Cost To Form an LLC in Ohio – How to Start an LLC in 2022

Cost To Form an LLC in Ohio-1

Knowing the amount of money required to form a limited liability company (LLC) in each state is a huge step in taking your business in the right direction. The LLC structure has now become the most popular business structure among business entities because it comes with a lot of conveniences. It offers liability protection just like a corporation and has better tax flexibility. 

That said, it is a hybrid structure with the tax flexibility of a sole proprietorship or partnership and the liability protection of a corporation. If you are thinking of forming an LLC in Ohio, we have offered a comprehensive step-by-step guide in this article. 

Cost To Form an LLC in Ohio-2

Filing Requirements & Overall Ohio LLC Costs

The overall cost required to set up a limited liability company in Ohio will be determined by state filing requirements as well as your business requirements going forward. Here is the breakdown of what an LLC in Ohio may cost. 

Ohio LLC Filing Fees

The main cost of forming an LLC in Ohio is filing the Articles of Organization with the Ohio Secretary of State, and this cost is unavoidable. The state charges $99 for the Articles of Organization with the Ohio Secretary of State. The Articles of Organization is the legal document that officially creates your Ohio LLC. You can apply online or by mail. 

Ohio LLC Annual Report

Most states will require that you file an annual report, which usually comes at a fee. Thankfully, Ohio does not charge an annual report fee nor are you required to file an annual report. 

Registered Agent Fee

To maintain compliance with the state’s regulations and to be reminded of important deadlines, Ohio requires that LLCs have registered agents. A registered agent is widely known in Ohio as a statutory agent. A statutory agent can either be yourself, a member of a company, a third-party individual, or a business entity. Hiring a third party as a statutory agent costs somewhere between $50- $300 in Ohio.

Application for Withdrawal (Foreign LLC)

You must file the Certificate of Termination with the Ohio Secretary of State in order to withdraw your LLC application. You can file your foreign Ohio LLC form online during which you will have to pay a $50 filing fee. 

Ohio also offers expedited filing at an additional cost. If you don’t want to wait days to get confirmation, you can pay $100 to have your application processed within 2 business days or have it processed in 4 hours if you pay $300. 

Business Licenses

Depending on the nature of your business, you might require licenses from the federal, state, county, and municipal governments. Generally, a business license or permit in Ohio is somewhere below $100.

Taxes

Each member of an LLC in Ohio must pay individual income tax and self-employment tax. Though Ohio’s individual tax rate isn’t one of the lowest, its self-employment tax rate is good. 

However, Ohio also charges commercial activity tax which varies depending on gross receipt. LLCs with gross receipts exceeding $150,000 per year are required to pay a commercial activity tax. LLCs with less than $150,000 in gross receipts are exempt from this tax.

That said, ensure you register for any relevant taxes with the Ohio Department of Taxation, and also obtain all licenses and permits that apply to your business type.

Other LLC Filing Costs

Depending on your business and state requirements, you may incur other charges going forward. These include:

LLC Name Reservation Fee

Naming your business is one of the initial stages in forming an LLC. If you are interested in a name but you are not ready to form your business just yet, Ohio offers a name reservation service so that no one else uses the name until you are ready. All you have to do is to file a Name Reservation[1] (Form 534-B) application with the Ohio Secretary of State and pay the $39 filing fee. 

LLC Name Reservation Fee

If you are planning to run your business under a different name from your official LLC business name, you’ll need to register a DBA. To get a fictitious name, you need to file an assumed name certificate with the Ohio Secretary of State during which you will have to pay a $39 filing fee. 

Business Domain Name & Website

A business domain name is the web address for your business website. You need to register a domain name for your Ohio business so that nobody else can use the same name. A domain name registration can cost you anywhere between $2 to $20 depending on special offers or discounts offered. However, newer domain name extensions such as apps may go beyond this range.

Articles of Organization Fee

Filing Ohio LLC Articles of Organization are the main requirement for LLC formation. You cannot start and operate an LLC in Ohio without filing the articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. Ohio only charges $99 to process your Articles of Organization. 

Attorney Fees

If you want a reliable LLC formation in Ohio, you’ll need to hire an attorney. However, attorney services are not cheap and will depend on whether you opt for a flat fee or hourly charges. That being said, expect to pay somewhere between $500 – $2,000 flat fee or $150 – $350 hourly fees.

Tax ID Number (EIN)

A federal tax ID number is essentially a social security number for an organization. You will have to get an EIN to open a business bank account, file and manage federal state taxes, and hire employees. You can get an EIN for free from the IRS by applying online or via email. 

