How to Form an LLC in Ohio

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Starting an Ohio LLC

How to start an LLCAn Ohio Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a legal structure used to protect your personal assets (home, car, bank account) in the event your business is sued.

An LLC can be used to operate a business, or an LLC can be used to hold assets (such as real estate, vehicles, boats, or aircraft).

Need to save time? Hire a company to form your LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

(We recommend Northwest. We've reviewed all the top companies in the industry. And Northwest is our #1 pick for prices, customer support, and address privacy. Check out Northwest vs LegalZoom to learn more.)

1. Ohio LLC Name

LLC namesBefore filing the necessary paperwork to form your LLC with the Ohio Secretary of State, you need to come up with a unique and distinguishable Ohio LLC Name.

Your desired Ohio LLC name must be “distinguishable upon the records”. Meaning, it must be unique from the names of all the existing businesses in the database of the Ohio Secretary of State.

Ohio LLC Name Search:

Ohio Secretary of State: Business Name Search

LLC Designator: Under Ohio Statutes Section 1706.07, your LLC name must end with the proper designator. Acceptable designators include the following:

  • LLC
  • L.L.C.
  • Ltd
  • Ltd.
  • Limited
  • Limited Liability Company

Tip: If you’re not sure which designator to use, “LLC” is the most common.

Your Ohio LLC name cannot include a designator that makes it sound like a different type of legal entity. For example, your Ohio LLC name cannot include the words or abbreviations Corporation, Corp., Inc., Incorporated, Limited Partnership, LP, L.P., or Trust.

2. Ohio Statutory Agent

To be able to keep doing business in the state, your Ohio LLC must continuously maintain what’s known as an Ohio Statutory Agent. A Statutory Agent can also be referred to as a Registered Agent.

Registered AgentThe Statutory Agent is the person or company responsible for receiving legal mail (such as notices of lawsuits and court documents) sent to your LLC.

If your LLC fails to maintain a Statutory Agent in Ohio, the Secretary of State may take away its good standing status. In case of further non-compliance, your LLC may even be administratively dissolved. This means your LLC won’t be able to do business in Ohio.

Your LLC’s Statutory Agent must be a legal resident of Ohio, or a company that is formed or registered to do business in the state.

Your Statutory Agent must list an address on your LLC filing that is located in the state.

Ohio quirk: Nearly all states require that a Statutory Agent have an actual street address, however, this is not the case in Ohio. Ohio law allows for the use of a PO Box for your Statutory Agent.

Who can be your Ohio LLC Statutory Agent:

1. You, a friend, or family member can be your LLC’s Statutory Agent. If you choose this option, you/they must also be a resident of Ohio, and be at least 18 years old.

2. You can hire a Commercial Statutory Agent. A Commercial Statutory Agent is a company that charges a small annual fee to take care of the receipt and forwarding of any Service of Process sent to your Ohio LLC.

Commercial Statutory Agent: If you need to hire a Commercial Statutory Agent in Ohio, we recommend Northwest Registered Agent ($125 per year).

Northwest has been in the business for over 20 years and they have great customer support. Any mail that is sent to your LLC will be scanned by them and uploaded to your online account.

Benefit of using a Commercial Statutory Agent in Ohio: If you’d like to keep your privacy, some Commercial Statutory Agents will let you use their address throughout your LLC filing (keeping yours off the public records). For example, if you hire Northwest Registered Agent, they allow you to use their address anywhere in your LLC filing that you’d like.

Special offer: Hire Northwest to form your LLC ($39 + state fee), and you'll get a free year of Registered Agent service.

(Why is Northwest the best? Read our Northwest Registered Agent review)

Statute: 1706.09 Statutory agent.

3. Ohio LLC Articles of Organization

The Ohio Articles of Organization (Form 610) is the document you file with the Secretary of State to officially form your LLC.Articles of Organization

Ohio LLC filing fee: $99

Check out LLC Cost in Ohio for more info on LLC fees.

Ohio LLC approval times:

  • If you file online, LLC approval time is 1 business day.
  • If you file by mail, LLC approval time is 1 business day (plus mail time).

Note: Filing times may take longer due to the current global situation and government delays. Please see how long does it take to get an LLC in Ohio.

