Ohio Foreign Qualification

Ohio has numerous business opportunities just waiting to be taken advantage of. But before your business can expand from its home state into Ohio, you’ll have to foreign qualify. Doing so is an integral part of remaining fully compliant. Luckily, it’s not that difficult to understand the basics of the process.

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Foreign Qualification at 888-366-9552

What is Foreign Qualification?

Foreign qualification is the process of registering a business that exists in one state so that it may do business in other states. “Foreign” refers to another state, not another country in this situation, and since a business formed in one state may not meet the legal requirements to operate in another, foreign qualification is a process that must be undertaken.

Why Does A Company Need Foreign Qualification?

Why You Need To Do It – If a corporation or LLC wishes to have any kind of physical presence in Ohio, it will have to foreign qualify. This includes opening a store, a warehouse, or office and even includes just having a single employee operating within the state on behalf of your company.

When Should You Do It? – As soon as you decide that you’ll be expanding your business operations into Ohio. Delaying the process could lead to delays in being able to operate there, and it’s important that you start as soon as possible. Generally, you will need to receive Ohio foreign qualification if your company falls under any of the following criteria:

  • Has a physical presence in Ohio
  • Buying a property there
  • Have remote employees
  • Accepts orders in Ohio
  • Owns a bank account in Ohio

What Happens If Your Entity Does Not Foreign Qualify?

Failure to file can lead to several penalties, fees, and fines. This includes tax related penalties including back taxes as well as tax related fines. You will also be unable to bring forth any lawsuits within the Ohio court system if you’re not registered.

Steps To Obtain Foreign Qualification

There are several steps that a business must take in order to receive Ohio foreign qualification. These include the following.

1. Obtain Certificates – Ohio requires that you file a Registration of a Foreign Limited Liability Company or a Foreign Corporation Application for License. You can find these forms and download them from the Secretary of State’s website. You will also have to complete the cover sheet included in the file. Corporations also have to secure a Certificate of Good Standing from the state where they formed the company.

2. Collect And Submit Information – The forms will request a variety of information from you.


  • LLC name
  • An alternate name if the original is unavailable
  • Name of the home state
  • The original date of LLC formation
  • Name and address for contact person
  • Name and address of the registered agent
  • An authorized signature


  • Corporation name
  • An alternate name if the original is unavailable
  • Name of the home state
  • The original date of formation of the corporation
  • Location of principal office address
  • Purpose of business to be conducted in Ohio
  • Name and address of the registered agent
  • Names and mailing addresses of officers and directors
  • The principal or executive office address

3. Appoint Registered Agent – Your registered agent is responsible for managing most of the processes involved in foreign qualification and in staying compliant as well. The majority of businesses turn to a third party provider like DoMyLLC to handle this for them.

4. File The Application – Once you complete the forms, submit them to the state along with the $99 filing fee for both an LLC and Corporation.

5. Ongoing Maintenance – Unlike many other states, Ohio has no annual report requirements for corporations or LLCs. Other aspects like taxes must be managed throughout the year to maintain full compliance, however.

What Is the Difference Between Foreign Qualification And Incorporating?

Incorporation is a process that creates an entirely new business. Foreign qualification, on the other hand, is something that has no impact on the structure of the business and that does not’ form a new company. Instead, it merely provides an LLC or corporation with the ability to operate in a state other than its home state.

How DoMyLLC Can Assist With Streamlining The Process

We understand how important it is to take your business into the future – and how difficult it can be. That’s why our team takes the hard work of foreign qualification off your shoulders. We do everything involved in the process so you can focus on managing other aspects of your company. We provide:

  •     Dedicated account managers
  •     Name availability checks
  •     Full registration and filing for your business
  •     Ongoing, unlimited customer support

If you’re considering branching out, let us handle the Ohio foreign qualification process for you. Contact us today to learn more.

Ohio Foreign Qualification FAQs

A Registration of a Foreign Limited Liability Company with a completed cover sheet or the Ohio Corporation Application for License.

Ohio charges a basic filing fee of $99 for both an LLC and Corporation.

Any business that exists outside of Ohio but that wishes to begin operations within the state.

No. An attorney isn’t needed. However, businesses may still wish to consult with their attorneys to ensure full compliance.

Basic business information including things like:

  • Name of business
  • State of formation
  • Type of business
  • Current mailing and physical addresses
  • Names of members and managers
  • Registered agent information

You will have to file under a fictitious name. This won’t impact the name that your business operates under in any other state.

Ohio Business Resources

Ohio Office of Secretary of State
Phone Number:
(614) 466-3910

Ohio Secretary of State
180 Broad Street, 16th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215