OH Business Facts
97.9% of Ohio’s businesses are small businesses, and they employ 46.2% of Ohio’s employees. Cincinnati, Ohio, is the home of the first professional baseball team, the first professional city fire department, and the first ambulance service in the world. Ohio has a reputation as the birthplace of aviation, and today the state’s aerospace industry has an annual economic impact of more than $8 billion.
The city of Akron is known as the rubber capital of the world. The automotive industry is the state’s largest sector, and northeast Ohio is home to a large portion of auto assembly and auto part plants. Other industries with a strong foothold in Ohio include steel, agriculture, small appliances, and aerospace.
Ohio is the 34th-largest state, with a size of approximately 116,000 square miles. Milan, Ohio, was the birthplace of Thomas Edison. The cardinal is Ohio’s state bird, and the carnation is its state flower.
Major Companies in Ohio
Major Ohio businesses include Procter & Gamble, National City Corp, Kroger, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, Cardinal Health, Marathon Petroleum, Nationwide, and American Electric Power.
Thanks to venture capital, Ohio is one of the top startup economies in the US, and the future for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the state is bright. The state is rapidly transforming into an entrepreneurial hotspot, helped along by the revitalization of its automotive industry and the strong startup atmosphere of cities like Cleveland.
There are 3 basic options: a DBA, a Corporation or an LLC. Click here to learn more about business entities.
Picking a business name is easier said than done – many legal and business problems can arise from picking the wrong name (you can always change it later but the less times you have to do that, the better). In Step 3 we’ll show you how to search for the name in Ohio, but we highly recommend you do the following before searching Ohio state databases:
Ready to start a business in Ohio?
Our Ohio filing services will help you get started as quickly as possible.
Each state has its own requirements for registering a business. Now that you’ve chosen a business structure and picked your business name, here are the requirements to register your business in Ohio.
Notes about Incorporation and forming an LLC in Ohio
DBAs in Ohio are filed with the county. You’ll want to contact your local County Recorder to find out exactly what forms to submit and what they’re submission process is. You can find the local county recorder’s office by searching “YOURCOUNTY county recorder”.
NOTE: Our Corporation formation package includes not only filing the Articles of Organization (we’ll prepare and submit them to the state) but all the necessary post-formation documents completed and personalized to you “ready for signature” as well as our exclusive Startup Wizard which guides you through the complete startup process from formation to bank accounts, logos and more.
Sure, you could do all the steps above or you could spend 5-10 minutes on our order form and let us take care of it while you work on more important things.
Your EIN is like your Social Security Number for your company. It’s required for Corporations and LLC’s and optional for DBA’s (if you don’t have any employees, then it’s required). However, if you are a DBA and don’t obtain an EIN you will be forced to use your Social Security Number on many documents so it’s typically recommended you obtain the EIN to prevent identity theft.
TIP: We will obtain your EIN for you if you we form your company.
To keep business and personal expenses separate, you should open a separate account for your business. In addition, getting business credit cards is how you begin to build a company credit profile (corporation or LLC required) and can later qualify for larger loans and lines of credit. To open the account simply call your chosen bank and inquire on the steps to open a business bank account. Typically you’ll need a) your filed paperwork b) your EIN c) a company resolution authorizing your company to open the account (signed by the owners, members, officers or directors, etc.).
TIP: Our business formation service includes a free banking resolution for your use.
Setup your Accounting and Record-keeping system and learn about the taxes your new company is responsible for paying.
Company documents generally are required to be kept for 3 years, including: a list of all owners and addresses, copies of all formation documents, financial statements, annual reports, amendments or changes to the company. All Tax and Corporate Filings should be kept for at least 3 years. View our “Accounting & Financial Management” section for help with setting up an accounting system and purchasing accounting software.
Now that you’ve registered your business name you need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).
Tip: We work with a company that can obtain and prepare business licenses and permits for you. Click here to learn more.
If you intend to hire yourself or others as a full or part-time employee of your company, then you may have to register with the appropriate State Agencies or obtain Workers Compensation Insurance or Unemployment Insurance (or both). View our “Employees & Payroll” section for help with hiring employees and processing payroll.
There are many types of insurance for businesses but they are usually packaged as “General Business Insurance” or a “Business Owner’s Policy”. This can cover everything from product liability to company vehicles. A decent policy can run as little as $300/year and offers a great extra level of protection. Click here to view our preferred provider of business insurance online.
Prepare the business as if someone needed to take it over and run it for you. This means have a method to process orders, pay bills, pay employees, pay taxes, maintain your permits, etc. Basically, try to make the operational aspect of the business as automated and efficient as possible so you can concentrate on growing your business. View our “Manage Your Company” section for help with systemizing and automating your business.
Now that you’ve set-up the company for success, you need to get the word out. Create a marketing plan for your products and services that targets your ideal customer. View our “Marketing & Sales” section for help for more information.
Ohio does not require businesses to file an annual report.
DBA: Your Fictitious Business Name should be valid for 5 years (unless you change company name or other information listed on the FBN) at which point you’ll need to renew it with the county.
LLC: Ohio does not require LLCs to file an annual report.
Corporation: Ohio does not require corporations to file an annual report.
Franchise Taxes: Ohio businesses are not required to pay an annual franchise tax.
Our Ohio filing services will help you get started as quickly as possible.
180 East Broad Street, 16th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Ohio Department of Taxation
P.O. Box 530
Columbus, Ohio 43216-0530
Top 10 Ohio Startup Resources:
Wow loved it thankyou! I dreaded making this for a month thinking it would be a hassle. It wasn't thanks to you guys!
Service and staff are really good, I need some documents on urgent basis and they help me a lot to get all the required documents on time. thanks to all team members
Excellent in all aspects. Perfect for new business owners with limited resources but wants to start it off right.
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