6545 Market Avenue N., Suite 100, North Canton, Ohio, 44721 | (740) 969-5258
by Ohio Registered Agent Service

HOW TO FORM A CORPORATION IN OHIO

Corporations are the oldest legal business entities in the United States. The process of incorporating a company creates a perpetual, legal, business entity that has a set of rights and protections particular to it. There are many functions of the corporation, but one of the most important is the separation of personal assets from the debts and liabilities of the company.

The formation of corporations (called “incorporation”) is governed by state statutes. Corporations are subject to taxes at a federal and state level. In Ohio, however, the corporate tax rate is 0%. This makes Ohio an ideal place to incorporate your business.

The path to successful incorporation involves:

  • The completion and filing of the Initial Articles of Incorporation
  • Obtaining an EIN
  • Drafting and finalizing corporate bylaws
  • Holding an organization meeting
  • Opening a business banking account
  • Applying for any necessary licenses or permits
  • Holding an annual shareholder meeting

 


 

Ohio Registered Agent Provides an all-inclusive Incorporation Package.
Incorporate your business today for $248.

 

Why choose Ohio Registered Agent Service to incorporate your company?
We take business formation very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that we made it our business to form yours. Ohio Registered Agent Service forms businesses in Ohio daily. Our team of skilled filers and business experts take on tasks with know-how, expertise, and urgency. In our very humble opinion, we’re the most efficient, timely, and affordable incorporation service out there.

When you hire Ohio Registered Agent Service to incorporate your company you get:

  • Safe & Secure Client Portal
  • 365 Days of Registered Agent Service
  • Official Documents Emailed Directly to You
  • Corporate Bylaws
  • Fair & Transparent Pricing
Service Fee
Ohio Filing Fee $99
Our Formation Service Fee $100
One Year Registered Agent Service $49
Total $194

 


 

Ohio Corporation Advantages

0% Corporate Tax

Ohio has the lowest corporate tax rate in the country. That’s a pretty good reason to incorporate your company in Ohio.

No Annual Reports & No Initial Reporting

Ohio Corporations are not required to file annual reports or initial reports with the Ohio Secretary of State.


 

How to Incorporate in Ohio
A Do-It-Yourself-Guide

The first step to incorporating your company in Ohio is completing and filing the Initial Articles of Incorporation. After that, you can move on to completing the necessary steps to establish and maintain your corporation.

Completing the Initial Articles of Incorporation

There are three ways to complete and file the Initial Articles of Incorporation: via mail, in-person, or online (recommended). Before you can file the document, you must provide all required information.

A PDF of the Initial Articles of Incorporation is available from the Ohio Secretary of State Filing Forms & Fee Schedule website.

When you form your LLC online, you will be prompted to enter the information into a form online.


 

Remember! If you are filing via mail or in-person with a printed PDF, the information must be typed on single-sided, 8.5 x 11 inch paper or the filing will be rejected.


 

    1. Choose a Name
      The name of your corporation must include a business designation term such as: “Company,” “Co.,” “Corporation,” “Corp.,” “Incorporated,” or “Inc.”The name must also be different from the name of any other business entity on file with the Ohio Secretary of State. Before you file the Articles of Incorporation, it is a good idea to check and make sure the name you want is available. You can search all registered business entities online by visiting the Ohio Secretary of State Business Filing Portal.

 

    1. List a Principal Office in Ohio
      The second field on the Initial Articles of Incorporation requires that you list a principal office in Ohio. The principal office is where all the financial and official business documents are kept.

 

    1. List Number, Type, and Par Value of Shares
      You are required to list the number of authorized shares, the type of share, and the par value of shares on the Initial Articles. The $99 filing fee permits corporations to have up to 990 shares. This fee increases if your corporation authorizes more shares.

 

    1. Appoint a Statutory Agent
      A statutory agent (sometimes called a “registered agent” in other states) is a third party business or individual elected by the incorporators to receive legal correspondence on its behalf. The statutory agent must have Ohio residency.It is possible for you to be your own statutory agent, but to do so, you must have a physical, street address in Ohio. Being your own statutory agent comes with some cons though. For example, when the Initial Articles of Incorporation are filed, any personal information you provide is made public record. If you hire Ohio Registered Agent Service to serve as your statutory agent, we list our address so you don’t have to list yours.

      Ohio Registered Agent Service provides 365 days of statutory agent service for only $49.

      The statutory agent is required to sign the Origin Appointment of Statutory Agent document which is included in the PDF of the Initial Articles of Incorporation.

 

  1. Sign the Initial Articles of Incorporation
    The Initial Articles of Incorporation must be signed by an incorporator before they are filed.

 


 

Filing the Initial Articles of Incorporation

We recommend filing the Articles of Incorporation online, but you can choose the filing method works best for you.

Mail

To file the Articles via mail, you must include a completed Filing Form Cover Letter and provide the necessary payment or payment information. A Credit Card Authorization Form is included with the Articles of Organization PDF.

If you file via mail, your corporation will be formed in 3-7 business days. When you file via mail, you have the option to expedite your filing service. For an additional $100, your company will be incorporated will be formed in two business days after the Ohio Secretary of State Office receives it.

