The Business Inquiries allow users to search and retrieve data and images maintained in the Business Database. The Business Database is a collection of files that records business filings submitted to, and approved by the Ohio Secretary of State. The database maintains records For Profit Corporations, Non-Profit Corporations, Professional Associations, Foreign Corporations, Foreign Name Registrations, Business Trusts, Real Estate Trusts, Fictitious Names, Trade Names, Limited Liability Companies,Limited Liability Partnerships, Limited Partnerships, Trademarks, Service Marks, and Name Reservations. These filings are recorded and maintained in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code.
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.
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
Decide if your LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed. A "member" of an LLC is either an owner of or investor in that LLC. A member-managed LLC affords each member equal rights in deciding how the business will be run. A manager-managed LLC is where the members elect several from their number to be responsible for the company's business affairs.
Indicate your LLC's initial registered agent and registered office. State law requires your LLC to have a registered agent and a registered office in Wisconsin on whom legal process can be served and to whom official documents can be sent. Your registered agent must be located at the registered office, which must be in Wisconsin and represent the physical business address of your registered agent.
A limited-liability company ("LLC") is commonly referred to as a "hybrid" business structure, meaning that it shares characteristics of both a corporation and a sole proprietorship. It allows its owners to insulate themselves from personal liability for business debts, does not require the payment of separate business taxes (the tax "passes through" to its owners), allows for a great deal of flexibility with regards to its organizational structure, and is subject to fewer regulations and restrictions than are other types of business structures. Establishing such a company in Wisconsin is a rather straightforward process.
An LLC that does not want to accept its default federal tax classification, or that wishes to change its classification, uses Form 8832, Entity Classification Election (PDF), to elect how it will be classified for federal tax purposes. Generally, an election specifying an LLC’s classification cannot take effect more than 75 days prior to the date the election is filed, nor can it take effect later than 12 months after the date the election is filed. An LLC may be eligible for late election relief in certain circumstances. See About Form 8832, Entity Classification Election for more information.
Please do not place your social security number on filing or other documents you submit to the Secretary of State. Although we attempt to prevent disclosure of social security numbers, due to the large number of documents filed, we cannot guarantee that a social security number placed on a document will not be disclosed. It is the responsibility of the filer to ensure that a social security number is not contained on the filing.
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.
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