File your Ohio LLC online (recommended method):
Ohio Business Filings

File your Ohio LLC by mail: Articles of Organization (Form 610)

  • Pay by check, money order, or credit card form. If paying by check or money order, make it payable to “Ohio Secretary of State”.
  • Send your completed Articles of Organization and $99 filing fee to: Ohio Secretary of State, Regular Filing, PO Box 670, Columbus, OH 43216.

Items listed in your Articles of Organization:

  • LLC name,
  • effective date,
  • period of existence,
  • LLC purpose,
  • name and address of Statutory Agent,
  • Statutory Agent’s signature,
  • and the name and signature of the person submitting the LLC’s Articles of Organization.

Ohio LLC approval: After the Ohio Secretary of State approves your LLC, you will receive back the following 3 items:

  • Articles of Organization (stamped and approved)
  • Certificate of Organization (official letter with state seal)
  • Invoice

The above items will either be returned by regular mail or will be sent to your email, depending on the filing method you choose.

Need to save time? Hire a company to form your LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

(Learn why Northwest is #1 in Northwest vs LegalZoom)

4. Ohio LLC Operating Agreement

Operating AgreementYour Ohio LLC Operating Agreement is the document that contains (but is not limited to) the following:

  • the names of the owner(s) (called “Members“) of your LLC and their percentage of ownership in the business;
  • the rights, duties and obligations of the members to each other and to the LLC;
  • the rules and regulations for the LLC’s day-to-day operations and management;
  • the division of profits/losses and how taxes and accounting will be handled; and
  • any other details that are necessary.

Think of the Operating Agreement as the “Constitution” that governs your LLC and its members.

Regardless whether your LLC has one owner (a single-member LLC) or several owners (a multi-member LLC), having an Operating Agreement is highly recommended. Not only does an Operating Agreement help keep relations smooth among the members, it also helps show that your LLC is being run and managed properly as a separate legal entity. This helps maintain your personal liability protection if you are ever involved in a court case.

As an “internal” document”, your Ohio LLC’s Operating Agreement does not need to be mailed to the Secretary of State or any other government agency. Just store a copy with your LLC’s business records and give a copy to any other members if needed.

Free Operating Agreement for your Ohio LLC: You can download a free Ohio Operating Agreement in one the following 3 formats: PDF, Google Doc, or Microsoft Word.

5. Federal Tax ID Number (EIN)

LLC TaxesA Ohio EIN Number is issued by the IRS to your LLC as its “identification number” (just like how a social security number is used to identify a person).

Other names: Employer Identification Number (EIN), Federal Tax ID Number, and Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).

Uses of an EIN: Aside from identifying your LLC, your LLC’s Federal Tax ID Number is also needed to: open a business bank account, apply for business licenses and permits, and doing business with other companies.

Get your Federal Tax ID Number after LLC approval: Your Ohio LLC should already be in existence before applying for a Federal Tax ID Number. Otherwise, you may end up attaching an EIN to a non-existent LLC (in case the Ohio Secretary of State rejects your filing).

Federal Tax ID Numbers are free: Federal Tax ID Numbers (EINs) do not cost any money. The IRS provides them free of charge.

How to apply for an EIN: You can either apply online, or mail/fax Form SS-4.

Apply online: We recommend this method since the approval time is very fast (around 10-15 minutes).

Important: You must have an SSN or ITIN to use the online application though.

Mail or fax Form SS-4: Those without SSNs or ITINs (which is usually the case for foreigners) can still get a Federal Tax ID Number from the IRS. However, they have to mail or fax Form SS-4 since they won’t be able to use the online application.

Tip for foreigners: On line 7b, just write “Foreign” if you don’t have an SSN or ITIN.

LLC owned by an existing company: LLCs owned by another company also can’t use the online application. You’ll have to file Form SS-4 and either fax or mail it.

After filling out Form SS-4: You can fax or mail the completed SS-4 Form. If possible, we recommend filing by fax since the approval time is faster (4 business days), as opposed to filing by mail (4-6 weeks).

IRS Fax number: 855-641-6935

IRS Mailing address: Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN Operation, Cincinnati, OH 45999

6. Ohio LLC Annual Report

Good News: The Ohio Secretary of State doesn’t require LLCs to file Annual Reports. That’s right, Ohio LLCs Don’t File Annual Reports.

7. Business Licenses and/or Permits

Business LicenseBefore your LLC can do business in Ohio, it must have the proper business licenses and/or permits in place, if required. Not all businesses need a business license or permit.

