How to Start an LLC in Ohio | Mid 2023 Update

Starting a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Ohio can be an exciting prospect for many entrepreneurs. Renowned for its strong manufacturing, financial services, and healthcare sectors, Ohio provides a fertile environment for businesses to thrive. This guide outlines the crucial steps and specific considerations for starting an LLC in Ohio. By the time you are done with this article, you should have all the information you need to know how to start an LLC in Ohio.

Whether you are looking to start this LLC to develop a family office the Familoff way, or if you are just looking to start a business, let this guide lead the way.

How to Start an LLC in Ohio: Step-by-Step Guide

Creating an Ohio LLC involves several essential steps to ensure compliance with state regulations. In this guide, you’ll find a detailed overview of the process for forming an Ohio LLC, including choosing a name, appointing a registered agent, filing the Articles of Organization, creating an operating agreement, obtaining an EIN, complying with tax and regulatory requirements, maintaining your LLC, and outsourcing LLC creation.

Choose a Name for Your Ohio LLC

Choosing an apt name for your LLC is the first step in the process of setting up your LLC in Ohio. The Ohio Revised Code mandates that the name of your LLC must be distinguishable from the names of other businesses registered with the Ohio Secretary of State.

The name of your LLC should include the phrase “Limited Liability Company” or one of its abbreviations: “LLC” or “L.L.C.” You can verify the availability of your chosen name via the Ohio Secretary of State’s business search portal. If the name is available and you wish to reserve it for future use, Ohio law allows you to reserve the name for up to 180 days for a $39 filing fee.

Moreover, securing a matching domain name for your business website can help bolster your digital presence.

Appoint a Registered Agent in Ohio

Ohio law requires every LLC to appoint a statutory agent (the term Ohio uses for a registered agent). The statutory agent can be an individual resident in Ohio or a business entity authorized to do business in the state. This person or entity will be responsible for receiving legal correspondence on behalf of your LLC, including service of process and state notifications. The statutory agent must have a physical street address in Ohio.

File Ohio LLC Articles of Organization

To officially establish your LLC, you must file the Articles of Organization with the Ohio Secretary of State. You can do this online or by mail, and it comes with a $99 filing fee. The Articles of Organization should include:

  • The name and address of your LLC
  • The name and address of the LLC’s statutory agent
  • Whether the LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed
  • The effective date of the Articles, if not immediate

Create an Operating Agreement for Your Ohio LLC

While Ohio law does not legally require an operating agreement, having one is strongly recommended. This internal document lays out the operating rules and procedures of your LLC and outlines the ownership structure. It can provide crucial protections for your limited liability status, preempt conflicts among members, and ensure your business runs under your own rules instead of the state’s default rules.

Obtain an EIN for Your Ohio LLC

An EIN, or Employer Identification Number, is crucial for your LLC. This number, required by the IRS for tax administration purposes, is also necessary for opening a business bank account and hiring employees. You can apply for an EIN from the IRS online or by mail at no charge.

Comply with Ohio LLC Tax and Regulatory Requirements

Depending on your LLC’s business activities, you may need to register for certain types of state taxes:

  • Sales Tax: If your LLC sells goods to customers in Ohio, you may have to collect and pay sales tax. This requires registration with the Ohio Department of Taxation.
  • Employer Taxes: If your LLC has employees, you’ll need to register for Unemployment Insurance Tax and Employee Withholding Tax with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and Ohio Department of Taxation, respectively.

Beyond these primary steps, your LLC may need to satisfy other specific requirements based on your business activities:

  • Business Licenses and Permits: Depending on the nature and location of your business, you might need to obtain additional local or state business licenses or permits.
  • Ohio Employer Requirements: If your LLC has employees, you must comply with various laws concerning wage and labor, workers’ compensation insurance, and unemployment insurance, among other requirements.

Maintain Your Ohio LLC

Every LLC in Ohio is required to file a biennial (every two years) report, also known as a Statement of Continued Existence, with the Secretary of State. The filing fee is $25, and it’s due in the anniversary month of the LLC’s formation.

The process of starting an LLC in Ohio, while rewarding, involves intricate legal and financial complexities. Engaging the services of an attorney or a certified public accountant can help you navigate these intricacies and ensure you stay compliant with state regulations.

Outsourcing Ohio LLC Creation

While forming an Ohio LLC on your own is doable, many entrepreneurs choose to outsource the process to professional services such as LegalZoom, Incfile, or ZenBusiness. These services can simplify the LLC formation process and save you time, allowing you to focus on growing your business.

Outsourcing LLC creation offers several benefits:

  • Expertise: Professional services are well-versed in state requirements and can help you avoid common pitfalls and errors.
  • Convenience: They will handle the paperwork, filings, and interactions with the state on your behalf, ensuring all necessary steps are completed.
  • Registered agent services: Many LLC formation services also offer registered agent services, providing you with a reliable and experienced registered agent for your LLC.
  • Ongoing support: Most services offer ongoing support and assistance with maintaining your LLC, including compliance reminders and annual report filing.

When choosing an LLC formation service, compare pricing, features, and customer reviews to find the best fit for your needs. Keep in mind that the cost of using a professional service will be in addition to the state filing fees.

Final Thoughts on How to Start an LLC in Ohio

Starting an LLC in Ohio brings several benefits, including limited liability protection, tax advantages, and operational flexibility. However, the success of your LLC depends on properly adhering to the LLC formation process and meeting the specific requirements of the state. Having professional advice at your disposal can help you make informed decisions that align with your business’s unique needs and aspirations.

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