For business owners planning to form a Ohio LLC, partnering with an entity filing service is the easy and affordable way to file.
Let the LLC service handle the paperwork with the Ohio Secretary of State.
We tested 19 LLC services and ranked them based on features, client privacy, package pricing, customer service and BBB reviews.
Continue reading to discover the top-tier LLC services for your Ohio business
Best LLC Services in Florida
LLC Formation Tips
If you’re ready to start an LLC in Ohio, there are important steps and considerations to keep in mind. Begin by conducting an Ohio entity name search to ensure that your desired business name is available for registration.
Once you’ve confirmed availability, it’s crucial to draft an Ohio LLC operating agreement, which outlines the internal structure and operational guidelines of your LLC.
As you proceed, you have the option to act as your own registered agent in Ohio or enlist the services of a professional registered agent.
It’s important to note that the time it can take to get an LLC in Ohio varies, but typically ranges from a few weeks to a few months. To expedite the process, gather all necessary information and promptly submit your filings.
Additionally, obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for an Ohio LLC is crucial for tax purposes.
Consider utilizing a good LLC service in Ohio to streamline the formation process and ensure compliance with all legal requirements.
Decide if you plan to be your own registered agent. Engaging the services of the best registered agent services in Ohio offers the advantage of efficient handling of important documents and legal notifications.
Don’t forget to acquire a business license in Ohio, adhering to the specific licensing requirements relevant to your industry and location, and when budgeting for LLC formation, consider the cost to start an LLC in Ohio, which typically includes filing fees and any additional services you choose.
If you ever want to change your registered agent in Ohio check out our guide on that.
Finally, should the need arise, understanding how to close and dissolve an Ohio LLC is vital for properly concluding your business operations.
The Best LLC Service in Ohio
We recommend Northwest Registered Agent.
Northwest is Best-In-Class: Some other LLC services maybe cheaper but those other LLC services may also sell your private data.
Northwest is a professional firm with top-quality customer support and a policy of ‘Privacy by Default’ for their clients.
1. Northwest Registered Agent (Best-In-Class)
My top pick for LLC formation service in Ohio is Northwest Registered Agent.
Northwest provides business formations and registered agent services. Northwest has been providing LLC formation services for over 20 years.
Northwest Registered Agent Reviews
They are known for exceptional customer service and are the industry leader in registered agent services.
Ohio LLC formations with Northwest are discounted for our readers, just $39, and you also get a year of free registered agent service.
This keeps your start-up costs low. Northwest is our top choice, and it’s an LLC service that puts customer service above all else.
Northwest RA Pros and Cons
#2 Incfile (Best Budget LLC Service)
Incfile is another LLC service that has been in business for nearly 20 years. can be a great choice if you are concerned about start-up costs.
They offer free Ohio LLC filing and registered agent services for the first year. A “free LLC” may be good for some, but Incfile needs to make money somehow.
This can be done by upselling needed features at a lofty price.
If privacy is important to you, Northwest emphasizes customer privacy more than any other LLC service I know.
Incfile may not have as many bonus features as its competitors. Still, they offer all the essentials for an additional fee: filing an EIN and registering a DBA, filing annual reports, and others.
Incfile Pros and Cons
#3 ZenBusiness (Best New LLC Service)
Thanks to competitive technology and a dedication to affordability, ZenBusiness has one of the most affordable LLC services available.
Formations start at $0 plus the state fee. ZenBusiness provides Ohio registered agent services at an additional cost of $199/yr.
You can choose the Pro package ($199 annually) for a flat annual fee to get business formation, and an operating agreement template.
ZenBusiness Pros and Cons
#4 LegalZoom (Best for Ongoing Legal Services)
LegalZoom is a great way to get involved with a well-known brand.
LegalZoom was founded in 2001 and has grown to offer hundreds of services. LegalZoom is more expensive than the other Ohio LLC services listed in this guide.