As with many other states, Ohio does not issue a state-level general business license. However, depending where your LLC is located and the nature of its business, you still need to apply for local and industry-specific licenses and permits.

Ohio maintains a comprehensive list of business licenses and permits your LLC may need: Licenses & Permits

You should also contact your county, city, or town to see if they enforce any local license or permit requirements: Local Government

Aside from your county, city, or town, also contact Ohio’s state agencies, boards, commissions or departments to see if your LLC needs a license or permit from them: State Directory

Need to save time? If you’d rather rather not do the research to determine your business license and permit requirements, we recommend hiring IncFile.

8. Ohio State Taxes

LLC TaxesFederal: By default, the IRS classifies LLCs as “pass-through entities”. Any profits/losses your LLC incurs will be listed in your personal tax return on a Schedule C. Unlike a Corporation, an LLC does not file a separate federal return with the IRS.

Business Registration: All Ohio LLCs doing business in the state must be registered with the Ohio Department of Taxation. You can register for all the necessary business taxes through the Ohio Business Gateway (you must create an account).

Ohio imposes the following business taxes: alcoholic beverage tax, commercial activity tax, corporation franchise tax, employer withholding tax, financial institutions tax, gross casino revenue tax, horse racing tax, income tax, kilowatt-hour tax, motor fuel tax, natural gas distribution tax, pass-through entity tax, petroleum activity tax, public utility excise tax, property tax, sales and use tax, severance tax, and tobacco tax.

Recommendation: Calculating your federal, state, and local taxes can be complex and time-consuming. If done incorrectly, your Ohio LLC may be negatively affected. For that reason, we recommend speaking with a few accountants after your Ohio LLC is formed. Check out our how to find an accountant guide, or you can do a search using Thumbtack or Yelp.

9. Ohio LLC Bank Account

After your Ohio LLC is approved and you get a Federal Tax ID Number, the next step is to open a separate LLC bank account.

Why it’s important for your Ohio LLC to have its own bank account: it helps maintain your personal liability protection (by separating your personal assets from your LLC’s assets), and makes accounting and taxes easier.

What you’ll need:

  • Certificate of Organization (official letter with state seal)
  • Articles of Organization (stamped and approved)
  • Federal Tax ID Number (EIN)
  • 2 valid IDs (driver’s license, passport, etc.)

Tip: Call the banks ahead of time and ask if they also require additional documents (Operating Agreement, etc.).

Other important tips:

Signers: Members who want to be authorized signers on your Ohio LLC’s bank account must physically show up at the bank. Either at the time of opening the account, or at a future date (but double-check this with your bank please).

Maintenance fees: We recommend calling around ahead of time. Find out which banks charge monthly maintenance fees and which banks don’t. If you shop around, you’re likely to find a free business checking account.

DBA: If a bank representative asks you for your LLC’s DBA (also known as Doing Business As or Fictitious Name), don’t panic. Most likely, they’re just confused about how LLCs and DBAs work. In this case, just tell the representative your LLC does business under its own name (you don’t need a DBA).

Debit card: The bank will give you a debit card when you open the account.

Credit card: You can also get a business credit card to earn points, miles, and other rewards.

10. Business Phone Number

Instead of using your home telephone number or your cell phone, you can purchase an affordable “virtual business number” specifically for your Ohio LLC. You can set this virtual business phone up to forward to your cell phone, go through voice prompts, or configure it any way you’d like.

We recommend using as they have the cheapest plans and their customer service is excellent.

They offer local phone numbers as well as 1-800 toll-free numbers. You can easily setup call forwarding, pre-recorded prompts, and get voicemail messages forwarded to your email.

Getting a separate business phone number for your Ohio LLC is also a good idea in order to keep your actual number private from those pesky “public record” websites.

Ohio State Agencies

Ohio Secretary of State (Division of Business Filings)
Phone: 614-466-3910 (option 1)
Hours: 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday
Secretary of State Website

Ohio Department of Taxation
Department of Taxation Website | Department of Taxation Contact Information
Phone: 888-405-4039 (business tax assistance)
Hours: 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday

Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Matt Horwitz has been the leading expert on LLC education for the past decade. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC that other companies weren't offering. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

72 comments on “Ohio LLC”

Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.

