LLCs are required to appoint an Ohio registered agent — known as a statutory agent — in order to receive legal documents and service of process.
You can appoint yourself, but a large number of small business owners choose to go with a professional registered agent service instead.
This is because services are affordable and they:
- Reduce risk
- Increase privacy and freedom
- Save time
We’ll help you make the best choice for your business.
Recommended: Northwest Registered Agent offers free registered agent services with LLC or corporation formation ($29 plus state fees).
Choosing a Registered Agent in Ohio
In Ohio, you must appoint a statutory agent, which can be a registered agent service, individual, or business attorney, so long as:
- They’re at least 18 years old.
- They have a physical street address in Ohio.
- They’re always available during normal business hours at their specified address
Registered Agent Services
- Flexibility: Picking an Ohio registered agent service is often a more convenient approach due to the fact that it will allow you to be away from your business address during regular business hours.
- Online storage: Most third-party registered agents scan all received documents and upload them online as PDFs. This can be great when it comes to ensuring that you or an employee does not accidentally lose an important document.
- Improved privacy: Since your registered agent’s address and information will become publicly available, choosing a third-party service can improve your privacy.
Let’s Find the Right Ohio Statutory Agent for Your Business
We’ve tested and reviewed the most popular registered agent services.
Can You Be Your Own Registered Agent?
Yes, you can. Being your own statutory agent is not only legal, but it is also a great option for small business owners that are not able to afford the small monthly fee that is required for a registered agent service.
Having said that, we recommend using a registered agent service if you can afford it; this is because being your own statutory agent can come with several drawbacks, including decreased flexibility, time, and privacy.
You will also need to be responsible for how all of your business’s documents are received and stored.
Keep in mind that if you are forming a new LLC, it makes sense to hire a formation service that includes a free year of registered agent service. These can charge as little as $29 per formation (excluding the Ohio state fees that need to be paid).
If you are forming an LLC but prefer to file the paperwork yourself and act as your own statutory agent, take a look at our How to Start an LLC in Ohio guide.
Best Ohio Registered Agent Service
If you're in Ohio and either looking to form a new LLC or switch your existing registered agent, it's crucial to consider factors like cost, range of services, reputation, and customer support.
Many people seek registered agents offering features like mail forwarding, document scanning, and compliance monitoring.
Northwest Special Offer
If you haven't formed your LLC yet, consider Northwest's LLC formation package for $29 plus state fees, which includes a free first year of registered agent service.
- Premium customer service
- Streamlined ordering
- Robust privacy features
To help you make an informed choice, we've compiled a table comparing the top 5 Ohio registered agent services below.
Top 5 Ohio Registered Agent Services
BEST REGISTERED AGENT SERVICE
TRUSTED AND WELL-KNOWN COMPANY
Whether you're starting a new business or considering a change, it's crucial to weigh factors like pricing, services, reputation, and customer support when choosing a registered agent in Ohio. Compare quotes and read online reviews to find the best fit for your needs.
Benefits of Using a Registered Agent Service
Many businesses choose to use a registered agent service when they form an LLC. This is because it can offer a number of benefits, including:
- Legal compliance: A statutory agent service will ensure that you do not miss an important legal document or notification (e.g., service of process, etc.) as a result of not being in your office (or as a result of a human error).
- Improved privacy: If you act as your own agent, your name and address will become public record on the Ohio Business Search. Using a registered agent service will help keep your information private.
- Discretion: When it comes to legal disputes, you will want to avoid receiving lawsuit-related documents in front of your clients and/or some employees.
- Better storage: Your service will generally scan all documents received and upload them online in PDF form. This means that you will always be able to access them online, and won’t have to worry about an employee accidentally losing an important document.
A registered agent service can also be beneficial if you plan to expand into other states as a foreign LLC. This is because, otherwise, you would need to find an individual or business entity that is a resident — or is allowed to transact business — in each state that you want to register in.
How to Elect a Registered Agent in Ohio
Electing a Registered Agent Online
You can form your LLC online on the Ohio Secretary of State website ($99 filing fee required). Your statutory agent’s name and contact information will be requested when you file your LLC’s Articles of Organization online:
Electing a Registered Agent by Mail
To form your LLC by mail, download Form 610: Articles of Organization ($99 filing fee required), fill out the required fields, and submit a physical copy to the Ohio Secretary of State. You’ll be asked to provide your statutory agent’s information on page 3:
Consent to Appointment
Ohio statutory agents must consent to their appointment. They can do this by signing the formation documents.
How to Change Your Registered Agent in Ohio
To change your Ohio statutory agent, simply fill out Form 521: Statutory Agent Update and submit it to the Ohio Secretary of State along with the $25 filing fee.
This can be done online or by mail.
Filing by Mail:
Ohio Secretary of State
P.O. Box 788
Columbus, OH 43216
Consent to Appointment
Your new registered agent also will need to consent to their appointment. They can do this by signing the Statutory Agent Update form.
Recommended: Check out our full guide on how to change registered agents in Ohio.
Ohio Registered Agent FAQs
Can I be my own registered agent in Ohio?
Yes, you can, although this is generally not recommended unless you are operating on an extremely tight budget.
This is because hiring a third-party service is relatively affordable (i.e., around $10 per month) and includes a variety of different benefits.
For more information, we recommend having a look at our Ohio Registered Agent article.
Do I need a registered agent for my LLC in Ohio?
Yes you do.
All Ohio LLCs are legally required to appoint a statutory agent; this needs to be done before you submit your Articles of Organization.
How do I get a registered agent for an LLC in Ohio?
You can get a registered agent service online. If you are having trouble finding the right one for your business, we recommend having a look at our review of the Best Registered Agent Services of 2023.
You or a partner can also become your business’s statutory agent, meaning that you will need to simply fill out your details when filling out your Articles of Organization.
What does a registered agent do for an LLC in Ohio?
A statutory agent is responsible for receiving important legal documents and notifications on behalf of an Ohio LLC.
This can include notifications that relate to lawsuits (e.g., service of process, etc.), state taxes, or other important information.
Who can be a registered agent?
In Ohio, anyone can be a statutory agent — including yourself, another partner, a business attorney, or a registered agent service — so long as they have a registered office address in Ohio, are available during normal business hours, and are at least 18 years old.
How much does a registered agent service charge in Ohio?
This will depend on who your registered agent — also known as a statutory or resident agent — is.
Premium registered agent services can charge as little as $10 per month and can also be free for up to one year (if using an LLC formation service).
Your total registered agent cost will be zero if you choose to become your own agent.