Business Regulations



To legally establish your new business you will need to do the following:
  1. File the name of the Business (fictitious name) with the Ohio Secretary of State.  A fictitious name is not your real name.  It’s a name that you choose to use for your business that will be utilized to promote the venture.  This does not mean that no one else can use it but it is likely that no one would want it if they know it is being utilized by you. If you want to ensure that no one else is using the fictitious name that you choose visit: 
  2. If you are sure of the name, then file for a fictitious name with the State Ohio Secretary of State.
  3. Get a Federal Tax ID number from the IRS.
  4. Open up a business checking account specifically for all business expenditures
  5. Commercial Activity Tax (CAT): The commercial activity tax (CAT) is an annual tax imposed on the privilege of doing business in Ohio, measured by gross receipts from business activities in Ohio. Businesses with Ohio taxable gross receipts of $150,000 or more per calendar year must register for the CAT, file all the applicable returns, and make all corresponding payments. A variety of resources on the CAT may be found by following this link:
  6. Do You Need a Vendor’s License?  The Ohio Department of Taxation began to require the mandatory electronically filing of sales tax returns. It states that each person who has or is required to have a vendor’s license shall make and fi le a return using electronic means. The primary system of use is the Ohio Business Gateway (OBG). All vendors are required to file returns electronically; it is strongly recommend that you apply for a vendor account electronically through OBG. This will prepare you for filing by having the OBG registration process completed, and filing of the return will be limited to a log-in and completion of the return. Please use the following link to obtain your vendor’s account immediately through the OBG: 
  7. Elyria Building Department: If you are buying or leasing a building it is important to check with the City of Elyria Building Department at 440.326.1491 to determine proper zoning and ensure building code compliance.
Contact Information:
James Graham
Economic Development Specialist
Phone:  440-326-1539