Welcome to the Start a Business tutorial catered to the business representative looking to file their limited liability company. Within this page, we’ve linked our more in-depth guides to the business registration process for both foreign and domestic LLCs along with a few other functions that may serve you well in the filing process. It should be noted that there is an online filing process available, however, it has only been made usable for domestic filers. All foreign entities must file through the mail along with domestic representatives who are opting to utilize this particular method. Regardless of the nature of your LLC, or the method you’ve chosen for filing, there will be a filing fee of $99 made payable to the Ohio Secretary of State.

How to File

Step 1- It is always recommended that, before filing an entity, applicants take the time to perform a Business Entity Search to ensure themselves that there are no businesses on file with the Secretary of State that have a name similar to the one with which they are about to file. If this were the case, and the entity were to file anyway, the application would most likely be rejected upon submission. To reserve your LLC name, you may do so through the Name Reservation filing. This will cost you a total of $39 and will last for 180 days.

Step 2- Once your name has been secured, you can download the PDF of the filing form associated with your entity, or you can log onto your Ohio Business Central account (account registration tutorial found here). With the downloaded PDF, or through the online portal, you will be able to easily submit the requisite information. Click on the link that corresponds with your LLC type below for more details regarding what information is requested by the Secretary of State.

Step 3- When your filing forms have been completed, either online or using your PDF viewer, you will be able to provide the filing fee. This fee can be paid by credit card if you’re filing online or by check/money order should you be submitting your filing through the mail. The payment of this fee ($99) will mark the completion of the filing process for those doing so on their computer. Otherwise, you will be required to send your filing package to the office of the Secretary of State at the address below. If you are asking for an expedited filing, you will be required to mail it to the secondary address.

This address is to be used for standard processing:

Ohio Secretary of State

PO Box 670

Columbus, OH 43216

This address is to be used for expedited processing:

Ohio Secretary of State

PO Box 1390

Columbus, OH 43216


EIN– If you have just created a new, domestic entity, you may be required to apply for an Employer Identification Number from the IRS. This number is required if you plan on paying withheld taxes and will allow the IRS to see you as legitimate and lawful. Once obtained, you will be able to open bank accounts in the company name, hire employees, and otherwise commit to all levels of financial transactions. Consider it the corporate equivalent of a Social Security Number. For more information on how to apply Online, or through the filing of Form SS-4, you may click on the heading of this paragraph to review our tutorial.

Operating Agreement– The operating agreement of a limited liability company is not a legally mandatory document to draft.  However this will serve as the only definitive proof of the manner in which you plan on managing the company’s internal affairs. Within this document, you can effectively relay all financial and logistical provisions not currently listed in your initial registration documents. For more information, and free templates found in both MS Word and Adobe PDF, click on the heading of this paragraph.

How to (Video)