If you plan to start a business in Ohio, you may decide to choose a corporation as your business structure. A corporation gives you certain advantages over other types of business formations, because it separates business and personal assets. This means that, in most cases, creditors cannot take personal assets owned by directors and shareholders to pay debts and liabilities incurred by the business. Because Ohio follows the Uniform Commercial Code, the required forms to incorporate a business in this state are fairly standard.
Name Registration Form
You will need to establish a name for your corporation. You can perform a name search on the Ohio Secretary of State website. You can register your company name by submitting form 534A to the Ohio Secretary of State. The form is available online through the Ohio Secretary of State website, or you can call the secretary of state office at 614-466-3910 to request the form. You should send the form with the appropriate fee to the address indicated on the form. There are different fees and different addresses, depending on whether you want regular or expedited service. Ohio corporation names must include "Corporation," "Company," "Incorporated" or an abbreviation of one of these words.
Articles of Incorporation
You must prepare and submit the articles of incorporation to incorporate your business. You can use form 532, available for downloading on the Ohio Secretary of State website, to prepare the articles. On this form, you must provide basic information about your business. You must fill in the name and physical address of your business, as well as the purpose of the business and the name and address of each director. You must also include the number and par value of company shares, if any. Par value is the minimum price per share that shares must be issued. On the articles, you must also indicate a statutory agent to receive service of process for the corporation. The statutory agent must have a physical address in Ohio, and must sign the articles of Incorporation to indicate acceptance of appointment. You should mail the articles of incorporation to the address indicated on the form.
IRS form SS-4
IRS form SS-4 is a form that you complete and forward to the Internal Revenue Service to obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number, known as FEIN or simply EIN. Obtaining a FEIN is necessary for federal taxation purposes, and is required by the Ohio Secretary of State for corporation filings. You may mail or fax the completed form to the IRS. If you prefer to obtain your FEIN immediately, you may also submit form SS-4 online.
Although Ohio has simplified corporation filings by adopting the Uniform Commercial Code, incorporating a business in Ohio can still be a complex process. Understanding the benefits and risks of incorporating a business is essential to starting and building a successful corporate business. For this reason, you may need to consult an attorney or use an online document preparation site to help you properly prepare and submit your forms to the Ohio Secretary of State.