What business legal structures are available in Ohio?

When you form a new business, you have a number of options for how to legally structure that business. Some states handle business structuring differently, however. So as an aspiring business owner, what are your options for business structuring in Ohio?

Per the Ohio Small Business Development Centers guide on starting your own business, your options are: sole proprietorship, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, general partnership, profit or non-profit limited liability company, or profit, non-profit, or professional corporation. Each of these business types carries different tax obligations and structures, and each requires that you register a legal name for your business.

Business name filing must be done with the Ohio Secretary of State after verifying your business name is not already registered in the SOS database. You can file either a trade name or a fictitious name. The former protects the name from use by other businesses. The latter does not.

Even businesses already established in another state must register with the Ohio Secretary of State. They are considered foreign entities, and must be registered in order to legally do business in the state of Ohio.

Non-profits undergo special requirements to gain non-profit status and any tax status or tax exemptions involved. There are a number of matters to consider when choosing a business structure, whether you are a single owner or working with one or more owners. Whether or not you have employees also impacts the type of business that you can legally register.

This information is for reference purposes only and should not be considered actionable legal advice.