How to File Articles of Incorporation in Ohio

Incorporating in Ohio is a crucial step for businesses, providing legal structure and potential benefits. Discover the essential details on costs, processing times, and statutes in our comprehensive Ohio Articles of Incorporation guide below.

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When forming a corporation in Ohio, your Articles of Incorporation (AOI) form the backbone of your business. It contains all the necessary information about your company that the state government requires to officially establish a business entity.

Applications are submitted to the Ohio Secretary of State, and it’s important to note that all the information listed on the Ohio Articles of Incorporation is public information once registered.

How to Complete the Articles of Incorporation Form

There are three methods of filing available to businesses in Ohio: in-person drop-off, via mail, and online. Ohio generally prefers online filings, which are quicker and easy to do. Go to the Ohio Business Central page for current fees and contact information.

Domestic versus Foreign For-Profit Articles of Incorporation

Domestic simply means that the corporation is being formed in the state of Ohio. Foreign (out-of-state) corporations must submit a Certificate of Authority, a different form than the standard domestic AOIs.

What’s in Articles of Incorporation?

Name of corporation: Entities that complete Articles of Incorporation have special rules for naming their businesses. They need to include the words company, corporation, incorporated, or their abbreviations.

Location of the principal office in Ohio: This is the address of the business.

Effective date: The effective date is usually on registration. However, businesses can opt to start at a later date, as long as it’s within 90 days of registration.

Share distribution: Businesses decide on the number of shares and their distribution. This section cannot be 0, this is a legal requirement for Ohio corporations.

Capital: If the entity has starting capital, it’s noted in this section.

Appointment of Statutory Agent: This section appoints the statutory agent which the agent needs to accept further down on the form. At ZenBusiness, we partner you with a statutory agent to streamline the process. The statutory agent is also known as a registered agent.

How to Register Your Business Name

There are a few steps to take before deciding on a business name.

  1. Check to see that the name is not in use as it has to be unique to the state. In Ohio, this is known as “Distinguishable Upon the Records. Use the government’s search tool to access its extensive database.
  2. Should you wish to reserve the name, make use of the ZenBusiness business name reservation service.
  3. Include the business designator in the name (Corp., Corporation, etc.)

Bear in mind that names that are required to be distinguishable include:

  • Trade names
  • Corporation names
  • LLC (limited liability company) names
  • Limited partnership names
  • LLP (limited liability partnership names)
  • Reserved names

It’s also worth noting that you can also register a fictitious name. This is also known in other states as a trading name or doing business as (DBA) name. We can assist with your DBA application.

Supplemental Forms to Submit With Your Ohio Articles of Incorporation

Foreign corporations that want to do business in Ohio will need to provide their Certificate of Existence, also known as Certificate of Fact or Certificate of Good Standing as well as their Certificate of Authority.

How to Submit the Form

Once all the information is complete, you simply need to follow the filing option of choice (postal mail, in person, or online).

While there is a standard fee, you can request expedited service at an additional cost. This can be two working days, one working day, or four hours.

It’s important to note that these timeframes are for guidance only and that documents need to reach the service center before certain cut-off times. Variations in the turnover times may occur during certain parts of the year.


Filing Ohio Articles of Incorporation can be an intimidating process. At ZenBusiness, we can handle this for you with our business formation services. Contact us today to learn how we can help start, run, and grow your dream company.

Ohio Articles of Incorporation FAQs

  • Check the Ohio Secretary of State website to see what the most current information is on fees and methods of payment available.

  • Online filings can take as little as two to three days.

  • The Ohio Secretary of State.

  • Sections 1701.01 to 1701.98 of the Revised Code.

  • No. However, where the structure of the business is complicated, legal guidance is recommended.

Get Incorporated in Ohio Today!