This webpage has been designed to assist prospective business owners throughout Ohio in their quest to register their businesses with the Secretary of State. There are two submission methods, one which requires an account with the government business registration portal, and one which requires that you download the PDF of the Articles of Organization and submit them by mail. Regardless of the option which you employ to file, you will be required to provide a filing fee of $99 in the form of a check/money order (paper filing) or credit card (online). Scroll down and review our in depth tutorials on both filing processes to learn more.

Before filing, especially if doing so through the PDF filing method, you would be wise to perform a Business Entity Search which will allow you to cross-reference the Secretary of State name database to see whether your choice of name is indeed unique to your entity. You may also choose to, before filing, commit to a Name Reservation which will cost you $39 but last for a total of 180 days.

How to File (Online)

Step 1- You will need to begin by logging into your account with the online portal using this webpage. If you don’t currently have an account, you will find our registration tutorial useful.


Step 2- On the homepage you will be able to click on the blue square in the middle to file for a new LLC.


Step 3- Use the drop down menu on this page to choose the LLC option. Once selected, click Continue.


Step 4- For your convenience, they’ve incorporated a business entity search step prior to the online articles. Enter your business name into the search field then click Search. If no results present themselves, you will most likely be able to use that business name.


Step 5- The first article will ask that you provide the company name, the effective date, the period of existence, the nature of the LLC (profit or non-profit) and the purpose clause.


Step 6- Secondly, you will need to appoint your registered agent by providing their name, their address, their email and their consent (given by entering their name in the bottom field).


Step 7- If you so wish, you may add attachments relaying any other provision at this point.


Step 8- Here you will be able to type the name of each member, manager and representative working for the LLC. Once each individual/business has been added, you can click Save and Continue to proceed.


Step 9- This page will display all the information which you’ve just submitted into the articles. If they look accurate, you will be able to disable your pop-up blocker before clicking Save and Preview.


Step 10- A window will emerge, on it will be a preview of the Articles of Organization. Review the contents before scrolling to the bottom and clicking Verify this Document.


Step 11- On this page you will be able to click the check box on the far left hand side of the window to select the filing. Once this has been completed you can Add Selected Filing(s) to Check Out. 


Step 12- Here, you will be able to submit your billing and credit card information then click Confirm and Proceed. The following two pages will have you officially paying and submitting your document to the Secretary of State for review.


How to File (PDF)

Step 1- To file by paper through the mail, you must first download the PDF of the Articles of Organization.

Step 2- This first page will simply act as a cover letter giving the name, address and contact information of the contact person. Here you will be able to indicate whether you’d like to receive notices from the Secretary of State via email, or if you’d like to sign up for the filing notification system. The option the expedite the filing can be chosen here as well.

oh-pdf-coverStep 3- The following information will be required when filling out your articles:

Page 1

  • Select whether for-profit or non-profit
  • Name of LLC
  • Effective date
  • Period of existence (optional)
  • Purpose (optional)


Page 2

  • Original appointment of agent must include the following:
    • Name of LLC
    • Name of agent
    • Address of agent
  • Acceptance of Appointment must include this info:
    • Agent name
    • Name of LLC
    • Agent/representative signature


Page 3- On this page. you will be able to provide the signature of a member or manager as well as their printed name.


Step 4- Once you’ve completed the forms, you will be able to print them off, provide the requisite signatures, and attach to them a money order or check made out to the Secretary of State. The standard filing fee will equate to $99 however if you wish to expedite your filing, you will be required to supply an additional $100$200$300 depending on the speed of the expedition. Standard filing time entries should be submitted to the first address below while expedited filings can be sent to the second.

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– Seeing as you are creating a new entity in the United States, you may be required to register that business with the IRS through the application for an Employer Identification Number. This will allow them to view you as a legitimate and tax-paying entity. If you plan on hiring employees, opening bank accounts in the company name, or applying for a business loan, this identifier will be essential in doing so legally. 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– Although this is not a legally required document in Ohio, and will not need to be filed with the Secretary of State, it is always recommended that, after the formation of a new LLC, the managing members take a moment to draft an operating agreement. This will bind them to a certain set of rules and regulations, rights and responsibilities, under which they will be legally required to operate. Use the template found in the heading of this paragraph to get started. You will find that it is downloadable for free in both MS Word and Adobe PDF for your convenience. We recommend however, that your attorney review the document before you officially apply it to your business structure.