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How to Form an LLC in Ohio

What is an LLC? In Ohio, an LLC is a business entity that shares elements of a corporation as well as elements of a partnership and are recognized by Ohio law. LLC’s are also recognized as partnerships, by default, for federal income tax purposes. If you’re interested in how your LLC should be taxed for federal income tax purposes, check out our general guide to LLCs and federal income taxes.

Step #1: Choose a Name for the LLC

The first step when forming an LLC in Ohio is choosing a business name for your company. There are legal requirements in Ohio for naming an LLC. Among these legal requirements is a requirement that the LLC’s name be distinguishable from any other domestic corporation, foreign corporation, LLC, LLP or LP that has previously been registered. If the name you choose for your LLC is already registered, it should be rejected by the Secretary of State. If your LLC’s name is already taken, you’ll need to follow up and see if you can still use the name by submitting Articles the Consentfor Use of Similar Name. Contact us today and one of our Ohio business lawyers can help you conduct an availability search for the name you wish to use or assist you in obtaining the information required to use a similar name as another registrant. Also note that Ohio law requires an LLC’s name to include one of the following: “limited liability company,” “LLC”, “L.L.C.,” “ltd”, “ltd.,” or “limited.” If you have a name that you know you want to use but aren’t ready to officially form your LLC, we may be able to help protect the name of your LLC. In certain circumstances, our Ohio LLC attorneys can help you reserve your name in advance of your official LLC filing for an 180 day period.

Make sure your LLC is using a name that hasn’t already been registered and includes “limited liability company,” “LLC”, “L.L.C.,” “ltd”, “ltd.,” or “limited.”

Step #2: Appoint a Statutory Agent

A statutory agent is required when forming an LLC. The agent will be the main point of contact if anyone has any questions about your LLC. You must have the person’s name and address in order to complete the LLC filing. In some cases, a P.O. box may be used for the statutory agent’s address. Once you have a statutory agent, you’re ready to complete the most important formation document – The Articles of Incorporation

Step #3: File Required State Business Formation Documents

If you’re forming an LLC in Ohio you must first file the required documents with the Ohio Secretary of State in order to legally operate your LLC. What are Articles of Organization? Articles of Organization serve as the foundational charter of the company on file with the State of Ohio. This document must contain certain information such as: the name of the company; the period of its duration; and the original appointment and acceptance of a statutory agent. The Articles must be signed by an authorized representation of the LLC and there is a filing fee of $99.00 which may be expedited for additional fees. As soon as the Articles of Organization are filed, the company comes into legal existence.

Articles of Incorporation must be signed by an authorized representative of the LLC and include a $99.00 filing fee.

Step #4: Apply for an EIN (Tax Identification Number) from the IRS and setup a bank account

Once you have your certificate of creation from the Secretary of State, its time to contact the IRS to create a tax identification number for your business. This involves either completing the IRS form to obtain an EIN via their website or submitting Form SS-4. Once you’ve got your articles of incorporation, State certificate, and EIN number, you’re ready to open a bank account in the name of your LLC. HEad to your local bank branch and speak with a business banker. They’ll ask you for these documents and if you have multiple members of your LLC, they may ask to see your operating agreement.

  • CHOOSE A NAME FOR THE LLC
    Choose a name for the LLC that is not already registered and make sure it has the required abbreviation to denote it as an LLC.
  • APPOINT A STATUTORY AGENT
    You must appoint an agent for the LLC to serve as the main point of contact.
  • FILE REQUIRED STATE BUSINESS FORMATION DOCUMENTS
    File the Articles of Incorporation with the State of Ohio
  • APPLY FOR AN EIN AND SETUP A BANK ACCOUNT
    Obtain an EIN number from the IRS and bring all of the formation documents to a bank to setup a bank account.

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