  1. Thanks, Matt, for providing all of this helpful guidance for forming an LLC. I also used the link for the reduced first-year cost for Northwest Registered Agent Service for the LLC filing. I will apply for the EIN and put together an operating agreement myself using the template you provided. Many thanks!

    • Hey Paul, you’re very welcome! Sounds like a great course of action you took :)

  2. Hi Matt,
    My son and I starting an LLC in Ohio and he is under 18. I’m having a hard time finding an answer regarding what % of ownership of the LLC he can own as stated in the membership certificate. Can have have 0% or does it need to be at least 1%. Or can it be 50%/50%. If he does own any percentage does that mean he will need to file a personal income tax? He has never done so before and the business itself is slated to bring in less than $8,000 for the year. Thank you. This site was very helpful and easy to navigate!

    • Hi Tracy, there is nothing in the Ohio LLC Act that would prevent your son from owning an Ohio LLC. So the LLC ownership (called LLC Membership Interests) can be split any way you’d like. As far as how taxes would be handled, you’ll want to speak with an accountant about that. Thank you! You’re very welcome.

      • Can a LLC do trade at MT5 platform through any broker? And does it need any licence or permission from state or federal authority?

        • Hi Malik, most brokerages allow you to open an account in the name of your LLC. You’ll just need to look into the details with your brokerage (or brokerages) of choice. I’m not an active trader, but as far as I understand, MT5 is just trading software. And I’m quite sure you don’t need a federal or state license to trade and invest.

  3. Hello Matt,

    This is my first visit to you website, what a wonderful resource you have built here!

    My question is; I filed the articles of organization for my LLC in 2020 and the lawyer listed my PO box number AND home address as the statutory agent location.

    Now, with just a basic web search, anyone can find my name, my home address and my LLC name on numerous sites such as bizapedia or opencorprates – this is not good at all. Personal anonymity is extremely important to me.

    Will a change of statutory agent and address (to a p.o. box) be enough to undue what’s been done here? Or will there be a public record of previous statutory agent information? Do I need to contact each of these privately owned sites and hope they are willing to make a correction?

    If I am required to list a physical business address for banking, tax registration or license purposes, but my statutory agent is a p.o. box; What should I do?

    Alternatively, If I were to use my accountant as a statutory agent; should I then use their physical address as my own when providing info for banking, legal documents, state license or credit card applications, ect?

    I apologize for the length of my inquiry. I look forward to your response!

    • Hi Dan, thanks so much! Check out a service called OneRep. They can take care of a lot of record removal.

      However, like you assumed, even with a change of Registered Agent, there will still be traces that you once were. If you haven’t done a lot of business yet, you can hire a company to form a new LLC (they’ll sign as Organizer) and be your Registered Agent (aka Statutory Agent).

      In terms of banking, you can just use whatever address you want (the bank should know the difference between a Statutory Agent address and your personal mailing address). By the way, bank information isn’t public record. And if you used your accountant as the Statutory Agent, the same would apply (just use your address). Hope that helps!

  4. I am non US-resident. Do I need ITIN to get reseller certificate or sales tax exemption certificate in sate of OHIO.

    • Hi Kashif, no, you don’t need an ITIN for the Ohio Sales and Use Tax Unit Exemption Certificate or the Ohio Sales and Use Tax Blanket Exemption Certificate. You also don’t need an ITIN if you apply for a Vendor’s License. You can just use the EIN number for your LLC and skip the SSN/ITIN box. Hope that helps.

  5. Hello Matt,

    I am a foreigner and I recently established a LLC in Ohio. I want to get Vendor license for which I am applying through Ohio Business Gateway. It needs SSN for responsible party, and as a foreigner I don’t have this number. Can we apply for vendor licence without SSN and how ?


  6. Hi Matt,

    My wife and I found you through your video interview with Stephen Key at inventRight. We would like to register a LLC in Ohio for signing licensing agreements with companies for product ideas.

    We would like to hire an agent that helps with filing an LLC, be a registered agent, create a bank account, assist in taxes and any other processes involved in LLC formation and maintenance.

    In short, we are looking for a go-to company who can handle our LLC filing and management processes so that we can concentrate on our business.

    Do you have any recommendations for us?

    Thank you!

  7. HI Matt
    I am Simon, I am from Tennessee. Me and my friend want to open LLC in ohio. He is ohio resident. Do I have to be ohio resident to be a member in that llc. Is there gonna be complication on doing tax preparation. We wanna open trucking bussiness(freight hauling with semi-truck).

