Ohio Secretary of State Business Entity Search

Do you need help conducting an Ohio Secretary of State Business Entity Search? Check out our easy-to-follow guide for the best way to go about it!

If you're setting up a new business in Ohio, the first step involves using the Ohio Business Entity Search. This tool enables you to check if your proposed business name has already been taken by another entity in the state. It's a straightforward process that can ensure your business name is unique and compliant with Ohio's business registration requirements.

Step 1: Visit the Ohio Secretary of State's Website

Visit the Ohio Secretary of State's Website
For Ohio business owners, conducting a thorough business entity search is an essential step. The Ohio Secretary of State's website provides a valuable tool for this purpose. By visiting their Business Search page, you can access a wealth of information about businesses registered in Ohio.

Step 2: Checking Business Name Availability

Visit the Ohio Secretary of State's Website

Navigating to the Business Search Page

Begin by typing the URL for the Ohio Secretary of State's Business Search page into your web browser. This page is specifically designed to help you check the availability of business names in Ohio.

Typing in the Desired Business Name

Once on the Business Search page, locate the "Business Name" search bar. This feature is easily found in the center of the page, clearly labeled "Business Name Availability". Here, you can type in the name of the business you're interested in.

Selecting the Search Criteria

Under the "Search For" section, you'll find various options to filter your search. These include All Business Entities, Only Active Businesses, Only Inactive Businesses, and Only Canceled Businesses. Choose "All Business Entities" for a comprehensive search.

Executing the Search

After inputting the desired name and selecting your search criteria, click the "Search" button. This will initiate the search process and yield results on the availability of the business name.

Step 3: Searching for Details of Registered Businesses

Searching for Details of Registered Businesses

Accessing the Business Search Tool

Just like with the business name availability check, start by going to the Business Search page on the Ohio Secretary of State's website.

Entering the Business Details

In the search bar labeled "Business Entity Number or Name", input the details of the business you're searching for. This could be the registered business name, exact business name, prior business name, agent/registrant name, organizer/incorporator name, or the business entity number.

Limiting Search by Business Type

To refine your search, use the "Limit By Business Type" section. This area allows you to specify the type of business you're interested in, such as Corporation, Limited Liability Company, Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership, and others.

Conducting the Search

Click the "Search" button to process your query. This action will bring up a list of relevant results based on your specified criteria.

Understanding the Search Results

Understanding the Search Results
The search results from the Ohio Secretary of State's website offer detailed information on registered businesses. You'll find key data such as business owners, registered agents, the status of the business, and official filings and documents. This information is crucial for various purposes, such as due diligence, legal research, or competitive analysis.

Utilizing the Ohio Business Search Tool Effectively

To get the most out of the Ohio Business Search tool, follow these tips:

  • Be Specific: The more specific your search terms, the more relevant your results will be.
  • Use All Available Features: Take advantage of all the filtering options to narrow down your search effectively.
  • Check for Updates: Regularly revisit the site for the most current information, as business statuses and details can change.

Additional Considerations

Legal Implications

When conducting a business entity search, be aware of the legal implications of the information you find. Understanding the status and history of a business can be important for legal compliance and business dealings.

Business Planning and Strategy

Use the information gained from your search for strategic planning. Knowing the landscape of existing businesses in your field can guide your business decisions and strategies.

Starting a Business in Ohio FAQs

What Business Structure Should I Choose in Ohio?

In Ohio, common business structures include sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations. Each structure offers varying levels of liability protection, tax implications, and ease of setup. It's important to assess these factors in relation to your business goals and needs.

How Do I Check If My Desired Business Name Is Available in Ohio?

To check the availability of a business name in Ohio, use the Secretary of State's online business name database. This tool allows you to search and confirm whether the name you want is already in use.

What Ohio Permits and Licenses Will My Business Need?

The permits and licenses required for your business in Ohio will depend on your industry and location. Common requirements include sales tax permits, food service licenses, professional licenses, and local permits.

Where Can I Register My Business Name and Form My Business Entity?

You can register your business name and form your business entity online through the Ohio Business Central platform, which is managed by the Ohio Secretary of State.

What Are the Steps for Forming an LLC in Ohio?

To form an LLC in Ohio, you'll need to choose a business name, file Articles of Organization, create an operating agreement, obtain necessary licenses, and file an SS-4 to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN), among other steps.

How Much Does It Cost to Form a Business Entity in Ohio?

The cost to form an LLC in Ohio is $99, with an additional $25 for expedited filing. To form a corporation, it costs $99 plus $100 for expedited filing.

What Resources Are Available for Writing a Business Plan in Ohio?

Ohio offers various free resources for writing a business plan, including SBA templates, public library services, SBDC offices, SCORE mentors, and business centers at local colleges.

Where Can I Find Help with Business Startup Funding and Financing?

For startup funding and financing in Ohio, you can explore options with the SBA, SBDC offices, microlenders, credit unions, banks, and crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter.

Does Ohio Tax Business Income?

Yes, Ohio imposes taxes on business income for corporations, partnerships, LLCs, and sole proprietors. It's important to understand the specific tax obligations of your business entity.

Is Ohio a Business-Friendly State for Startups?

Ohio is considered a business-friendly state for startups due to its low business costs, available resources like the SBDC, strong infrastructure, skilled workforce, and incentives such as angel investor tax credits.

What Insurance Does My Ohio Business Need?

Typical insurance needs for Ohio businesses include general liability, professional liability, commercial property, workers' compensation, and cyber insurance, among others.

How Do I Hire Employees for My Ohio Business?

When hiring employees in Ohio, you should determine your staffing needs, post job listings, screen and interview candidates, make employment offers, and register for employer taxes.

What Are the Top Industries to Start a Business in Ohio?

Prominent industries in Ohio for starting a business include manufacturing, technology, healthcare, biosciences, food services, automotive, aerospace, agriculture, tourism, and green energy.

What Resources Help Ohio Minority-Owned Businesses?

Minority-owned businesses in Ohio can find assistance through the Ohio Minority Business Assistance Centers, the Ohio MBDA Business Center, and the Minority Business Development Agency.

Where Can I Find a Business Mentor in Ohio?

Business mentoring in Ohio is available through organizations like SCORE, the Ohio SBDC, the SBA, and local Chambers of Commerce.


Conducting an Ohio business entity search is a straightforward process, thanks to the tools provided by the Ohio Secretary of State's website. Whether checking for business name availability or seeking detailed information on registered businesses, this resource is invaluable for business owners and entrepreneurs in Ohio. By following the steps outlined and utilizing the search options effectively, you can gather important information necessary for informed business decision-making and strategy development.