How to Start a Business in Ohio


Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
Business Formation Expert
Steve Goldstein runs LLCBuddy, helping entrepreneurs set up their LLCs easily. He offers clear guides, articles, and FAQs to simplify the process. His team keeps everything accurate and current, focusing on state rules, registered agents, and compliance. Steve’s passion for helping businesses grow makes LLCBuddy a go-to resource for starting and managing an LLC.

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Start a Business in Ohio

Starting your own business in Ohio is one of the most exciting and profitable things you can experience. But where do you begin? There are numerous strategies to establish a business, each with important factors to consider. If you wish to start a business in Ohio, there are many things that you should consider. Doing business in Ohio, popularly known as The Buckeye State, will give you many opportunities because of the current estimated population, which consists of 11,878,330. Considering the large numbers, you will cater to a lot of customers.

Follow our in-depth guide on how to start a business in Ohio. We will help you remove the doubt from the process and explore your chances of success. It will start from defining your business idea to establishing, launching, and expanding your business. And we will guide you every step of the way.

How to Start a Business in Ohio?

To form a business in Ohio, you must follow a few steps that include creating a business plan, choosing a business entity type, determining your Ohio business costs, naming your business, registering a business, and lastly, marketing your Ohio business. Starting a business is not something you can do overnight. The processing, planning, and preparation take a lot of time. If you want to start a business in Ohio, you must have everything ready beforehand.

Continue reading to learn more about the procedure as a whole and what new small business owners should keep in mind as they carry out each phase.

Step 1: Create a Business Plan

The first thing you need to start your business is a solid plan. In creating a business plan, you should consider many things when you are in the decision-making phase. Your business plan in Ohio is a road map for your successful business.

A business plan should consider the detailed purpose of your business. You should know what product or service you will serve in Ohio. A purposeful business plan is important because that plays a key role in knowing how your business will make a profit. If the purpose of the business plan is vague and not aligned with what service you are giving, it will affect the business you are forming. Make sure to be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and in a certain timeframe) with your business goals. Also, researching your competitor’s service is a great deal to knowing what strategy you will form for your Ohio business. And lastly, you should include the funding of your business.

A business plan should be created before you start a business. Without it, you have nothing but a blank slate. This document will help you understand the key parts of your business and the plan for success. Regarding the potential funding for your business in Ohio, you can avail of business loans in bank and investor funding.

You can continue working on the legal structure of your business once you have the whole plan in your possession. You may create an LLC for your business legally. You can check other business guides shared by the LLCBuddy Editorial Team.

Step 2: Choose a Business Entity in Ohio

A business entity refers to a legal structure formed to conduct business activities. It is a separate and distinct organization recognized by the law, which possesses rights, responsibilities, and liabilities distinct from its owners or members. Choosing a business entity for your Ohio business is significant.

You must decide on a business entity structure while beginning your own business. The form of company entity you choose will significantly impact how well your personal assets are protected, how much tax you pay, and how much paperwork you have to deal with. You should consider forming a business entity in Ohio through having Sole Proprietorship, LLC, LLP, and Corporation.

Sole Proprietorships

A sole proprietorship is a simple and common type of business structure where an individual owns, operates, and manages the entire business. It is the easiest and least expensive form of business organization to establish and maintain. One of the most appealing aspects of a sole proprietorship is the owner’s direct control over all aspects of the business.

A key characteristic of a sole proprietorship is that the owner and the business are considered a single legal entity. This means that all profits, losses, assets, and liabilities are the owner’s personal responsibility. Although this can lead to increased risk exposure, it allows the owner to control their business operations completely.

Consider a sole proprietorship if you want to start a business in Ohio by yourself. For legal and tax reasons, the owner and the business are regarded as one and the same. The business owner takes on liability for the business. Therefore, the owner is liable for all business debts in the event that the company fails.

