Steps to Pay Your Ohio Filing Fees
- Pay your Ohio business’s initial filing fees
- Reserve your Ohio business’s name
- Reserve a “doing business as” name in Ohio
- Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Draft an operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or partnership agreement for your Ohio business
- Apply for your Ohio business’s necessary licenses and permits
- Pay registration fees for out-of-state businesses
- Check Ohio’s annual report requirements and fees
- Keep your Ohio business legally compliant
The state of Ohio requires statutory entities to file formation documents in order to register their business in the state. Statutory entities include corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs). After you create your Ohio business, you have additional filing requirements and fees to keep your business legally compliant. If this sounds overwhelming, we are here to help. Let’s take a look at what kinds of fees your Ohio business might encounter and how we can help.
Step 1: Pay your Ohio business’s initial filing fees
For statutory entities, Ohio requires businesses to file initial formation documents with the Secretary of State and pay an Ohio formation fee. The Secretary of State accepts formation document filings through Ohio’s online business portal or by mail. Typical filing times range from three to seven business days. However, Ohio offers expedited filing for an additional fee.
If you’re in a hurry to form your Ohio business and don’t want to deal with the state’s expedited filing processes, we can handle it for you with our Expedited Filing Service.
Step 2: Reserve your Ohio business’s name
Ohio requires every registered business operating in the state to have a distinguishable name from other businesses. This can create difficulty for new business owners when they finally decide on a great name, but then discover that their preferred name is already taken. To help alleviate this problem, most states allow you to reserve a business name for a set period of time, even if you’re not quite ready to form your business yet.
Ohio allows business owners to file a name reservation form to reserve a name for their new business. This reservation lasts 180 days from the filing date. You can include two additional names if your preferred name ends up being unavailable.
If you’d rather not worry about reserving your business name, use our Name Reservation Service to handle it for you.
Step 3: Reserve a “doing business as” name in Ohio
If you plan to market your business under a name other than the name registered with the Secretary of State, you need a “doing business as” (DBA) name. Ohio allows businesses to register both a “trade name” and a “fictitious name.” Though the registration of both trade and fictitious names occurs through the same form, they don’t mean the same thing. If you need a trade name, the name must be distinguishable from other Ohio business names. Fictitious names, on the other hand, don’t have to be distinguishable.
You can submit the filings necessary for obtaining a trade or fictitious name in Ohio, or we can do it for you with our DBA Registration Service.
Step 4: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assigns businesses an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a tax ID number, to help identify each business. The EIN operates like a social security number for your business. Obtaining an EIN allows you to open a bank account for your business and hire employees.
You can apply for an EIN on the IRS website. With our EIN Service, we can obtain an EIN for your business so you don’t have to worry about it.
Step 5: Draft an operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or partnership agreement for your Ohio business
Operating agreements, corporate bylaws, and partnership agreements often contain important information about a business, including:
- Profit and loss distribution
- Management structure
- Voting rules
- Processes for resolving disputes
Even though Ohio doesn’t require businesses to have these governing documents, having them in place can prevent your business from dealing with unnecessary disputes down the road.
Every business is unique, so every business’s operating agreement should be unique too. With our operating agreement template, we can help you create an operating agreement that fits your specific needs.
Step 6: Apply for your Ohio business’s necessary licenses and permits
Ohio doesn’t require all businesses to have a general Ohio business license. Still, Ohio requires many businesses to obtain various licenses and permits to legally operate within the state. The licenses and permits your business needs vary based on:
- The location of your business
- The industry your business operates in
- The services your business offers
Unfortunately, there’s no single place to find all of the licenses and permits your business needs. Luckily, we’re here to help. We offer a Business License Report that provides a comprehensive list of the licenses and permits needed for your company to operate.
Step 7: Pay registration fees for out-of-state businesses
Ohio refers to businesses formed outside of the State of Ohio as “foreign” businesses. Foreign corporations seeking to operate in Ohio must file an application for a license with the Secretary of State. Foreign LLCs have to file a registration application with the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State requires foreign businesses to include a Certificate of Good Standing from their home state with the application and pay the listed Ohio filing fee.
Step 8: Check Ohio’s annual report requirements and fees
Unlike many other states, Ohio doesn’t require statutory entities to file annual reports with the Secretary of State.
Step 9: Keep your Ohio business legally compliant
When you change the information contained in your formation documents on file with the Ohio Secretary of State, you typically need to file an amendment to update the state on those changes. This filing typically requires an Ohio filing fee as well. Failing to update the state about changes occurring within your business can result in your business falling out of good standing. We can take care of this for you and help you stay legally compliant with our Amendment Service.
If you’re looking for more compliance safeguards, our Worry-Free Compliance Service sends business owners alerts about upcoming compliance events, monitors your business’s status to ensure you stay legally compliant, and includes two amendments per year after you cover the Ohio business filing fee.
Let us help you keep your Ohio business legally compliant
Ohio requires a vast number of filings and filing fees to create your business and keep it in good standing. Our services can help you form your Ohio business, send alerts to notify you of upcoming deadlines, and provide assistance in the event your business falls out of compliance.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.
- Are there penalties for paying my fees late in Ohio?
Yes. Your Ohio business can incur penalties and additional fees for failing to pay the required filing fees in a timely manner.
- What happens if I can’t pay my fees to the Ohio government?
If you don’t pay the required fees to the Ohio government, your business could face financial penalties and, in serious cases, administrative dissolution of your company by the state.
- Who receives the fees for forming my Ohio business?
The Ohio Secretary of State.
- What is usually the biggest fee I will pay when I form my Ohio business?
Ohio collects costly fees for expedited filings. Any filing you wish to have expedited will likely result in your largest payment.
- What payment methods can I use to pay my LLC or corporation filing fees to the Ohio government?
Ohio’s online business portal accepts payments with a credit or debit card. You can pay for mailed-in filings with checks or money orders made payable to the Ohio Secretary of State.