How to Start a LLC in Ohio

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Starting a limited liability company in the state of Ohio creates a distinct legal entity that operates with a separate legal existence from the members of the company. Businesses must file paperwork with the state to start an LLC in Ohio. Members and managers of an LLC in Ohio have personal asset protection against business debts and lawsuits that may arise while operating the company. A business may start an LLC in Ohio with a single member, or any number of members.

Pick an available business name. The state of Ohio prohibits two registered businesses from using the same business name. Conduct a business name availability search using the Ohio Secretary of State website. An LLC in Ohio must not use language in its business name that suggests an affiliation with a bank or government agency. Ohio state law requires the business name of an LLC to end with the words "limited liability company," or the abbreviated version.

Obtain articles of organization. Download fill-in-the-blank articles of organization from the Ohio Secretary of State website. A representative of the LLC also may pick up articles of organization in person at: Ohio Secretary of State's Office 180 East Broad Street Columbus, OH 43215

Call 614-466-3910 to have a representative from the Secretary of State's office send articles of organization by mail.

Prepare articles of organization. The state of Ohio requires an LLC to state its legal name and principal address in the articles of organization. State the length of time the LLC will exist. An LLC in Ohio may operate with unlimited life, or a definitive dissolution date may be stated in the articles of organization. Indicate the purpose for starting the LLC in Ohio. The state of Ohio allows an LLC to provide a general statement of purpose, indicating the LLC may participate in any lawful activity. Ohio articles of organization must be signed by the LLC's organizers. The organizers of the Ohio LLC are responsible for filing the company's articles of organization with the state.

Provide the name and physical address of the LLC's registered agent. The state of Ohio requires an LLC's registered agent to be an adult, or a business that's registered with the state. Registered agents will accept legal documents and other business correspondence for an LLC in Ohio. The state of Ohio allows an LLC to act as its own registered agent as long as the LLC maintains a physical address in the state of Ohio.

Submit articles of organization. An LLC may submit its articles of organization by mail to: Ohio Secretary of State's Office P.O. Box 670 Columbus, OH 43216 A representative of the LLC also may hand deliver the articles of organization to the Ohio Secretary of State's office. As of 2010, businesses had to pay $125 to file articles of organization with the Ohio Secretary of State.

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