Limited Liability Company

A Limited Liability Company, also known as an LLC, is a business structure ideal for entrepreneurs and start-ups. It is perfect for start-ups and aspiring entrepreneurs since it has limited liability issues for a company. The Ohio LLC is mainly used for the legal structure of a business between two or more companies that share management and profits. It also protects its owners from liabilities, debts, and responsibilities that may cause them in the future.

LLCs offer pass-through taxation, meaning that the profits and losses flow through to the members’ personal tax returns, avoiding double taxation that corporations may experience. Additionally, LLCs have fewer formal requirements and administrative burdens compared to corporations. Read Ohio classification of LLC tax to get more information about tax.

Another advantage of an LLC is the flexibility in the management structure. Members can choose to manage the company themselves or appoint managers to oversee the business operations. This allows for customization based on the unique needs and preferences of the owners.

Limited Liability Partnership

Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) are a unique business structure combining partnerships and corporations’ elements. An LLP offers limited liability protection to its partners, meaning that each partner is only responsible for their actions and debts rather than jointly and severally liable for the entire partnership’s obligations.

This structure is particularly popular among professional service providers such as lawyers, accountants, and architects, as it allows them to maintain the collaborative nature of a partnership while enjoying the liability protection typically associated with corporations.

In an LLP, each partner’s income is subject to self-employment taxes, and the profits and losses are passed through to the partners’ personal income tax returns, similar to a general partnership. This pass-through taxation avoids the double taxation issue faced by some corporations.

Corporation

Forming a Ohio corporation reduces your personal liability for business debts as an LLC does. A corporation can be taxed as an S-corporation (S-Corp) or a C-corporation (C-Corp). If a small corporation satisfies certain Internal Revenue Service (IRS) standards, then S-corporation status is available, providing pass-through taxation. However, most larger businesses and startups seeking venture financing are taxed as C-corps.

Step 3: Determine your Ohio Business Costs

In Ohio, you should determine the business costs that you will form. You should consider paying the Articles of Organization fee for LLCs, Articles of Incorporation fees for corporations, business licenses fee, office supplies and equipment, payroll, office rent, utilities, transportation, and taxes.

Usually, filing an initial Ohio Articles of Organization fee costs $99, while the annual fee costs $91 in Ohio. Read about the overall cost of LLC registration in Ohio cost to know more about Ohio LLC cost. If you wish to know more about how much it costs to form an LLC, you should look up and be guided by the LLC formation costs. For a corporation, you must pay the $99 for online and by mail filing. Besides, you need to pay taxes as a corporation.

Step 4: Name Your Business in Ohio

Naming your business doesn’t take a lot of time. With the help of Ohio LLC name search, you can acquire a name for your business. If you form an LLC in Ohio, you must follow the below rules while naming your business-

  • The name should not be confused with a government entity.
  • The name should be unique.
  • The name should be available to use.
  • Any other business does not use the name.
  • The new name must include “LLC” if it is a limited liability company.

In Ohio, if you do not wish to file your business right away but want to hold the name that you have decided on, then you can reserve your business name for some time. You must file a name reservation application in the Ohio Secretary of State to keep the name. There is a complete guide on LLC name guidelines for you to have a proper LLC business name.

Step 5: Register Your Business in Ohio

In order to register a business in Ohio, you need to file it with the Ohio Secretary of State. Before that, you must have a Ohio Statutory Agent for your business. The Statutory Agent is a person who is responsible for receiving important legal documents on your behalf.

Get the Ohio Statutory Agent

You must get your Ohio Statutory Agent before you file your business. The person should be eligible to conduct business in Ohio. Also, they must be aged above 18 years. You can be your own registered agent. However, that will not be a wise decision. Appointing a professional will be much more beneficial for your business than doing it on your own.

Apply For Ohio Formation Document

After you have a Statutory Agent, you need to file the Ohio formation document. If you are filing an LLC in Ohio, you must file the Articles of Organization and if you want to have a corporation structure, you need to file the Ohio Articles of Incorporation.

