Ohio is fast becoming a place to do business, with excellent provision of programs, services and incentives to comprehensively support investors. 

In particular the state offers assistance with locating, hiring and training of employees. OhioWorkforce411 provides multiple services to assist businesses with finding employees and the Ohio Attorney General website offers help on conducting background checks. Financial assistance and incentives also exist, especially for businesses dealing in technology research and development, environmental and pollution projects.

People starting a new business must take care of many legal, financial and other matters. The first decision, however, must be to make sure you choose the right legal structure for your new business. This affects many issues such as the personal liability of owners, reducing taxes, the ease of bringing in investors and the consequences of the company if the owner dies.

The main types of company form in Ohio are Limited Liability Company, Corporation, Sole Proprietorship, and Partnership.

Corporations offer shareholders the benefits of limited liability, a voice in the management of the business and ease of transferring interests.

Limited Liability Companies provide tax benefits of a partnership along with limited liability benefits of a corporation.

Sole proprietorships are for those who run their business without co-owners. The sole owner is personally liable for their own acts, the acts of employees, and the owner’s assets.

Partnerships are for two or more people who jointly run a business. Partners in a General Partnership have unlimited liability for claims against the business. Limited Partnerships offer limited liability and the tax benefits of a partnership.

Before registering a company you must do the following:

•   Choose a name for your Ohio LLC that is not in use by another business.

•   Search the Ohio Secretary of State website to see if your business name already exists.

•   Download the right form for your business type from the same site and complete with name and address. There is a small fee of around $125 dollars to submit this.

If you are setting up a Limited Liability Company the registration process is slightly different:

  • •             Pick an available name. An LLC in Ohio must not use language in its business name that suggests an affiliation with a bank or government agency. Ohio state law requires the business name to end with the words Limited Liability Company or an abbreviated version.
  • •             Obtain article of organisation by downloading the form from the Ohio Secretary of State website. A representative of the LLC can also pick up the form in person at the Secretary of State’s office.
  • •             Ohio state law requires an LLC to give its legal name and principal address as well as the length of time the LLC will exist. It may operate with unlimited life or a definitive dissolution date. Companies are also asked to state the purpose for establishing the LLC in Ohio. The articles of organisation must be signed by LLC’s organisers who then must file it with the state.
  • •             Provide the name and physical address of the LLC’s registered agent who must be an adult, or a business that is registered with the state. These agents will accept legal documents for the LLC. The state of Ohio allows an LLC to act as its own registered agent so long as the LLC keeps a physical address in the state of Ohio.