How to Start a Home-Based Business in Ohio

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Operating a home-based business in Ohio offers the budding entrepreneur the chance to establish a client base and market his business without some of the expenses associated with a traditional brick-and-mortar location. Of course, operating out of your home doesn't mean that you are exempt from the regulations and restrictions of operating a business in Ohio. As with any other business in Ohio, home-based businesses require appropriate planning and should conform to state, city and county regulations.

Things You'll Need

  • Business plan
  • Business name
  • Registration
  • Licenses and permits
  • Develop a plan. Business plans should identify your business concept, potential profit, expected expenses and a thorough market analysis. This data will help you direct marketing efforts, secure financing and identify growth potential. The U.S. Small Business Administration website provides templates for those seeking additional help in organizing and creating an industry-specific business plan.

  • Name your business. Check the Ohio Secretary of State website to verify name availability before printing marketing materials or registering your business. Home-based businesses that operate as a sole proprietorship or general partnership are not required to register. But it is strongly encouraged for those who wish to trademark a name, now or in the future.

  • Register your business with the appropriate agencies. Request an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service. In addition to using this number for federal tax purposes, Ohio requires it for state tax purposes. Register your business with the Ohio Secretary of State, unless you are operating as a sole proprietorship or general partnership. Any business that will be collecting sales tax is also required to register with the Ohio Department of Taxation.

  • Obtain appropriate licenses and permits. Home-based businesses should check with their city and county governments for any zoning restrictions. These restrictions could keep a home business from seeing clients and restrict hours of operation. The Ohio Business Gateway website can provide state-specific license and permit information, based on business type.

  • Seek additional help if necessary. Small Business Development Centers throughout Ohio help entrepreneurs open and start a business. In addition to using the services of a development center, a home-based business owner should consult with an attorney and accountant for clarification on state and local issues related to licensing, registration and taxation.

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