The Top 2 Ohio LLC Services

ZenBusiness

The ZenBusiness basic formation package is pretty cheap yet offers a long list of services. The two higher packages aren’t expensive either. Zenbusiness is the only LLC formation service that will offer you 1-year free registered agent service, 1-year free Ohio operating agreement, and preparation and filing of Articles of Organization in all three packages. 

In addition to business formation, ZenBusiness also offers to take care of Ohio LLC’s ongoing maintenance thanks to their worry-free compliance feature. Their great customer support and easy-to-use interface are some of the other reasons they have the best customer feedback.

LegalZoom

LegalZoom was established in 1999 with an aim of offering legal services online. Two years after its establishment, the company achieved its goal when it launched ten web-based products that focused on business formation services, estate planning, and intellectual property protection.

Because of the variety of services offered, the company has served a million customers in various ways. LLC formation services form the larger part of this number. 

Though their business formation services are not one of the cheapest you will find in the market, it is still affordable, particularly the lowest package. The entry package will prepare and file your Articles of Organization and still include other vital features such as operating agreement, lifetime customer support, and banking resolution. 

Five Basic Steps to Start an LLC in Ohio 2022

Name Your Ohio LLC

Naming your LLC is not a simple process in any state. In Ohio, there are guidelines you have to adhere to. The name you have settled on must be available for registration and should be unique to your business. You should conduct a name search to ensure the name you pick is in compliance with Ohio law. Similar names or names that are close are always rejected during business formation.

Choose Your Registered Agent

You will need a registered agent to receive vital legal documents on your behalf. You can be your own statutory agent service, or hire a third party or a business entity. There are several LLC formation companies that offer registered agent services at affordable fees. 

File Articles of Organization

You can not start and operate an LLC in Ohio without filing Articles of Organization with the Ohio Secretary of State. You can file the Articles of organization and send them online, via email, or in person. Whichever route you take, you have to submit it along with filing fees.

Prepare an Operating Agreement

An Ohio LLC operating agreement is not a mandatory requirement when forming an LLC but it is very important as it lists how your business is managed and the members of your company. In essence, operating agreements for LLCs are equivalent to the board of directors in a corporation. 

Obtaining an EIN

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like your company’s social security and it is very important. You will need an EIN to open a business bank account, file and manage federal tax as well as hire employees for your Ohio LLC. 

Conclusion

The cost to form an Ohio LLC is average. This is made even better by the fact that Ohio doesn’t require annual report filing. This makes ongoing LLC maintenance cheap as well. For that reason, Ohio is a great option for both foreign and domestic LLCs. 

Is there an annual fee for Ohio LLCs?

Unlike most states, Ohio does not require LLCs to file annual reports. However, there are some annual fees associated with your Ohio LLC. These include annual registered agent fees and annual taxes among others.

Do LLCs pay taxes in Ohio?

LLCs themselves do not pay taxes in Ohio, only the members do. However, Ohio Commercial Activity Tax applies to most Ohio business entities including LLCs. The tax is based on gross receipts for your business and is calculated at a small series of marginal rates.

Do you need an LLC operating agreement in Ohio?

An LLC operating agreement is not mandatory in Ohio. However, you should still consider it an essential step to forming an LLC in Ohio. It highlights how your company is managed and each member’s ownership. 

Is Ohio a good state for an LLC?

Ohio is a good state to start an LLC that is likely to operate in the state for an extended period of time. It is one of the states that doesn’t require filing an annual report. In addition, their tax rate is friendly. 

What happens if I don’t use my LLC?

If you don’t use your LLC, you will be held liable for the debts and taxes of the LLC. You are expected to use your LLC and file a tax return as per the state requirement. 

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Billy Graham
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Billy Graham is a Highly skilled copywriter/editor with over 8+ years of experience working for content mills, direct clients, and SEO marketing agencies alike. Possesses extensive expertise in crafting unique copy, exceeding editorial goals, and delivering first-rate client-focused service in results-driven content production. Specialties include gaming, branded content, short-form to long-form copywriting, call-to-action, buying guides, how-to – articles, product reviews, and comparisons, copy editing, proofreading, complete QA, and in-depth research.

ABOUT THE REVIEWER

Jazmin Castello holds a Master's degree in Business Management, owns two companies, and has also published a self-help book. When she is not working or writing, she likes to spend time with her family and to travel.

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  1. Ohiosos.gov. (2021). Filing Forms & Fee Schedule – Ohio Secretary of State. [online] Available at: https://www.ohiosos.gov/businesses/filing-forms–fee-schedule/?__cf_chl_jschl_tk__=4YJK.kqrrw8E8j67kFQCfIVRSwp0KRzV0P_GIkLAnIQ-1638267969-0-gaNycGzNCL0 [Accessed 30 Nov. 2021].