Ohio LLC Name Search

Business Name Search in Ohio

Selecting the right name is an essential first step for your Ohio LLC, requiring you to ensure the name’s availability. This process is vital to avoid infringing on existing business names and intellectual property rights within the state.

Our Ohio LLC name search guide offers essential tips on checking LLC name availability in Ohio, reservation, and registration, helping you secure a unique and compliant business identity efficiently.

How to Check and Look Up an LLC Name Availability in Ohio (Summary)

A woman with a computer, learning how to Look Up an LLC name in Ohio.

To look up an LLC name or any business entity in Ohio, you can follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Ohio Secretary of State’s website. Search the¬†Ohio Secretary of State Business Name Search to check if your business name is available.
  2. Click on the “Businesses” tab in the top navigation menu and select “Business Search” from the drop-down menu.
  3. In the “Business Name” field, enter the name of the LLC you are looking for. You can also search by the LLC’s ID number or the name of the registered agent.
  4. Click on the “Search” button to display the search results.
  5. Look for the LLC you are interested in and click on the “Details” button to view its information, including its status, registration date, and contact information.

What is an Ohio Business Entity?

Drawing of a man online researching the definition of a Ohio business entity.

An Ohio business entity is a business organization that is legally formed and recognized under the laws of the state of Ohio. Like other states, Ohio recognizes several types of business entities, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. They include:

  1. Sole Proprietorship: The simplest form of business, where the business and owner are legally the same entity. The owner is personally liable for all business debts and obligations.
  2. Partnership: A business owned by two or more individuals. Partnerships can be general partnerships, limited partnerships (LPs), or limited liability partnerships (LLPs), depending on the liability and management structure.
  3. Corporation: A separate legal entity owned by shareholders, which can be a for-profit (C corporation or S corporation) or a nonprofit organization.
  4. Limited Liability Company (LLC): A hybrid entity combining the limited liability advantages of a corporation with the tax efficiencies and operational flexibility of a partnership.

Ohio Secretary of State Name Search

A woman conducting a business Name Search on the Ohio Secretary of State's website.

To form a business entity in Ohio, you typically need to file certain documents (like articles of incorporation for a corporation or articles of organization for an LLC) with the Ohio Secretary of State. You’ll also need to choose a unique name for your business, which can’t be the same as or too similar to other business names already registered in Ohio

If you’re having trouble finding the LLC you’re looking for, try broadening your search by using fewer keywords or entering different variations of the company’s name. You can also contact the Ohio Secretary of State’s office for assistance.

How to do a business name search in Ohio

Searching for Ohio businesses is done through the  Ohio Secretary of State site. The public records database maintains a log of all business filings and is easy to navigate.

Search Business Names in Ohio (Ohio LLC Lookup Guide)

It is used to check if the Ohio Business Name Search has been used by any other entity. It’s used to find information about an existing business, such as whether it is in good standing and the address of the registered agent. The business search is also available if an LLC requires a certified copy of its Ohio Articles of Organization.

Man in Ohio looking up LLC names on a laptop

3 Steps to Search by Name

  1. Enter the exact name of your business in the search box. Click “search.”
  2. The list will contain all names that match your search criteria. Take a look at the list. Click the entity number to return after finding the business name.
  3. You will see the details of the business name you selected on the previous page. This information includes links to images and a history of all filings.

3 Steps to Search for a Detail Business

  1. If the business name, type, status, or business location are known, you can use the detailed search option.
  2. After the search has been initiated, you will see a page listing all the results. Click the entity number next to the business name to find out more information.
  3. Images and document numbers will be displayed along with the files submitted.

3 Steps to Search by Number

  1. You can refine your search by entering the document ID or registration number.
  2. The search results for a single ID number will display information such as the current date, status, and business type.
  3. A number for the entity will be displayed. Click this link to go to the next page. You can view all files associated with the ID or number on the details page.

