a statutory agent. Statutory agents are entities or individuals who receive notice of lawsuits, tax forms, legal documents and official government correspondence on your behalf. You may choose one of your LLC’s employees or yourself for the role. An entity that offers a statutory agent service also works.

No matter the person or entity you choose, your candidate must meet specific criteria:

  • Agents must have an address in Ohio.
  • Companies or entities must offer statutory agent services.
  • Agents must be on-site and able to receive documents during regular business hours.

Choose a statutory agent with a physical street address in Ohio. Your chosen agent may also use a P.O. box as an address.

Step 3

File the Articles of Organization

With Articles of Organization, you draft fundamental information about your company and officially establish it. Details to add to your articles of organization include:

  • Your LLC's name and purpose
  • Your company's effective date
  • The street address of the LLC's main place of business
  • How long the LLC will exist (While most LLCs operate indefinitely, you may specify a date if yours ends on a specific date)
  • The statutory agent's contact information, name and signature
  • Signature and name of an LLC manager, member or representative

The LLC Ohio cost to file Articles of Organization is $99. You may file your articles either online or by mail. Once you file, the Secretary of State reviews your articles. After receiving approval, your LLC becomes a legal business entity.

Step 4

Create an Operating Agreement

Operating agreements explain how your LLC operates. An LLC in Ohio does not need an operating agreement, but your business may benefit from having one, anyway. For instance, if your company has several owners, having an operating agreement may help you settle or avoid disagreements. If conflict sparks and you take the matter to court because you don’t have an operating agreement, state law determines the outcome, which may not favor your business or your LLC’s members.

Common areas covered on operating agreements include:

  • Members and their contributions
  • How to divide profits and losses
  • The purpose of your business
  • Liability and indemnification clauses
  • LLC management
  • Articles of Organization details
  • Procedure for outgoing members and admitting new members
  • Statutory agent address and name

You may also include your LLC’s name and principal address on the operating agreement.

Step 5

Request an EIN

Your EIN, which stands for “Employer Identification Number,” lets the IRS identify your entity for taxes. You do not need to add the number to your LLC Ohio cost because they’re free. Once you have a number, you may hire employees and open a business bank account. The number also lets you manage and file federal and state taxes.

You can apply for an EIN either online or through the mail. Those with a sole proprietorship who already have an EIN need a new number when they switch to an LLC.

Additional Considerations

It’s a good idea to take your time while learning how to get an LLC in Ohio. You may find you have additional considerations while working through your LLC checklist. For instance, your business or industry may need a license to operate in Ohio. You may check the U.S. Small Business Administration or State of Ohio sites, or you may contact your local county clerk.

Once you file your LLC formation documents and receive approval, the state issues a certificate that confirms your company officially exists. Your LLC may also need a vendor’s license from the Ohio Department of Taxation. This usually applies to LLCs that offer taxable services or sell tangible personal items.

Do you have or plan to hire employees for your company? If so, it’s a good idea to report new hires or rehires to the Ohio New Hire Reporting Center within 20 days of making them part of the team. Because you operate an LLC, you likely need workers’ compensation insurance after hiring your first employee.

Frequently Asked Questions About LLCs

Here, we explore common questions business owners have about LLCs. Please bear in mind that this section offers general information, not advice. You deserve to consult with a legal or financial professional if you desire financial or legal advice.

All international LLCs must register with the Ohio Secretary of State. Foreign LLCs need a registered agent for service of process. Agents must be Ohio-based corporations, Ohio residents or foreign corporations with a place of business and business license in Ohio.

Foreign LLCs must file a Registration of Foreign Limited Liability Company either online or by mail and pay the $99 filing fee. Finished applications should include a certificate of good standing or legal existence from the international LLC’s home state. You cannot date the certificate over 60 days before filing it.

Businesses that want to create an LLC and offer licensed professional services in Ohio must form a professional LLC, sometimes abbreviated as “PLLC.” Examples of such businesses include Certified Public Accountants, dentists, architects and attorneys. If business owners must secure an Ohio state license before practicing, they likely qualify as professional service providers. All PLLC members must secure a license before forming the LLC.

There may come a day when you want to stop business operations and shut your company down. If that day comes, it’s good to dissolve your company the right way, to limit your liability for government fees and lawsuits. Steps to dissolve your LLC include filing a certificate of dissolution and checking your operating agreement for guidance.

You have several reasons to form an LLC, including protection from personal liability and protection from legal judgment and legal debts. To make a well-informed decision about forming an LLC, you should understand the business structure’s disadvantages.

You could encounter more complex taxes with an LLC than you would with a corporation. You may also have to pay franchise or capital value tax to benefit from limited liability, which could add to the LLC Ohio cost.

Do you plan to work with international companies? If so, you may need to classify as a corporation in foreign countries rather than a pass-through entity. If your company earns a profit for a specific period, members pay taxes on that profit, no matter whether they distribute the profit to shareholders or reinvest the profit.

Work With GovDocFiling

Now that you know how to set up an LLC in Ohio, it’s time to put your plan in motion. GovDocFiling helps you establish your company affordably and quickly. We have partnered with IncAuthority to file your free Articles of Organization and provide one year of free registered agent services, you only pay mandatory state fees. Get started today!

Start your LLC today!