There are three ways to incorporate your business in Ohio:

  1. Hire a lawyer to do the job for you (the most expensive option)
  2. Walk in to the Secretary of State office and do it by yourself
  3. Use a professional incorporation company, like Active Filings.

Articles of Incorporation Requirements

The Articles of Incorporation is the formation document you file with the Ohio Secretary of State to register your corporation with the state (LLCs file Articles of Organization). In Ohio, you can file Articles of Incorporation by mail, fax or in person (it will take the SOS 5 days to process your filing). If you hire Active Filings to incorporate your business, we are authorized to file online with the state, and we’ll form your LLC or corporation in 1 business day.

To complete your Ohio Articles of Incorporation, you’ll need to include the following information:

Company Name List the company name. The name of the corporation may not contain language implying a different purpose from the purpose or purposes in articles of incorporation. The name shall not be the same as or similar to the name of any domestic or foreign profit or nonprofit corporation, trade name, trademark or service mark registered in this state, limited liability company, statutory trust company or limited partnership or other business entity.
Company Purpose List the reason for forming the corporation or the business/activity which the corporation will engage in.
Authorized Shares List the number of shares of corporate stock you are currently authorizing. Technically, this is when you “create” your stock (more can always be authorized later), and that stock will be issued to your shareholders at your first shareholder meeting.
Registered Agent Information In Ohio, a registered agent (also known as a resident agent) is an individual or business that serves as your company’s official point of contact for lawsuits and legal notices. As part of Active Filings’ incorporation service, we include a year of registered agent service when you hire us to incorporate your business in Ohio.
Names and Addresses of the Incorporators The incorporator is the person or company authorized to form the corporation. For example, if you hired us, we would list ourselves as the incorporator. The incorporator does not have any stake in or claim to the corporation being formed.

Corporate Name Endings

The name shall end with or include word or abbreviation “Company”, “Co.”, “Corporation”, “Corp.”, “Incorporated” or “Inc.” The name must be distinguishable from the name of another domestic or foreign corporation authorized to do business in the state or from any trade name. The name shall not contain language that implies it is connected with a government agency of any state or the United States.

Director Information

Minimum Number Three or more, except that where the shares of a corporation are owned by less than three shareholders, that corporation may have less than three directors but that number may not be less than the number of shareholders.
Residence Requirements No provision
Age Requirements Must be 18 years old
Articles of Incorporation Directors are required to be listed

Officer Information

Articles of Incorporation Officers are not required to be listed

Stock Information

An increase in the shares may cause an increase in the initial filing fee.

Yearly Requirements

Annual Statements

A domestic corporation incorporated on or after January 1, 1993 must file its first statement of continued existence on or before July 1 of the year following its year of incorporation and each July 1 thereafter. A filing fee of $5 will be charged.

Income Tax Rate

The greater of: (1) 5.1% plus an additional corporate franchise tax of 0.11% of the first $50,000 of the value of the corporation’s issued and outstanding shares of stock determined according to net income (Basis B) and 8.9% (8.5% for tax years beginning after 1998) plus an additional corporate franchise tax of 0.22% of the excess over $50,000; or (2) 5.82 mills (4 mills after 1998) plus an additional corporate franchise tax of 0.14 mill of the value of the corporation’s issued and outstanding shares of stock Minimum tax $50.

For more information on taxes, visit

When you hire Active Filings to incorporate your business in Ohio, you’ll receive everything you need to track and maintain your company, this includes:

  • Free expedited service
  • One year of registered agent service
  • An online account where you can add additional services, track orders, maintenance requirements and digital notifications.

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Learn More About Incorporation Requirements In Your State