how to start a business in ohio

How To Start A Business In Ohio: A Quick Start Guide

Elena Hudgens
By Elena Hudgens 11 Min Read

There are several steps you need to follow if you want to learn how to start a business in Ohio. Start with a concept and see if you can turn it into a product or service that people want. You may also start your own business by developing a vision and selling it to another corporation. You may even establish a business from scratch if you have the passion and ambition. This article will show you how to start a business in Ohio.

7 Steps for How to start a Business in Ohio:

Step 1: Select a Business Idea

Take some time to brainstorm and investigate company ideas. Consider your interests, talents, resources, availability, and the reasons why you want to start a business at this point. It would help if you also examined the chances of success in light of your community’s interests and requirements. More information on analyzing company ideas may be found in this post.

After you’ve decided on an idea, consider creating a business plan to assess your prospects of success. When you construct a strategy, you will better understand the initial expenses, your competitors, and money-making tactics. Before offering financial help, investors and lenders will often need to evaluate your company plan.

Related: – How To Find Business Ideas: 7 Proven Methods For Entrepreneurs

Step 2: Make a Business Plan for Ohio

Careful preparation is required to build a successful firm. Before investing a large amount of money and other resources in your Ohio business, critically evaluate your concept and develop a game plan. You should at the very least accomplish the following tasks:

Your Company’s Name

What will you call your company? When establishing a business, you should select an available name that fits Ohio’s naming laws for an LLC or corporation and connects with your consumers. To get the perfect brand name and website, use our Business Name Generator.

Locate a Business Location

Do you know where you’re going to set up shop? Whether you’re creating a physical store or beginning a business from home, your business location influences the sort of licensing and permissions you’ll need, as well as the potential development of your company. Researching prominent areas in Ohio, such as Cleveland-Akron or Toledo, can enhance foot traffic and client interest.

  • The sole proprietorship is the most frequent legal structure for a small business
  • Partnership
  • Corporation and 
  • Limited liability company (LLC)

Some of these arrangements have variants, such as limited partnerships and S companies. You should think about whether the business organization form provides the sort of liability protection you desire as well as the optimum tax, financing, and financial benefits for you and your company.

Step 4: Establish Your Business Entity

Step 5: Apply for Licenses and Permits, as well as Tax Registration

If you intend to sell items in Ohio, you must first get a vendor’s license from the Ohio Department of Taxation (DOT). To collect state sales tax, you must have a permit. If you want to employ people in Ohio, you must register with the Department of Transportation for employer withholding tax. The Ohio Company Gateway allows you to register for sales tax collection and withholding tax, as well as other business taxes.

If your company employs people or is taxed separately from you, you must get a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. Even if you are not obligated to acquire an EIN, there are typically commercial reasons. Banks frequently require an EIN to create an account in the firm’s name, and other companies with which you do business may need an EIN to process payments. You may obtain an EIN by filling out an online application. There are no filing costs.

Licenses and permits for regulatory purposes. These include topics such as: 

  • Sole proprietorship: No administrative paperwork must be filed with the state to form a sole proprietorship in Ohio.
  • Partnership: In Ohio, there is no requirement to file any administrative paperwork to form a general partnership with the state. Even though it is not legally necessary, all associations should have a formal partnership agreement. If there is ever a disagreement among the partners, the partnership agreement may be helpful. 
  • LLCs: To form an LLC in Ohio, you must submit Articles of Organization with the Ohio Secretary of State. In Ohio, you will also need to appoint a statutory agent for serving of process. In addition, while not required by law, you should draft an operating agreement to lay out the fundamentals of how your LLC will function. The operating agreement has not been registered with the state.
  • Corporations: To form a company in Ohio, you must file Articles of Incorporation with the Ohio Secretary of State. In Ohio, you will also need to appoint a statutory agent for serving of process. Although not legally required, you should draught bylaws to create the internal running regulations of your business. The state does not require that bylaws be filed.
  • Health and safety
  • The environment; 
  • The building and construction industry; and 
  • Specific industries or services

Check the business section of the state’s website for regulatory licenses and permits granted by the state.

Step 6: Create Your Company’s Website

After you’ve defined your brand and designed your logo, the next step is to build a website for your company.

While developing a website is an important step, some may be concerned that it is out of their grasp due to a lack of website-building skills. While this was a fair concern in 2015, online technology has made significant advances in recent years, making the lives of small company owners considerably more accessible.

The following are the primary reasons why you should not put off developing your website:

  • All genuine companies have websites, period. When it comes to bringing your business online, it doesn’t matter what size or sector.
  • Social media accounts, such as Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles, should not be used in place of a company website that you own and manage.
  • Website builder programs, such as the GoDaddy Website Builder, have made it relatively simple to create an essential website. You don’t need to pay a web developer or designer to make a website you’re pleased with.

Step 7: Promote and Market Your Company

There are several ways to market your business in Ohio, but the most successful include:

  1. Press Releases
  2. Facebook
  3. YouTube
  4. Google My Business

Related: – 70 Most Important Marketing Tools for Small Business

Press Release

Press releases are an excellent way to promote your brand and one of the most cost-effective strategies because they: 

  • Give exposure
  • Set up your image on the web
  • Further develop your site’s SEO, driving more clients to your site
  • Are a one-time cost as far as exertion and cash
  • Have long haul benefits

A Facebook profile is an excellent and cost-free method to engage with your consumers. It does, however, need continual work to be effective.


A Facebook page may be used to: 

  • Establish your local business presence 
  • Display your company’s products and services
  • Maintain contact with your consumers.
  • Gather and exchange consumer feedback; 
  • Promote your business using advertisements, albeit this may not be appropriate for your firm.


With billions of YouTube subscribers worldwide, there is a massive client base hungry for content your company may be providing. 

  • Improve your SEO by increasing your Google ranking and conversion rate by creating a YouTube channel for your business.
  • Increase social media participation and build closer relationships with your consumers.
  • Provide in-depth descriptions of products and services.

Google My Business

Google My Business is a valuable feature that allows companies to control their information on Google’s search engine results page (SERP) and Google maps.

  • Link to vital information about your business, such as your website, physical address, hours of operation, phone number, and customer reviews, using Google My Business.
  • Raise brand recognition by enhancing local SEO and driving traffic to your website;
  • Engage consumers and build credibility

Hopefully, the above steps explain how to start a business in Ohio.


This fast start guide will teach you all you need to know about how to start a business in Ohio. After reading this article, I’m sure you will have the information and tools necessary to establish a business in Ohio and make a constructive contribution to the state.

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Posted by Elena Hudgens
Elena Hudgens is an entrepreneur with 10+ years of experience. She started her journey by building her own e-commerce website on Shopify and turned her $1000 savings to millions in just 2 years. Soon she started different ventures in which she failed and succeeded. And now, she's on a mission to help other entrepreneurs with her life and business lessons.
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