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Ohio Fictitious Name Laws

Ohio law restricts and prohibits your corporation from doing business under any name other than its complete corporate name UNLESS you first comply with the statutory process to register a fictitious name.

You must be certain to observe this restriction when advertising your business, executing documents, and any other activities related to the business of your corporation. Each document that you sign should be in the name of the Corporation. This is also important for assuring that corporate formalities are followed and to take away any argument that a creditor could use to attach your personal assets for liabilities that arise through the activities of your incorporated business.

A fictitious name is a name used in business or trade that is fictitious and that the user has not registered or is not entitled to register as a trade name. Any business name that is not on file as a trade name or corporation name must be reported to the Secretary of State as a fictitious name. The fictitious name report does not give protection against the acceptance by this office of a conflicting name.

The fictitious name filing was created to require public disclosure of all business names in use that do not identify the user [O.R.C. 1329.01(A)(2)].

The filing fee for each trade name registration is $20. The filing fee for each fictitious name report is $10. The registration for either filing is effective for a period of five years. Within six months of the expiration of the term, the registration or report may be renewed on a form furnished by the Secretary of State for a fee of $10.

A trade name or a fictitious name may be assigned. The assignment may be recorded in the Secretary of State's office when accompanied with a $10 fee. If the business address of the registrant or user changes, a change of address must be filed. The fee is $3 [O.R.C. 1329.04, 1329.06].

The trade name must be in use prior to filing. One may not register a name only intended for future use.

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GUIDE TO MAINTAINING YOUR CORPORATION

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Regular Meetings and Corporate Actions

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ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS Provided Totally Free Of Charge

IRS Form SS-4 To Obtain Federal Tax ID Number

IRS Form 2553 To Make Subchapter "S" Election

Additional State Forms