Registering your business with the state of Ohio is an important step in launching your business after you’ve completed your business plan.

The state offers online resources to help entrepreneurs with this process, including potential licenses that may be necessary, tips on remaining compliant, financing opportunities and much more. Start at Ohio Business Gateway to familiarize yourself with the requirements for your specific industry.

It’s recommended that you consult with legal or accounting professionals who can guide you through this process. However, if you choose to file on your own, here’s a step-by-step guide: (Note: Steps may vary depending on the business structure and whether or not you anticipate having employees)

  1. File your business with the Secretary of State. The necessary paperwork can be found online.
  2. Contact the IRS to receive an Employer Identification Number. This is necessary if you hire employees, but may also be needed if you open a business bank account. 
  3. Register with the Ohio Department of Taxation for employee withholdings, Commercial Activities Tax (CAT Tax) and a registered vendor’s license.
  4. If you anticipate having employees, register with Department of Job and Family Services.
  5. If you anticipate having employees, register them on Ohio’s New Hire Reporting Center.
  6. Register with the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation.
  7. Check for specific industry requirements on the Ohio Business Gateway website.
  8. Check for local requirements in your city or county that may apply to your business, such as building codes, zoning restrictions, vendor license requirements and others. Your local chamber of commerce can usually assist you with this.