Ohio LLC Formation

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Steven S.

Steven Stark

357 reviews
For over 30 years, Steven Stark has offered counsel to non-profit organizations and private companies. He has a passion for helping small businesses in particular since he himself started several businesses of his own in New York and Florida. He understands the importance of small businesses having a reliable attorney to advise them about legal matters from their inception.
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Joshua G.

Joshua Garber

249 reviews
Representing notable clients like Tesla and the City of Los Angeles, Josh Garber excels at helping clients with employment and labor laws. Many of his past clients have had great success using Josh for employment agreements and Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) hearings. With his practical advice, he has even helped clients avoid going to court.
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Richard G.

Richard Gora

183 reviews
Looking for an attorney with experience? Richard Gora is the exact attorney you want. Having defended over 100 cases both in state and federal courts and working with clients from around the globe, Richard has an array of different experiences. His services are wide-ranging and include business litigation, securities litigations, employment litigation, and business counsel. Prior to founding Gora LLC, he worked for Finn, Dixon & Herling LLP for eight years.
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James R.

James Rench

2 reviews
Jim is a partner in Stark & Knoll in Ohio and also serves as outside general counsel to multiple corporate clients. He developed the firm's practice areas in secured lending, corporate finance, and mergers and acquisitions. Jim has over 35 years of experience in advising clients on mergers and acquisitions and has been involved in many transactions, including a multi-million dollar sale.
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Jabari S.

Jabari Shaw

Jabari Shaw is an Ohio-based corporate attorney. He specializes in estate planning, entertainment law and legal matters related to business law. He also has extensive experience in drafting and negotiating commercial contracts. Jabari obtained his Juris Doctor degree from the Northern Kentucky University, where he was the Black Law Students Association’s president. In January 2017, Jabari started his own law firm, where he acts as the sole practicing attorney.
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Dominic F.

Dominic Frisina

2 reviews
My experience encompasses all areas of intellectual property (IP) including patents, trademarks, and copyrights. I work with clients nationwide and abroad to systematically... read more
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Joseph J.

Joseph Jones

Ohio-based attorney Joseph Jones advises businesses, healthcare providers, and individuals on a range of issues. He has expertise in business law as well as legal matters related to healthcare and long-term planning. Currently, he works as an Account Manager at Thomson Reuters Westlaw. Previously, he was at Premier Health Partners. Joseph holds a J.D. from the University of Toledo College of Law.
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Matthew W.

Matthew Watson

Matt’s main area of practice in the diverse field of civil litigation is Construction litigation. His services include representing clients in the following matters: Breac... read more
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Andrew W.

Andrew Wecker

Attorney Andrew Wecker is committed to helping his clients with all of their business and real estate needs. His specific experience lies within the leasing and selling of medical, commercial, residential, and industrial real estate. In addition to his real estate experience, he is able to help businesses and individuals draft legal contracts and enforce them when needed. With over 20 years of experience practicing law, you can count on Attorney Wecker to help you when it comes to buying and selling a property.
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Timothy E.

Timothy Earls

Timothy Earls is a tax controversy attorney with more than three years of experience in the field. Timothy graduated from the Cleveland State University with a Juris Doctorate in Law and soon after received a license to provide legal services to businesses in Ohio. Since 2012, Timothy has been an associate attorney at Robert J. Fedor, Esq LLC. In addition to representing clients in the court, Timothy also provides assistance with tax planning and return.
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Why use UpCounsel to form your LLC in Ohio?

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Why use UpCounsel to form an LLC in Ohio

Starting an LLC in Ohio with a business startup attorney on UpCounsel is easy, informative, and cost-effective. In just three simple steps, our LLC attorneys will help you protect your business and personal assets, and help you organize your business for state and federal compliance for limited liability companies.

When forming an LLC in Ohio with UpCounsel, the attorney you choose to help you will conduct a business name search for your Ohio LLC and assist you in preparing your LLC Operating Agreement, along with providing other legal services based on your needs. Once your Articles of Organization have been prepared and successfully filed with the Ohio Secretary of State, your Ohio LLC has been formed and begins its existence as a corporate entity.

Requirements for Forming a Ohio LLC

Choosing a Company Name for Your LLC

One of the first steps in the process of forming your Ohio Limited Liability Company is to choose your business name.

The business name that you choose must contain the words "limited liability company" or the abbreviation "LLC" or "L.L.C." as the last words in the name of the limited liability company. The words "limited" and "company" may be abbreviated to "Ltd." and "Co.," respectively.

