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Ohio LLC Cost

At just $99 to register your LLC in Ohio, and with no annual report to file, business start-up in the Buckeye State is pretty darn affordable. You’ll also want to budget for things like business licenses and permits, liability and workers' compensation insurance, and the possibility of hiring a professional registered agent service. Here we break down the costs of starting an LLC in Ohio, beginning with the most important expenses.

What You'll Find In This Article:

  1. Ohio LLC Formation Filing Fee
  2. Ohio Annual Report Fee
  3. Ohio Registered Agent Fee
  4. Ohio State Business License Fee
  5. Ohio Professional Licensing Fees
  6. Local Business License Fees in Ohio
  7. Optional LLC Fees in Ohio
  8. Business Insurance Premiums
  9. Cost to Register a Foreign LLC in Ohio
A blue card reading “Cost to Start an LLC in Ohio” and showing the $99 state filing fee next to a white shape of the state.

Ohio LLC Formation Filing Fee: $99

The price to start an Ohio LLC is $99. Forming your LLC in Ohio starts with filing Articles of Organization with Ohio’s Secretary of State. Regular filings (mail, in person, and online) take about 3-7 days to be processed. Expedited filings are available for additional fees, starting at $100 for 2-day process.

Ohio Annual Report Fee: $0

There is no cost to file an annual report in Ohio because there isn’t one for LLCs (or corporations) to file.

Ohio Registered Agent Fee

In accordance with Ohio Revised Code § 1701.07, your LLC will need to appoint a registered agent (Ohio calls them statutory agents). Your Ohio registered agent is the person (or company) authorized to receive important legal mail or correspondence from Ohio’s Secretary of State on behalf of your LLC.

Acting as your LLC’s own registered agent is okay, and will save you money, but remember, you’ll always need be available during business hours—meaning no vacations and no sick days. That’s difficult for most business owners, which is why many business owners in Ohio hire a professional registered agent. Registered agent services vary in price, but at Northwest, we charge $125 per year. Our price never goes up, and we strive to not be annoying.

Ohio State Business License Fee

Every business that makes sales in Ohio must obtain a vendor’s license. Vendor’s licenses cost $25. You can register for one with Ohio’s Department of Taxation. You can also apply for a Vendor’s license with your County Auditor. Online filings are accepted immediately. Mail and in person filings using a paper form of Application for Vendor’s License to Make Taxable Sales (ST-1) are also accepted, but can take up to six weeks to be processed. You’ll need a license for each county where your business operates at a fixed location.

It also should be noted that if your LLC engages in a business that is regulated by federal or state agencies (tobacco, alcohol, gambling, firearms, etc.) you’ll most likely need to obtain state or federal licenses and pay any applicable fees.

Ohio Professional Licensing Fees

Professional licenses are required for businesses that engage in any area of business that requires schooling or training. Think engineers, accountants, physical trainers, real estate agents, architects and the like. Your professional license will need to be obtained through the state licensing board that matches the profession. Fees can range into the hundreds of dollars for most professions, often with renewal fees and continuing education costs.

For example, if you’re a physical trainer, Ohio’s Board of Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Athletic Trainers will expect you to pay over $300 in combined exam and licensing fees to get a license. Looking to obtain a license for your architecture business? That’ll be a minimum of $250 for a license, more if you own an architecture firm. Ohio’s Licenses & Permits website is an excellent resource for linking up with the appropriate professional licensing authority.

Local Business License Fees in Ohio

Local business licenses and permits are most often issued through the county or city where your LLC does business. For instance, a Columbus mobile food truck license will run you $180 (plus $20 for the application fee). Operating a tattoo parlor in Brice costs $181.50. Most licenses and permits are available through your city or county clerk’s office.

Optional LLC Fees in Ohio

While we’ve gone over the basic price tag of starting an LLC in Ohio, there will be some other expenses that you’ll need to consider. Here are a few.

Name Reservation

If you have the perfect name for your LLC, and want to prevent another company from taking it, you can reserve your business name for 180 days by filing a Name Reservation application with Ohio’s Secretary of State. Reserving a name costs $39, and can be done online, in person, or by mail.

DBA (Doing Business as) Name

A DBA in Ohio costs $39, and will need to renewed every five years. If you want to do business with a name other than your LLC’s legal name, you’ll need an Ohio DBA. You can register for one online with Ohio’s Business Filings website. You can also register in person or by mail by printing out and completing a Name Registration application.

Certified Copies of Business Documents

Ohio charges $5 for certified copies of your LLC’s filed documents. Certified copies of your LLC’s business documents are often necessary for opening new bank accounts, getting loans, or proving to investors that your LLC is on the up and up. You can order certified copies by mail or in person. Just fill out a Certificate/Copy Request form and check the boxes of the documents you need ($5 per document).

Find out how to get a certified copy of your Ohio Articles of Organization.

Ohio Certificate of Good Standing

An Ohio Certificate of Good Standing costs $5. You may need a certificate to expand your business to a new state, open a bank account, or just for your business records. Either way, you can order your Ohio Certificate of Good Standing by mail, in person, or online. Online and in person orders are processed immediately. Mailed filings can take two days to process, plus additional time for the post office to return your certificate.

Here’s how to get an Ohio Certificate of Good Standing.

Business Insurance Premiums

If you have one or more employees, Ohio state law requires that your business obtain workers’ compensation insurance. Without it, your business could be subject to fines or even closure. Ohio has a “monopolistic insurance fund.” This means that you can’t purchase workers’ comp through a private company. You’ll have to go through the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Your cost is based on a few of factors, including number of employees, industry risk, and claims history. Current employer rates for workers’ compensation in Ohio are about 75 cents per $100 in payroll. The math on this works out to about $750 per year for a payroll of $100,000, industry depending.

You’ll also want to look into getting liability insurance for your LLC. Liability insurance can protect your business from lawsuits, workplace injuries, accidents, property damage and more. The cost of liability insurance fully depends on the type of business you are engaged in, the risk factors you face, and the level of protection you are comfortable with.

Learn more about LLC Business Insurance.

How much does it cost to register a foreign LLC in Ohio?

It costs $99 to register a foreign LLC in Ohio. The process to register a foreign LLC is called foreign qualification, and to do it, you’ll need to file a Registration of a Foreign Limited Liability Company application with Ohio’s Secretary of State. You can file your Ohio foreign LLC application by mail, in person, or online with Ohio Business Filings. Expedited filings are available for additional fees, starting at $100 for 2-day processing