Becoming registered as an LLC in Ohio isn’t difficult, but it’s time-consuming. The benefits include greater financial protection for your personal assets, as you’re reaping the tax and financial benefits of a corporation. Most of the registration process is done online, which makes the entire process that much simpler. Becoming an LLC means you have a bit more going for you with your clients, too. A legally registered company tends to come off as more professional, safer, and more appealing to customers. It also protects you from becoming personally liable for any debts or lawsuits filed against your company. That makes the entire process worthwhile. While not every form can be filed online to become an LLC, all the required forms are easily located on the Ohio Secretary of State Website.
Naming Your LLC
It’s not difficult to find a name for your business, but there is a challenge associated with this. Ohio is just like every other state in that you cannot register a business using the same name as another registered LLC. The Secretary of State provides an Online business name database you can use to choose a name to see if it’s available. Once you come up with a name that’s not already taken, file a Name Reservation. You pay $39 to reserve a name for your LLC that’s good for 180 days. That’s more than enough time to file the remainder of the paperwork you need to register your business. This is one of the forms you have to file by mail, which does increase the chance someone else might reserve your name before you. Do this immediately, because you cannot continue the rest of the process without an official name.
Filing the Necessary Paperwork
The most important paperwork to file for your LLC is the Articles of Organization. The state needs to know certain information about your business, including its name, address, and the name and address of your registered agent, along with a signature from this person or corporation for proof they are aware of their role. Your registered agent is the most important part of your application. This is the person or business responsible for the legal aspect of your business.
You need to choose a registered agent with knowledge of the law, and the ability to handle all legal issues that come your way. This person cannot be an employee or owner of your business. This should be an attorney, but it’s not a legal requirement to choose an attorney or law firm. Your Articles of Organization can be filed online or through the mail. It’s faster to file online, and time is of the essence when it comes to registering your business.
Tax Requirements for Ohio LLCs
The challenging part of registering an LLC in Ohio is fulfilling your tax obligations. Each business entity is responsible for different tax obligations. For example, if your LLC sells goods, you have to file additional paperwork with the Ohio Department of Taxation. If you’re not, you need not worry about this step. If you have more than one employee, you have to filed for an Employer Identification Number with the Internal Revenue Service. If you own a commercial company, you must file for the Commercial Activity Tax.
Ohio is different from other states in that LLCs are not required to file annual reports. It’s up to you to do the research to learn what is required in terms of business licenses for your company. These licenses differ based on what type of business you own, where you are located in the state, and your revenue. This information is all found online, and most of it can be filed online so you don’t have to wait long to receive your registered information.
The biggest challenges associated with forming an LLC in Ohio have almost everything to do with researching the requirements for your specific business entity. There’s not a one-size fits all list for all businesses, and that’s where the challenge is for many business owners. Once you’re able to navigate what’s required for your particular type of business, however, the process is fairly simple. Get started now so you can ensure you get the name you want, begin your tax benefits, and protect yourself from becoming personally liable for any business debts you incur.