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do you have an idea for a product or service or just want to be your own boss doing something you love starting your business is both an exciting and overwhelming time but i'm here to help you with the first few steps the ohio secretary of state's office and our ohio business central website also serve to help ohioans navigate the process and start you on the right path to becoming successful business owners let's get started one of the first and most important decisions you must make as an entrepreneur is selecting the legal structure of your business this decision determines how you pay taxes how you operate your business and your level of risk for personal liability although you may wish to seek the advice of an attorney or an accountant when making some decisions we can connect you to valuable resources to assist you with this process the most common structures of business entities are the sole proprietorship partnership limited liability company and corporation it is important to select the right structure to meet your needs you can find descriptions of each entity on our website and determine what fits your business or simply give us a call with any questions i'll list our number and email at the end of this video after determining the best business structure the next step is to select a business name unfortunately many people get excited about their idea and choose a business name and order marketing materials before determining if the name is available for use in ohio a proposed business name must be distinguishable from other business names registered with the secretary of state our business search system on our website allows you to check to see if the name you want to use is available our team can assist you with a search as well when filing a business such as a corporation or a limited liability company the form will request the name of your business and upon approval of this formation document your business name is protected however you may want to use other variations of your business name so there will be an additional filing requirement to register additional names for example if you register a corporation and the business is named joe's sandwich shop inc but you only plan to use joe's sandwich shop on your sign then you must also register joe's sandwich shop as a trade name or a fictitious name also you might want to have a food truck if you call the food truck joe's sandwich truck then that's a name that must be registered by the corporation a trade name registration is 39 and it protects the business name for five years and can be renewed as part of the process of forming a business entity most must select a statutory agent the statutory agent must be a resident of ohio or any business entity with an address in ohio although you can appoint a law firm or a service company as your statutory agent an entity can act as their own statutory agent as long as it has an address in ohio a statutory agent agrees to accept legal mail and official notices on behalf of the business this is also the address used by our office for any official communications to the business at this point you've done a lot of the busy work you selected your business structure you picked your business name and check to make sure it's available for use in ohio and selected a statutory agent you're ready to submit your filing and get to work although you can print a form from our website and mail it to our office over ninety percent of business filings are submitted online at ohiobusinesscentral.gov you can create a profile login and select file a new business or register a name from this menu select the business structure you picked and the system will guide you through the process there are options for ohio and non-ohio entities in this menu most ohioans pick ohio entity which is a domestic entity being formed in ohio for the first time when you select your filing type such as limited liability company ohio you can start the process by searching the business name to ensure it's available but you may select begin filing if you already verified the name is available an asterisk will indicate the required fields for a limited liability company you only be required to enter the name of the entity the statutory agent's name and address and the name of the person or entity authorizing the formation of the business there is an option to upload an attachment but no other documents are required to be submitted with this filing although you may have an operating agreement prepared this is not a document you need to submit to our office after you complete the required fields please review the filing document by viewing the pdf that is generated if everything looks good close the pdf and complete our survey to share additional information with our office about you and your business this is important because we can connect you to resources available for your specific needs if we know more about you such as minority or veteran ownership after the survey scroll down to the bottom of the screen and select verify for checkout and you're ready to move the filing to your cart for checkout filing fees can be paid with any major credit card and your approval certificate will be emailed to you within just a couple of days after your filing has been approved your business will appear as an active entity when searched on our business search system if you ever need a certificate of good standing in case it is requested by another business or another state you may download this document from our website for five dollars i bring this up because you may receive a letter from a private company offering to obtain the certificate for you but the cost is much higher than simply getting it from our website as a business owner you should be on the lookout for possible scams like this and if you ever have questions give us a call business identity theft is as much of a risk as personal identity theft when you file a document through our online portal you're automatically signed up for our free business filing notification system that allows you to track any changes and updates to your business record if you receive a notification of a change to your business record and you did not authorize the change please contact us immediately once you register your new business our office will include a checklist with your approval certificate to highlight a few of your next steps in starting your business for example with an active registration you can open a business bank account next you may need to contact the irs for an ein or employee identification number and register with the ohio department of taxation additional actions are needed if you plan to hire employees such as contacting the ohio new hire reporting center the ohio bureau of workers compensation and the ohio department of job and family services depending on your industry there may also be additional licenses and permits required this information can be found and sorted by industry type on the ohio business central page finally all businesses must file an annual report of unclaimed funds with the ohio department of commerce co
Thanks for your comment Luke Walbrecht, have a nice day.
- Fleta Zbierski, Staff Member
Thanks for this interesting article
Thanks Aide your participation is very much appreciated
- Fleta Zbierski
About the author
I've studied food policy at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston and I am an expert in tort law (outline). I usually feel exanimate. My previous job was correction officer I held this position for 17 years, I love talking about cross-stitch and table tennis. Huge fan of Bill Clinton I practice handball and collect cards.
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