Starting a Business
1. First, register with the Ohio Secretary of State.
Registration information as well as forms are available online or at (877) SOS-FILE.
2. Contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
Additional information and an online application are available at www.irs.gov - seach "EIN."
3. Then, open a Bank Account.
You will need your EIN to open a bank account.
4. Contact the Ohio Department of Taxation.
Register with the Ohio Department of Taxation at www.tax.ohio.gov. The Ohio Department of Taxation can assist businesses in determining state and local tax obligations.
5. Report Newly Hired and Re-Hired Employees to the Ohio New Hire Reporting Center.
Report employee information at www.OH-NewHire.com. More information can be obtained by contacting the Ohio New Hire Reporting Center at (888) 872-1490.
6. Contact the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation.
If your business or organization has an employee or employees visit www.bwc.ohio.gov under "Employers."
BWC's Grow Ohio Incentive program offers new employers premium discount options. Click here for more information.
7. Contact the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Employers may be required to establish an Unemployment Compensation Tax Account with the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services. Visit jfs.ohio.gov - search "Employer."
8. Finally, obtain the proper licenses and permits.
The Ohio Business Gateway, www.business.ohio.gov, Licenses and Permits page provides a list of professional licenses and business permits necessary to do business in Ohio. Contact your county and local government to determine if any special requirements exist for your type of business.
Special Considerations for Nonprofit Organizations
Apply for Tax Exemption. Visit www.irs.gov to apply to become a tax-exempt organization. Also, contact the Ohio Department of Taxation and your county and local governments to determine how to apply for applicable exemptions.
Contact the Ohio Attorney General If the Intent is to Engage in Solicitation Activities. Register with the Ohio Attorney General's office at www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov before engaging in any solicitation activities for a nonprofit organization.
Apply for a Nonprofit Postal Permit. Apply for a nonprofit mailing permit from the United States Postal Service at www.usps.com.
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- Commerce, Ohio Department of: Liquor Control Division
- Development, Ohio Department of
- Health, Ohio Department of: Vital Records
- Insurance, Ohio Department of
- Internal Revenue Service, United States Department of the Treasury
- Job and Family Services, Ohio Department of
- Taxation, Ohio Department of
- Workers' Compensation, Ohio Bureau of
- The U.S. Small Business Administration – Columbus District
- The U.S. Small Business Administration – Cleveland District
- Ohio Business Gateway: Licensing and Permits
- Small Business Development Centers
Business Publications from the Secretary of State's Office:
- Guide to Starting a Corporation in Ohio
- Guide to Nonprofit Corporations in Ohio
- Guide to Secured Commercial Transactions in Ohio
- Guide to Registering your Trademark or Service Mark in Ohio
- Guide to Starting a Limited Liability Company in Ohio
- Guide to Starting a Partnership in Ohio
- Guide to Starting a Sole Proprietorship in Ohio
- Helpful Links