It must be distinguishable (not the same as or deceptively similar to) the name of any Ohio Limited Liability Company or foreign LLC reserved or registered with the Ohio Secretary of State. It also cannot contain the words "bank," "trust," "trustee,""incorporated," "inc.," corporation," or "corp.," or "insurer" or "insurance company" or any other words suggesting that it is in the business of issuing policies of insurance and assuming insurance risks without prior approval with the appropriate state agency.

Your LLC name may contain the name of one or more members.

By using UpCounsel, you can choose several business names in order of preference. Your attorney of choice can then conduct a name check for your Ohio Limited Liability Company before filing to see which names are available. Once you have chosen an available name, your chosen LLC attorney can help you properly register your name with the State of Ohio.

Articles of Organization: When forming an LLC in Ohio, the Articles of Organization must be filed with the Ohio Secretary of State. Ohio state law requires that certain information be included in your Articles of Organization when forming your Ohio LLC.

This information must include:

  1. The LLC's name.
  2. The duration of the LLC; however, if the Articles or operating agreement do not set forth a duration, its' duration is indefinite.
  3. The LLC must appoint a statutory agent designated to for its' service of process. The Original Appointment of Statutory Agent (incorporated into the Articles form) must provide the agent's name and address as well as the agent's signature accepting the appointment.

Additionally, the Articles may include the following:

  1. The purpose(s) for with the LLC, including for any profit or nonprofit purposes. If no purpose is provided, it is deemed that the purpose of the company is to engage in any for-profit, lawful act or activity for which a LLC may be formed.
  2. The LLC's effective date of organization (if other than the filing date).
  3. May also include any additional provisions allowed by Chapter 1705 of the Ohio Revised Code.

LLC Operating Agreement: Although the LLC operating agreement is not required with the Articles of Organization, it is a good idea for every LLC with more than one member to have one. The State of Ohio recognizes LLC Operating Agreements as governing documents. The Articles of Organization may contain restrictions or prohibitions on the power of the members to adopt, amend, or repeal an operating agreement.

Resident Agent needed for a Ohio LLC

Remember every Ohio LLC must have a registered agent in Ohio, which is the person or office designated to receive official state correspondence and notice if the company is "served" with a lawsuit. The statutory agent must be one of the following: 1) A natural person who is a resident of Ohio; or 2) a domestic or foreign corporation that has a Ohio business address.

Ohio Secretary of State

Once you create an LLC in Ohio, the Ohio Secretary of State will require that certain recurring responsibilities and duties be fulfilled. The most important of these are explained below.

For further information, contact the Ohio Secretary of State.

Recurring Responsibilities and Duties for Ohio LLCs

Annual Report: Ohio does not require LLCs to file an annual report.

Records: Each Ohio limited liability company must keep the following records open to inspection at its office:

  1. Accounts of record
  2. Minutes of the proceedings of the incorporators, shareholders, directors and committees of the directors.
  3. A record of the shareholders, including their name and addresses and listing number and class of shares issued or transferred to them.

Business Licenses: Business licenses and/or permits are required for most businesses. Contact the Ohio Secretary of State for specific licenses.

Filing Fees for a Ohio LLC

The processing fee for the Articles of Organization is generally about $125 but may be expedited for additional fees. Also, the filing and reservation of the LLC's name is $50. These fees can change so it would be best to check with the Ohio Department of State on what the latest fees are. You may pay these fees in many different forms including cash, check, money orders, or debit and credit cards.

Taxes for a Ohio LLC

A Ohio LLC is not required to be a separate tax entity like a corporation; instead, it can be considered a "pass-through entity," so that the owners of the LLC report business losses or profits on their personal tax returns, just like in a partnership.

Ohio state law follows federal law for income tax purposes. Therefore if the LLC is classified as an association taxable as a corporation for federal income tax purposes, so will it be taxable as a corporation for Ohio tax purposes.

Federal Income Tax: Unless you elect to tax the limited liability company as a corporation, the IRS will treat a single-member LLC in Ohio as a sole proprietorship for tax purposes. This means that the LLC itself does not have to pay taxes or file a tax return. Unless you elect to tax the Limited Liability Company as a corporation, the IRS treats multi-member LLCs as partnerships for tax purposes. This means that LLC owners will each need to pay taxes on their lawful share of the profits on their personal income tax returns, not just on the LLC itself.

Federal Tax Identification Number: Your LLC will need to obtain a federal tax identification number, which is also known as an Employment Identification Number (EIN). An EIN is similar to an individual's social security number. You will need an EIN for your LLC as long as there is one member, even if the LLC does not have employees. For certain tax filing requirements the attorney you choose on UpCounsel can help prepare your Federal Tax ID Application, if you have not done so already.

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