How to File Articles of Organization for LLC in Ohio: Guide

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Last updated February 17, 2023
Written by Dmytro Kondratiev
Editor, lawyer
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Want to start a business in Ohio? That's a great idea! This state attracts many aspiring entrepreneurs and is becoming home to a variety of companies. The location, climate, excellent tax structure, quite reasonable prices for renting and buying real estate are all appealing to them. This region has been actively developing from a business point of view over the last few years. Also, experienced companies have started to relocate here, finding many advantages of doing business in Ohio.

But to start an LLC in Ohio, you need to file your Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State first. Once this document is processed (if you have not made any mistakes and filled out everything correctly), you can start a legal and honest business in this state.

Since the Articles of Organization for LLCs in Ohio is an important document, there are a few nuances to filling it out. But no worries, we will certainly help you figure it all out and make no mistakes. Let's get into the details of how to file Articles of Organization in Ohio in multiple ways!

What is an Article of Formation?

The Articles of Formation for LLCs in Ohio are your company's first and foremost document. Literally, it is the passport of your business. Without this document, your company simply does not exist.

In this document, you need to put the most basic information about your LLC. Articles of Formation need to be submitted to the Secretary of State for your LLC to be registered. Although each state has its own specifics when completing this document, you can still observe certain patterns.

Almost every state will require you to fill out this information on your Articles of Organization:

  • Company name;
  • LLC's line of business;
  • The date of the company launch;
  • Address of the company's main office;
  • Mailing address (may be the same as your registered agent's address);
  • Registered agent's info;
  • Information about the incorporator/s;
  • Other details.

If this document is completed correctly, your LLC in Ohio will be registered, and you can begin operations. You just need to get approval from the Ohio Secretary of State's office. That way, with all the information about your business, state officials can monitor your activities.

How to File Articles of Organization in Ohio: Step by Step

As we have mentioned above, Articles of Organization in Ohio are the most important document for your LLC. You can find many Ohio Articles of Organization templates online. Study them to make it easier to figure things out. To make the filing go smoothly, let's go over the process of submitting this paper step by step.

Note: If you don't want to handle filling out and submitting the Articles of Organization for your LLC in Ohio yourself, you can contact one of the LLC formation services. The specialists of such companies will help you with the paperwork for a reasonable fee and file it with the state themselves. This will cost you about $100-300 (depending on the contractor chosen). Significant time savings will help you concentrate on those aspects of your business that cannot be delegated.

Step 1: Get Your Ohio Articles of Organization Forms

The official Ohio Article of Organization Form is provided by the Secretary of State and can be found on their website.

If you plan to mail Articles of Organization, you need to download a PDF file. It consists of 6 pages:

  • Filling Form Cover Letter;
  • Articles of Organization for a Domestic Limited Liability Company;
  • Instructions for Articles of Organization for a Domestic Limited Liability Company.

Note: All pages of the document should be typed. This document is editable, and you do not need to install any additional software or text editors to complete it. Follow the link, fill out the document, and mail it to the Secretary of State. Alternatively, you can simply fill out the Articles of Organization for LLCs in Ohio on the Secretary of State's website. If you are not already registered, then go through the registration process. If you already have a profile, just log in. After that, you'll need the "File a New Business or Register Name" section. If you move your pointer over it, you'll see a drop-down list. Click on "Limited Liability Company (Ohio)". Next, follow the instructions.

Step 2: Fill Out the Articles of Organization in Ohio

Now, we'll examine each section of the document and help you fill it out.

First, you'll need to define the following information:

