Cost to Form an LLC in Ohio

The cost to start an Ohio limited liability company (LLC) is $99. This fee is paid to the Ohio Secretary of State when filing the LLC’s Articles of Organization.

Use our free Form an LLC in Ohio guide to do it yourself.

Or simply use a professional service:

four point six out of five ZenBusiness ($39 + State Fees)

Three out of Five Stars LegalZoom ($149 + State Fees)


How Much Does an LLC Cost in Ohio?

Ohio LLC Online Filing Fee: $99

The main cost of forming an LLC is the $99 fee to file your LLC's Articles of Organization online with the Ohio Secretary of State.

Ohio Commercial Activity Tax: Varies

In Ohio, LLCs with gross receipts exceeding $150,000 per year are required to pay a commercial activity tax. LLCs with less than $150,000 in gross receipts are exempt from this tax.

The following are the Ohio LLC tax brackets and details:

  • LLCs with between $150,000 and $1 million in gross receipts pay $150.
  • LLCs with more than $1 million in gross receipts file and pay returns on a quarterly basis.
  • If you form an LLC during the second half of the year, your first year's CAT is $75.
  • If your taxable gross receipts total more than $1 million but less than $2 million, you pay an $800 minimum tax.
  • If your taxable gross receipts total more than $2 million but less than $4 million, you pay a $2,100 minimum tax.
  • If your taxable gross receipts exceed $4 million, you pay a $2,600 minimum tax.

You also pay a 0.26% tax rate on all gross receipts beyond $1 million

0.26% x (Taxable Gross Receipts - $1 million)

A late filing incurs a penalty of $50 or 10% of the tax due, whichever is greater. Interest may be assessed on unpaid taxes.

LLCs can file their commercial activity tax online or by mail.

Statutory Agent Fee

In Ohio you can be your own statutory agent (also known as a registered agent), but using a statutory agent service helps keep your company in compliance and reminds you of important filing deadlines and avoid late fees.

Statutory agent fees start at $39 for the first year. We recommend using:

OR:

Read our guide to learn more about Ohio Statutory Agents. You can also read our full guide on the best registered agent services.

Cost to Form a Foreign LLC in Ohio

If you already have an LLC that is registered in another state and you’d like to expand your business into Ohio, you’ll need to register your LLC as a foreign LLC in Ohio.

The cost for registering an Ohio foreign LLC is $99. You can register a foreign LLC in Ohio by filing a Registration of a Foreign Limited Liability Company (Form 533b) online or by mail.

Business Permits and Licenses

Depending on your industry and geographical location, your business might need federal, state, and local permits/licenses to legally operate in Ohio. This is true whether you form an LLC or any other type of business structure.

Learn more about state and local licensing with our guide to getting an Ohio business license.

Other LLC Filing Costs

There are optional fees associated with LLC formation:

LLC Name Reservation:
Reserve your name for up to 180 days prior to LLC formation by filing a Name Reservation / Transfer / Cancellation form (Form 534b) and paying the $39 fee.

“Doing Business As” (DBA) Name:
File an Assumed Name Certificate (Form 534a) and pay the $25 filing fee to create a name other than your legal LLC business name.

Certificate of Good Standing:
An Ohio certificate of good standing is often required by banks and lending institutions. You will need to pay a $5 fee to obtain this certificate.

How to Register an Ohio LLC Yourself

Some businesses will be required to pay ongoing maintenance costs and taxes, such as the Ohio commercial activity tax.

Forming an LLC yourself is easy; just follow the five steps below.

Recommended: If you already have a business that is running as a sole proprietorship, visit our How to Change from a Sole Proprietorship to LLC page.

