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Ohio enabling online state filings for businesses

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Businesses in Ohio can now file more required state paperwork online instead of by mail as part of an initiative launched Friday by Secretary of State Jon Husted's office.

Accepting the most frequently used filings online will make the process simpler and more efficient to benefit consumers and taxpayers, Husted said. He said most states provide some type of electronic filing.

"It's government moving at the speed of business," Husted said in a statement.

About half of the business filings to his office last year would have been eligible for online submissions under the new system. They include those to create a limited liability company, renew a trade name, make a biennial report for a professional association or confirm continued existence of nonprofit corporations.

Businesses will have to create a profile through the secure site for Husted's office to file online. Paper forms will still be available.

"Virtually all businesses today expect to interface with their customers through online technology and they need the government agencies they deal with to be technology savvy as well," Andrew Doehrel, president of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement.

Husted has also incorporated online technology into changes he's made as the state's elections chief. He began allowing registered voters to update their addresses online and announced an online search tool to give residents easier access to check their voter registration information.