When beginning a business, you must decide what form of business entity to establish. Your form of business determines which income tax return form you have to file. The most common forms of business are the sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and S corporation. A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a business structure allowed by state statute. Legal and tax considerations enter into selecting a business structure.
Company limited by guarantee not having a share capital – Public company. Must have at least seven members. Members' liability limited to amount they have undertaken to contribute to company assets. If wound up, liability does not exceed amount specified in memorandum. If a guarantee company does not have a share capital, members are not required to buy shares (such as charities).
Sole Proprietorship – A sole proprietorship, also known as a trader firm or proprietorship, is a business firm that is owned and run by one individual. A sole proprietor may use a trade name or business name other than his or her name. Registration not required – In summary, biggest advantage is quick formation and low compliance. However, the biggest disadvantage is unlimited liability.
Limited liability companies can claim deductions but not tax-exempt status. S-Corps can claim deductions but not tax-exempt status. C-Corporations are not tax-exempt entities Not only are donations to Non-Profits tax-exempt, but NPOs can themselves apply for tax-exempt status. Sole Proprietorships are the least official business entity and cannot claim tax exemption.

LP, Limited partnership: a partnership where at least one partner (the general partner, which may itself be an entity or an individual) has unlimited liability for the LP's debts and one or more partners (the limited partners) have limited liability (which means that they are not responsible for the LP's debts beyond the amount they agreed to invest). Limited partners generally do not participate in the management of the entity or its business.
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.
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.
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.
With the proper planning, limited liability companies can exist for generations. S-Corps continue to exist even if the owners or majority shareholders leave or pass away. C-Corps continue to exist even if the owners or majority shareholders leave or pass away. Non-Profit organizations and institutions survive after their directors leave. Sole Proprietorships do not exist when the owner quits or passes away.
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.
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