New Business Resources

Cleveland is a city located in Cuyahoga County. It is the second largest city in Ohio and is located on the southern shore of Lake Erie. With a prime geographic location, Cleveland initially began as transportation hub on the Great Lakes. Today, Cleveland’s largest industries include healthcare, biotechnology, and technology.

Business Environment

Cleveland offers a sound business environment with support for growing businesses:

  • Cleveland is the home of the corporate headquarters of many large companies, including Applied Industrial Technologies, Cliffs Natural Resources, Forest City Enterprises, Sherwin-Williams Company and KeyCorp. NASA maintains a facility in Cleveland at the Glenn Research Center.
  • In 2005, Cleveland was named an Intel "Worldwide Digital Community, which resulted in the establishment of a city-wide Wi-Fi network and established the tech economy.
  • According to Ernst & Young LLP, Ohio is among the top three states for favorable business tax rates on new investments.
  • Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is the city's major airport which serves domestic and international destinations. With the Port of Cleveland located nearby at the mouth of the Cuyahoga river, the Port offers a bulk freight terminal for the region's manufacturing industry. 

With railroads and freeways offering direct access to the downtown area, in addition to the Port and the city's airport, Cleveland is a thriving hub for business.

Business Structure and Licensing

Starting a new business in Cleveland means that you must first select a business structure. Businesses must register with the Ohio Secretary of State in order to set up an LLC or corporation. The Ohio Department of Taxation can assist businesses in determining state and local tax obligations.

New businesses in Cleveland in certain industries are required to obtain business licenses. Applications for business licenses are managed by the Division of Assessments and Licenses.

Businesses that will engage in the sale, lease or rental of tangible personal property must also register for a retail sales tax permit with the Ohio Department of Taxation.

Business Support From the City

Greater Cleveland Chamber Of Commerce provides active support for business owners in the community offers low-cost marketing opportunities, as well as, general member meeting and networking at chamber events. The Chamber also provides workshops and training for members.

Women business owners in Cleveland can obtain assistance from the Ohio SBDC at Cleveland Urban League, which also supports minority business owners, and the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Cleveland Chapter.


The following links provide resources to help you get started with your Cleveland business:

Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce

Cleveland Census Information

Buy a Business in Cleveland

Find Commercial Real Estate in Cleveland

Find the Best Cleveland Accountant

Meetups in Cleveland

Tax Incentives

Would you like help with setting up your Ohio business?

Call us at (216) 931-0122 for a free consultation!