Request For an EIN

In addition to the paperwork, you should apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). An EIN will serve as the tax ID for your professional corporation. EIN can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is a 9-digit number similar to Social Security Number. EIN, however, is distinct from SSN. It is only used for business-related activities, particularly for submitting general taxes. The form must be completed and uploaded to the IRS website. You can obtain the EIN for free from IRS.

The application of an EIN in Ohio can be through the following:

  • Apply Online- The online EIN application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN.
  • Apply by Fax- Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number), after ensuring that Form SS-4 contains all of the required information.
  • Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is 4 weeks.
  • Apply by Telephone (for International Applicants)– International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.

After you have your EIN number, you can benefit in a number of ways. It will give your LLC the final advantage necessary to operate at full capacity without encountering legal or judicial issues.

Step 6: Apply for Business License and Permit

Obtaining a business license and operating permit is necessary to run any business in Ohio. Before launching your new business, you should request any required business license or permission. Most Ohio businesses need licenses or permits to operate. Federal, state, and local governments may all require businesses to have licenses and permits. The business license fee depends on the type of license you are applying for. You must contact Ohio Secretary of State for more details.

Step 7: Get a Bank Account

Your business dealings in Ohio might be simpler with a US business bank account because it boosts your company’s legitimacy and liquidity. Most banks demand an EIN to create a business bank account for firms other than sole proprietorships. Also, keeping separate finances helps you avoid combining personal and professional finances.

Step 8: Market your Business in Ohio

Now that your Ohio business is already registered, you can market it with an ideal marketing plan. An ideal marketing plan can help a start-up business to become known. Making a comprehensive social media network like META, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube falls within this category. While creating an SEO campaign for your company website, you may also look at specialized communities on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Important Information

Do you need to have Business Insurance?

Your company needs insurance even if it’s a home-based business or you don’t have employees. Depending on your business planning and the risks you face, you may require different types of insurance. As your business expands, you might require more than one type of insurance. If you have employees, you are typically legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. You must contact Ohio Department of Insurance to ensure what type of insurance is required for your business.

What is the most profitable type of business?

The most profitable type of business will vary depending on a number of factors, including your industry, location, target market, and business strategy. However, some companies, such as those that provide expensive products and other services, tend to be more profitable than others. If you’re unsure about the kind of business to launch, think about your abilities and interests and the demands of your target market to guide your decision on an effective business.