3 Steps to Search by Agent or Contact Name

  1. If you can find the correct name, enter it into the search box.
  2. A list of officials will be displayed in the search results. Click the number in the left column to retrieve more information about the entity.
  3. Clicking the entity number will bring up a new page with the details of the entity, which were included in the original documents. Click the document ID to view additional filings.

2 Steps to Search by Name Availability

  1. Choose the name that the company will use.
  2. Once you have chosen a name, use the availability tool for information about whether it is still available.

Ohio Secretary of State (Contact)

Mailing Address

Ohio Secretary of State
P.O. Box 670
Columbus, OH 43216

Physical Address

Client Service Center
22 North Fourth Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
(Enter from Fourth Street)

Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Email: Business Contact Form

Phone: (614) 466-3910 / (877) 767-3542 x2


Additional Steps

1. Trademark Search

A drawing of a man conducting a Trademark Electronic Search with a laptop computer.

When searching for a business name, it’s important to note that availability doesn’t necessarily mean the name is free to use if it’s already a registered trademark.

To avoid potential complications down the line, it’s wise to conduct a thorough trademark search using the Trademark Electronic Search System before finalizing a business name.

2. Choose a Registered Agent

After you have chosen an LLC name that is distinctive and unique, you can now choose your LLC’s Registered Agent.

3. Check if the Domain Name is Available

To check if a domain name is available, you can follow these steps:

  1. Go to a domain registrar website, such as GoDaddy.com or Namecheap.com.
  2. In the search bar on the homepage, type in the domain name you want to check.
  3. Click on the search button to see if the domain name is available or not.
  4. If the domain name is available, you will be prompted to purchase it. If it’s not available, the registrar will suggest some alternative options or you can try a different domain name.

4. Check if Social Media Name is Available

Check if a social media name is available for a new business name

5. Register Ohio Business Entity

When you complete the required documents for filing a new business entity, you then register your business and business name with the state. The state of Ohio will either approve your business name or reject it.

If you hire a good LLC service like Northwest Registered Agent, ZenBusiness or Bizee, these LLC services have business name tools available for you to do a quick search.

6. Register an Employer ID Number (EIN) With the IRS

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify businesses and other entities for tax purposes.

7. Create a Brand Logo

Creating a business logo involves several steps. There are affordable online services that can design a logo for you and assist with the process.

Define your brand: Before you start creating a logo, you need to define your brand’s personality, values, and mission. This will help you create a logo that accurately represents your brand.

8. Write a Business Plan

Writing a business plan involves a comprehensive process that covers various aspects of your business, including the industry, market research, marketing and sales strategies, financial projections, and more.

9. Open a Business Bank Account in Ohio

A bank account is generally required for a new Limited Liability Company (LLC) or corporation to separate personal finances from business finances and to establish a clear record of business transactions.

Note that the specific requirements for opening a bank account for an LLC may vary depending on the bank and state where you are located. It’s best to contact the bank you plan to use to inquire about their specific requirements.


Ohio Business 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. Seek guidance LLC professionals like Incfile’s LLC dissolution service to navigate the dissolution process effectively, ensuring compliance with Ohio state regulations.

Ohio Business Name Search FAQ

What is the key reason for searching business entity names in Ohio? The primary reason for conducting a business entity name search in Ohio is to ensure your proposed business name is not already registered or too similar to an existing name. This step is essential for legal conformity and for creating a unique identity for your business within the state.

Where can I perform a search for business entity names in Ohio? You can conduct a business entity name search on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website. Their online search tool allows you to compare your desired business name against the names of businesses already registered in Ohio.

Is there a charge for performing a business name search in Ohio? Conducting a basic search for business name availability through the Ohio Secretary of State’s online tool is generally free. However, there might be fees for more advanced searches or for obtaining official documentation.

What action is advised if my preferred business name is unavailable in Ohio? If your chosen business name is unavailable, it‚Äôs recommended to devise alternative names that are distinctive and comply with Ohio’s naming rules. Preparing a list of potential alternatives in advance can expedite the process.

