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How Much Does It Cost to Form an OH Corporation?

Legal business registration — and keeping your business in compliance — involves necessary expenses and investment. Some of these costs are payable to the Ohio Secretary of State, while others are due to additional state entities or the federal government. Here are some common requirements and fees.

Please note that fees for a State of Ohio business license or permit may be due when you first form your business, on an ongoing schedule or on an ad hoc basis. Find more details below.

Initial Ohio Corporation Filing Fees

When starting a business in Ohio State, you’ll need to file a form and pay a filing fee. Here are the current Ohio corporation filing fees and times:

State Fee State Filing Time Expedited Filing Time
$125 4 Weeks 2 Business Days *
State Fee $125
State Filing Time 4 Weeks
Expedited Filing Time 2 Business Days *

** 2 Days ($100), 1 Day ($200 - Only available for in-person drop-off),
4 Hours** ($300 - Only available for in-person drop-off);
**if received by 1:00pm

When you use Bizee to register a business in Ohio, we charge you the state filing fee and forward it to the Secretary of State when we file your incorporation paperwork

Bizee can file your incorporation paperwork for you for free.

Just pay the required Ohio corporation filing fee.

Ohio allows you to incorporate more quickly by paying a rush fee

Employer Identification Number

Every corporation in the country should have a unique EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the Internal Revenue Service. You'll use it when you open a business bank account, file taxes and pay employees. You can get one directly from the IRS, or Bizee can get one for you.

Foreign Corporations

If you want to do business in a state other than the one where your business is based, you must create a Foreign Corporation.

Ohio Foreign Corporation Registration

Before you can bring an arm of your business from another state into Ohio, you must request Ohio Foreign Qualification. This means the state gives you permission to conduct business there.

To request registration of a Ohio Foreign Corporation, you must complete an Application for License and pay a processing fee of $99. The state may have additional registration requirements, so contact the Ohio Secretary of State directly for more information and to ensure you're in compliance with OH corporation law.

Foreign Qualification to Operate in Another State

If you plan to expand your Ohio corporation into another state, you’ll first need Foreign Qualification or a Certificate of Authority from that state. This is necessary before you can create a physical presence, hire employees or bank in that state.

You'll likely have to complete at least one application and pay a filing fee, but each state has its own requirements. Before you start the process, compare state filing times and state filing fees so you can plan accordingly.

Above all, contact the state government entity that administers business (usually the Secretary of State) to confirm their requirements and for specific instructions.

If you need assistance, Bizee provides a complete Foreign Qualification service for all states.

Ohio Annual Report Requirements

Most states require business entities to file an annual (or other periodic) report. Ohio is unlike these states in that it does not require a periodic report.

Annual Report


Ohio corporations are currently not required to file annual reports.

State of Ohio Business License and Permit Requirements

Before you start doing business, you must secure the necessary state, federal or local business licenses and permits to operate your corporation. Some of the fees will only need to be paid once, while others may be ongoing charges.

Permits and licenses vary based on:


The type of business you run (e.g., attorneys must pass the state bar exam)


The industry your corporation operates in (e.g., restaurants will need health permits)


The location of your corporation (state, county or city) (e.g., a license to conduct business in the city of Cleveland)

Operating your corporation without the required State of Ohio business license can leave you vulnerable to risks, such as fines from local, state and federal governments.

You can research these permits and licenses yourself, or use Bizee’s Business License Research Package, which includes:

  • A complete report on all the licenses, permits and tax registrations your corporation will need
  • The applications you'll need to file with the local, state and federal licensing authorities

Corporate Regulations

You are required to have Ohio corporation regulations if you form a corporation in the state. You don't need to file them with the Ohio Secretary of State, but make sure you have them with your documents and by all means, continue to follow them.

These regulations outline rules for carrying out tasks related to managing your corporation including, but not limited to:

  • the number of directors the corporation has
  • how they'll be elected, their qualifications and the lengths of their terms
  • when, where, and how your board of directors can call and conduct meetings
  • voting requirements

The regulations must then be adopted (and amended, if necessary) by the board of directors and shareholders.

