Ohio Small Business Statistics

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Last updated January 6, 2023
Written by Dmytro Kondratiev
Editor, lawyer
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Ohio has been long attracting the attention of new and existing small businesses and large corporations engaged in the tech industry and needing rapid business growth. After all, the Mother of Presidents is home to 3 of America’s top 10 tech cities: Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland.

That said, Ohio offers a number of useful resources and incentive programs, providing significant support for starting and maintaining a small business in the state. Such programs include:

  • Ohio Third Frontier: a robust network of resources that helps turn advanced ideas into new technology businesses;
  • The Collateral Enhancement Program: to facilitate increased lending by banks to small businesses;
  • The 166 Direct Loan Servicing;
  • The Innovation Ohio Loan Fund;
  • The Ohia Capital Access Program (OCAP), and many more.

You can find more information on various incentives and resources the state provides to new and existing small and large businesses here.

In fact, Ohio is the 3rd-largest manufacturing state in the U.S. and it genuinely cares about providing all the necessary support and a business-friendly environment to entrepreneurs who plan to work in the state, as well as a variety of options to choose from.

After all, Buckeye State has its Small Business Development Centers and Minority Business Development Centers, as well as International Trade Assistance Centers and Small & Minority Business Financial Incentives Programs.

New tax benefits and other incentives are driving tremendous small business growth in every part of the state.

Ohio Small Business Statistics: Quick Facts

  • The three major industrially rich cities in Ohio are Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland;
  • In October of 2022, the unemployment rate in Ohio was 4.2%;
  • In October 2022, Ohio had a population of 11,802,444, having grown yearly by 0.2% over the 5 years to 2022;
  • OH exported $5B and imported $7.58B in August 2022, which resulted in a negative trade balance of $2.57B;
  • In 2022, Ohio's sectors that contributed the most to employment in the state were the Healthcare & Social Assistance, Retail Trade & Administration, Business Support & Waste Management Services sectors;
  • In 2022, Kroger, Convergys, and Watson Foods hold leading positions in Ohio’s top 10 largest companies (by employees);
  • In 2022, Ohio's gross state product (GSP) reached $620.7B, having grown yearly by 1% over the 5 years to 2022;
  • Businesses in Ohio employed a total of 5,743,338 people in 2022;
  • In 2022, the top 3 sectors in Ohio by total employment are Manufacturing, Real Estate & Rental & Leasing, Finance & Insurance;
  • In 2022, Ohio's gross domestic product (GDP) reached $620.7B, which is a 1% increase from 2021;
  • Ohio doesn't require LLCs to file any annual reports or pay annual fees;
  • Ohio doesn't have a franchise tax, whereas, sales tax rates vary depending on the region, county/city where your LLC is located;
  • Ohio's income tax rates vary between 2.85% and 4.8%. Also, the current federal tax rate is 15.3% in the state.

Top 10 Fastest Growing Companies in Ohio

According to Growjo, the top 10 fastest-growing companies in Ohio are:

Rank Company CityIndustryEmployeesAnnual Revenue
1Branch ColumbusFintech329 $54.3M
2Installed Building ColumbusProducts Construction433$1.9B 
3Workhorse Group LovelandAutomotive215 $66.7M 
4Handyman Connection Blue Ash Construction383 $138.8M
5Liberty School District YoungstownTransportation169$61M 
6MAI CapitalCleveland Finance Management 272$61.4M
7Franklin City Schools FranklinEducation 198$39.2M 
8SSBH ColumbusFinance89$18.7M
9AwareColumbusIT Security152 $33.3M
10Align Capital Partners Shaker HeightsInvestments 29$3.3M 

Top 10 Largest Companies in Ohio in 2022

According to Zippia, a list of Ohio’s 100 top 10 largest companies (by currently working employees) looks as follows:

CompanyIndustryHeadquartersRevenue Employees
Kroger RetailCincinnati, OH$132.5B465,000
Convergys Business Services Newark, NJ$2.4B 290,000
Watson Foods Human Health & Nutrition ProductsWest Haven, CT$94.3M200
Procter Gamble Consumer GoodsCincinnati, OH$71.0B101,000
National MachineryMachining ManufacturerTiffin, OH$18.0M 80,000
GoodyearManufacturing Akron, OH$12.3B 72,000
Morgan Services Textiles Dayton, OH$40.1B60,348
L BrandsClothing & Apparel StoresColumbus, OH$12.6B 59,950
FirstGroup America Transportation Cincinnati, OH $1.7B10,001
First Student Transportation Cincinnati, OH$1.5B 10,001

As you can see from the table above, Kroger, Convergys, and Watson Foods hold leading positions in the list. These companies have more employees than any other company in the state of Ohio.

