What do I need to do to start a business in Ohio?
The first thing you need to do to start a business is register your business. Corporations, professional corporations, limited liability companies, and all partnerships must register with the Ohio Secretary of State in order to operate in Ohio. Most businesses regardless of form, including employers and those that collect sales tax, will also need to register with the Department of Taxation.
Do I need to get a business license for Ohio?
There is no one generic business license that all businesses must have, but Ohio does require that certain types of businesses and professions be licensed by the state. Licensing for these businesses is done by a variety state agencies, the most common being the Department of Commerce. Ohio also has several occupational licensing boards that oversee the licensing of certain professionals. You can check whether your business needs a license at the Ohio Business Gateway website at http://business.ohio.gov/licensing/.
Are there any local license requirements?
Some cities and municipalities require that businesses also obtain local licenses and permits in addition to meeting state requirements. Some business licenses are issued by the county where the business is located. For example, vendor licenses which are needed to sell any type of tangible good are often issued by the county and not the city where your business is located. It's best to always check with your local city and county business divisions to find out what local licenses your business needs to have.
What type of information do I need to register my business or get a license?
The information request varies by application, but there are certain things that almost all business applications in Ohio request. These include:
- Name of business
- Business address and contact information
- Nature and purpose of business
- Name of owners, partners, or officers of the business
- Your Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) available from the IRS or your social security number
If your occupation is regulated by the state, you may need to provide additional information about your business activities. For local licenses, you will usually need to also provide documentation that you have fulfilled all state licensing requirements prior to applying for the city or county license.
CLICK THE LINK TO YOUR CITY BELOW TO APPLY FOR A BUSINESS LICENSE