Filing Fee: $99
2-Day Expedited Service: $99 + $100
Acceptable Payment Methods:

  • Check (make payable to “Ohio Secretary of State”)
  • Card (provide information on credit card authorization form)

Mail to:
For Regular Filing
Ohio Secretary of State
PO Box 670
Columbus, OH 43216

For Expedited Filing
Ohio Secretary of State
PO Box 1390
Columbus, OH 43216

In-Person

To file the completed Articles in-person, you must hand-deliver, either yourself or by courier, the documents to the Walk-in Client Service Center. Regular filing time is 3-7 business days, unless you choose on of expedited service options.

Filing Fee: $99
2-Day Expedited Service: $99 + $100
1-Day Expedited Service: $99 + $200
Same-Day Expedited Service: $99 + $300 (must be deliver by 1 PM)
Acceptable Payment Methods:

  • Check (make payable to “Ohio Secretary of State”)
  • Card (provide information on credit card authorization form)
  • Cash

Deliver to:
Ohio Secretary of State Office
Walk-in Client Service Center
180 E. Broad Street, Suite 103
Columbus, OH 43215
The office is located on the ground floor and you can only enter from Fourth Street.


 

Remember!
Do not include your social security number or employer identification number on your filing. If you include either one of these numbers, the Ohio Secretary of State Office will reject your filing.


 

Online

To file the Initial Articles of Incorporation online, visit the Ohio Business Filings website and click the “Submit a Business Filing” button. New users are required to create a profile and the log in the complete the filing.

Filing Fee: $99
2-Day Expedited Service: $99 + $100
1-Day Expedited Service: $99 + $200
Same-Day Expedited Service: $99 + $300
Acceptable Payment Methods:

  • Card

Submit to:
Ohio Business Filings Website


Establishing and Maintaining Your Corporation

Filing the Initial Articles of Incorporation is only the first step. The next steps include obtaining an EIN; drafting bylaws; holding an organization meeting; opening a corporate banking account; applying for any necessary permits; and holding an annual shareholder meeting.

Obtain an EIN
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for federal taxation purposes. You are required to have an EIN to open a business banking account. Obtaining an EIN is quick, easy, and free. You can visit the IRS website to complete the process.

Draft Bylaws
Bylaws are critical to the success of a corporation. Even though corporations are not required to file the bylaws with any governmental entity, all corporations are required to have them. Bylaws list initial shareholders and their contributions as well as policies and procedures regarding the managerial and financial operations of a corporation.

Bylaws are adopted by the corporation at the first meeting of all shareholders (typically called the organization meeting). The process to amend the bylaws in the future is outlined in the initial bylaws.

When you hire Ohio Registered LLC to incorporate your business, we provide corporate bylaws for your corporation.

Hold an Organization Meeting
The organization meeting is the first meeting of all shareholders. During this meeting the board of directors is elected, the bylaws are adopted, shareholder certificates are issued, and any other business related topics are reviewed.

Open a Corporate Banking Account
An important part of a maintaining a corporation is keeping all shareholder assets separate from the corporate assets. This affirms the autonomy of the corporation and limits the liability of shareholders. To do this, make sure to open a corporate bank account.

Opening a corporate banking account typically requires an EIN and a copy of the corporate bylaws. Be sure to call ahead and see what other items your selected financial institute may require.

Apply For Any Necessary Permits
Depending on the corporation’s industry, you may need special licenses or permits to operate your business in Ohio. Before going full steam ahead, it’s a good idea to check, and if necessary, obtain the correct licenses and permits. You can see what you might need by visiting the Ohio.gov Licenses & Permits website.

Hold an Annual Shareholder Meeting
Ohio corporations are required to hold an annual shareholder meeting. During this meeting, the board of directors will be elected and shareholder will be provided with reports and information regarding the corporation. The time and place of the annual shareholder meeting is specified in the bylaws of the corporation.


 

HEY, WE CAN HELP.
Hire Ohio Registered Agent Service to form your LLC today for only $248.

 


Ohio Incorporation
Frequently Asked Questions

 

How will my Ohio corporation be taxed?
Ohio does not have a corporate tax rate. However, it does have the Commercial Activity Tax (also known as the CAT return). This tax is applied to every legal business entity and has a $150 minimum regardless if your business turned a profit.

What is the difference between an S-corp and a C-corp?
The terms “S-corp” and “C-corp” are tax identifiers used by the IRS for federal taxation purposes. An S-corp is a pass-through entity like an LLC, where a C-corp is subject to corporate taxes. You can elect to have your company taxed as an S-corp by submitting Form 2553 to the IRS.

Holding an S-corp status requires that the company has no more than 100 shareholders, is a domestic entity, and issues only one class of shares.

What is the difference between common and preferred shares?
Common shares carry voting rights and entitle owners to a portion of any dividends paid out by the company. Preferred shares in comparison, does not carry any voting rights for shareholders. However, shareholders with preferred shares are first in line to receive dividends and the dividends that they do receive tend to be higher than those shareholders with common shares.

What is the par value of shares?
The par value refers to the lowest price a share can be sold for. Sometimes this amount is listed on shareholder certificates. It has no connection to the market value of the shares. You are not required to list this information on the articles.

How can I contact the Ohio Secretary of State?
You can contact the Ohio Secretary of State by phone, email via an online contact form, or visit their walk-in client service center:

180 E. Broad Street, Suite 103
Columbus, OH 43215

Phone: (614) 466-3910
Toll-free: 1-877-SOS-FILE ext. 1


 


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