Ohio 2022 Export, Import, and Countries of Destination Overview

According to the Observatory of Economic Complexity, OH exported $5B and imported $7.58B in August 2022, which resulted in a negative trade balance of $2.57B:

  • According to the resource, Ohio's exports in August 2022 have increased by $955M (23.6%), from $4.05B to $5B, compared to August 2021;
  • As for the state's imports, they have increased by $969M (14.7%), from $6.61B to $7.58B, in August 2022, compared to last year's figures in the same month;
  • At the same time, Ohio's top exports in August 2022 were Aircraft Parts ($391M), Cars ($315M), Packaged Medicaments ($312M), Motor vehicles; parts and accessories (8701-8705) ($260M), and Vaccines, blood, antisera, toxins, and cultures ($154M);
  • As for the top imports of the state, they were Motor vehicles, parts and accessories (8701-8705) ($497M), Crude Petroleum ($300M), Medical Instruments ($247M), Packaged Medicaments ($214M), and Commodities not elsewhere specified ($190M);
  • As for Ohio's main countries of destination, in August 2022, the state mostly exported to Canada ($1.75B), Mexico ($702M), Japan ($430M), China ($273M), and Brazil ($158M);
  • As for the top imports, Ohio mostly imported from Canada ($1.51B), China ($1.14B), Mexico ($1.09B), Germany ($522M), and Vietnam ($359M);
  • The state's yearly exports increased in August 2022. This was explained by an increase in exports to China ($189M or 71.2%), Japan ($43M or 50.5%), and South Korea ($29.3M or 51.1%);
  • There was also an increase in product exports in the following sectors: Soybeans ($179M or 121%), Wheat ($41.4M or 720%), and Raw Plastic Sheeting ($31.8M or 68.7%);
  • As for the increase in Ohio's imports in August 2022, it was explained mainly by an increase in imports from Mexico ($122M or 17.8%), China ($58.2M or 7.18%), and Canada ($56.6M or 6.43%);
  • There was also an increase in product imports in the following sectors: Medical Instruments ($73M or 120%), Motor vehicles; parts and accessories (8701-8705) ($32.2M or 9.24%), and Other Plastic Products ($30.9M or 83.7%).

Top 10 Ohio's Largest Industries by Revenue

According to IBISWorld, in 2022, Property, Casualty & Direct Insurance, Hospitals & Commercial Banking were Ohio's largest industries. These industries generated $66.2B, $50.5B, and $42.3B in 2022, respectively.

RankIndustry2022 Revenue
1Property, Casualty & Direct Insurance $66.2B
2Hospitals $50.5B
3Commercial Banking $42.3B
4New Car Dealers $42.2B
5Drug, Cosmetic & Toiletry Wholesaling$35.1B
6Health & Medical Insurance $29.8B
7Supermarkets & Grocery Stores$26.9B
8Public Schools $24.0B
9Life Insurance & Annuities $23.6B
10Petroleum Refining $22.9B

Top 10 Companies Headquartered in Ohio by Employment

According to IBISWorld, in 2022, Walmart Inc., Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and The Kroger Co. are Ohio's largest companies by employment. These companies employed 53,310, 52,648, and 42,000 people, respectively.

Rank Company2022 Employment2022 Employment %
1Walmart Inc.53,3100.9%
2Cleveland Clinic Foundation52,6480.9%
3The Kroger Co.42,0000.7%
4Amazon.Com, Inc.41,0000.7%
5Ohio State University35,1310.6%
6Wright-Patterson Air Force Base32,5140.6%
7Bon Secours Mercy Health30,5620.5%
8University Hospitals Health System, Inc.30,2500.5%
9OhioHealth Corporation30,0790.5%
10JPMorgan Chase & Co.21,5000.4%

Ohio's Employment by Sector in 2022

According to IBISWorld, in 2022, Ohio's sectors that contributed the most to employment in the state were the Healthcare & Social Assistance, Retail Trade & Administration, Business Support & Waste Management Services sectors, which results in a combined 41.4% of state employment.

SectorEmployment2022 Growth (%)2017-2022 Annualized Growth 
Healthcare & Social Assistance974,7852.1%1.6%
Retail Trade667,7542.6%0.9%
Administration, Business Support & Waste Management Services473,2222.0%2.1%
Accommodation & Food Services447,3675.9%1.4%
Information432,6843.1%1.7%
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services411,0762.6%2.4%
Educational Services377,519-1.0%-1.0%
Transportation & Warehousing274,6775.6%4.3%
Construction253,9990.2%1.8%
Other Services (except Public Administration)246,8381.0%-0.5%
Wholesale Trade237,8862.4%0.2%
Real Estate & Rental & Leasing129,355-0.6%0.2%
Arts, Entertainment & Recreation128,7018.0%5.0%
Utilities30,8671.9%0.3%
Mining16,7789.0%7.5%
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting4,2612.7%3.6%

OH 2022 LLC Formation Statistics & Fees

As you may know, the most popular business structure in the United States is a limited liability company (LLC).