Drafting a set of regulations can be extremely helpful in making sure you’re organized and can help protect your business from any future changes and events that may affect your business.

Other OH Corporation Filing Requirements and Fees

The State of Ohio requires you to complete a few more tasks before you can begin conducting business.

Appoint a Director

Some states require corporations to appoint a full board of directors. OH corporation law requires all corporations to have at least one director.

Appoint Officers

In Ohio, the board of directors must elect officers, for the corporation that "shall consist of a president, a secretary, a treasurer, and, if desired, one or more vice-presidents and such other officers and assistant officers as may be deemed necessary."

Issue Stock to Shareholders

To raise business capital and keep it separate from company owners' money, every Ohio corporation must sell stock to its shareholders. The Articles of Incorporation must authorize the sale of at least one class of share, and the corporation cannot sell more shares than are authorized.

Hold Annual General Meetings

Within Ohio you must hold annual shareholder meetings for the election of directors and the consideration of reports. The Ohio Revised Code Title 17, Chapter 1701, § 1701.39 states, "An annual meeting of shareholders for the election of directors and the consideration of reports to be laid before such meeting shall be held on a date designated by, or in the manner provided for in, the articles or in the regulations. In the absence of such designation, the annual meeting shall be held on the first Monday of the fourth month following the close of each fiscal year of the corporation."

Get a Trade Name or DBA

If you want to register an Ohio DBA (trade name), you must file a form with the Secretary of State and pay a filing fee of $25.

Bizee can file your trade name or DBA forms on your behalf

Change the Statutory Agent

If your corporation is based in Ohio, then you must have a Statutory Agent in the state. You'll need to appoint one when you file your Articles of Incorporation. You can also change to a new Statutory Agent later by filing a form and paying a fee of $25.

Let Bizee serve as your Statutory Agent.

It’s free for the first year if you form your OH corporation with us and $119 a year after.

Reserving a Name for Your Corporation

If you're not quite ready to start your business, you can reserve a name for 180 days with the Secretary of State by filing a form and paying a fee of $39. First, conduct an OH corporation search and learn the state's business naming rules to ensure you choose a name that meets legal requirements.

Amending Facts About Your Corporation

When you incorporate, the Ohio business forms you fill out include certain facts about your business at that time. Through the years, some or all of this information may change. If it does, you'll need to file a Certificate of Amendment with the Ohio SOS along with a filing fee of $50. You can do this yourself or Bizee can do it for you.

You'll need to file a Certificate of Amendment when you:

  • Change the company's name
  • Add, remove or change a director
  • Change the Statutory Agent
  • Change the number of shares your corporation is authorized to issue
  • Change any other facet of your business that was listed in the original Articles of Incorporation

Get a Certificate of Good Standing

Some organizations may request that you prove your corporation's compliance with laws and tax requirements. In most states - including Ohio - this proof is provided with a Certificate of Good Standing.

If you need to prove you have met your commitments, you’ll need to request an Ohio Certificate of Good Standing from the Secretary of State. You can do this by filing a Certificate Request with the Ohio SOS, and paying a fee of $5.

Bizee can obtain an Ohio Certificate of Good Standing on your behalf

The information listed above details many of the fees a standard corporation will be required to pay in Ohio. In some circumstances, there may be other one-off, periodic or ad hoc fees not listed above.

Of course, your corporation will also probably need to pay federal, state, self-employment (if it's an S Corp) and other taxes. You'll find more information on the Ohio taxes page.

FAQs About OH Corporation Filing Requirements and Fees

What Happens to the State Fees I'm Charged When I Incorporate?

We charge you this fee at cost and then pay it to the Ohio Secretary of State on your behalf when forming your business.

How Do I Get a Business License in Ohio?

It depends on various factors, including:

  • governing organizations in your industry;
  • federal, state and local regulations;
  • where you're located; and
  • the type of business you run.

Many new businesses need a business license, and you may be required to obtain additional licenses and permits. Our Business License Research Package can take the guesswork out of it for you and help you learn what your corporation needs to be compliant.

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