Filling out the Ohio LLC form is an essential step in the process of forming a limited liability company. Knowing what information is required will help you get through the process more quickly and smoothly. The first and most important step is to choose a name for your limited liability company. It's important to do research first to make sure the name you've selected is available. The name should also make sense for the type of business venture you're planning, and be easily found when potential clients are searching for it.

Starting an LLC

The name for your Ohio LLC must include the abbreviations "L.L.C." or "LLC," or the words "Limited Liability Company." Additional paperwork is needed for certain restricted words, such as "attorney," "university," or "bank." There is also a list of prohibited words which are not allowed to be included in the name of your LLC, since they may mislead the public into believing that your LLC is a state or federal agency. Examples of these prohibited words include the following: 

  • Treasury 
  • FBI 
  • Secret Service

A name can be reserved for 180 days when the Name Reservation Form is filled out through the Ohio Secretary of State. This application must be turned in through the mail and include a $9 filing fee. A search should be done on the State of Ohio's website to make sure the name is still available in Ohio

After that, the company should make sure the domain name is available so they can reserve the website. This should be done even if there are no plans to work on the website anytime soon, as it will stop others from buying it. Another smart idea is to buy a professional email in advance.

Companies in Ohio must pick a statutory agent for the LLC. The statutory agent is also known as a "registered agent," which is a business or person who will send and receive all legal papers on the LLC's behalf. This includes paperwork such as state filings and service of process of legal action in the event of pending litigation. The agent should be someone who lives in Ohio or a registered corporation which can legally conduct business in the state. The registered agent can be someone within the company, including the owner. 

Next, the Articles of Organization should be filed with the state. This can be done online or through the mail. The document should include the name and purpose of the LLC; the registered agent's name, signature, and address; a return address for the approval certificate to be mailed; and a member or manager's name and signature. It's important to decide if the LLC will be manager-managed or member-managed when filing the Articles of Organization.

LLCs that are member-managed will play an active part in the company. Every member will have the right to say their opinion on everyday activities in the LLC. When there is a decision to be made, the decision will be made after everyone votes. Everyone in the company will not vote, as they leave it up to specific managers to effectively and efficiently handle everyday issues. This is also known as centralized management, as one or more managers will have the power.

Key Steps After Forming a Business

It's crucial to separate any of your personal assets from the LLC. A business bank account should be set up for the company. This will make it easier for tax and accounting purposes. Having a business credit card will allow the company to build their credit history, which is needed when the company wants to raise money later. Having a business credit card will also make sure the business and personal expenses stay separate. The LLC should then be registered for Ohio State Tax, as some companies will need to pay a Commercial Activity Tax.

If services or taxable goods are being sold, the business will also need to get a vendor's license. Before the company begins conducting business, there should be a good accounting system in place. All finances will need to be tracked, including revenue, expenses, accounts receivable, and accounts payable.

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