Ohio Registered Agent for an LLC (2023 Guide)

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Choosing a Registered Agent in Ohio

Before starting your Ohio LLC by filing the Articles of Organization, you need to select an Ohio Registered Agent for your LLC.

What is a Statutory Agent in Ohio??

Registered AgentAn Ohio Registered Agent (aka Statutory Agent) is an individual or business entity who agrees to accept legal documents on behalf of your LLC in case your business gets sued.

Special offer: If you hire Northwest to form your LLC ($39 + state fee), they’ll include their Registered Agent service free for the 1st year.

Note: In Ohio, a Registered Agent is called a “Statutory Agent”. Other states sometimes use the term “Resident Agent”. These mean the same thing and we’ll use them interchangeably in this guide.

In Ohio, Registered Agents can also serve as a general point of contact for receiving mail from the Ohio Secretary of State – like business and tax notices or payment reminders.

What are the requirements to be a Registered Agent?

Nearly all states don’t allow Registered Agents to use a PO Box for their address.

However, Ohio allows the use of a PO Box. So the Registered Agent address in Ohio can be a street address, a mailbox rental address, or a PO Box address.

Ohio Registered Agents must also be available during normal business hours (9am – 5pm) in case Service of Process arrives. Service of Process for an LLC includes delivery of legal documents such as complaints, summons, and/or subpoenas.

Does Ohio require a Registered Agent?

Ohio requires all LLCs to maintain a reliable Ohio physical address and a Registered Agent who can be reached during normal business hours. This allows the delivery of legal mail and court documents to be tracked.

In short, this is how the Ohio court and legal systems work.

It’s similar to how ‘certified mail return receipt’ works. It creates a physical record that something was delivered.

Who can be a Registered Agent in Ohio?

You actually have 3 Statutory Agent options when forming an LLC in Ohio:

  • You can be your own Registered Agent
  • A friend or family member can be your LLC’s Registered Agent
  • You can hire a Registered Agent Service (technically known as a Commercial Registered Agent or a Commercial Statutory Agent)

Important: If your Registered Agent is going to be an individual (you, a friend, or a family member), that individual needs to be a resident of Ohio and be at least 18 years of age.

What’s the best Registered Agent option to choose?

If you have a street address located in Ohio (such as a home or office address), and are available during business hours, you can be your own Registered Agent.

If you don’t have a street address in Ohio, you can use a friend or family member’s address. They need to have a street address in Ohio and be available during business hours.

If you don’t have a street address in Ohio, and you don’t have a friend or family member’s address that you can use (or prefer not to), you can hire an Ohio Registered Agent Service.

Using a Registered Agent Service in Ohio also offers more privacy (it can keep your address off public records), and can be a more reliable setup.

Ohio Registered Agent Services

Quick Tip: The terms “Ohio Registered Agent Service” and “Ohio Commercial Registered Agent” mean the same thing. We’ll use them both interchangeably.

A Registered Agent Service Company specializes in receiving Service of Process (legal notifications) on behalf of your Ohio LLC.

Once hired, your Registered Agent Service will accept Service of Process on behalf of your Ohio LLC and then forward it to you by mail – or scan and upload it to your online account.

How much does a Registered Agent cost in Ohio?

Most Registered Agent Services in Ohio cost between $100 and $300 per year.

Who’s the best Ohio Registered Agent Service?

The Ohio Registered Agent Service that we recommend (and use ourselves) is Northwest Registered Agent ($125 per year).
Northwest has been in the business for over 20 years and they have great customer service.

They also offer a unique privacy feature – helping you keep your address off public records.

How to keep your address off public records:

It’s important to realize that your Registered Agent address (and all addresses in your LLC’s Articles of Organization) become a part of public record and may appear in google searches. If you want to keep your address off of public record, using a Registered Agent Service that will allow you to use their business address as your LLC’s address can be very helpful.

Northwest Registered Agent is the only Registered Agent Service that lets you use their Registered Office address throughout your entire Articles of Organization.

Any mail that is sent to your LLC will be scanned by them and uploaded into your online account.

Special discounted pricing for LLC University® readers

Northwest usually charges $100 + state fees to form an LLC. However, we’ve negotiated a discounted rate (60% off) for LLC University® readers.

Special offer: If you hire Northwest to form your LLC ($39 + state fee), they’ll include their Registered Agent service free for the 1st year.

(Check out our Northwest Registered Agent review to learn more)

Risks of being your own Registered Agent in Ohio

As mentioned above, you can be your own Registered Agent in Ohio. In fact, you, a friend, or a family member can be your Ohio Registered Agent.

But are there any risks to being your own Registered Agent?

In short, there are risks. They are not extremely likely to occur, but if they do, you could lose your liability protection and the Ohio Secretary of State has the power to administratively dissolve (shut down) your LLC.

This can happen if you don’t always keep your Registered Agent’s information up-to-date with the Ohio Secretary of State, or if the state is unsuccessful in reaching your Registered Agent.

Additionally, if a process server (a person who serves court documents and notices of lawsuits) is unsuccessful in reaching your Registered Agent, a court case can proceed in your absence and you might not even know about it. Worse, the court could enter a default judgment against your LLC if you aren’t there to defend yourself.

There are a few reasons a process server might not be able to reach your Ohio LLC’s Registered Agent:

  • You, your friend, or family member are not there during business hours
  • You/they are on vacation or out of town
  • You/they moved and you forgot to file a Change of Registered Agent with the state

Using an Ohio Registered Agent Service, like Northwest Registered Agent, is a more reliable setup and offers more privacy.
It also gives you the freedom to take vacations and not worry about changing your Registered Agent’s address if you move.

Ohio Registered Agent FAQs

Yes, you can be your own Ohio Registered Agent, as long as you are a resident of Ohio and are at least 18 years old.
While you can google various different Registered Agents and check on their pricing, here is a list of some of the most popular Registered Agent Services and their fees:
Registered Agent

Note: If you want to save money, you can also be your LLC’s Registered Agent in Ohio.

You can change your Registered Agent in Ohio by filing a Statutory Agent Update form (Form 521) with the Ohio Secretary of State.

You can submit this form online or by mail. The filing fee is $25.

No, there is no Annual Fee for an Ohio LLC.

While most states require LLCs to file an Annual Report or pay an LLC Annual Fee, Ohio is one of 5 states that doesn’t require either.

However, if you hire a Registered Agent Service, you will need to pay any annual renewal fees for your service agent.

EIN Number for an LLCYes, you should register your LLC with the IRS. This is referred to as getting an EIN for your Ohio business.

EIN stands for “Employer Identification Number”, but that doesn’t mean you – as a business owner – must have employees.

The EIN Number is just a way for the IRS to identify your LLC for federal tax purposes. And you can think of it as being like the Social Security Number for your Ohio business.

Note: If you are the only owner in your business, you are not considered an employee. You are simply the owner.

Articles of OrganizationYou can get an LLC in Ohio by filing Articles of Organization with the Ohio Secretary of State.

You can learn how to get an Ohio LLC yourself by following the instructions in our Ohio LLC Articles of Organization guide.

We break down the entire process for you, step-by-step.

Or, you can hire an Ohio Statutory Agent like {{Northwest}}. They also offer LLC Formation services and can handle everything for you.

Next Step

Once you determine who will serve as your Ohio LLC’s Registered Agent, you can proceed to the next Lesson: Ohio LLC Articles of Organization.

If you need to hire an Ohio Registered Agent Service (a Commercial Registered Agent), please do so before going to the next step.

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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.

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