How to Start an LLC in Ohio

Last Updated on February 4, 2022

Cost to Form an Ohio LLC

To form a Limited Liability Company in Ohio, file the Articles of Organization with the Ohio Secretary of State.  The LLC filing fee is $99.

Approval for the LLC is typically around one week but can be faster if you pay to expedite the processing.  The expedited cost to register in 2 business days is an additional $100, 1 business day is an additional $200, and 4 business hours is an additional $300.

If you have questions, contact the Ohio Secretary of State at 877-767-6446 or

Steps to Form an Ohio LLC

The steps for filing online or by mail are largely the same.  The screenshots show how to file a domestic Limited Liability Company online.

An out-of-state LLC wanting to do business in Ohio will have to register as a foreign LLC by filing the Registration of a Foreign Limited Liability Company (Form 533B) with the Ohio Secretary of State.

Step 1: Create a Profile

  • Begin by visiting the Ohio Business Gateway, which is the Ohio Secretary of State’s website.  If you would rather file the paper form, download the Ohio LLC Articles of Organization (Form 533a)
  • Next, click on “Submit a Business Filing.
How to Form an LLC in Ohio
  • Create a user profile.
  • Then select “File a New Business or Register a Name”
Register a New Business in Ohio
  • Click on the drop-down menu “Forms available to file online” and select “Limited Liability Company (Ohio) $99”  There is an option for “Limited Liability Company (Non-Ohio), and this is for a foreign LLC, which means it is an LLC from out-of-state wanting to do business in Ohio.   Click “Continue” to proceed.
Register an LLC in Ohio

Step 2: Search Available Names

Enter the name you want for the LLC.  The LLC’s name also has to differ from other entity names registered with the Secretary of State.  If you aren’t ready to file yet, you can check do an Ohio LLC name search to ensure the one you want is available.  If the name you want to use is considered similar to another, you can file for a Consent for Use of a Similar Name form and add the form as an attachment on a later page.

The name of the LLC must include one of the following words or abbreviations at the end of the business name:

  • Limited Liability Company
  • Limited
  • L.L.C.
  • LLC
  • Ltd
  • Ltd.

Even if the name you select is available, it isn’t final until the Secretary of State manually searches to see if anyone else is using it.

If you plan to use a different name from the one that you register (perhaps you want to run multiple businesses under the LLC), you can use a trade name (sometimes referred to as a fictitious name, assumed name, DBA, or Doing Business As name).  To register a name the Trade Name Registration Application (Form 534A) along with the $39 filing fee should be sent to the Ohio Secretary of State.

If there is a name you want, but are not ready to register the LLC, you can file the Name Reservation form (Form 534B). The name reservation will hold a name for up to 180 days, at a cost of $39.

Register Ohio LLC Name

Step 3: Enter Company Information

Name of Company – Assuming it was available, enter the name from the previous screen.

Effective Date – If you want the LLC to start as soon as it is filed, choose the next available date.  If you want to LLC to start later, enter a date less than 90 days in the future to start. 

Period of Existence – In this section, you can indicate how long it will remain in existence.  Most LLCs will choose a “Perpetual” duration as they plan to operate indefinitely; however, some businesses (usually investment-related) will have a specific closure date.

Purpose – Select whether your LLC is a non-profit or for-profit.

Purpose Clause – This is an optional section but would provide some basic information about what the business does.  If left blank, the default is “An LLC may be in existence for any and all lawful activity.”

Ohio LLC Company Information

Step 4: Assign a Statutory Agent

To have an LLC in Ohio, a Statutory Agent (sometimes referred to as a Registered Agent) must be identified.  The Statutory Agent can either be a resident of Ohio or a Statutory Agent service.  The agent must have a physical address in the state (PO Boxes are not allowed), be available during normal business hours, and act as a point of contact to receive legal documents, tax notices, summons, subpoenas, etc. on behalf of the LLC.

The Statutory Agent must also provide consent they consent to be the agent for this LLC.

Ohio LLC Statutory Registered Agent

Step 5: Add Attachments

This is an optional section and not used by most LLCs.  Here you would include additional rules for the operation of the LLC.

Some reasons to add an attachment would be in the following situations:

  • The business name you have selected is already in use in Ohio.
  • The business information would not fit in the text fields provided on this system, and you need additional space to provide additional information.
  • 4 or more representatives are signing the Articles of Organization.

Step 6: Sign

Have a member(s), manager(s), or other organizers enter their name.  Anyone who signs certifies they have the authority to sign on behalf of the LLC.

Step 7: Review

Review that all the information is correct.

Step 8: Pay and File

Pay and file the Articles of Organization.

In approximately one week, if filing normally, the LLC will be approved.

If sending by mail, the address is:
​​​Ohio Secretary of State,
PO Box 670
Columbus, OH 43216