An Ohio LLC search is required before establishing your Ohio LLC. Also referred to as a Limited Liability Company, an LLC is a flexible business structure that is easy to form and manage. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Forming an LLC

There are many advantages to operating as an LLC. Most importantly, an LLC offers limited liability. This means that the debts and obligations of the LLC cannot pass onto you, and your personal assets cannot be affected. Further, considered a tax benefit, an LLC operates as a pass-through entity, which means that the LLC need not file a corporate tax return. Instead, the profits of the business are filed on the member(s) personal tax returns. Another benefit of an LLC is that you need not be a member of the state in which you operate. In this case, you do not need to live in Ohio in order to form an LLC in the state. What’s more, you need not be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to form an LLC.

While there are many benefits to operating an Ohio LLC, there are also some disadvantages, which include:

• Limited growth due to the inability to issue shares of stock

• Lack of uniformity, as some states treat LLCs differently than others

• Self-employment tax, since the earnings of the LLC might be required to be reported as self-employment tax by members of the LLC

• If you convert your business to an LLC, you might be taxed on the appreciated assets of your business.

The main reason you will need to conduct an Ohio business name search is because you can only use a name that is not currently being used. However, such searches are conducted for a variety of reasons, including:

• Identifying whether a business has been legally formed in the State of Ohio

• Identifying whether or not the Ohio LLC is currently in good standing

• Obtaining the Ohio LLC’s business address or the registered agent’s address

In order to run a search, you will visit the Ohio Secretary of State website. While you conduct your search, keep in mind that you might want to see if the domain name is also available for a .us. This is if you want to use an identical domain name for your company name.

Ohio law requires that your business name be “distinguishable upon the records in the office of the Secretary of State.” Therefore, any similarities in the name could deem it unusable. Additional tips regarding name creation include the following:

• Your name should be easy to spell. The more difficult it is to spell your LLC name, the harder it is for potential clients and customers to find your company.

• Use a short business name. Similar to the spelling, it is easier for people to find your business if you use a shorter name, since it is easier for people to remember.

• Ensure that your LLC name has a positive connotation. This will leave people feeling as though your business provides good customer service, excellent services, and satisfactory products.

Overall, the name of your business means a lot, and could help enhance your customer base if you choose the right one.

How to Form an Ohio LLC

Its rather easy and straightforward when it comes to forming your Ohio LLC. As previously mentioned, you’ll choose a name. Once you’ve chosen a unique name, you can reserve it with the Ohio Secretary of State. Thereafter, you’ll draft and file your Articles of Incorporation. Simultaneously, you will determine who will run the business, i.e. you or an outside manager. If you are forming a multi-member LLC, will you and the other members run the business? You’ll also need to apply for a business license as well as other certificates that are applicable to the industry in which you operate.

You’ll also need to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS. Other ID numbers may be required depending on the Ohio State government requirements, along with local jurisdictional requirements. This could include additional IDs or forms for unemployment benefits, disability insurance, payroll taxes, etc.

If you need help learning how to conduct an Ohio LLC search, or if you need help forming your Ohio LLC, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5-percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law, and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with, or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.