How to Form an LLC in Ohio

State Seal of Ohio

Form your Ohio LLC with these five simple steps.

1. Name Your Ohio LLC
2. Choose a Registered Agent in Ohio
3. File the Ohio Articles of Organization
4. Create an Operating Agreement
5. Obtain an EIN

Forming an LLC in Ohio is pretty straightforward. Like other states in the US, Ohio has specific requirements and regulations surrounding forming an LLC within the state.

Interested parties looking to form an LLC first have to be registered with Ohio’s Secretary of State. This can be done by submitting the required forms, paying all the necessary fees, and complying with all LLC formation and naming requirements applicable to Ohio-based LLCs.

Ohio Secretary of State

Mailing address:
Ohio Secretary of State
PO Box 670
Columbus, Ohio 43216

Ohio Secretary of State
Ohio Business Services
8:00am – 5:00pm, M-F

Here are the steps to form an LLC in the state of Ohio.

  • Select a unique name to be used to identify your LLC.
  • Hire a registered Ohio-based agent.
  • Develop and file the LLC’s Articles of Organization
  • Develop a comprehensive operating agreement outlining all essential details
  • Ensure that your LLC complies with all applicable regulatory and tax requirements.

1. Select a unique name to be used to identify your LLC.

As per existing Ohio laws, an LLC’s name has to include any one of the following terms: ‘ltd.,’ ‘L.L.C.,’ ‘LLC’ or ‘ltd.’

Ohio business name search page

Ohio Secretary of State Business Name Search

Your LLC’s name must be distinguishable and unique from the pre-existing names of any other business entity already registered with the Secretary of the State of Ohio. You can check whether a name is available or not by using the official business name database, available on the Secretary of State’s website.

A name may be reserved for 180 days if you file a special Form 534-B (Name Reservation) with the Secretary of State of Ohio. This application can be submitted by mail or via the prescribed website.

2. Hire a registered Ohio-based agent.

All Ohio-based LLCs are required to have a registered agent to be approved by the State. This registered agent can be either a resident of the State of Ohio or be a foreign or domestic corporation that has the authority to conduct business within Ohio state limits.

3. Develop and file the LLC’s Articles of Organization

To create an Ohio-based LLC, it is mandatory to submit Form 533A, which contains the Articles of Organization of a Domestic Limited Liability Company. This form has to be filed with the Secretary of the State of Ohio. This Articles of Organization form has to contain the following information in detail:

  • Address, name, and the signature of the registered agent acting on behalf of the LLC.
  • Signature and name of an authorized representative, manager, or member of the LLC.
  • The purpose for which the LLC has been created.
  • Duration of the LLC’s existence, if applicable.
  • The name was chosen for the LLC.
  • Contact details are necessary for mailing the LLC’s approval certificate.
  • The effective date of filing.

Upon submission of these documents, the payment of the prescribed filing fees must also be made.

These Articles may be filed either via postal mail or via the State’s official filing website.

Fees and Forms: Upon submitting these documents, a filing fee of around $125 words has to be paid as well. The processing time can be cut down to 2 business days by paying an additional $100. For an additional $200, processing will be completed in a single business day.

For an additional $300, processing will be completed within 4 hours of receipt, provided the documents are delivered physically before 1 PM. It is essential to check the Secretary of State’s website before filing the documents since these fees are changed from time to time.

4. Develop a comprehensive operating agreement outlining all essential details

Although an operating agreement isn’t required for all LLCs in Ohio, most document filing services recommend having it. An LLC’s operating agreement happens to be a binding document that firmly establishes the obligations, liabilities, duties, powers, and rights of all the members of the LLC.

5. Ensure that your LLC complies with all applicable regulatory and tax requirements.

There may be additional regulatory and tax requirements that might apply to your LLC. Such requirements may include:

Business licenses: State and local business licenses may be required by your LLC for conducting its operations. For obtaining information about the state license, go through the official checklist section present in the website’s ‘Start a Business’ webpage.

To obtain local licenses and permits, consult with the clerk who works in the city where your LLC’s primary office is supposed to be located or the county if the LLC is in a particular unincorporated area.

EIN: If your LLC comprises more than one member, the LLC must get a unique IRS EIN or Employer Identification Number. This has to be done, even if you have zero employees. 1-member LLCs must get an EIN only if they employ workers or choose to tax the LLC, similar to a corporation.

An EIN can be obtained by filling out an EIN application available on the official IRS site ( No filing fees have to be paid.

Department of Taxation: If you employ workers or are selling goods & collecting taxes, you have to be registered with the Department of Taxation of Ohio. For tax purposes, the OBG or Ohio Business Gateway may be used for registering online.

You may also register via mail by submitting the correct form (the OBG website for more details). Ohio has a CAT or Commercial Activity Tax applicable for most Ohio-based business entities and SMLLCs.

Timeline: Usually, it takes between 3 to 7 business days to process the documents and ensuring that everything is in order. However, if the number of documents received is too high, the processing time can get longer.

But expedited processing is available, which can reduce the processing period to less than 4 hours.

All procedural steps and paperwork needed for establishing an Ohio-based LLC can be made and submitted online quickly.

6. Foreign Limited Liability Companies Carrying Out Business in the State of Ohio

To carry out business within the state of Ohio, every LLC that has been established outside the state’s limits has to be registered with the Secretary of State of Ohio.

The Registration of a Foreign Limited Liability Company form (Form 533B) has to be filed to register the company. This application may be submitted via postal mail or online.

For more information, visit how to do a business name availability search in Ohio.


Disclaimer – This website does not provide tax or legal advice. It is for general informational purposes only. The business formation services mentioned on our website are Document Filing Services and CANNOT provide you with legal or financial advice.  If you need legal or tax advice,  please consult with a competent attorney and/or accountant. Features, pricing, and service options on our website are subject to change without notice, and company service rankings are the editor’s personal opinion.

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