General liability insurance is not typically a legal requirement, but it is very strongly recommended. This policy protects your business assets from lawsuits-without it, a legal claim could force your company out of business entirely. A general liability insurance policy covers injuries, property damage, personal liabilities, advertising liabilities, and legal defense and judgment.

After settling on a name, you must prepare and file "articles of organization" with your state's LLC filing office. While most states use the term "articles of organization" to refer to the basic document required to create an LLC, some states call it a "certificate of formation" or "certificate of organization." To learn about the specific requirements of forming an LLC in your state, choose your state from the list below:

The governing document of the LLC is called an operating agreement, and it is within this document that the members lay out all important provisions, such as standards for LLC governance, ownership parameters, and rules around member changes (adding or removing members, or what happens in case of death or incapacity of a member). The operating agreement is an internal document and is an agreement amongst the members or owners, which means it is not recorded with the state.

Some businesses are prevented from forming an LLC, however. Typically financial companies such as banks, financial trust companies and insurance agencies can't file as an LLC. LLCs are sometimes limited for industries in certain states, too. For example, if you live in California, you can't form an LLC if you're an architect, accountant or licensed health care provider. Check out our LLC information by state for more details on your state.


All business filings were manually maintained prior to 1973. The office then began entering new filings into a computerized system. Data for businesses that were formed prior to 1973 was entered into the computerized system if they were still active at that time. The data for businesses that were not active in 1973 and have not reinstated, has been partially entered into the system. Images of approved filings were maintained on microfilm prior to 1997 when office began converting the film for all active businesses to a computerized format. Newly submitted filings since that time have been created and maintained in this computerized format.
Information on this Web site is collected, maintained, and provided for the convenience of the user. While the Secretary of State’s Office strives to keep such information accurate and updated, the Secretary of State’s Office does not certify the authenticity of information contained herein as it originates from third parties. The Secretary of State’s Office shall under no circumstances be liable for any actions taken or omissions made from reliance upon any information contained herein regardless of the source.

In the United States, a limited liability company is a business entity type that combines the pass-through taxation of a partnership or sole proprietorship with the limited liability of a corporation, creating the best of both worlds for business owners. LLCs have rapidly become one of the most popular business structures for new and small businesses, largely because they are considered to be simpler and more flexible than a corporation.


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The articles of organization also should include information about how your LLC will be managed. You need to indicate whether the members of the LLC will do hands-on management or if there will be hired management. Another requirement is to discuss how long the LLC will be in existence (there is no limit on this, so it is fine to say in perpetuity).
Flexible Profit Distribution For an LLC, if the members choose, the net income/profits of the LLC may be allocated to the members in different proportions to their ownership percentage in the LLC. This is different from a corporation, as corporations are required to distribute profits exactly accordance with the proportion/percentage of ownership of each shareholder.
Images of approved filings are available for on-line viewing. If an image is in the database it can be viewed by clicking the "Download Image" link on the business details page. Search the on-line inquiries to find the exact Business that interests you, then click on each document link to have the associated image displayed. Images are displayed in PDF format. (Click here for free download of Adobe Acrobat PDF Viewer.) You can choose to download an image to your PC by right clicking on the document link, choosing 'Save Target As' from the shortcut menu and selecting the directory where you want to save the image.Images that have not yet been added to our database can be obtained by contacting the Ohio Secretary of State toll free at 1-877-SOS-FILE or by sending an e-mail request to BUSSERV@OHIOSECRETARYOFSTATE.GOV
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