How to Form an LLC in Ohio – The LLC is a business entity that offers limited liability for its owners.3 min read
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An LLC, or limited liability company, is a business entity organized in a way that separates the business owner’s personal assets from the business itself. LLCs are beneficial for small businesses and startups because they provide some of the same legal protections as a corporation, but with less paperwork and at a lower cost. You can form an LLC in Ohio by following a few simple steps.
1. Choose a name for your LLC. The name must include “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” or “Limited Liability Company.” It cannot be the same as any other business entity registered in Ohio, and it cannot be misleading to consumers. You can check to see if your desired name is available by searching the Ohio Secretary of State’s business entity database (see Resources).
2. Prepare and file your Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State’s office. This document must include information about your LLC, such as the name, address, and purpose of the company. You can find the Articles of Organization forms on the Secretary of State’s website (see Resources).
3. Pay the filing fee associated with your Articles of Organization. The current fee is $99, although it is subject to change. Fees can be paid by check or money order made out to “Secretary of State.”
4. Your LLC will need to have an operating agreement that outlines how it will be managed and how profits and losses will be distributed among members. This agreement does not need to be filed with the state, but it is recommended that you have one in place before you begin doing business. You can find template operating agreements online (see Resources).
The Steps to Forming an LLC in Ohio
You can form an LLC in Ohio by filing the Articles of Organization with the Ohio Secretary of State. You will need to include the name of your LLC, the purpose of your LLC, the names of the members of your LLC, and the address of your LLC. You will also need to pay a filing fee of $99.
Step One: Choose a Name for Your LLC
You need to select a name for your LLC that complies with the rules set forth by the Ohio Secretary of State. The name you choose must contain the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.). You may also use “company” or “co.” in your LLC’s name.
Your LLC name cannot contain certain restricted words, including “bank,” “insurance,” “university,” and “court,” among others. Additionally, your LLC name must be distinguishable from any existing business entity names on file with the Secretary of State.
You can check to see if your desired LLC name is available by searching the business entity database on the Secretary of State website. If your desired name is unavailable, you will need to choose another name for your LLC.
Step Two: File a Certificate of Formation
The next step in how to form an LLC in Ohio is to file a Certificate of Formation with the Ohio Secretary of State. You can do this by mail or in person. The filing fee is $99, and you can find the forms on the Secretary of State website.
The Certificate of Formation must include the LLC’s name and address, the names and addresses of the LLC’s organizers, the LLC’s purpose, and the effective date of the LLC. You must also include a statement that the LLC will be governed by the laws of Ohio and that it will have a limited liability company agreement.
You can appoint a registered agent when you file your Certificate of Formation, or you can do it later. A registered agent is someone who agrees to accept legal documents on behalf of the LLC. The registered agent must have a physical street address in Ohio and be available during business hours.
Step Three: Appoint a Statutory Agent
An LLC’s statutory agent is appointed by the LLC’s organizers and listed in the articles of organization. The statutory agent may be an individual who resides in Ohio or a corporation authorized to transact business in Ohio. The statutory agent must have a physical street address in Ohio where legal process may be served on behalf of the LLC. A post office box is not acceptable.
The articles of organization must list the name and address of the statutory agent as well as the date on which the appointment will expire. If the LLC has more than one organizer, each organizer must sign a statement indicating his or her approval of the appointment of the statutory agent.
Step Four: Create an Operating Agreement
After you have chosen a name and registered it with the state of Ohio, you will need to create an operating agreement. This document will outline the ownership and management structure of your LLC. It is not required by the state, but it is a good idea to have one in place to avoid any future disagreements.
The operating agreement should include:
-The names and addresses of the LLC’s members
-How the LLC will be managed
-The percentage of ownership interest held by each member
-The rules for adding or removing members
-The procedures for holding meetings
-How decisions will be made
-How profits and losses will be distributed among the members.
You can create your own operating agreement or you can use a template. Once it is finished, be sure to keep it in a safe place. You will not need to submit it to the state, but you will need to have it available if any legal issues arise in the future.
Step Five: Get an Employer Identification Number
The next step is to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. An EIN is essentially a social security number for your business. You can apply for an EIN online, by fax, or by mail.
If you apply online, you will need to have a few pieces of information handy, including your business name and address, the name and Social Security number of the principal officer of your company, and your company’s nature of business.
Applying for an EIN is a free service offered by the IRS. Once you have your EIN, you will need to provide it to your bank so that you can open a business checking account.
Step Six: Open a Business Bank Account
After your LLC is officially registered with the state, you’ll need to open a business bank account. This is an important step for separating your personal finances from your business finances. It will also make doing your taxes a lot easier come tax time.
To open a business bank account, you’ll need to have your LLC registration paperwork and your EIN number handy. You may also be asked to provide a copy of your business license, depending on the bank. Once you have all of your paperwork in order, simply visit your chosen bank and tell them that you’d like to open up a business account. They’ll take it from there!
If you’re looking for a business structure that offers personal liability protection and tax benefits, you may want to consider forming an LLC in Ohio. LLCs are relatively easy and inexpensive to form, and they offer a great deal of flexibility when it comes to how your business is structured and operated.
If you’re ready to form your LLC, the first step is to file your Articles of Organization with the Ohio Secretary of State. Once your LLC is formed, you’ll need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS, open a business bank account, and obtain any licenses or permits that may be required for your business. You’ll also need to create an Operating Agreement that outlines the ownership and management structure of your LLC.
Forming an LLC in Ohio can be a great way to protect your personal assets and enjoy the tax benefits of owning a small business. With just a few steps, you can be on your way to starting your own LLC.
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