    • Hi Simon, no, you don’t need to be a resident of Ohio to be a Member of an Ohio LLC. Additionally, it won’t complicate taxes, since you’ll each pay your respective share of taxes in your home state.

  8. Hi Matt, thanks for all your helpful videos! I am a psychologist in OH and work for someone else but they will be closing next year. I am also a life coach trainer and every once in a while do some work as a sole proprietor. I am planning to increase both and be on my own next year. I know I should make an LLC to protect our personal assets. Can I have both my psychology practice and my life coaching training go under one business name/llc? Also, my work is online/virtual. How can I protect my home address? I think in OH I can use a PO box for registered agent. Can I also use it for LLC? Can my husband and I be listed as QJV so he can help with business as needed but I’m doing most of this work? My husband and I are considering rental property in another state could this same LLC register as a foreign LLC in that state or would we need to have a separate LLC in that state? Thanks!

    • HI Sherri, you’re very welcome :) An Ohio LLC actually only has one address on the Articles of Organization (the Ohio Registered Agent address).

      Because you are a licensed psychologist, you will need to form a Professional LLC (PLLC) for that business. And you’ll need to check on the requirements in Ohio (we don’t specialize in PLLCs). Typically, most states require that all Members in a PLLC hold a state license. So if you’re husband isn’t a licensed practitioner, he may not be able to be an LLC Member.

      Whether or not you want to have the real estate and other business activities under one LLC is up to you, however, there could be some extra liability risk. If you want 3 LLCs, it may not be too bad. Ohio LLCs are relatively affordable and the fact that there is no LLC Annual Report is a plus.

      Do you plan on purchasing more property in the future? If so, in what states? I may have something for you to consider if it’s more than one property. Hope that helps.

  9. Hi Matt,
    I am a foreign real estate investor and now considering investing in the US real estate market and Ohio is one of my targeted states. From my internet research, it seems that quite a number of investors use Wyoming LLC to hold another LLC (say Ohio if the real estate situates at Ohio) and then holds the real estate. I just wonder whether there is need to form a Wyoming LLC to hold the LLC (Ohio)? Any comment?

    • Hi Kelvin, it’s challenging to give an absolute answer here. Some say it’s overkill and some say it’s better asset protection. Thanks for your understanding and hope that helps a bit.

  10. Hi Matt,

    My business partner submitted an Ohio LLC Form 533A with my wife’s name on it instead of mine accidentally. We are wanting to correct the issue and have myself added and my wife removed as a member. We reviewed form 543A and the instructions are not very clear. Can you please provide some guidance on how to rectify the issue?

    Thank you,

    • Hi Dan, it depends on where her name was placed. Was she listed as the Ohio LLC Statutory Agent and did she consent (agree) to that role? Or did she enter her name and sign on the “signature page”? Was an Operating Agreement signed? If so, who is it that is supposed to be the LLC Members (owners)?

    • Hi Matt, She was listed as and agreed to serve as the Ohio LLC Statutory Agent (page 2 of Form 533A). In addition to my business partner, she was also listed and signed on the “signature” page (page 3 of Form 533A). My name was not listed anywhere on Form 533A. Our operating agreement has been created but has not been formally signed by any member. I am listed as a LLC Member on the operating agreement but we have held off on having the document notarized until we resolve this issue. The LLC members should have only been my business partner and I. Our intent was for my wife to only be listed as the Statutory Agent. Also, this is a newly created LLC as of 6/11/19.

      Thanks again,

      • Hi Dan, there’s a few things going on here. First, the signature page cannot be amended. And in this case, it wouldn’t be necessary. A signatory on the Articles of Organization can be either a Member, Manager, or an Authorized Person (such as an LLC Organizer). So just because someone signed an Articles of Organization, doesn’t make them a Member (owner of the LLC). So you could think of it this way: your wife and your business parter are the LLC Organizers. And you and your business partner are the LLC Members (which is how it will reflect in the LLC Operating Agreement).

        In order to “connect the paper trail” between your LLC’s Articles of Organization and the Operating Agreement, your wife and business partner can sign a Statement of LLC Organizer where they appoint you and your business partner as the 2 LLC Members. Once that is signed as well as the Operating Agreement, you and your business parter will be the 2 Members and your wife will still be the LLC’s Statutory Agent. So in summary, it’s just “internal documents” that need to be signed (the Statement of LLC Organizer and the Operating Agreement). Nothing needs to be filed with the Ohio Secretary of State. Hope that helps!

