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Business Entity Frequently Asked Questions
Business Entity Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does Ohio license non-resident business entities? 

Yes

2. Does Ohio license non-resident business entities if the home state does not license business entities?

No. The business entity must be licensed in their home state for the license type or comparable authority of the license type the business entity is applying in Ohio.

The business entity must provide a home state certification letter for all the agents (only if a home state is not a PDB participating state) and submit the NAIC Non-Resident Business Entity Application along with appropriate attachments to the department.

3. Does Ohio license business entities for a variable annuity?

Yes.  Business entities must be registered with FINRA prior to applying for a variable products license.  Non-resident business entities must also hold an active variable product license in its home state.

4. Does a business entity applying for variable annuity need to have a FINRA CRD number?

Yes.  Business entities must have a Broker-Dealer CRD number or provide the Broker-Dealer CRD number of an affiliate insurance entity or third-party that provides the brokerage services for the business entity's customers according to an "Insurance Networking Arrangement".

5. What types of licenses does Ohio issue to business entities?

Ohio licenses business entities for Life, Accident & Health, Variable Annuity, Property, Casualty, Personal Lines, Title, Limited Authority Licenses (Credit Insurance Products, Crop, Funeral Expense, Portable Electronics, Rental Car Insurance, Self-Service Storage and Travel Insurance), Surplus Lines, Managing General Agents, Reinsurance Intermediary Brokers and Managers, Third Party Administrators, Viatical Settlement Brokers, Public Insurance Adjusters, and Surety Bail Bonds.

6. Do insurance business entities need to register with the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office?

Most business entities are required to be registered with the Ohio Secretary of State.  Ohio law provides that no domestic or foreign corporation, limited liability company or limited liability partnership may transact business in this state until it has registered with the Ohio Secretary of State.  (Ohio Revised Code sections 1703.03, 1705.54, and 1775.64 respectively).  For the specific information, contact the Secretary of State at (614) 466-3910 or toll-free (877) 767-3453.  

7. When a business entity registers with the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office, does that automatically authorize the entity to sell insurance in Ohio?

No, the business entity must also complete and submit an insurance application to the Ohio Department of Insurance.  The business entity is not authorized to sell, solicit or negotiate insurance until the Ohio Department of Insurance issues an insurance license for the specific lines of business in which the entity applied.  

8. Is there an initial licensing fee for a business entity?

Yes, there is a fee to license business entities in Ohio. 

All fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.

9. Does the Ohio Department of Insurance charge a license renewal fee for a business entity?

Yes, there is a fee to renew business entities in Ohio. 


All fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.

10. Does the business entity need to have a qualified active officer to be licensed as an agent?

No, as long as the business entity has at least one agent licensed with the Ohio Department of Insurance (the agent can be a resident or a non-resident) that will be responsible for the business entities compliance with Ohio’s insurance laws.

11. Does the business entity have to have an Ohio resident agent?

No, as long as the business entity has at least one agent licensed with the Ohio Department of Insurance.  The agent may be a resident or a non-resident agent.

12. Do all agents who sell, solicit or negotiate insurance for the business entity need to be on the business entity corporate structure?

Yes, the business entity must have at least one Ohio licensed insurance agent on the business entities corporate structure that will be responsible for the business entities compliance with Ohio’s insurance laws.  Additionally, all agents who represent the business entity must be affiliated with the business entity.  

13. Do all agents who sell, solicit or negotiate insurance for the business entity need to be licensed and appointed with insurance companies they represent in addition to being affiliated with the business entity?

Yes, all agents must be licensed and appointed with each insurance company that they are selling, soliciting or negotiating for.   All business entities must also be licensed and appointed with each insurance company that they are selling, soliciting or negotiating for.

14. Does the business entity need a company appointment to become licensed in Ohio?

No, however, before the business entity sells, solicits or negotiates they must be appointed with each insurance company that they are selling, soliciting or negotiating for.  There is an appointment fee of $15.00 per appointment that is billed directly to the insurance companies once the business entity is appointed.

15. How does the insurance company appoint the business entity?

Many insurance companies process appointments electronically using NIPR or one of NIPR’s business partners.  The insurance company may also submit an appointment list showing all business entities and agents that they are appointing for the previous month if they are exempt from the electronic filing requirement.  

16. How do I add another qualification to my agency license if the business entity is already licensed?

The president or officer of the agency must submit a new application in order to add a line of authority or license type to an existing license.

17. Are there any requirements that a business entity notify the Department when a change is made to the entity?

Any change in a business entity name, address, email address, licensed agents, officers, directors, members, or owners, with a 10% or more voting interest in the agency, must be reported to the department within 30 days of such change.

18. I own my business entity as a Sole Proprietor, do I need to obtain a business entity license?

A business entity license is required if a business entity is operated under a Federal Tax Identification number that is different than the sole proprietor’s personal individual Social Security Number.

19. Are business entity agents required to renew the license?

Yes, Major Lines, Limited Lines and Title business entities are required to renew every two years by September 30th.  Resident business entity licenses expire on September 30th of even-numbered years and Non-Resident business entity licenses expire on September 30th of odd-numbered years.  
20. Are business entity agents required to renew the license?
Licensed insurance entities may submit a renewal application as early as 90 days prior to the license expiration date.

21. How should business entities renew the license?

Business entities should renew the license electronically using the NAIC electronic application found at www.nipr.com

22. How do I obtain a paper Business Entity application?

A paper Business Entity application should only be used if the electronic version does not work.  Paper applications can be found on the Department’s website on the About Us page.