FAQs

What steps do I need to take to start a business in Ohio?
To start a business in Ohio, you will need to register with the Ohio Secretary of State, obtain a business license, obtain necessary permits and tax accounts, and obtain any other necessary documents.
What type of business structure should I use in Ohio?
The type of business structure you should use in Ohio will depend on the type of business you are starting and your specific goals for the business. The most common business structures in Ohio are Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), and Corporation.
How do I register my business in Ohio?
To register your business in Ohio, you will need to file the appropriate documents with the Ohio Secretary of State. You can find the forms and instructions on the Ohio Secretary of State website.
What permits and taxes do I need to obtain to start a business in Ohio?
The specific permits and taxes you need to obtain to start a business in Ohio will depend on the type of business and the location. Generally, you will need to obtain a business license, register with the Ohio Department of Revenue, register with the Ohio Department of Taxation, and obtain any necessary local permits and licenses.
Are there any specific regulations I need to be aware of when starting a business in Ohio?
Yes, there are certain regulations you need to be aware of when starting a business in Ohio. Depending on the type of business you are starting, you may need to comply with state and local labor laws, licensing requirements, and other regulations. You should consult with a qualified business attorney to ensure compliance.
How do I start a business in Ohio?
To start a business in Ohio, you will need to complete the required paperwork and register with the Ohio Secretary of State. You will also need to obtain any necessary licenses, permits, and insurance.
What types of businesses can I start in Ohio?
Ohio has a wide range of businesses that can be started, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations.
What is the process for registering a business in Ohio?
The process for registering a business in Ohio involves completing the required paperwork and registering with the Ohio Secretary of State. After registering, you will need to obtain any necessary licenses, permits, and insurance.
Are there any special considerations I need to be aware of before starting a business in Ohio?
Before starting a business in Ohio, you may want to consider the type of business you want to establish, your local zoning ordinance, and any applicable state and federal laws. Additionally, you may need to obtain any necessary licenses, permits, and insurance.
What taxes do I need to pay when starting a business in Ohio?
When starting a business in Ohio, you may need to pay taxes such as income tax, sales tax, employer taxes, business franchise tax, and property tax. Additionally, you may need to pay local taxes depending on the type of business you operate.
What are the requirements to start a business in Ohio?
In order to start a business in Ohio, you must register your business with the Ohio Secretary of State, obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS, register with the Ohio Department of Taxation and local governments, and obtain any necessary permits, licenses, or zoning approvals.
What type of businesses can I start in Ohio?
Ohio allows for a wide range of business types, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), corporations, nonprofit organizations, and cooperatives.
How much does it cost to start a business in Ohio?
The cost to start a business in Ohio can vary widely depending on the type of business entity you choose, the services you use, and other factors. Generally, the filing fee for registering a business entity with the Ohio Secretary of State is between $99 and $125.
Are there any other resources to help me start a business in Ohio?
Yes, the Ohio Development Services Agency offers a variety of resources to help entrepreneurs in Ohio start and grow their businesses. These resources include business counseling, loan programs, and grants.
Do I need to register my business name in Ohio?
Yes, you must register a business name (also known as a “trading as” or “doing business as” name) with the Ohio Secretary of State if you intend to do business in Ohio under a different name than your legal entity name.
How can I find business partners in Ohio?
The Ohio Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers a variety of resources to help match entrepreneurs with potential business partners. In addition, there are a number of professional networks, such as the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, that offer networking opportunities for potential business partners.
Is there funding available for startups in Ohio?
Yes, the Ohio Development Services Agency offers a variety of programs to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. These programs include loan programs, grants, and other forms of financial assistance.
What taxes do I need to pay in Ohio?
Ohio businesses are subject to a number of taxes, including income, sales and use, and payroll taxes. In addition, some businesses may be subject to additional taxes, such as property taxes, depending on their location.
What is the Ohio Business Gateway?
The Ohio Business Gateway is a website that allows businesses to register with the Ohio Department of Taxation, file tax returns and make payments online, and access other business resources.
Does Ohio offer any incentives to start a business?
Yes, the Ohio Development Services Agency offers a variety of incentives to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. These incentives include tax credits, loan programs, grants, and other forms of financial assistance.
Are there any laws or regulations I need to be aware of in Ohio?
Yes, Ohio has a variety of laws and regulations pertaining to business operations, ranging from tax laws to labor laws. Additionally, businesses in Ohio may need to obtain permits, licenses, or zoning approvals in order to operate.
What is the Ohio Small Business Development Center (SBDC)?
The Ohio Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is a network of business advisors and resources that provides free counseling and resources to entrepreneurs in Ohio. Services provided by the SBDC include business counseling, loan programs, and workshops.
What are the benefits of starting a business in Ohio?
Ohio offers a variety of incentives for businesses, such as tax credits and grants, as well as workforce development programs and other business services. Additionally, Ohio is home to a growing economy, with easy access to major cities, airports, and transportation hubs.
How long does it take to start a business in Ohio?
The amount of time it takes to start a business in Ohio depends on the business entity type, the complexity of the business, and any required registrations or permits. In general, it typically takes between 2-6 weeks to start a business in Ohio.
What sources of funding are available for businesses in Ohio?
There are a variety of sources of funding available for businesses in Ohio, including grants, loans, venture capital, and more. Additionally, Ohio offers a variety of tax credits and incentives for businesses. It is important to research all available funding sources before starting a business.
What types of businesses are most successful in Ohio?
Ohio has a variety of successful businesses, including technology and innovation-focused businesses, manufacturing businesses, and agribusinesses. Additionally, Ohio is home to a variety of small businesses, such as restaurants and retail stores.
What resources are available to help me start a business in Ohio?
Ohio offers a variety of resources to help entrepreneurs start a business, including business planning resources, financing options, and business consulting services. Additionally, the Ohio Secretary of State’s office offers a range of services to help entrepreneurs start and grow their business.
What is the best way to find customers in Ohio?
The best way to find customers in Ohio is to utilize various marketing and networking strategies, such as developing a website, utilizing social media, attending networking events, and utilizing referrals. Additionally, Ohio offers a variety of resources to help entrepreneurs grow their customer base.
What are some legal considerations when starting a business in Ohio?
It is important to understand the legal considerations of starting a business in Ohio, such as business entity type, registrations, permits, tax requirements, intellectual property protection, and more. Additionally, it is important to understand the legal obligations of employers and employees.
What are the labor laws in Ohio?
Ohio has a variety of labor laws that employers must adhere to, such as minimum wage, overtime regulations, workers’ compensation, and more. Additionally, Ohio has a variety of laws regarding employee health and safety.
How can I find more information about starting a business in Ohio?
There are a variety of resources available to help entrepreneurs learn more about starting a business in Ohio, including the Ohio Secretary of State’s website and the Ohio Development Services Agency. Additionally, there are a variety of business organizations and associations in Ohio that offer resources and support for entrepreneurs.

