Ohio Certificate of Authority

The Ohio Certificate of Authority is a crucial legal document required for businesses looking to operate in the state of Ohio. This certificate grants out-of-state businesses the authority to conduct business within Ohio’s borders. Without this certificate, businesses risk facing penalties and legal repercussions for operating without proper authorization.

Obtaining the Ohio Certificate of Authority involves completing an application with the Ohio Secretary of State and providing necessary documentation, such as a certificate of good standing from the business’s home state. Once granted, the certificate allows businesses to legally transact in Ohio, opening up opportunities for growth and expansion into this vibrant and business-friendly state.

What exactly is an Ohio certificate of authority?

Before conducting business in Ohio, companies must register with the Ohio Secretary of State. Businesses incorporated in another state typically seek an Ohio certificate of authority, which registers them as a foreign entity and obviates the need to establish a new entity.

Failure to operate with a certificate of authority can lead to penalties or fines. Moreover, in addition to state requirements, licensing bodies, financial institutions, and suppliers often request a certificate of authority.

When is a certificate of authority necessary?

Common reasons for applying for a certificate of authority include:

  • Establishing an office or physical presence in a different state
  • Hiring an employee residing in the state
  • Commencing a contract or job in a new state
  • Meeting vendor or bank requirements
  • Complying with licensing authority prerequisites

How can I acquire an Ohio certificate of authority?

To obtain your Ohio Certificate of Authority, you need to submit an Application for Certificate of Authority, along with necessary certificates or certified copies from your home state. It is essential to appoint a registered agent for your filing to be accepted. Compliance with the state’s guidelines is crucial, as even minor errors can lead to document rejection.

For Different Types of Foreign Entities:

Agency: Ohio Secretary of State Form:

530A: Foreign For-Profit Corporation Application for License

Filing Options:

By mail or online.

Agency Fee:


Relevant Law:

OH Rev Code § 1703.03

Required Attachments:

Certified Copy Requirement:

Certified copies not mandatory.

Certificate of Good Standing Requirement:

A certificate of good standing issued within the last 90 days.

What documentation is needed from my home state?

To secure an Ohio Certificate of Authority, you must also provide:

  • Limited Liability Company: A certificate of good standing dated within 90 days.
  • Corporation: A certificate of good standing dated within 90 days.
  • Nonprofit Corporation: A certificate of good standing dated within 90 days.

Who is a registered agent?

A registered agent is designated to receive legal documents and official notifications on behalf of your business. When completing your Ohio Certificate of Authority application, you must designate a registered agent with a physical address within the state (P.O. Boxes are not permitted).

Many businesses lack an individual or physical address in a new state. By listing our local registered agent address on your certificate of authority application, you fulfill the state’s requirements. Additionally, our registered agent service, priced at $99 annually, offers same-day document scanning from our local office in all 50 states and DC, making it easy to add our service to any certificate of authority application.

How can I contact the state?

Ohio Secretary of State
Physical Address: 180 E. Broad St., 16th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-466-2655 or 877-767-6446
Website: https://www.sos.state.oh.us/
Name Search: https://businesssearch.ohiosos.gov/
Forms: https://www.sos.state.oh.us/businesses/filing-forms–fee-schedule/
Online Filing: https://bsportal.ohiosos.gov/(S(2arso2uqrjmc5mfchaooknzj))/default.aspx

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