Start a Business in Chillicothe

We know that starting a business in a new area can be challenging. As part of our commitment to helping you succeed, we’ve mapped out some best practices to help you get started. We work very closely with the Ohio State University South Centers on Small Business Development. To set up a meeting with a small business consultant call 740.289.3727.

Prepare a Business Plan

Developing a detailed business plan is an essential tool for a new business owner. Not only will a business plan provide direction, but it will help facilitate the process of building capitol through both traditional bank financing and investors. Click here for resources that can provide assistance with your business plan.

Determine Your Business Structure

It’s always best to consult a professional when making decisions with regard to your legal structure. Our membership base contains many reputable attorneys and tax consultants to assist you with this process. Click here for a list of resources in this area.

Decide On a Location

Whether you’re looking for existing office space or new land to develop, Ross County has something to offer you. One of our commercial real estate agents or developers can assist you with selecting a site, negotiating a lease or purchasing property. Additional information can be found at the Economic Development Alliance of Southern Ohio.

Click here for a list of resources for helping you find the perfect location for your business.

Secure Financing for Your Business

There are several funding options for you to consider in order to get financing. You can start by searching for local banks and connecting with these business development organizations:

Small Business Administration

Small Business Development Center

OSU South Centers

ECDI Women’s Business Center of Central Appalachia

Understand Zoning Requirements

Before finalizing your lease or purchase agreement, you must verify that your intended use is permitted in that zoning district. You can confirm zoning regulations and learn about additional special requirements by visiting the Ross County Planning & Building Department website or calling them at 740.773.7200 (building) or 740.702.3008 (planning). As a reminder, all business owners planning on moving into Ross County/Chillicothe must first check all zoning and building requirements and obtain a Certificate of Occupancy before conducting business.

As of Jan. 1, 2024, contractors working without permits can be fined $500. This fee is in addition to any building permit fees required for the job. Also effective Jan. 1, 2024, a second penalty fee is established for contractors doing minor work (roofing, HVAC replacements, etc.). The penalty fee will be equal to 100% of the current permit fee.

Get Informed

Additional permits, licenses or forms may be required for you to start your business.