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How to get FFL in Ohio (OH)?

Have you wondered how to get an Ohio FFL? Do you want to know how to get your Ohio FFL? Are you overwhelmed by the seemingly heavy-handed government regulations and confusing laws and rules about being an FFL in Ohio? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone!

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If so, you aren’t alone. And if like many Ohio residents you’ve taken a look at the ATF paperwork and put it aside in confusion, well, you aren’t alone either. The good news is, getting an Ohio FFL is mostly about compliance and paperwork. Let’s take a closer look to see what is needed on a Federal, state and local level to get your Ohio FFL, and a little bit about how you can comply with those requirements. Then, we’ll show you how to apply for your FFL and enter the lucrative world of gun sales!

As of June 2021, the ATF reported that there are a total of 4,564 FFLs in Ohio! While the Ohio government may be kind to gun owners and gun businesses, the same cannot always be said for the federal government. That means you have to tread carefully when getting your Ohio FFL and you need to make sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row in order to get into – and stay in – business.

Because all commercial gun sales require an FFL, even at gun shows getting your Ohio FFL is a must have if you plan to deal in guns. You also need an FFL for things like commercial ammunition manufacturing. Some Ohio FFL’s can even be used to make NFA items like silencers, short barrel rifles/shotguns and even machine guns! So here’s how to get your Ohio FFL…

That’s where we come in. FFL123 is here to make sure you can get that Ohio FFL you want and deserve!

Federal Requirements

ATF requirements to get an Ohio FFL are the same across the nation. In other words, the ATF has a uniform set of standards and requirements to get an FFL no matter where in the US you live. The ATF is mostly concerned with making sure you are not a prohibited person, are licensed to do business where you are requesting an FFL, and understand Federal, state and local laws as apply to your business. Broadly speaking as long as you meet the following criteria, you qualify for an FFL.

  • Be a US citizen or lawful permanent resident 21 years old or older.
  • Not be convicted of any felony or other disqualifying crime that would keep you from owning a gun.
  • Not be a user of illegal drugs (including marijuana, regardless of state legality.)
  • Don’t have any outstanding arrest warrants.
  • Not be facing any criminal charges.
  • Not have been dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces.
  • Be able to operate your business at the desired location.

The ATF has pretty basic requirements to get an FFL. So basic, in fact, we’ll only glance at them.

To get an FFL, the ATF requires that you be a law-abiding US citizen or permanent resident over 21 years of age who can legally own a firearm. Pretty simple stuff, really. The paperwork is annoying, and you have to demonstrate you are planning to operate a business, but that’s not too hard.

In other words, if you are a law abiding American at least 21 years old you meet the basic requirements to get an FFL.

But as they say on TV, “Wait! There’s more!

State Requirements

Many states require gun dealers to have a redundant state level firearms dealer license along with their FFL. Fortunately, Ohio is not one of those states and you only have to get regular business licenses. However, the ATF will require that you understand basic Ohio state law regarding firearms sales.

Ohio has very few specific laws as apply to dealers, and they are the sort of thing that is mirrored in Federal law. Basically it is laws like not selling to prohibited persons or minors, or other things that FFL’s already are not allowed to do under any circumstance.

For FFL holders, Ohio gun laws are fairly straightforward and simple, and most apply to the owning, carrying or possession of guns, and not to the sale by dealers. After all, the Federal government already has clear and strict rules about sales of guns by FFL’s, and Ohio sees no need to duplicate or build on what is an already robust system.

So as long as you can understand a few basic laws, you are good for state level requirements beyond the simple notion whatever business licenses or corporate registration you take out when you start your business. However, there may be local regulations to comply with…

Once you meet the federal requirements, it’s time to make sure you meet the state ones next.

Do I Need to Register as a Business for an FFL in Ohio?

Yes, you must be registered with the state as some kind of business to get an FFL in Ohio. While there are no state level gun dealer licenses in Ohio, you must still be successfully licensed with the state and the local area in which you are doing business. You also have to operate in a correctly zoned area that matches the type of business you are doing.

First, you need to get a state business license. This is a pretty cut and dry process and even largely automatic as long as you pay the licensing fees. Now is a good time to decide if you are setting up as a corporation or not. We suggest doing business as an LLC or other corporation to limit personal liability.

Next, it’s time to get your local business licenses. Cities and counties may also require a business license. Again, this should be pretty cut and dry.

Make sure you are properly zoned for the kind of business you plan on doing. In most places, a home-based FFL should be possible. Type 07 FFLs that engage in more than the lightest of manufacturing probably won’t be possible in residential areas.

Local Requirements

The ATF will not issue an FFL unless you can show you can legally do business for your license type where you plan to operate. In most cases that isn’t a problem. Business licensing and zoning is usually pretty straightforward. In nearly all cases any regular commercial storefront or zoned manufacturing area (depending on the nature of your business) will be fine, and local anti-gun delays in licensing are pretty rare.