  11. Do I need to issue stock certificates for my LLC? If so , do they need to be registered with ant entity? Thanks

    • Hi Donna, stock certificates would only apply to a Corporation. The LLC equivalent are Membership Certificates. They are not required, as LLC membership can be handled via the LLC’s Operating Agreement. If you did use LLC Membership Certificates, they don’t need to be registered. Hope that helps.

  12. Hi…do you have any recommendations of good accountant/tax lawyer in the Cleveland, OH area that can deal with the annual returns of a LLC. In particular, as I am a foreign citizen, I wanted to discuss the tax implications. I believe th UK has double taxation treaty with US.

    • Hi Khalid, we don’t have specific recommendations, but we have a general article about how to find an accountant. You’ll want to work with someone who specializes in working with non-US filers. Feel free to share any of your findings if you’d like. Hope that helps and thanks for your understanding.

  13. We are caring for a senior that is a snow bird (lives in OH 6 months out of the year and in FL 6 mo out of the year). We will be providing care in both locations.

    • Thank you for clarifying. I interpreted your first message as the snowbird was your business partner. It’s best practice to consult an attorney, however, it sounds like’ll be doing business in both states. In that case, if the LLC was formed in one state, it would need to be registered as a foreign LLC in the other state. Hope that helps and thanks for your understanding.

  14. I am opening a home health care LLC. We will be working with a couple who are snowbirds. They will spend 50% of the time in Ohio and 50% of the time in Florida. Is it okay for me to just operate with an Ohio LLC?

    • Hi Scott, where are the services being provided? That is most likely going to be where your LLC is transacting business. What will your partners be doing from Florida?

  15. Can I ask whether it is possible to get a loan through the LLC. I wish to purchase properties, but as a foreigner, I can’t get a loan in my own name?


    • Hi Khalid, yes, it’s possible for the LLC to get a mortgage. You’ll want to call around and speak to banks as they all do it differently. It’s usually done within the commercial lending department of the bank. It’s a good idea to try the local and small banks close to where you’d be purchasing property. Hope that helps.

  16. Hello Matt,
    I live in and own a home in Ohio, but all of my business is done in Michigan. Should I file an LLC in Michigan or Ohio?

    Thank you

    • Hi Linsey, what type of business are you doing in Michigan? Are any of those activities done Ohio as well? Do you do administrative work from home in Ohio?

      • I am a recreational therapist. I do work from home completing notes and am doing some administrative work from home. When I see clients it’s 98% in Michigan.

        • Hi Lindsey, do you need to hold state licensure for being a recreational therapist? If so, in which state? Where an LLC needs to be formed/registered comes down to where you’re “doing business”. While there are state statutes that define this, they define what isn’t doing business (leaving things open to interpretation by the courts). So you’re in a bit of a gray zone. It sounds like you’re doing business in both Michigan and Ohio, although the primary activities are taking place in Michigan. Forming your LLC in one state and then registering as a Foreign LLC in the other state may be worth considering. You may also need to form a Professional LLC (PLLC) for your business. I’m not 100% sure on this as we don’t cover PLLCs in depth though.

  17. Hi Matt,

    Can you open a business bank account if you are a foreigner? If so, what does one need to do?


  18. Matt – I will be creating an LLC in Ohio for a rental property that I will be buying. Do you know if I have to purchase the property in the LLC name, or can I do it as myself? Thank you.

    • Hi Susanna, the property must be owned by the LLC in order to get the benefits provided by having an LLC. Hope that helps clarify :)

    • Hi Lanell, there are no Annual Report filing requirements for Ohio LLCs, so you don’t renew the LLC with the Secretary of State. Hope that helps.

  19. Hi Matt, we permanently live in Ohio but own a vacation condo in South Carolina that we rent out weekly when we’re not there. We want to create an LLC for the condo. Should we create it in Ohio or South Carolina? Thanks for the help.

