COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced last week that with 125,204 new business filings, 2018 was a record-breaking year for new businesses formed in the Buckeye State. This marks the ninth consecutive year the state has seen a record number of new entities choose Ohio as the place they want to do business. The previous record was set in 2017 when 117,429 new businesses registered with the Secretary of State’s office.
“During the last eight years, my administration has focused on providing the best customer service possible, implementing innovative reforms, and cutting costs and processing times associated with starting and maintaining a business in Ohio,” Secretary Husted said. “As a result, we have made our state a place where people increasingly want to do business and shown how government can – and should – work.”
Making it simpler and less costly to do business in Ohio has been a top priority for Secretary Husted since taking office in 2011. Some successes include:
The launch of Ohio Business Central, which enables all Ohio-based businesses to form and renew their business status online. This service has provided easier access, reduced processing time, and saved taxpayer dollars.
A 21 percent reduction to the costs for starting and maintaining a business in Ohio, making the Buckeye State the least costly state in the region for starting and maintaining a business. This move, which was made possible by Secretary Husted’s careful fiscal stewardship, has already saved Ohio businesses nearly $8.5 million.
Partnering with Google’s “Let’s Get Our Cities on the Map” program to put additional tools in the hands of new and growing Ohio businesses.
The launch of a partnership with the Cleveland Sight Center, which has improved customer experience by reducing the average wait time for callers into the Business Services Call Center from five minutes and 19 seconds to just 43 seconds with a 95.7 percent customer satisfaction rate.
Leading an effort to ensure that 100 percent of all forms needed to start or maintain a business in Ohio can be submitted online. This four-year effort was completed in August 2017, and three out of every four new businesses are now started online.
These efforts to provide better services at a lower cost have enabled Secretary Husted to reduce spending in the Secretary of State’s Office by $14.5 million in his first term when compared to the previous administration. In his second term, Secretary Husted became the only statewide officeholder to request a cut, not an increase, in his budget. Additionally, in December 2018, Secretary Husted requested to transfer $10 million in office funds to the state’s general revenue fund (GRF).
Though the most visible role of the Secretary of State is that of chief elections officer, the office is also the first stop for individuals or companies who want to file and start a business in Ohio. While recognizing these numbers can’t provide a complete picture of Ohio’s jobs climate, they are an important indicator of economic activity that Secretary Husted hopes will add to the ongoing discussion of how to improve the state’s overall climate for business.