Create an Ohio LLC in Five Easy Steps 

Are you looking to form an LLC? Ohio is full of entrepreneurial opportunities. The Buckeye State offers attractive cities, popular sports teams and high-ranking colleges and universities. You need the right resources to kickstart this process. PRIME’s five-step guide saves you time and money to help you get started with your Ohio LLC. Our experts also offer a free consultation upon inquiry. You should be ready to pay a $99 Articles of Organization fee with the Ohio Secretary of State. 

Read on for the 411 on starting an LLC in Ohio from PRIME Corporate Services. (Want more info about LLCs? Check out our Guide to LLCs or set up a call with one of our advisors.)

STEP 1: Pick a Name for Your Ohio LLC

This decision is the first and most important in the process of forming an LLC. The name must comply with Ohio naming requirements, be searchable and not already be chosen by another Ohio business. 

Ohio provides name availability guidelines, which can impact the chosen name of your LLC:

  • The Ohio LLC name must contain the phrase “limited liability company,” or one of its common abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.). 
  • To use restricted words, the Ohio LLC may require you to fill out additional paperwork for restricted words and have a properly licensed professional as part of your LLC (Bank, Attorney, University, etc.).
  • The LLC name can not contain words which may confuse your business with a government agency (Treasury, State Department, FBI, etc.). 
  • The LLC name must be distinguishable from any other registered Ohio limited liability company, limited liability partnership, limited partnership, or corporation.
  • Conducting a name search is important to make sure your desired LLC name is available 

Recommended—but not required—steps when naming your Ohio LLC:

  • Check online to see if your desired URL name is available. It is important to do so before officially deciding on a name for your LLC. You should consider purchasing the domain immediately to have the ability to create a future website.  

STEP 2: Designate a Statutory Agent for Your Ohio LLC 

Assigning a statutory agent, also known in other states as a registered agent, is required to form your LLC. This person or business entity is responsible for receiving and corresponding on all legal documents related to your LLC. Examples include notices of lawsuits, tax forms and government correspondences.To become a statutory agent, you must be a resident of Ohio or  a registered agent service authorized to work in the state. You can serve as your own registered agent. 

You can learn more about choosing a registered agent here.

STEP 3: Complete the Ohio LLC Articles of Organization 

The next step in the Ohio LLC process is to file Form 533A – Articles of Organization through the Secretary of State. This process can be completed online or through the mail.

Ohio LLC Certificate of Formation – What Information is Required?

  1. Name of Limited Liability Company – The name of the limited liability company must be provided. 
  2. Effective Date (optional) – The legal existence of the corporation begins upon the filing of the articles or on a later date specified in the articles.
  3. Period of Existence (optional) – Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code §1705.04 (B), if a period of existence is not provided the limited liability company’s period of existence is perpetual.
  4. Purpose Clause (optional) – As stated in Ohio Revised Code §1705.02, a limited liability company may generally “be formed for any purpose or purposes for which individuals lawfully may associate themselves.”
  5. Statutory Agent Acceptance – Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code section 1705.06, an Ohio limited liability company must appoint a statutory agent to accept service of process on behalf of the company. 
  6. Signatures – After completing all information on the filing form, please make sure that page 3 is signed by at least one member, manager or other authorized representative of the limited liability company. 

Ohio LLC Certificate of Organization Filing Options

Click here to file Form 533A. 

To print and mail your Ohio LLC Certificate of Organization, you must complete and mail this form.    

The nonrefundable state filing cost is $99. This payment is made to the Ohio Secretary of State.  

You can mail your printed and completed forms to the following address:

Ohio Secretary of State

P.O. Box 670

Columbus, OH 43216

If you are planning to expand your already existing business to the state of Ohio, you’ll need to register as a Foreign LLC.

STEP 4: File a Ohio LLC Operating Agreement 

Ohio does not require operating agreements, but they are considered best practice. 

This internal document outlines ownership and operating policies, which mitigates future conflict. Pay close attention to the details of this agreement to avoid confusion of responsibility down the line. 

STEP 5: Get an EIN for Your Ohio LLC

An Employer Identification Number (EIN), provided by the Internal Revenue System (IRS), is a nine-digit identifier. This is used for federal purposes, such as to keep up with tax reporting. This number functions similarly to a Social Security number, although a SSN is not needed to obtain an EIN. 

EIN’s are used to hire employees, open business accounts and pay taxes. Even if you have an EIN through a sole proprietorship, a new one is needed when transitioning to an LLC.  

Obtaining an EIN is a free process. 

You can apply for an EIN online through this link.

To download the form that you can print and mail, click here

For this process, there is no filing fee. 

Mail your SS-4 Application for Employer Identification Number to:

Internal Revenue Service

Attn: EIN Operation

Cincinnati, OH 45999

Fax:

(855) 641-6935

 

Forming a Ohio LLC—Next Steps

Open a Business Account for Your LLC 

This is a good practice for protecting your personal assets from your private assets. 

Reasons to Separate Your Funds: 

  • It makes accounting and filing taxes an easier process
  • You can connect this account to a business credit card 
  • You can hire a business accountant to help manage your finances 

Create a Website for Your LLC 

Every business should have a website. New web technology makes this process easier and more accessible to the average consumer. 

Reasons to Create a Website: 

  • You can connect your social media accounts for the LLC to the website 
  • Websites make your business more legitimate. 
  • Website builders like Wix are easy to use.

 

Forming a Ohio LLC—FAQ

How much does it cost to form an LLC in Ohio?

To register an LLC in Ohio, you must pay a $99 Articles of Organization fee to the Ohio Secretary of State.

What is a “Statutory Agent” in the state of Ohio?

A statutory agent—often called a “registered agent” in other states—is the person or entity designated to receive legal correspondence on your LLC’s behalf. To serve as a statutory agent in Ohio, you must reside in Ohio. If you choose a service to fill that role, the service must be authorized to do business in the state of Ohio.

Where can I find the paperwork for an Ohio LLC?

You can file for 533A—the Articles of Organization—electronically by clicking here. To print and mail your Ohio LLC Certificate of Organization, you must complete and mail this form.

 

Forming Your Ohio LLC—More Resources