Forming an LLC in Ohio

Created by FindLaw's team of attorney writers and editors.

With the start of every business, there are critical choices that must be made. One decision to consider is whether you want to form an LLC. If it's the right fit for your business, then it's helpful to know about the general structure and specific laws associated with LLCs. This article discusses how to form an LLC in Ohio and includes helpful links to formation documents and relevant statutes.

Forms for Ohio LLC Formation

Just like forming a corporation, starting an LLC in Ohio requires the completion and filing of documentation with the appropriate government agency. However, it's not a difficult process. In fact, you can use FindLaw's Ohio LLC Formation Package, a do-it-yourself solution that will help you get your business off the ground.

LLC Attributes

As an LLC owner/member, you have the benefit of limited liability against the company's court judgments and debts. Another attribute of the LLC is the accessibility of flow-through taxation; like a partnership, the LLC doesn't pay taxes on its income.

Forming an LLC in Ohio: Overview of the Law

While many states cover much of the same territory, the laws that govern LLCs vary by jurisdiction. Thus, it's important to know the specific requirements in your state. Read the chart below for a summary of the steps needed to form an LLC in Ohio.

Statutes

Ohio Revised Code:

Name the LLC

The name for an Ohio LLC must conform to the following rules:

  • The name must include one of the following terms, "limited liability company", "limited", "LLC", "L.L.C.", "ltd.";
  • The name must be distinct from the names of other Ohio businesses registered.

Search the Ohio Secretary of State Name Database to check for name conflicts.

File a Name Reservation with the Ohio Secretary of State to reserve a name for 180 days. Along with a fee, you can file the form by mail only.

Appoint a Registered Agent

The LLC must have an agent that will accept legal documents and acts as service of process if the LLC is sued.
The agent must:

  • Have a physical street address in Ohio; and be
  • An individual who is an Ohio resident; or
  • A domestic or foreign business entity authorized to business in Ohio.

File Articles of Organization

You must file a Certificate of Organization for a Domestic Limited Liability Company with the Department of State. The filing (which includes fees) must include the following information:

  • The LLC's name and address;
  • The registered agent's name, address, and the
  • Dissolution date of the LLC (if that applies).

Create an Operating Agreement

Although Ohio doesn't require them, it's recommended that you create an operating agreement.

Comply with Tax and Regulatory Requirements

If your business sells goods or you have employees, then you'll likely have to register with the Ohio Department of Taxation.

Apply for an EIN if your LLC has more than one member, even if there are no employees.

Determine Necessary Business Licenses/Permits

You may also have to obtain local and state business licenses, depending on the type of business and the location.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Foreign LLCs

All LLCs organized outside of the state must register with the Ohio Department of State to do business in Ohio. Foreign LLCs must appoint a registered agent who is an Ohio resident, Ohio corporation, or a foreign corporation that has a place of business in Ohio and is licensed to do business in the state.

Forming an LLC in Ohio: Related Resources

Thinking of Forming an Ohio LLC? Get an Attorney's Help

Forming an LLC in Ohio typically goes off without a hitch, especially when you have the right forms. But you might encounter complex issues that require legal expertise. Get help from an experienced Ohio business organizations attorney located near you.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.