Also Read

Why Start Business Ohio is So Important

One of the key reasons why starting a business in Ohio is so important is the state’s strategic location. Situated in the heart of the Midwest, Ohio serves as a hub for both domestic and international markets. Its convenient access to major cities such as Chicago, New York, and Detroit makes it an ideal location for businesses looking to expand their reach and customer base.

Ohio also boasts a strong infrastructure that is conducive to business growth. The state’s extensive network of highways, railways, and airports facilitates the transportation of goods and services, making it easier for businesses to connect with suppliers, vendors, and customers across the country and around the world. Additionally, Ohio’s favorable business climate, which includes low operating costs and competitive tax rates, makes it an attractive destination for entrepreneurs looking to maximize their profitability.

Furthermore, Ohio’s diverse economy provides ample opportunities for businesses across a wide range of industries. From manufacturing and agriculture to healthcare and technology, Ohio offers a dynamic business landscape that is ripe for innovation and growth. With a skilled workforce and access to top-notch educational institutions, Ohio is equipped to support businesses of all sizes and sectors.

Another important reason to start a business in Ohio is the state’s commitment to supporting entrepreneurship and small business development. Ohio’s numerous business support programs, tax incentives, and resources make it easier for entrepreneurs to navigate the complexities of starting and growing a business. Whether it’s receiving guidance from the Small Business Development Center or accessing funding from the Ohio Development Services Agency, aspiring business owners in Ohio have access to a wealth of resources that can help them succeed.

In addition, starting a business in Ohio can have a positive impact on the local community. By creating jobs, driving economic growth, and investing in the community, businesses play a vital role in supporting the overall well-being of the state. Small businesses, in particular, are the backbone of the Ohio economy, contributing to the state’s vibrancy and prosperity.

Overall, starting a business in Ohio is not only important for the individual entrepreneur but also for the broader economic success of the state. With its strategic location, strong infrastructure, diverse economy, and supportive business environment, Ohio offers a wealth of opportunities for aspiring business owners. By taking advantage of the many advantages that Ohio has to offer, entrepreneurs can position themselves for success and make a positive impact on the state’s economy and community.

Why Ohio Property Management Business is So Important

One of the primary reasons why Ohio property management businesses are so important is due to their expertise and experience in the field. Property managers are trained professionals who understand the ins and outs of the real estate market and possess the knowledge and skills needed to effectively manage properties. By entrusting their properties to a reputable property management business, landlords can rest easy knowing that their investments are in good hands.

