An Ohio limited liability company, or LLC, is a form of business organization designed to shield members for personal liability, simplify record-keeping procedures and provide tax advantages that many traditional corporations do not qualify for. An LLC is considered a legal entity that is separate from any of its members. Although the procedure for forming an Ohio LLC is similar to procedures in other states, Ohio LLC procedures do contain some distinctive features.
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Select the members of the LLC and determine each member's capital contribution.
Choose an appropriate name for your LLC. The name must not be currently in use, and must include either the words "limited liability company" or one of the following abbreviations: "LLC," "L.L.C.," "limited," "ltd." or "ltd."
Appoint a Statutory Agent for the LLC. The Statutory Agent is responsible for receiving all communications on behalf of the LLC from the Ohio state government. He must be a resident of Ohio.
File the Articles of Organization with the Ohio Secretary of State. The filing fee, as of November 2010, is $125. Ohio has a fill-in-the-blank form that you must use (see Resources). You must confirm whether the LLC is for-profit or nonprofit, state its duration, and provide the name of the LLC as well as the name and address of the Statutory Agent. The Statutory Agent and at least one member must sign it.
Create an LLC operating agreement and have each member sign it. The operating agreement should cover meetings, company management, capital contributions, and allocation of profits and losses. An operating agreement is advisable but not required, and does not need to be filed with the Ohio Secretary of State.
Open a bank account for the LLC after the state notifies you that the LLC has been officially formed. Do not co-mingle personal and LLC funds, because this could cause the LLC to lose its limited liability status.
Take care of preliminary business matters, depending on the type of business that the LLC will engage in and whether or not it will hire employees. These matters may include obtaining business licenses, filing for an Employer Identification Number and registering for Ohio employment taxes.