LegalZoom is not the only option if you need a complete legal service. Rocket Lawyer is another option for LLC services and online legal services.
LegalZoom gets pricey after the add-ons.
LegalZoom Pros and Cons
I have a personal story to tell
In 2008 I started a business and hired an attorney to do the LLC formation paperwork. I thought it would be complicated.
I paid $600 plus a $50 state fee to the lawyer in his office. The lawyer got on his computer, entered my name, and some basic information, and then printed out several pieces of paper and said “sign here and here”.
The whole process took about 10 minutes for $600. That same lawyer today probably charges $900 for these 10 minutes of work.
After that, I have only worked with online services.
LLC Formation Lawyers in Ohio
If your business is particularly complex, or if you don’t mind spending $100s of dollars more and want the peace of mind that comes with having an experienced business attorney to form your business entity, you could hire a lawyer instead of a formation service.
Business Attorneys in Ohio
As I just mentioned, hiring an attorney is more expensive than using an online LLC service, but you will obtain a level of competence and experience that can only be provided by an attorney.
I evaluated a long list of Ohio business attorneys on AVVO’s website to find the most qualified LLC formation lawyers.
From Avvo’s list of “best reviewed” business attorneys in Ohio, these are my top five picks.
Tier 2 – Other Ohio LLC Services
Swyft Filings was launched in 2012 and are one of the latest services for LLC formation.
Prices start at $0 + state fee. If you need an EIN and LLC operating agreement, the price is $199 + state fee. Swyft Filings charges $199/year for registered agent services.
MyCompanyWorks has a basic LLC service package that costs $79 and includes assistance with Articles of Organization, Operating Agreement assistance, an online portal to store legal documents, compliance alerts, and assistance with registering with the Ohio Secretary of State.
They have maintained mostly positive reviews online. You will need to buy their premium package for $279 if you want a Ohio registered agent.
Inc Authority, like Incfile, allows you to file your company formation paperwork free of charge, but each offer comes at an additional cost.
Ask the “free LLC” if they plan to sell your private information. I believe the “Free LLC” is a gimmick just to get you in the door. Yes, their filing service is “free” plus the state fee.
You will need to buy their $399 basic package if you require assistance drafting an Operating Agreement or accessing an EIN.
You will also need to buy their premium $799 package if you want to receive express processing.
Tailor Brands is a bit different than the others on my list.
Like their name says, they build brands. Tailor Brands promotes itself as a comprehensive business formation service that provides a complete list of services to entrepreneurs, including compliance and LLC formation, logo design, and branding features.
Tailor Brands offers three formation plans.
Incorporate.com offers a $99 base package that includes very few services, similar to Rocket Lawyer or LegalZoom. They offer an online account and assistance in filing your Articles of Organization, and that’s nothing else.
CorpNet has been in business for over 20 years. They will file the initial LLC documents and provide compliance alerts to maintain good standing with the Secretary of State. All for $79.
MyCorporation is owned and operated by the check printing company Deluxe Corp. Their LLC formation services are like many others on our list.
They charge $133 to prepare your Operating Agreement and process your Articles of Organization. Each additional, comprehensive service comes at an additional cost.
Incorporate Fast offers Ohio LLC formation services at a low $99 price. This includes assistance with filing documents, assistance with filing them, and an Operating Agreement template.
They offer “same-day” filings. They will process and file your documents within 24 hours of receipt.
If you can upgrade to their $199 package, you get an EIN.
BizFilings, another Ohio LLC service provider, charges $99 for the basic package. This includes assistance in filing your limited liability company formation documents and a year of their registered agent services.
Like each of the LLC services, they have additional features for additional fees.
Similar to LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer offers online legal services. They also offer LLC services such as registering an agent, filing your formation documents, and an online document storage portal.
If you like having access to ongoing legal assistance for a fee, Rocket Lawyer might be a good fit for you.