Five Basic Steps to Start an LLC in Ohio

Step 1: Name Your Ohio LLC
Step 2: Choose a Statutory Agent
Step 3: File the Articles of Organization
Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement
Step 5: Get an EIN

Step 1: Name Your Ohio LLC

When you name your Ohio LLC, you’ll need to choose a name that:

  1. Is available for use in the state of Ohio
  2. Meets Ohio naming requirements
  3. Is available as a web domain

Recommended: Visit our Start an LLC in Ohio guide for detailed naming rules and instructions for registering a business name in Ohio.

Not sure what to name your business? Check out our How to Name a Business guide and free LLC Name Generator.

We recommend that you check online to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to create a business website today, you may want to buy the URL in order to prevent others from acquiring it.

Find a Domain Now

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Step 2: Choose a Statutory Agent

All LLCs in Ohio must appoint a statutory agent. A statutory agent primarily acts as your LLC’s main point of contact with the state. But most importantly, they are responsible for accepting service of process in the event your business is sued.

Your Ohio statutory agent must be:

  • At least 18 years or older
  • Have a physical address in Ohio
  • Available during normal business hours to accept service of process

In Ohio, your statutory agent must consent to their appointment by signing the Articles of Organization.

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Recommended: Get a free year of registered agent services when you hire ZenBusiness to form your LLC. $39 (plus state fees).

ZenBusiness

Step 3: File the Articles of Organization

The Ohio Form 533a - Articles of Organization is a document that is filed with the Ohio Secretary of State to form an LLC. The fee for filing the Articles of Organization is $99 online and by mail.

For detailed instructions for completing the Articles of Organization, visit our How to File the Ohio Articles of Organization guide.

File the Ohio Articles of Organization

OPTION 1: File Online With the Ohio Secretary of State

File Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: File Form 533a by Mail

Ohio Form 533a


State Filing Cost: $99, payable to the Secretary of State

Mailing Address:
Ohio Secretary of State
P.O. Box 670
Columbus, OH 43216

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

An operating agreement isn't required for Ohio LLCs, but it's a good practice to have one.

What is an operating agreement? An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC.

Why are operating agreements important? A comprehensive operating agreement ensures that all business owners are on the same page and reduces the risk of future conflict.

For more information on operating agreements, read our Ohio LLC operating agreement guide.

Step 5: Get an EIN

What is an EIN? An EIN or Employer Identification Number is a nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue System (IRS) to identify a business for tax reporting purposes. An EIN is essentially a Social Security number (SSN) for your company.

Why do I need an EIN? An EIN number is required for the following:

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Free EIN: You can get an EIN from the IRS website (free of charge) after forming your business.

Ohio LLC Cost FAQ

Do you have to pay for an LLC every year?

Ohio LLCs with gross receipts over $150,000 must pay a commercial activity tax, but LLCs with receipts less than that amount do not have to pay every year.

Is an LLC really necessary?

An LLC provides limited liability protection. This means an LLC protects your personal assets in the event of a business loss, such as a lawsuit or unpaid debt.

We recommend any small business that carries even the smallest amount of risk or liability to form an LLC. Learn more in our Should I Start an LLC guide.

What is the cheapest way to get an LLC?

You can save money on getting an LLC by completing the formation process yourself, making your own operating agreement, being your own registered agent, and getting your own EIN.

Check out our How to Save Money Forming Your LLC guide to learn more.

Can I pay myself a salary from my LLC?

You can pay yourself a salary from your LLC, but it would be called a draw or distribution if your LLC is taxed in the default way by the IRS.

Visit our How to Pay Yourself from an LLC guide to learn more.

Is an S corp better than an LLC?

An S corporation (S corp) is an IRS tax status, not a type of business entity. An LLC can be taxed in the default way or as an S corp. For some businesses, being taxed as an S corp can make lots of sense.

Check out our LLC vs. S corp guide to find out if S corp status is right for your business.

What’s better: sole proprietorship or LLC?

A sole proprietorship is only good for businesses that carry very low risk of liability because sole proprietorships don’t offer any liability protection.

Learn more in our sole proprietorship vs. LLC guide.

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