In addition to their expertise, property management businesses in Ohio also play a key role in ensuring that rental properties are well-maintained and in compliance with all laws and regulations. From conducting routine maintenance checks to handling repairs and inspections, property managers take care of the day-to-day tasks that keep rental properties in top condition. This not only helps to preserve the value of the property but also ensures that tenants have a safe and comfortable living environment.

Furthermore, Ohio property management businesses serve as a valuable resource for both landlords and tenants. Landlords can rely on property managers to handle the screening and selection of tenants, as well as the collection of rent and handling of any disputes that may arise. Tenants, on the other hand, can turn to property managers for assistance with maintenance requests, lease agreements, and other concerns. By acting as a mediator between landlords and tenants, property managers help to maintain positive relationships and ensure a smooth rental experience for all parties involved.

Another reason why Ohio property management businesses are so important is their ability to provide a high level of customer service. Property managers are dedicated to meeting the needs of both landlords and tenants and strive to provide excellent service at all times. Whether it’s responding promptly to maintenance requests, addressing tenant concerns, or providing regular updates to landlords, property managers go above and beyond to ensure client satisfaction.

Overall, Ohio property management businesses play a vital role in the real estate industry by providing valuable services to property owners and tenants. From their expertise and experience to their commitment to maintaining properties and providing exceptional customer service, property managers are essential partners in the success of any rental property. By entrusting their properties to a reputable property management business, landlords can benefit from peace of mind and reliable support, while tenants enjoy a safe and comfortable living experience.

Why Open a Bakery in Ohio

One of the key reasons why starting a business in Ohio is so important is the state’s strategic location and strong infrastructure. Ohio is centrally located in the United States, offering easy access to markets across the country. With well-developed transportation networks, including highways, railroads, and airports, Ohio provides businesses with the connectivity they need to reach customers and suppliers efficiently.

Additionally, Ohio boasts a diverse and skilled workforce, making it an attractive destination for businesses looking to hire top talent. The state is home to leading universities and research institutions, providing a pipeline of highly educated and trained professionals in various fields. This rich talent pool can help businesses innovate, grow, and stay competitive in today’s fast-paced business environment.

Furthermore, Ohio offers a business-friendly environment with favorable tax policies, access to capital, and a supportive ecosystem for entrepreneurs. The state government has implemented various initiatives and programs to support small and medium-sized enterprises, including incentives for startups, funding for innovation and research, and assistance with regulatory compliance. These efforts make it easier for businesses to navigate the complexities of starting and operating a company in Ohio.

Another compelling reason to start a business in Ohio is the state’s industry clusters and collaborative networks. Ohio is known for its strong clusters in advanced manufacturing, healthcare, information technology, and agriculture, among others. By locating a business within a cluster, entrepreneurs can benefit from shared resources, shared knowledge, and collaborations with other industry players, fostering growth and innovation.

Moreover, Ohio offers a high quality of life and affordable cost of living for business owners and employees. With vibrant cities, picturesque countryside, and diverse cultural attractions, Ohio provides a balance of professional opportunities and personal well-being. This makes it an attractive destination for individuals and families looking to build a life and a career.

In conclusion, starting a business in Ohio is a strategic decision that can lead to success and growth. With its strategic location, skilled workforce, supportive business environment, industry networks, and quality of life, Ohio provides the necessary ingredients for businesses to thrive and prosper. By capitalizing on these strengths, entrepreneurs can unlock opportunities, create jobs, drive innovation, and contribute to the state’s economic development. Ohio truly is the heartland of business, offering endless possibilities for those willing to take the leap into entrepreneurship.

Conclusion

In conclusion, embarking on the entrepreneurial journey of starting a business in Ohio, also known as The Buckeye State, requires thorough research, planning, and dedication. Understanding the local business landscape, choosing the right structure, and complying with all regulatory requirements are essential steps to ensuring your venture’s success. This article has provided valuable insights and guidance for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to seize the opportunities present in Ohio’s dynamic economy. By leveraging available resources and approaching the process with diligence and determination, you can lay the foundation for a thriving and prosperous business in Ohio.

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