    • Hey Rich, since you’re doing business in South Carolina, you’ll need an LLC either formed there (a Domestic LLC) or an LLC registered to do business there (a Foreign LLC). More info here: Domestic LLC vs Foreign LLC. Three common setups are: 1) An LLC formed in South Carolina, 2) An LLC formed in Ohio that’s then registered as a Foreign LLC in South Carolina in order to do business, and 3) An LLC formed in Ohio that owns an LLC formed in South Carolina. Option 1 is the simplest and most affordable. Option 2 is more expensive since you need to pay for 2 LLC filings and maintain a Registered Agent in both states (so you may need to hire one or two Registered Agents). Usually, most people would also need to file Annual Reports in both states too, however, Ohio LLCs don’t have Annual Reports and neither do South Carolina LLCs (unless the LLC is taxed as a Corporation). Option 3 may provide better asset protection. Hope that helps!

  20. Hi Matt, I appreciate all your info, please help me with those questions below: I’ve registered my TM and LLC in Ohio, I’m gonna have private label business and my chemical supplier could be from any state. do i need to file another LLC when I signed the contract with them in their state also?
    would I be ok to sell my products nationwide just with my OH LLC and trademark?
    Do we have federal LLC?
    Thanks agian.

    • Hey Avaz, just signing a contract with a company in another state doesn’t mean you’re doing business there, so no, you won’t need to file a Foreign registration in that state. Nope, there’s no such thing as a federal LLC. Good question though. Yes, you can still sell nationwide with your Ohio LLC. Your state trademark has nothing to do with where you can do business. It just protects your mark in Ohio. Hope that helps!

  21. Hi. For an Ohio LLC, does the state require disclosure of the LLC’s “members”? I would rather not disclose the “members” to the state or on public records. I’m okay with disclosing the “managers”, but am not okay with disclosing the “members”. Thanks.

    • Hi Alan, nope, Ohio does not require any Member or Manager information on the Articles of Organization. Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  22. I currently live in Maryland, but my contract is only for 3 year’s. Then I will move back to my home state of Ohio. Maryland charges nearly $300 a year for the annual filing if I want to start my own side business. Ohio does not have an annual filing fee. Is it still recommended to file in Maryland?

    • Sorry Matt, I forgot to ask another question. I have subscribed and watched a lot of your videos on youtube and bookmarked your website. However, I couldn’t find the answer to this question: As a motivational speaker and consultant looking to form my own business; Do I need to register with more than one state (Maryland or Ohio)? Especially; since I travel all over the country.

      • Hi Adrian, based on your last comment, if Ohio is your home state, I’d register there. You don’t need to do a Foreign LLC registration just to speak or consult in a particular state a few times per year.

    • Hi Adrian, in this case you could form an LLC in Ohio and operate with that. If Maryland sends you notice to register in the state, then you can file a Foreign Maryland LLC. If you’re still a resident of Ohio though and are paying taxes there, that makes the “ohio only” choice a little more justified.

      • Thank you very much; this has been very helpful. I filed in Maryland after re-watching your videos a few more times. 1) I live in Maryland currently. 2) I can serve as my own resident agent and not have to rely on someone in Ohio to receive all of my documents and mail. When/if I move back to Ohio. I can file a Foreign LLC. Also I wanted to update you that the new expedited fees for Maryland are $70 instead of $50. In total walking out the door today I paid $192 plus processing fee to register my business.

        • Hey Adrian, this one (re: OH vs MD) was a bit of a toss-up, but it sounds like you made the right decision. Thanks for letting us know about the change in fees. We’ll get that updated asap.

  23. Hi, Matt I was wondering if I should file it by myself or if I should have someone else do it on my behalf? I live in Ohio, and the LLC I looking to acquire would be for an internet site. The site wouldn’t have an income for the first year or so. The site is more for a social experience for people. The site in the future will have a membership option, but we would have that rolled out for sometime after. I’m new to this and when it says a Tax ID number, what exactly is that for? Sorry if any questions are a little obvious. I’m just now starting this process of an LLC and a trademark. Thank you!

    • Hi Kyle, you can do it either way. The pros and cons are mostly based around privacy. If you’d like to learn more about what an Organizer is (the one who files the Articles of Organization), you can read this article. Also, we have a video and article on the Federal Tax ID Number (aka EIN) here.

      • Thank you Matt I will look into the links you’ve provided. Seriously appreciate your time!

    • Hi Daniel, for most people, yes, but it depends on how your business is operating. Where do you reside, work from, and currently pay state taxes? What state are you thinking about? Check out this article: what’s the best state. I think it will help.


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