How to Form a Company in Ohio


Whether you’re starting a new business or simply incorporating for your existing company in Ohio, there are many steps to take before you can legally operate. In this article, we’ll cover everything from choosing a name to finding an agent and preparing the paperwork that’s required for incorporation. By following these tips and tricks, you can form a business in Ohio and start operating as soon as possible!

Choose a business name and make sure that it is original.

  • Choose a business name that is not too similar to another company’s name.
  • Choose a business name that is easy to remember.
  • Choose a business name that won’t offend anyone or confuse customers, like if you are selling auto parts and have the word “parts” in your name, but it does not include the word “auto.”
  • If you are going with a company or trade name (like “ABC Plumbing” or “Ed’s Used Cars”), make sure it isn’t too long and cumbersome for people to say out loud when calling on the phone or writing checks at the store; keep it short and sweet!

Find a registered agent in Ohio.

A registered agent is simply a person or business that you appoint to handle important legal and tax documents on your behalf. In Ohio, it’s required that all corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), and foreign entities have one, or they risk being dissolved by the state. You can find registered agents by going to the secretary of state’s website and searching for “registered agent.”

If you don’t have an attorney, accountant or other professional with experience in these matters, it may help to hire someone specifically to serve as your registered agent. They’ll make sure that all documents are handled properly and filed on time so there’s no risk of losing your company status due to lack of compliance.

File Articles of Incorporation with the Ohio Secretary of State.

Once you have decided on a name for your business, it’s time to register the company in Ohio. To do this, you will need to file Articles of Incorporation with the Ohio Secretary of State. You can download this form online by visiting their website and filling out all required information. Include:

  • The name of your business and its address
  • The name and address of its registered agent (this should be an individual or business entity)
  • Signature lines that authorize people acting on behalf of your company to sign contracts and other documents related to your legal status as a corporation in Ohio

Prepare an operating agreement for your LLC.

If you’re forming an LLC, your company will need to have an operating agreement. An operating agreement is a document that describes how the company will be run and what each member’s responsibilities are. Ohio does not require that you have an operating agreement for your LLC, but it is highly recommended to do so in order to avoid future disputes about the management of the company and its assets.

The operating agreement must be in writing and signed by all members of your business. It should also be kept in your records and available for review by any member or third party at any time upon request (Ohio Revised Code § 1705.01(B)).

Create a professional website.

You will also want to create a professional website. A good website gives potential clients and partners a chance to see what you have to offer, while also offering them an opportunity to get in touch with you directly through email or phone. Having a well-designed, informative site can help build trust with new customers who may be wary about working with an unknown company or individual.

You should consider the following when creating your business’ website:

  • Choose which URL space is best for your business name. You will need this later when registering as an LLC (limited liability company) or corporation in Ohio. If there are multiple spaces available for that specific name, choose one that fits into the overall theme of your brand identity — e.g., if it’s aimed at children under 12 years old then go with something like “kids123toys4u” rather than “kids123toys4uandme”.
  • Create an attractive logo that represents both yourself as well as how others perceive themselves when interacting with your products/services; make sure they’re easy enough so people don’t feel intimidated by them (elegant simplicity works best).

Open a business bank account and apply for an Employer Identification Number.

The next thing you’ll need to do is open a business bank account and apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

An EIN is a unique nine-digit number that the IRS issues to businesses. It’s used by your employer or self-employed sole proprietor tax form, so it’s crucial that you have one before applying for a federal Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). You’ll also need this number if you plan on hiring any employees in the future, since they will be required to file taxes using their own Social Security numbers.

To apply for an EIN, simply visit the IRS website at and follow these steps:

  • Click on “Employer ID Numbers” in the left column of items listed under “Businesses & Exempt Organizations”; then click on “Apply for an EIN Online.” This will bring up a page listing all possible ways of obtaining one; choose “Apply Online” from this list and click continue once more until reaching another page with instructions about how best get started with filing your request online; make sure everything looks correct before clicking submit at this point!

Obtain all necessary licenses and permits for your new company.

If you are selling products, you will need to obtain a sales tax license. If your business is based in Ohio, but you sell products in other states or internationally, then it is possible that those states may require you to register for sales tax in their jurisdiction as well. This can be done by contacting the state’s Department of Revenue or Taxation and paying any applicable fees.

If your company is providing services rather than goods, then it is necessary to obtain a sales tax permit instead of a license. Again: if this applies only to some services offered by your company (and not all), then two permits are required—one for each type of service provided.

Obtain any necessary insurance policies.

As a business owner, you should consider purchasing a variety of insurance policies to protect your company. These include liability and property damage; worker’s compensation; auto liability; umbrella (additional coverage); and health, life and disability. Before choosing an insurance company, research the different types of coverage offered by each provider to determine which will best suit your needs. It is also important that you consult with an attorney about ensuring that all necessary policies are in place for both employees and clients before opening shop.

You can form a company in Ohio by taking these steps

  • Develop a business plan. This is a crucial step in the process of starting your own company, as it sets out all the goals and objectives for your new venture. You should include details about how you plan to run things, what you will sell, how you will market and promote yourself, and more.
  • Choose the right type of legal structure for your business. There are several types of companies that can be formed in Ohio: LLCs (limited liability corporations), S corporations, C corporations, general partnerships and sole proprietorships.* Select an appropriate name for your company.* Find an agent who will act as your registered agent (this person must have his or her principal place of business in Ohio).
  • File articles of incorporation with Ohio Secretary of State.* Open an account at a bank or other financial institution so that you have access to credit lines when needed.* Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from IRS by completing Form SS-4


Congratulations on forming your Ohio corporation! We hope this information has been helpful and answered any questions you may have had regarding the process of starting a company. If you want to learn more about what it takes for an LLC in Ohio, check out our blog post here:

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