Home based FFL’s as in any state may run into issues with local zoning. In most cases, towns, cities and counties allow for limited retail activity in residential areas. But sometimes they act like there is a difference between somebody selling Tupperware and selling guns and may deny a business license.

If you are being denied a business license for a home based FFL in Ohio, there are plenty of ways to solve the problem. In most cases you can find other home based FFL’s in the area and use that to demand consistency in licensing. Or simply by pointing out the existence of other licensed businesses around your residential area.

If you still have problems, FFL123 customers can turn to our expert team of industry insider experts who have plenty of experience with just this sort of situation. It is extremely uncommon for our customers to not get their FFL, even for small home based businesses.

Ohio is fairly pro-gun. That’s not to say, however, that you won’t possibly run into some minor hiccups with local authorities. Still, this shouldn’t be too big of a deal and should be able to be resolved rather easily.

If for some reason you encounter a snag, FFL123 is here to help. Our members are provided access to private forums with other FFL dealers just like you, as well as members-only resources to help you navigate these waters.

How Much Does an Ohio FFL Cost?

On the Federal level, it costs between $30-$200 to get an FFL for the first three years. Each license type’s cost varies due to the different responsibilities they allow the licensee to perform. There are different kinds of licenses for selling a few handguns versus handling or making NFA items.

There are also other costs associated with Ohio state and local licenses. Because of the wide variety of localities and their different policies and procedures, it’s best to check directly with your local government to find out how much they charge for business licenses, etc.

Additional Business Resources

Ohio Business Road Map: Ohio has a “road map” website to help you easily navigate its business processes.

How to Become a Federal Firearms Licensee in 10 Easy Steps: This is the ATF’s own guide to getting your FFL.

US Code § 923: Federal US Code § 923 covers regulations for the import, manufacture, and dealing of firearms and ammunition. This is the law that requires firearms businesses to get an FFL.

US CFR § 478.47 – Issuance of License: This explains how a Federal Firearms License is issued, including who must assign the license number. It requires the ATF to qualify applicants based on a predetermined list of requirements and to issue Federal Firearms Licenses. If a correct FFL application has been submitted, the Chief of the Federal Firearms Licensing Center must issue the license and assign a serial number to the licensee.

Gun Control Act (GCA): The GCA of 1968 established stricter laws on the firearms industry than were already present in the NFA of 1934. This included new regulations regarding firearms offenses, firearms/ammunition sales to “prohibited persons,” and federal jurisdiction for “destructive devices” (bombs, grenades, mines, etc.) These are just some of the things that were created with the GCA.

The FFL123 Advantage

Truth be told, we’d like a world where any law-abiding American could easily get into the gun business. But we don’t live in that world. We know this, and so does our staff of industry insiders and legal experts. FFL123 has assembled a staff that is dedicated to helping our customers cut through the red tape of getting an FFL.

When you purchase an FFL123 guide, you aren’t just buying a comprehensive step-by-step guide to applying for an FFL. You are also getting decades of combined industry and legal experience that is there when you need it the most.

Every FFL123 customer is entitled to direct, one-on-one customer support for their specific problems in getting an FFL. We specialize in helping people understand and navigate complex local zoning issues, as this is where most problems with getting your Ohio FFL will occur.

In other words, when you do business with FFL123, we back you up until you get your FFL. In fact, we go beyond that, and keep backing you up for as long as you are in business! Our customers get ongoing support for everything from finding suppliers to keeping abreast with the latest changes in gun laws and regulations.

Start Today!

With just a couple of easy clicks, you can start your journey to your Ohio FFL today. Rest easy knowing that you aren’t cast adrift with confusing federal and state paperwork, or left alone to figure out how to fill out and file seemingly conflicting forms. FFL123 is here for you along your entire journey from choosing the FFL that’s right for you, to your first day of business and everything in between.

Are you ready to get your Ohio FFL? Choose the guide that is right for you. Not sure which one you need? No problem! Just ask and we’ll help you with that too. What are you waiting for? The sooner you start, the sooner you can enjoy all the benefits of an FFL!


Getting your Ohio FFL doesn’t have to be confusing. FFL123 offers a series of guides that will help you apply for and get any type of FFL you want, from a basic 01 dealer license, to an 07 manufacturer with 03 SOT for making NFA items!

If you want to know how to get your Ohio FFL, the first step starts with FFL123’s in depth guide. We offer step step guided instructions on how to fill out your FFL, what to expect with local licensing issues, and more. We also offer exclusive online member only forums for you to discuss your Ohio FFL issues with our knowledgeable staff and other members.

Once you’ve received your Ohio FFL, we give you even more support! From connecting you with wholesalers and distributors who will do business with FFL’s of any size, to updates on current Federal procedures, rules and law changes, and important industry news, FFL123 provides lifetime support and information for our customers.

If you are ready to apply for your Ohio FFL, choose the FFL123 guide that is right for you, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from industry insider support and guidance.

Ohio Gun dealers

Find the latest list of Ohio gun dealer’s name, email id, phone number and address. You can easily contact the gun dealers. Click here to see class 3 gun dealers in Ohio.

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