Filing the Articles of Organization is Simple!
Step 1: Get Your Articles of Organization Forms
You can download and mail in your Ohio Articles of Organization, OR you can create an account and file online. For this first step, choose your preferred method below.
Option 1: Create an account with the Ohio Secretary of State. From the user landing page, select “File a New Business or Register Name” and choose “Limited Liability Company (Ohio)” from the dropdown.
- OR -
Option 2: Download the Articles of Organization PDF from the Ohio Secretary of State website. This form will need to be mailed to the Secretary of State.
Step 2: Fill Out the Articles of Organization
In this step, we will help you complete the Ohio Articles of Organization form.
You will need to know the following information to complete the form:
- Entity Name
- Statutory Agent Name and Registered Office Address
- Effective Date and Period of Existence
- Business Purpose
Having a creative and smart business name is important but not as important as having a legally correct name.
When you choose a name for your business, you have to make sure the name:
- meets Ohio naming guidelines.
- is not already in use by another business in Ohio.
Follow the Ohio Naming Guidelines:
- Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of the following: LLC, L.L.C., limited, ltd., or ltd.
- Your name cannot contain profanity or words or phrases that are generally considered a slur against an ethnic group, religion, gender, or heredity.
- Your name cannot incorrectly or improperly imply that the business is affiliated with a government agency.
- Your name cannot include any of the following words without prior approval from the superintendent of financial institutions: bank, banker, banking, trust, or words of similar meaning in any other language.
- Your name cannot include the following unless the LLC is registered as a cooperative: cooperative, coop, co-operative, or co-op.
- Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state. This includes Ohio reserved names.
Check Name Availability:
Is your name available in Ohio? Make sure the name you want isn't already taken by doing a name search on the Ohio Secretary of State website.
To learn more about naming your business, including best practices and creative branding, visit our How to Name a Business in Ohio guide.
Not sure what to name your business? Check out our Business Name Generator.
Register Your Domain Name:
We recommend checking to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to make a business website today, you may want to buy the URL to prevent others from acquiring it.
After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free
A statutory agent, known as a registered agent in most states, accepts and sends legal documents on your LLC’s behalf. When you register your Ohio LLC, you are required to list your statutory agent.
Your statutory agent can be anyone 18 years or older that lives in Ohio. Your statutory agent must always be available at the registered office during regular business hours.
Your registered office address cannot be a P.O. box.
To learn more about choosing an Ohio statutory agent, read our How to Choose an Ohio Registered Agent guide.
To learn more about what a registered agent does and how to choose one, read our What is a Registered Agent guide.
Effective Date and Period of Existence (optional)
You can provide the date of when you would like the Articles of Organization to take effect and also a planned dissolution date if your LLC has one.
In Ohio, you can form a limited liability company for any legal or non-prohibited activity. You can list your business purpose here if you choose to.
Keep in mind that a business purpose that involves licensing, tax-exemption, or tax-deductible status requires specific language from the IRS or a professional license.
Step 3: File the Articles of Organization
To register your LLC, you will need to file the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State.
There are two ways to file your Articles of Organization:
- Complete the form online.
- Submit a hard copy by mail.
Option 1: Create or log into your account with the Ohio Secretary of State. From the user landing page, select “File a New Business or Register Name” and choose “Limited Liability Company (Ohio)” from the dropdown. Then, fill out the required fields and submit.
- OR -
Option 2: Download and mail in the Articles of Organization to the Ohio Secretary of State.
State Filing Cost: $99
P.O. Box 670
Columbus, OH 43216
P.O. Box 1390
Columbus, OH 43216
Turnaround Time: Standard processing time for filings by mail is 3-7 business days, but this can be expedited for an additional fee.
Steps After Your Ohio LLC is Officially Formed
Once you’ve filed your Articles of Organization, you should take the following steps:
Create an Operating Agreement
An Ohio LLC operating agreement is a legal document that outlines the ownership structure and member roles of your LLC.
In Ohio, you aren’t required to have an Operating Agreement to officially form an LLC, but it's still a good idea to have one. You can start your operating agreement before, during, or after you file your Articles of Organization.
Your operating agreement will be kept in your LLC’s private business records; you do not file it with the state.
Use our free Operating Agreement Tool to draft a customized operating agreement for your LLC.
Get an EIN
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a social security number for your LLC. You will need an EIN if you want to hire employees or open business bank accounts.
You can get your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our What is an EIN article.
Open a Business Bank Account
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential to protect your business' corporate veil. When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your LLC is sued.
For reviews on some of our most trusted business banks, visit our Best Banks for Small Business review.
Get Licenses and Permits
When you are registering an LLC, you need to determine if your business needs any licenses or permits to remain compliant. On the federal level, there are a handful of business activities that require licenses or permits.
Find out how to obtain necessary licenses and permits for your business or have a professional service do it for you:
- Federal: Use the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guide to federal business licenses and permits.
- State: Apply for or learn more about licenses, permits, and registration with Ohio's Business Gateway Licenses & Permits website.
- Local: Contact your local county clerk and ask about local licenses and permits.
Brand Your Business
The strongest and most memorable businesses are built on a solid brand. When developing your brand, think about what your business stands for. Customers and clients are looking for companies that have a compelling brand, as much as they are shopping for high-quality products and services.
Creating a logo for your business is vital for increasing brand awareness. You can design your own unique logo using our Free Logo Generator. Our free tool can help you design your own unique logo for your new business idea.