To legally open an Ohio LLC, you will need to complete and file your registration documents with the Secretary of State. Before doing that, however, make sure you check the main fees and documents to consider when registering an LLC in OH:

  • To open an Ohio LLC, you will need to file your Articles of Organization (Form 610) with the Secretary of State by mail or online;
  • The filing fee in OH is $99 for domestic LLCs. The same goes for professional LLCs (PLLCs) and foreign LLCs;
  • Unlike many other states, Ohio doesn't require you to file any annual reports or pay an annual fee for your LLC;
  • If you want to register a trade name or an alternative name for your company, also known as “doing business as” (DBA) name for marketing purposes, you will need to file a Name Registration application (Form 534A) with the Secretary of State. The filing fee for the regular service is $39;
  • There's also the Preclearance Filing service available for $50 (if want to submit the form at a later date);
  • The average cost of statutory agent (also known as “registered agent” or "resident agent") services in Ohio is $175 per year, on average. However, you can find professional RA services for $50, $125, or $300 per year in the state;
  • The Buckeye State does not require LLCs to obtain a statewide general business license. However, the cost of specific business licenses or permits can vary from $100 to 800$ for LLCs in Ohio;
  • In OH, to reserve a business name for your LLC, you will need to file a Name Reservation / Transfer / Cancellation application and pay the $39 fee (the name can be reserved for up to 180 days from the date of filing);
  • To get a certificate, plain copy, or certified copy of your LLC documents, you will need to complete and submit a Certification / Copy Request form by mail to the Secretary of State. The filing fee is $5 (+ $5 for each order exceeding 100 pages);
  • To obtain your Certificate of Good Standing (also known as a Full Force and Effect Certificate), you can order the certificate online from the Secretary of State's website or submit a Certificate Request form by mail. The filing fee is $5. Typically, you will get the certificate within 4-5 business days;
  • Ohio doesn't have a franchise tax, whereas, sales tax rates vary depending on the region, county/city where your LLC is located;
  • Ohio's income tax rates vary between 2.85% and 4.8%. Also, the current federal tax rate is 15.3% in the state.

You can find more information about how to start an LLC in Ohio and learn about the right registration steps in our article.

Ohio 2022 Economy Statistics from May 2022 to October 2022

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, from May 2022 to October 2022, Ohio’s economy, including labor force data and nonfarm wage & salary employment data, looked as represented in the table below.

Data SeriesMay2022June2022July 2022August 2022September 2022October 2022
Labor Force Data
Civilian Labor Force (number of persons, in thousands, seasonally adjusted)5,792.0 5,794.75,794.75,787.05,777.9(P) 5,761.4
Employment (number of persons, in thousands, seasonally adjusted) 5,565.7 5,570.75,571.25,558.15,545.9(P) 5,519.8
Unemployment (number of persons, in thousands, seasonally adjusted) 226.3 224.0223.5 228.9231.9(P) 241.6
Unemployment Rate (in percent, seasonally adjusted.) 3.9 3.93.94.04.0(P) 4.2
Nonfarm Wage & Salary Employment
Total Nonfarm (number of jobs, in thousands, seasonally adjusted) 5,476.75,477.05,482.15,488.15,493.7(P) 5,509.4
12-month % change2.22.01.51.52.0(P) 2.4
Mining and Logging (number of jobs, in thousands, seasonally adjusted) 8.88.88.98.99.0(P) 9.0
12-month % change 3.52.32.3  3.54.7(P) 3.4
Construction (number of jobs, in thousands, seasonally adjusted) 233.5233.4232.3233.8236.1(P) 236.8
12-month % change5.46.14.55.15.9(P) 6.0
Manufacturing (number of jobs, in thousands, seasonally adjusted)   680.0678.6682.8681.6691.9(P) 691.9
12-month % change 2.72.22.42.33.7(P) 3.4
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (number of jobs, in thousands, seasonally adjusted) 1,057.61,055.01,055.91,056.91,056.7P) 1,056.6
12-month % change 2.72.31.91.9  2.2(P) 1.9
Information (number of jobs, in thousands, seasonally adjusted)   69.069.069.870.370.6(P) 69.4
12-month % change 7.57.16.26.87.5(P) 5.6
Financial Activities (number of jobs, in thousands, seasonally adjusted) 308.4308.3308.8  309.3309.1(P) 310.9
12-month % change0.20.20.10.20.4(P) 0.2
Professional & Business Services (number of jobs, in thousands, seasonally adjusted) 723.6721.3718.8  721.4722.0(P) 719.1
12-month % change 0.71.0-0.3-0.10.4(P) 0.4
Education & Health Services (number of jobs, in thousands, seasonally adjusted) 891.5895.4897.0898.4  895.4(P) 901.2
12-month % change -0.9-0.4-0.3  -0.2  0.6(P) 1.3
Leisure & Hospitality (number of jobs, in thousands, seasonally adjusted) 537.8539.5540.4538.4539.2(P) 543.5
12-month % change 8.97.6  4.7    3.5  4.1(P) 4.8
Other Services (number of jobs, in thousands, seasonally adjusted) 208.2209.3210.0212.5208.1 (P) 210.1
12-month % change 4.44.74.2  5.03.4    (P) 4.2
Government (number of jobs, in thousands, seasonally adjusted)   758.3758.4757.4756.6755.6    (P) 760.9
12-month % change 0.7-0.20.30.40.4    (P) 2.5


*P = Preliminary

Sources:

  1. The Observatory of Economic Complexity 
  2. 2022 Small Business Profile on Ohio 
  3. IBISWorld 
  4. Mindscope
  5. Growjo
  6. Zippia