Active Filings is another LLC formation service, they are based in Dania Beach, Florida. Active Filings has been in business since 2001 but is still a small player in this industry.
According to the company website, they have only four employees.
Direct Incorporation offers the same LLC services that MyCorporation but includes a banking resolution as well as an Employer Identification number. They charge $174 for these services.
If you need an LLC operating agreement, you need to get the next package at $297. They also offer logo design, trademarks, a business website, and email.
InCorp costs $99. plus state fees to file your Articles of Organization. Registered agent services are $129 per year.
Nationwide Incorporators offers basic LLC filing services for $200, and for $475, you get an LLC operating agreement. You get to talk to an attorney. Pricey!
SunDoc Filings has a $79 base package for filing your Articles of Organization. $70 for an EIN and $69 for an LLC operating agreement.
What is a Ohio LLC?
A Ohio LLC, short for limited liability company, is an entity type that combines the flexibility of a sole proprietorship with the financial protection of personal assets.
That’s not a bad thing. Let’s find out what this means.
You would operate as a sole proprietorship if you started selling handcrafted apparel out of your home. Sole proprietorships are legal entities.
This means that everything the business owns, from fabrics to sewing machines, is owned solely by the proprietor. The proprietor pays all taxes.
If the business is sued or taken to court by a third party, the owner may lose all of his or her personal property to pay the damages.
Business entities, such as LLCs, have personal asset protection. This is because the business itself is considered an independent legal entity.
The business can have assets, open a bank account, and be sued. If the business goes under, members of the company cannot lose their assets.
LLCs aren’t subject to a lot of complex requirements, unlike corporations. This makes it an attractive choice for entrepreneurs who want to keep their filings simple and still protect their assets.
Pros and cons of starting a limited liability company in Ohio
An LLC is one of the most common types of entity in America. However, it’s not the right type of entity for everyone.
Only you know your business best and can choose the entity type most appropriate for you. Your vision is clear for the future and your products.
It’s important to understand the pros and cons of LLCs to decide if an LLC is right for your needs.
- It is easier to create and manage than a corporation
- Protection of personal assets
- A flexible tax structure can be paid as a partnership (or a corporation)
- Exclusive use of a business name within a state is prohibited
- No authority can issue stock. Therefore, capital-raising opportunities are limited.
- Some states have higher annual fees and taxes than sole proprietorships or partnerships.
- Some entrepreneurs may not be comfortable with the extra paperwork.
How to set up a Ohio LLC on your own
You don’t need to use an LLC formation service such as LegalZoom or ZenBusiness. While these services can be very helpful, you can save money by doing it yourself.
1. Choose a company name
Ohio LLCs need a memorable name that can give potential clients an idea of the products or services available. Names should be unique for both legal and business reasons.
2. Appoint a Registered Agent in Ohio
As we have mentioned, every LLC requires an agent to accept service of process on its behalf. You can be your own registered agent in most states as long as there is a physical address.
However, we recommend that you appoint another person (an online service) as your agent.
3. File the Articles for Organization
Once completed and filed, this document officially forms your Ohio business. Some important information will be required, such as your contact information, business address, signatures of your LLC members, and other details. Ohio charges a $45 filing fee.
It’s easy to set up an LLC. However, it is the maintenance requirements that can be a little more difficult.
4. Register and pay taxes
You will need an IRS Employer Identification Number if you have employees. There are also state-specific taxes. Ohio has graduated income taxes. Individual rates are between 5% to 6.9%, and corporate rates are between 1% to 6.5%. The Franchise Tax is the largest tax burden. Other taxes, such as sales taxes (6.5%) or miscellaneous taxes, will need to be included.
5. Get permits and licenses
Ohio does not have a general business license, but many cities and counties do require one. You might also need to apply in order for an industry license.
6. Create a Ohio LLC Operating Agreement
Even single-member LLCs need to create a master document that outlines how the business will function in the future.
