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Estate Planning, Probate & Business Law Blog

Estate Planning, Probate and Business Law Blog by Valente Law, LLC

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Start-Up Businesses in Ohio – Cleveland Business Attorney Explains How to Start an Ohio Business

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So, you want to start a business in Ohio, but don’t know where to begin?! Well, starting a business in Ohio is pretty simple.  The hard part is running the business and making it profitable.  Luckily, I’m a Cleveland, Akron area business attorney and I can help you with the whole process.

Requirements to Start an Ohio Business

There are many steps and considerations that go into starting a business, and I will summarize them here:

Determine What Type of Business Entity

There are a few different types of businesses.  Sole proprietorshipare businesses that are operated in your personal name.  These are problematic because there is no liability protection between your personal assets and your business assets.  Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are usually a better option, and provides you with a liability protection, and allows for the same type of taxation as a sole proprietorship.  Corporations are another good option, but have become less popular with the rise of LLCs.  Call us if you have any specific questions on what type of business is best for you.

Select a Business Name

You need to choose a business name that is not being used by another business.  You can search current businesses at the OH Secretary of State’s page here. Ohio Business Search.  Tip: check with godaddy.com or some other web domain company and make sure there is a website address available that fits your business before you select a name.

File the Required Corporate Formation Start-Up Documents

Assuming you decided to form an LLC or a corporation, you will need to register these businesses with the Ohio Secretary of State.  If you chose an LLC, you will need to file Articles of Organization.  But if you chose to form a corporation, you will file Articles of Incorporation.

Consider Obtaining a Tax ID Number for Your Start-Up Business

A Tax ID Number should be obtained when starting any business with more than one owner.  It is advisable in most other circumstances as well, but not necessarily required.  If you don’t get a TIN, your business will have to use your social security number for tax purposes.  Here is more information from the IRS regarding Tax ID Numbers.

Obtain any Required Licenses or Permits

If you are selling products, you will most likely need a vendor’s license. Alternatively, if you are preparing food, you will most likely need a license. And if you are managing properties, you will need a license.  If you are unsure if your industry requires you to have a license, call us and we can help you find out.

Prepare Initial Corporate Resolutions

You should sign initial corporate resolutions that walk through the process of the of the organizer or incorporator turning over control to the owners.  Next you will want a resolution by the owners appointing the board of directors.  Then you will want a resolution by the board of directors appointing the officers.  These should all be signed, and added to the corporate record book

Prepare Bylaws or Code of Regulation or Operating Agreement

Cleveland Business Attorney Guide to Start-Up BusinessBylaws, Code of Regulations and Operating Agreements are the high level rules of the company.  It should spell out who the owners are.  You will also want to identify the responsibilities of the various corporate officers. These documents should specify the way in which the company operates.

Start Separate Bank Accounts

You will need to set up new bank accounts and keep your personal assets separate from your business assets.  Do not comingle your personal assets with your business assets.

If you do all of this, you should be on the right track.  If you don’t do this properly, you could be putting your personal assets at risk and leaving yourself in a vulnerable position.  Call Valente Law today at (330) 665-5000 to help you get your business set up quickly and correctly.

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