Business Start Up and Expansion Guide

10 Free Resources for Small Businesses


Business Start Up Guide

Start Up Basics:

Fostoria Co.Starters: Co.Starters is a 10 week program offered by the Fostoria Chamber of Commerce at the Fostoria Learning Center.  The weekly program is designed to help you find the best approach to starting and growing a business. Mentors will help you refine your concept, develop your ideas and take them to the next level. Co.Starters uses a canvas model business plan.   Learn more.


Wayfinding: The Fostoria Chamber and FEDC offer free wayfinding sessions for entrepreneurs looking to get started, grow or refine their ideas.  Appointments are needed and may be made by calling the Sarah Stephens Krupp, 419-435-7789 or email


Advising Hours: Once a month, experts are available for free 30 minute consulting sessions at the Fostoria Learning Center. The panel of experts include Branding and Marketing, Legal and General Business. To schedule an advising session, click here or visit

Business Plan: If you are going to seek bank or SBA financing one of the first things you will likely need is a 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.  If you need assistance with a formal business plan, the Small Business Development Center at Terra State Community College can assist.

SBDC at Terra State Community College

Miranda Hoffman, Director

Phone: 419-559-2210  Email:

Free Small Business Basics seminars are offered monthly.   Visit

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 Seneca County Building Department (419)447-8022, ext. 6515, who reviews construction plans for your building.  The Seneca County Building Department 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


Seneca County Building Department

419-447-8022, ext. 6515

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

Project Administrator

Fostoria Economic Development Corporation


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