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Published: Monday, 10/7/2013

SECRETARY OF STATE

Ohio allows businesses to file forms electronically

BY TIM FERAN
COLUMBUS DISPATCH

COLUMBUS — In a move that promises to save taxpayers money as well as foster a friendlier business climate, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office is now accepting the most frequently used business forms via electronic filing.

With the change, businesses can file online at www.OhioSecretaryofState.gov after creating a profile to access the secure site. In the past, customers were required to complete paper forms, attach checks to pay the filing fee, and then mail them in.

Those who prefer to file business forms via traditional methods will still be able to do so, the secretary of state’s office said.

The move was praised as “good business” by Ohio Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Andrew E. Doehrel in the statement. “Virtually all businesses today expect to interface with their customers through online technology, and they need the government agencies they deal with to be technology-savvy as well.”

Going online should help in cutting red tape for businesses, Mr. Husted said.

“By utilizing technology to improve our services, we are positioning our state to roll out the red carpet to business and job creation,” he said.

Forms available for online filing include those for forming a limited-liability company in Ohio, renewing trade or fictitious names, biennial reports by professional associations or limited-liability partnerships, plus statements of continued existence for nonprofit corporations.

The move to electronic filing typically reduces processing time, Mr. Husted said, and that increased efficiency results in savings for taxpayers. Such was the case in Indiana, which launched online filings in 2007.

Six months later, half of all submissions were being done electronically.

About 90 percent of states offer some level of electronic filing.



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