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The Secretary of State’s office may not advise you on what type of business entity to form such as a corporation, limited liability company or partnership.  It is best to consult with an attorney who can properly advise you.  Upon determining the type of business entity you would like to form, our office can assist you in the filing process.

Any business entity, domestic or foreign, planning to transact business within Ohio, using a name other than their own personal name, must register with this office.  Business entities must file the appropriate formation documents to register their business.  Sole proprietorships and general partnerships are not required to register the business entity; however, they may need to register a trade name or report the use of a fictitious name if they are doing business in a name not their own.  (For example, if you are doing business under your personal name, i.e. Bob Smith, then you do not need to register with our office, but if you are doing business under the name “Bob Smith’s Automotive Shop,” then the name must be registered with our office).

In addition to filing a dissolution with our office, when you dissolve or surrender, you will need to contact the Ohio Department of Taxation(opens in a new window) to complete the necessary forms.

Ohio law requires any person or business making retail sales of tangible personal property or taxable services to register for sales tax by obtaining a vendor’s license. Registration is available through the following link: Registration  

Local Permits:

  • Building Permits –For the building permit process, the designated agency in each jurisdiction coordinates the approvals required for the issuance of the building permit and the inspections that are required by the various agencies before the Certificate of Occupancy or a Certificate of Completion can be issued.
  • Local health departments have the authority to enforce state standards for safety and sanitation in Food Service Operations and Retail Food Establishments. These standards can be found in the Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 3717-1, Chapter 3701-21 and in Ohio Revised Code 3717. Check with your County Public Health Department before you begin planning your food service operation.
  • Fire codes (also fire prevention code or fire safety code) must be met. In the United States, the fire code is a model code adopted by the state or local jurisdiction and enforced by fire prevention officers within municipal fire departments.