7. Get your annual report.
Ohio’ annual report is a companion to the annual franchise tax. You will file your Ohio annual report with the Department of Finance and Administration and not with the Secretary of State. A minimum tax is $150 per year.
8. Get business insurance
All businesses with employees need to have workers’ compensation insurance. A general business liability policy may be an option.
9. Open a bank account for your business
Register for a bank account in your business name to write checks and make business purchases
Our Selection Methodology
This is how I found the best LLC service in Ohio.
I formed an LLC a few years ago and did a lot of research before doing so. Because I have spent so much time on this subject, I believe I am very capable of finding and recommending the best LLC formation services. I also recommend using a registered agent service rather than being your own.
How did I research and choose the best LLC service in Ohio?
My research approach included these four steps to select the best Ohio LLC formation service.
Step 1: Reviews
I began by analyzing the reviews of online customers for the top 19 LLC services in Ohio.
I spent many nights scrolling through the customer feedback on Trustpilot and Google Business Profiles (among other review websites) to discover which LLC services were new, which seemed questionable, and which were legitimate.
Step 2: Website Analysis
Once I had a good idea of who I could trust, I could go to their websites and see exactly what they offered.
To find out who offered what products or business services, I looked through pricing pages and looked at detailed breakdowns.
Step 3: Talking with real customers
Online customer reviews are only one way to learn. To truly understand the experience of using a service, it is important to talk to the people who use it.
I sought out the opinions of customers who I had recommended to me over the years in order to get a clear understanding of Ohio LLC services. I wanted to know how easy the system was, how helpful and polite their support staff is, and how fast they process applications.
This direct feedback from customers helped me to see which promises were fakes and which were legitimate.
Step 4: Talking with their Sales Team
The last step was to talk to their sales team to find out how difficult they were with upsells.
I asked several questions that a first-timer would. Then I waited to see how many times I was encouraged to get additional services.
My Testing and Rating Criteria for Ohio LLC Services
While I was completing my investigative analysis, I was constantly evaluating these LLC formation services on the basis of these four aspects.
1: Features and Services
There are many steps involved in starting an LLC. If you have read at least half of the above, you will know this. Fill out and file your Articles of Organization. You will need an EIN to open bank accounts. Choose a premium registered agent in to get an address in Ohio. And a lot more.
To ensure you get as many completed projects as possible when you invest your money, I first assessed each LLC formation company on the business and product services they offer.
I checked if they charge extra for a lot of pricey add-ons that are not mentioned at first. I liked the very clear services and upfront with everything. The best value LLC formation services rose to the top.
3: Ease of use
It’s a good idea to sign up for a business formation service that offers a variety of products at a reasonable price without any trouble navigating their system.
I created an account with each Ohio LLC formation service and attempted to register my fictional LLC. This was to ensure that all the systems were easy to use and simple to navigate.
4: Customer service
I was not satisfied with my customer service experiences after the recent corporate trend to outsource customer support to unaffiliated phone centers. These representatives know little about the service they are supporting and the laws and regulations that it is subject to.
I did my best to test their customer service teams to determine the quality of their business formation services. I sent them polite questions, called them to inquire about obvious information, and jumped onto their online chat portals. I also complained about inappropriate things. I wanted to know how they dealt with my comments and requests and how fast it took for them to reply.
Conclusion: Ohio LLC Formation Services
My investigative analysis resulted in my picking Northwest Registered Agent as the best LLC service for Ohio.
Ohio LLC FAQs
What should an entrepreneur in Ohio consider when selecting an LLC formation service, especially when they are transitioning from a sole proprietorship to a more formal business entity?
In Ohio, the process to incorporate a Limited Liability Company (LLC) can be both rewarding and complex. Therefore, choosing a top-rated LLC service is crucial for those who want to make a seamless transition from a sole proprietorship vs LLC.
