Once you start thinking about forming a new business entity in Ohio, you'll most likely think about the name of your future company. Regardless of whether you'll use your own name, acronyms, or looking for something more creative, you must ensure that the name you’ll use for your future company is unique and that there are no other active companies in Ohio with the same business name. This is where our Ohio business entity search guide can help!
And don't forget to check if there are some companies with similar names, as well. If there are other companies with similar names, your future clients and customers might get confused. You surely don't want your company to be mistaken for another one.
To perform the Ohio business entity search, you must visit the Ohio Secretary of State's website, and find the Business Search page. We can search for businesses by business name (current, exact, and prior), as well as by agent/registrant, organizer/incorporator, or number (entity number or doc-ID).
Since we have a lot to cover, let’s start with our step-by-step guide!
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Ohio Business Entity Search Tips
To get accurate results, don't use punctuation including ” ‘ , # () _ + /. and remove any hyphens (-), as well, and concatenate the words.
You can also use wild cards to get broader search results. The wild cards you can use are percent sign (%) and underscore (_). The percent sign (%) should be used when you don't know the exact name of the business entity you're looking for, while the underscore (_) will match only a single unknown character.
You can also use boolean or logical operators. This will allow you to enter multiple words in a search.
- AND – Use it when you want your search results to include all the entered words.
- OR – Use it when you want your search results to include at least one of the entered words.
- NOT – Use it when you want your search results to include the first of the entered words and not the other one.
Business Search by Business Name
Enter the business name to the search box and select whether you’re looking for all business entities, or only for active, cancelled, or dead ones. Click Search.
If there are no records that match your search criteria, you’ll get the following message “No data available in table”.
And if there are, you’ll get the list of all the business entities including entity number, type, status, location, county, filing and exp.date.
To view business details and filings, click on the Show Details button on the right. There you'll see the agent/registration information, as well as filings. From this page, you can also sign up to receive email notifications of any changes or updates made to this business entity.
Business Search by Exact Business Name
To perform the business search by exact search name, visit the Business Search page using this link.
Enter the exact business name to the search box and click on the Search button below.
Since we’re looking for the exact match, there’ll be only one result. If the name you entered doesn’t belong to a business entity in Ohio, there’ll be no data available in the table.
From the search results, you'll get insight into some key information but if looking for additional information and filings, click on the Show Details button on the right.
Business Search by Prior Business Name
You can also search business entities by their prior names. For this search method, visit this link.
Enter the prior business name to the search box and click on the Search button below.
If there are search results that match your search criteria, you’ll get the list of all the business entities and their key information. You’ll see both the current and prior name of the entity.
For more details about one of the entities, click on the Show Details button next to it.
Business Search by Agent/Registrant
Another way to look for a business is by agent/registrant name. Follow this link to perform the search.
Enter the agent/registrant name (you can enter the full name or just part of it), and click Search.
In the search results, you’ll see the agent’s name and effective date, as well as the information about the business entity he represents. For business details and filings, click on the Show Details button.
Business Search by Organizer/Incorporator
Click on this link, and you’ll be able to perform the Ohio business entity search by organizer/incorporator.
Enter the organizer/incorporator’s name (full or just part) to the search box. To narrow the search results, you can add the location of incorporation to the search box below.
Just like with all the search methods we used before, you’ll get key information about businesses that match your search criteria, and for more information, you should click the Show Details button on the right side.
Business Search by Number (Document ID or Entity Number)
The last method to perform Ohio business entity search is by document ID or entity number. Visit this link to start your search.
Select whether you want to search by document ID or entity number. Enter the number to the search box and click Search. You must enter the exact number. If you enter only part of the number, there'll be no search results.
Once you get your search results, click on the Show Details to get all the available business details and filings.
Ohio Business Entity Search Recap
After reading this step-by-step guide, you know how to perform the Ohio business entity search by business name, agent/registrant name, organizer/incorporator, and document ID or entity number. You’ve learned how to access additional information, as well as filing history.