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Secretary Husted Continues Efforts to Modernize Office, Announces Online Business Filings

COLUMBUS – Secretary of State Jon Husted today announced that his office will now accept the most frequently used business filings online as part of an ongoing effort to further improve and modernize operations and services at the Secretary of State’s Office.

“This is another step toward making sure our state has a business climate that encourages new business starts, leading to new career opportunities for Ohioans. It’s government moving at the speed of business,” Secretary Husted said. “By utilizing technology to improve our services, we are positioning our state to roll out the red carpet to business and job creation by cutting the red tape.”

Providing online services benefits both consumers and taxpayers by simplifying the submission process. It reduces processing times for customers and streamlines administrative operations – making government more efficient. Forms available for online filing include those for forming a limited liability company in Ohio, renewals for trade or fictitious names, biennial reports for professional associations or limited liability partnerships, as well as statements of continued existence for nonprofit corporations.

Together, these forms represent approximately 50 percent of all filings received by the Secretary of State’s office in 2012.

“Modernizing government is good business,” Ohio Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Andrew E. Doehrel said. “Virtually all businesses today expect to interface with their customers through online technology and they need the government agencies they deal with to be technology savvy as well.”

“Small-business owners often wear many hats. They are always looking for ways to save time and make it easier to comply with requirements,” said Chris Ferruso, Legislative Director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Ohio. “Our members appreciate Secretary Husted’s efforts to ease their burden and add efficiencies to his office.”

Prior to being able to file online, customers were required to complete a paper form, attach a check to pay for the filing fee and then return the completed form by mail. The Secretary of State’s business services division would then review the filing, process the payment and send a notice via mail that the paperwork and payment had been approved. If there were any issues with the filing, the customer would be notified, their payment refunded and they could be required to start the process over. This procedure could often take several days to complete.

Businesses can file electronically via the Secretary of State’s Ohio Business Central online, at www.OhioSecretaryofState.gov, after creating a profile to access the secure site. Once logged in, users can select from the available options, provide payment for filing fees and manage their account. The online system allows businesses to complete the submission process, from start to finish, in less than one day in some cases.

Currently, the majority of states, roughly 90 percent, offer some level of electronic filing. In Indiana, which launched online filings in 2007, processing times have been reduced and the administrative benefit has been increased efficiency, resulting in a savings for taxpayers. Also worth noting, after just six months of launching online filing 50 percent of all submissions were being done electronically.

The Secretary of State’s office will continue to make paper forms available for those who prefer to file business forms using the traditional method.

In addition to the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and NFIB Ohio, several other organizations are supporting today’s announcement, including: Central Ohio Minority Business Association; Development Services Agency – Office of Business Assistance; Latino Affairs Commission; National Association of Women Business Owners; Ohio AgriBusiness Association; Ohio Association of Realtors; Ohio Grocers Association; Ohio Latino Affairs Commission; Ohio Manufacturers Association; Ohio Restaurant Association; and, Veteran Owned Businesses of Ohio.


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Sam Rossi
Press Secretary
srossi@ohiosecretaryofstate.gov
(614) 466-2729
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