When looking to start a business, pay close attention to customer reviews. They often provide insight into the quality of professional services offered, including business consulting and business planning. Also, compare pricing plans for different LLC packages to ensure you’re getting the best value.
Ohio has specific state requirements, and the service you choose should be well-versed in these, particularly concerning business registration and company filings. They should be able to guide you through filing the Articles of Organization and even offer to act as the Registered Agent, which is a legal prerequisite for maintaining an LLC in Ohio.
A comprehensive service will also assist in obtaining business licenses and setting up an Operating Agreement, a document that outlines the corporate governance and internal workings of your business structure. This will help you achieve complete compliance, both at the state and federal levels.
Financially, you’ll require a Business Tax ID (EIN) or Employer Identification Number for federal taxation purposes. This is often necessary to open a business bank account. Quality services often expedite this process and even handle state filings and annual reports on your behalf.
Look for a service offering quick turnaround time if you need fast online formation. Your chosen service should be a one-stop solution for all your needs, right from initial legal services to document filing and more.
Don’t overlook the filing fees, which could vary depending on the formation package you select. Also, some providers offer a company seal, which might be beneficial for formalizing your company’s documents.
Finally, if you’re a small business, your requirements might be different. Thus, it’s beneficial to consult business advisors associated with the LLC service to ensure you’re making well-informed decisions.
By paying attention to these features, you can find a service in Ohio that not only helps in legal compliance but also offers valuable insights and resources for a successful business startup.
What are the key factors to consider when selecting an online LLC formation service in Ohio?
When looking to set up an LLC (Limited Liability Company) in Ohio, choosing the right online Business Formation service is crucial. You’ll want to consider a service that offers competent Legal Representation and ensures strict Compliance with State Laws.
Keep an eye out for services that facilitate Document Filing for Incorporation and help prepare the Annual Report, as well as assist with Tax ID acquisition. The service should also be officially recognized by the Secretary of State and should be able to provide a Certificate of Good Standing.
Affordability and Reliability are significant factors, so examine Customer Reviews, Ratings, and Client Testimonials to ensure you’re getting value for your money.
The service should offer an Online Dashboard that is user-friendly and promises Fast Processing of your documents, as well as 24/7 Service to address any concerns.
Confidentiality is non-negotiable when handling sensitive business information. In addition, the service should exhibit Local Expertise, particularly in Ohio business regulations, and offer a Business Name Search feature, EIN Registration, and support for creating an Operating Agreement.
Look for additional functionalities like Compliance Alerts to keep you updated about impending deadlines or legal obligations.
You’ll also want to confirm the service can handle Legal Mail Forwarding and offers Virtual Office solutions. Make sure it supports Document Retrieval, operates a stable Registered Office, and provides top-notch Customer Support.
Transparency in Filing Fees is also essential, and it should be clear what is included for the fee you are paying.
Make sure to understand your Entity Type so that the service can conduct proper Due Diligence to ensure you meet all Statutory Requirements.
For beginners, Start-up Assistance might be particularly helpful. Services that can provide Business Continuity solutions, Dissolution assistance, Renewal Reminders, and Foreign Qualification support will offer added value.
Lastly, having access to Legal Forms, receiving Business Consultation, and ensuring Secure Storage of your business documents can be incredibly beneficial.
The option for Change of Agent services should also be available for future flexibility. By carefully evaluating all these elements, you’ll be well-prepared to choose an LLC formation service in Ohio that meets your specific needs
What is an LLC in Ohio?
How much do LLC services charge to form an LLC in Ohio?
Do I need to form an LLC to operate a business in Ohio?
Brian Wilson is the content manager and founder of LLC Radar.
Brian grew up in North Texas, just outside of Dallas, and has a bachelor’s degree in business journalism from Southern Methodist University. Since graduating from SMU, Brian has gained over 10 years of experience in business writing for several online publications.
Brian resides in Plano, Texas and he can be reached by email: email@example.com