Do you own a business operating in the state of Ohio? If so, you may need to acquire licenses and permits to ensure that your company operates in a compliant fashion.
But how do you determine which permits and licenses you need (if any), and where do you acquire them? In this guide to Ohio business licenses and permits, we’ll answer all the tough questions about this process.
Are There Federal Licenses That My Business Needs?
First off, let’s discuss the matter of federal licenses and permits. There are many business activities that are regulated by various federal agencies, from agriculture to transportation and logistics. We recommend taking a look at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s guide to federal licenses and permits to make sure you’ve got your bases covered.
In addition, most businesses should acquire a federal tax ID number, also known as an EIN (employer identification number). This is essentially a social security number for your business, and it enables you to hire employees, pay business taxes, open business bank accounts, and more. You can acquire an EIN from the IRS for free.
What State-Level Licenses and Permits Apply in Ohio?
According to Ohio.gov, “businesses are required to register with the Ohio Secretary of State to legally conduct business in the state — this is commonly called a business license.” However, there is no general business license that must be obtained outside of registering your business with the state of Ohio.
There are many industries and occupations in Ohio that may require licensing, from Adult Education to Wild Animal Rehabilitators. To see if your business requires special licensing in Ohio, consult this link.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency also recognizes certain commercial activities that impact air, soil, or water quality. These activities may require special permits in the state. To learn more about environmental requirements, check out the Guide to Environmental Permitting in Ohio.
Which Tax Registrations are Required for Ohio Businesses?
In addition to occupational licenses and permits, there are a number of state-level tax registrations, which are based on the industry you operate in and which business structure your company uses.
Every Ohio business is required to register with the Ohio Department of Taxation. This can either be done through the Ohio Business Gateway or over the phone. Most corporations will need to register for the Commercial Activity Tax, and any business with employees will need to register for Employer Withholding.
Some businesses are also required to pay certain industry-specific taxes in Ohio. These can range from Farm Use to Vehicles for Hire. You can learn more about these tax requirements on the Department of Taxation website.
Are There Local Licenses, Permits, or Registrations in Ohio?
The answer to this question obviously depends on where in Ohio you’re operating your business, but there are indeed quite a few licenses, permits, and tax registrations required by Ohio localities.
Some cities and counties require businesses to obtain local licensing. These are not managed at the state level, so you will need to contact the county or city clerk for the district in which your business is located for more information.
If we were to break down the exact rules and regulations regarding permitting in every locality in the state of Ohio, this article would become excessively lengthy. With that in mind, we’ll simply say that every business owner should check with their local government to determine whether there are licenses, permits, or tax registrations required to operate in compliant fashion.
Can I Hire Someone to Research Licenses and Permits for My Business?
If this process sounds like a bit of a hassle, that’s because it certainly can be. If you would rather hire a reputable business services provider to handle this for you, that is always an option.
Companies like Incfile can research the necessary licenses and permits for your company on the federal, state, county, and municipal levels. They will then send you the applications you need to acquire these permits and licenses, meaning all you need to do is fill them out and mail them in.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer for the question of which licenses and permits your business might require to operate in the state of Ohio. Instead, it’s important that you know how to access the resources to determine which permits your company needs to operate in a compliant fashion.
We hope this article helped you to do just that, and we wish you good fortune in your business future!