Business Start Up and Expansion Guide

Start Up Basics:

Business Plan: one of the first things you should have is a good business plan.  If you don’t already have one, you will discover a well written business plan or a canvas model will keep you on track while building your business.  It will help you determine what you must accomplish, acquire and learn before you open your business.  It will also be used as a tool to access money to start your business.  The local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) can help you create a plan.

SBDC at Terra State Community College

Bill Auxter, Director

Phone: 419-559-2210  Email:

Free Small Business Basics seminars are offered monthly.  Click here for the 2020 schedule.

Another great resource for starting a business in Ohio can be found at

There you can find a downloadable Start Up Guide, a checklist specific to the the type of business you wish to start as well as other helpful resources.  Click here to view the Start Up Guide

An accountant and/or tax professional can also be helpful when starting a business.  For references and additional help, contact the Chamber.

State of Ohio Requirements:

Determine the type of legal entity you will be forming and register with the Ohio Secretary of State. Register online or find the forms needed to file your business at   Also, on this site you can find additional resources for starting and maintaining a business in the State of Ohio.

City of Fostoria:  If you are planning to build or remodel in the City of Fostoria you will be required to submit a detailed site plan to the City Planning Commission for review.  This process takes approximately one month.  Once the Planning Commission approves the site plan, a permit number is issued by City of Fostoria’s Zoning Department.  The permit number is needed by the Wood County Building Inspector (419)354-9190 who reviews construction plans for your building.  The Wood County Building Inspector covers ALL of Fostoria.  Before choosing a location, you will want to make sure the site you have chosen meets the local zoning code.  Taking care of these matters early can prevent problems and save you time and money.  Contact the City of Fostoria Zoning Department Office (419)435-8243 for applications and information.

In addition, the Fostoria Fire Department (419)435-3206 should inspect all commercial and Industrial buildings to check the fire suppression systems.  This inspection must be done in addition to the Wood County Building Inspection.

For all Health Department inspections, for food related businesses, the Seneca County Health Department (419)447-3691 conducts all inspections for Fostoria.

Businesses hiring in Fostoria need to register with the City of Fostoria Income Tax Office (419)435-6449.


Helpful Contact Information:

Local Utilities:

American Electric Power



AEP Underground line locator



North Central Electric Cooperative



Columbia Gas New Construction/Conversions



Ohio Utilities Protection Services (O.U.P.S.) /Call before you dig

8-1-1 or 800-925-0988



City of Fostoria Zoning Department



Wood County Building Inspector



Seneca County Health Department



Fostoria Fire Department



City of Fostoria Income Tax Office



Other Licenses & Permits Required by the State of Ohio



Other Helpful Resources:

Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce



Fostoria Economic Development



SBDC at Terra State Community College



Ohio Business Gateway-1st Stop Business Connection


Ohio Secretary of State


Ohio Department of Taxation


Ohio New Reporting Center



Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation search “employer”


Ohio Department of Job & Family Services search “employer”


 Fostoria is a great place to do business!  Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.  We are here to help.


Sarah Stephens Krupp

Chamber/Small Business Director

Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce



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