How do I reserve a business name in Ohio, and what does it entail? In Ohio, you have the option to reserve a business name for a specified period. This involves submitting a name reservation form and a fee to the Ohio Secretary of State.

What are Ohio’s specific regulations concerning business entity names? Ohio mandates that business names be unique from other registered entities. Depending on the business structure, like LLC or corporation, the name may need to include specific terms or abbreviations.

What steps should I take to ensure my business name is compliant in Ohio? To ensure compliance with Ohio‚Äôs regulations, review the state’s business naming guidelines available on the Secretary of State‚Äôs website. It‚Äôs also prudent to conduct a trademark search to avoid possible infringement.

After selecting an available name in Ohio, what should I do next? Upon confirming your business name’s availability in Ohio, the next step is to formally register your business with the Ohio Secretary of State by submitting the necessary documents and paying any related fees.

Is it permissible in Ohio to operate a business under a name different from the registered name? In Ohio, you can operate under a different ‘Doing Business As’ (DBA) name, but it must be registered and should not overlap with other registered business names in the state.

How frequently is the business name database updated in Ohio? The Ohio business name database is regularly updated to include new business registrations and amendments. For the most up-to-date information, conduct your search close to the time you intend to register your business.

What is a DBA?

DBA stands for “doing business as.” A DBA permits a person to register their business under a different name than the owner. A DBA registered is an operational and fully legal business.

Why do I need to create a DBA in Ohio?

If someone intends to use a fictional name instead of the owner’s, Ohio requires that they have a DBA.

How do I create a DBA in Ohio?

Contact your county clerk’s office to determine if the name you are looking for is available in Ohio.

What are the steps to register and file an Ohio business name?

The information required to register and file a business includes the name of the person filing, their principal location, and the type and nature of the business they are operating under.

Is there anything more than choosing a business name?

Yes. Two things are important to remember when creating a DBA entity. Check with domain name companies to see if the business has an available URL. Consider setting up an email account for the business entity if there is no expectation of a web presence.

How can I verify if an LLC is registered in Ohio?

You can use the Ohio Business Search Tool to check if your business name appears.

Do I have to name my LLC after me?

Although there is no prohibition against naming your LLC after yourself (most experts recommend against it).

An advantage of an LLC is that you can choose a different business name, which can make your business sound more professional.

What words are prohibited in the Ohio LLC name?

It is not possible to include words in business names that suggest that the company is a bank or financial institution, or that it is affiliated with a local or state government agency.

Ohio bans profanity.

What is a brand name?

A brand name is a name that a company gives to a product line or product. It can be the exact same as the company name, or something else.

Our How To Name An LLC guide will help you learn more about branding your business entity name.

Do I need to include LLC in the name?

Yes, it is the legal name.

Find out more information about LLC naming requirements at the Ohio Naming Guidelines section.

What do I need to do to renew my Ohio business name?

Ohio does not require LLCs to renew their legal names, but they must renew trade names every five years.

You can renew online, or by mail. The filing fee is $25.

Is it possible for my Ohio LLC to have a different business name than my Ohio LLC?

Some companies prefer to operate under a different name than their legal name. It can be called either a “doing business as” (DBA) or a trade name.

Ohio’s Secretary of State requires that LLC trade names be filed.

Do I need a DBA for my LLC?

If your LLC plans to conduct business under another name than its legal name, a DBA is not required. Read our guide to filing a DBA, and then select Ohio from the dropdown menu.

author avatar
Brian Wilson Writer and Editor
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 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:   info@llcradar.com Phone: 972-776-4050

4 Comments

  1. Avatar Amanda White says:

    Thanks for sharing this helpful guide, Brian. I’ll definitely keep these steps in mind when searching for a business entity name in Ohio.
    Amanda

  2. Avatar Joseph Thompson says:

    Excellent tips, Brian! Your blog post will be a lifesaver for anyone trying to navigate the process of searching for a business entity name online in Ohio

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