An Ohio LLC filing is affordable and easy to create. However, the state of Ohio sets specific requirements. Any interested parties need to register with the Secretary of State and file the appropriate forms. They also must pay any required fees and meet the formation and naming requirements. Before the registration process begins, it's important for the business to understand what an LLC is, so they can decide if this is the right business structure for them.

In Ohio, LLCs are treated as corporations, so they are subject to all federal income tax classifications. There will be different federal tax responsibilities based on the type of taxation the LLC opts to have. It's important to get acquainted with the state laws when it comes to taxation. The LLC might have other taxes depending on what type of business it conducts.

Naming Your LLC

The most important and first step when forming an LLC is to select a name that fits the brand and industry that represents the company. The naming requirements can get confusing, so the best way to make sure the LLC name gets approved is to make sure it stands out from other LLCs. It's best to check that the preferred name is available before filing with the Secretary of State. The business name also must include one of the following words: 

  • L.L.C.
  • LLC
  • Limited Liability Company

Certain words are restricted, such as "attorney," "bank," and "university," so there will be extra paperwork needed for names which contain these words. Someone who's conducting business as a licensed professional, such as a lawyer or doctor, may also need to include those words as part of the LLC. Certain words are prohibited, such as "Secret Service," "FBI," and "treasury," because the use of these words might mislead the public to believe that the company is a state or federal agency. To check availability, a name search can be done on the State of Ohio's website. 

If the name is available, it should also be reserved. The fee to file a name reservation for up to 180 days is $50, and the name reservation application must be mailed to the Secretary of State. It's best to make sure the name is available before registering a domain name or ordering anything with the company name. The domain name should be reserved, even if the website isn't ready, to make sure the name is secured.

Pre-Clearance Filing Option

If there is a reason the company thinks the LLC filing won't be accepted, they can send in paperwork for a preclearance filing. This allows the Secretary of State to inform the business if the filing will be accepted. This is a smart option for those who don't have an attorney and are filing this for by themselves for the first time. 

The option of "preclearance filing" should be selected on the form. The fee is $50 for a preclearance filing, and checks should be made payable to the "Secretary of State." It will take one to two days to complete the preclearance.

Expedited Service

There are expedited options available if paperwork needs to be processed within two business days. The expedited option is an additional $100 fee on top of the regular $125 filing fee. The envelope should be clearly labeled with "EXPEDITE." For one business day processing, the option for Expedited Service 2 can be selected. 

The fastest and most expensive service option available is Expedited Service 3. For a $300 fee on top of the $125 filing fee, the paperwork will be processed within four hours of receipt, as long as the paperwork is hand-delivered before 1 PM. Paperwork delivered after 1 PM won't be ready until the next business day. 

Both the Expedited Service 2 and Expedited Service 3 options require that paperwork be hand-delivered. The address for hand-delivering the filings is 180 E. Broad St., Suite 103, Columbus, OH, 43215.

If you need help with an Ohio LLC filing, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its website. UpCounsel's attorneys come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and have an average of 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.