  1. Company name. The name has to be unique. Be sure to do some checks using Business Name Search on the Secretary of State's website. There should be no company in Ohio with the same name or a very similar name (which can be easily confused). Also, the name should not be offensive to certain population groups, minorities, religious believers, etc. The name of your LLC cannot imply or be associated with illegal things. At the same time, it should be sure to reflect the organizational form of the company. To do this, include one of these options in the name of your future business: LLC, L.C., limited, limited liability company, ltd, etc.;
  2. Registered agent information. The state requires every business owner in Ohio to appoint a registered agent before filing Articles of Organization. It can be any citizen of the state who is of legal age and willing to be available for service of process during business hours. Alternatively, you can go to an LLC formation company and get a registered agent service. For only $80-200 (depending on the pricing policy of the chosen company), you will get a year of expert help and confidence that the work will be done perfectly. This way, you will be able to keep your personal data and the data of your employees completely confidential. A consent form from your registered agent in Ohio is mandatory;
  3. Period of existence of the LLC and date of registration. If you want your LLC in Ohio to officially begin its existence later than you filed, decide on a deferral period and specify it. Also, your company may exist indefinitely or for a specific period. Determine the time frame and also indicate it when you fill out the form;
  4. Company activity. Be sure to clearly state for yourself what your company's activities are and the purpose for which it was founded. You should not specify activities related to illegal business operations.

These four points include aspects that you personally should know about your future company before you start filling out the Articles of Organization form in Ohio. Once you have clear answers concerning these issues, move on to filling out the document.

First, you need to fill out a Filing Form Cover Letter. There, provide the following information:

  • Name;
  • Address;
  • City;
  • State;
  • ZIP Code;
  • Phone Number.

Next, tick the box next to the appropriate service option. If you want to expedite obtaining a Certificate of Formation, you will have to pay from $100 to $300. It depends on how soon you need the result:

  • 3-7 business days: regular filing fee;
  • 2 business days: + $100;
  • 1 business day: + $200;
  • 4 hours: + $300.

Also, if you file in advance, and your form will be processed later, you also need to pay $50. You can only select one service option from this list. Don't put an "X" next to more than one option or you risk spoiling your Articles of Organization in Ohio, and it will simply be rejected.

Next, you go to the next page where you choose the type of organization:

  • For-Profit LLC;
  • Non-Profit LLC.

On this page, enter the name of your LLC according to the requirements we described above. Also, include the date the company needs to be founded, its purpose, and activities.

On the next page, you will be asked to enter information about your registered agent: company name/specialist name, mailing address, and city. Your registered agent should also complete the Acceptance of Appointment.

On the last page, include the names of the founders of your LLC and their signatures. That's it, your Articles of Organization form is complete, and you can feel free to mail it to the Secretary of State (all Ohio Secretary of State's contacts will be listed in the table below).

Want to know the requirements for articles of organization in other states? Select state:

Articles of Organization
Select your state
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Step 3: File the Articles of Organization in Ohio

What should you do with the completed Articles of Organization form? You can file it with the state in three different ways:

  • By mail;
  • Online;
  • Filing without an appointment.

The latter method is not popular nowadays. We decided not to dwell on it for that reason. But if you feel like using it, contact the Secretary of State's Office at the phone number, and they will advise you on it.

Most often, people stop at the remaining two options: mail it in or fill it all out online. Whichever choice you make, you still need to pay a $99 state fee. Once upon a time, the state fee was $125. As we can see, in 2022, they're giving us a chance to save money.

By filing Articles of Organization for your LLC in Ohio online, you can save a significant amount of time. It only takes a couple of days to process the online application. Sometimes, when there are so many applications, it can take up to 3 days for the Secretary of State to issue the Certificate of Formation. Either way, it is faster than sending by mail.

If you choose to mail your Articles of Organization form in Ohio, expect a response in a few days or 1 week. Keep in mind that this period includes only the processing time, not mail delivery time.

How to Register Articles of Organization in Ohio Online?

To file Articles of Organization in Ohio online, register on the Ohio Business Central website. The site is run entirely by the Secretary of State, and you can feel free to trust it with your and your company's information. You will need the "File a New Business or Register Name" section. Point your cursor at it, and you'll see a drop-down list. Click on "Limited Liability Company (Ohio). Next, the list of fields you need to fill out is the same as in the form we went over earlier in this text.

Ohio Secretary of State's Contact Information

If you still have questions or trouble filling out the Articles of Organization in Ohio, you can always contact your state representatives for advice. But remember: the Secretary's Office is open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday-Friday.

We offer you the contact information of the Ohio Secretary of State. Save it so you don't lose it!

Mailing Address:LaRose for Ohio 211 S. 5th Street Columbus, OH 43215
Office Address:22 North Fourth Street, 16th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215