Business Development Resources

As an ORA member you can participate in local and state programs that increase the visibility of your establishment. You can also access marketing materials from the National Restaurant Association at a significant member discount. We've done the research so you don't have to!

Best-in-class Business Services and Guidance

Since 1981, Restaurant Consultants, Inc. (RCI) has been helping restaurants, hotels and private clubs improve and enhance their operation's concept, management systems and customer service. RCI specializes in the planning, development of new restaurants and the turnaround of existing restaurants. To receive a better understanding of what members receive through the Ohio Restaurant Association's (ORA) relationship with RCI, access these best-in-class educational materials.

Business Government Information

The official business link to the U.S. government that will guide you through government rules and regulations to help you start, grow and succeed in business.

Food Safety

The U.S. government's official website on food safety containing safety alerts and consumer advice.

Central Ohio Food Truck Association

​The Central Ohio Food Truck Association is the industry association advocating for food truck owners and mobile food vendor operators serving central Ohio.

IRS Restaurant Tax Center

Utilizing this page, ORA members can gain information from the Internal Revenue Service that deals specifically with restaurant operations.

Doing Business within the State of Ohio

​Find information on business within the State of Ohio, eCommerce, employer issues, licensing and permits, laws and regulation, taxes and fees and starting a business.

IRS Small Business, Self-employed Information

The IRS small business and self-employed community includes important tax information as well as forms, regulations and products.

CAT Tax Law Changes

A review of the Commercial Activity Tax (CAT).

IRS e-file for Business

This link provides members access to the IRS' requirements regarding the steps and procedures necessary for e-filing.

IRS Forms and Publications

This is the official source of IRS tax forms and publications. The links here provide methods to access and acquire both electronic and print media. Individual and business taxpayers recently advised that they will no longer receive mailed IRS income tax packages can use these links to view, download, or order the forms, schedules and instructions needed for filing a paper income tax return.

IRS Video Portal
This site provides small business owners with video information related to operating a business in the United States.


IRS Electronic Federal Tax Payment System
The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) is a free service from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Since it began in 1996, millions of businesses, individuals, federal agencies, tax professionals and payroll services have used EFTPS. All federal taxes can be paid using EFTPS. You can make payments via this website, a voice response system or special channels designed for tax professionals, payroll services and financial institutions.

IRS Small Business | Self-employed Tax Info

Utilizing this page, small businesses and the self-employed can order small business products, such as brochures on small business tax responsibilities, recognizing illegal tax avoidance schemes and much more. There also is information about a virtual small business tax workshop and a tax calendar for small businesses or self-employed business operators.

IRS Small Business Workshops

The Virtual Small Business Workshop is available on CD and online if you are unable to attend a workshop in person. Small business workshops are designed to help the small business owner understand and fulfill their Federal Tax responsibilities. Workshops are sponsored and presented by IRS partners who are Federal Tax specialists. Workshop topics vary from a general overview of taxes to more specific topics such as recordkeeping and retirement plans.

IRS Withholding Calculator

If you are an employee, the Withholding Calculator can help you determine whether you need to give your employer a new Form W-4,Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate to avoid having too much or too little Federal income tax withheld from your pay. You can use your results from the calculator to help fill out the form.

Legal Memorandum on How the New Gun Law Could Impact Your Operations

To answer some of the frequently asked questions about the law allowing those with a concealed weapons permit to bring their gun into a bar or restaurant that serves alcohol, the ORA asked legal counsel Buckley King to prepare an analysis. The memorandum is primarily designed to tell you what the law says about your legal responsibility, as well as that of your employees.

Managing & Understanding Your Point-of-Sale System

The National Restaurant Association has created a toolkit designed to help members better understand the complex elements of purchasing and leasing POS systems. ORA Strategic Partner Heartland Payment Systems worked closely with the NRA to develop these Retail Service Provider Association-endorsed tools.

Mid-America Restaurant Expo

The Mid-America Restaurant Expo is a premier restaurant event that will connect exhibitors and buyers from all aspects of the foodservice industry in a forward-thinking, high-energy environment. It is the place to connect with new exhibitors, see new and innovative products and engage with industry leaders from the Midwest. The Expo’s environment will be buzzing with high-energy demonstration stages, competitions, tastings and high-caliber programming guaranteeing an exciting and info-packed two days! ​

National Restaurant Association

For more than 90 years, the National Restaurant Association has represented, educated and promoted the restaurant industry. Today's restaurant industry is growing rapidly. It employs 12.8 million Americans in 960,000 locations — and 2010 sales are expected to reach $604 billion. The NRA now represents more than 380,000 of those businesses — from restaurants and suppliers to educators and non-profits — and provides each one with the valuable resources needed to stay ahead in a fast-paced industry. Since 1919, the NRA has been the restaurant industry's leading association and its goal is to lead America's restaurant industry into a new era of prosperity, prominence and participation, enhancing the quality of life for all those they serve.

National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) is the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association. Founded in 1987, the NRAEF was originally designed to strengthen and support the industry by providing high quality, educational and awareness programs created to professionalize the workforce, particularly in the areas of food safety and restaurant management. The NRAEF works to ensure the most qualified and passionate people enter the industry so that we can better meet the needs of our members and the patrons and clients they serve. ​

National Restaurant Association's Kids LiveWell

When parents dine out, they are looking for healthier options for their kids. Many restaurants already have them. The National Restaurant Association teamed up with Healthy Dining on Kids LiveWell. The new initiative showcases the restaurant industry’s commitment to offer healthful options for children.

Occupational Safety & Health Administration

Assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. ​

Ohio Business Gateway

The Ohio Business Gateway offers Ohio businesses a time and money-saving online filing and payment system that helps simplify business' relationship with government agencies.

Ohio Department of Commerce

Contains information and forms you need as a business interacting with the Ohio Department of Commerce. ​

Ohio Department of Education

Promote high-quality educational options that lead to improved student achievement.

Ohio Department of Health

Features a guide to food safety and a listing of contact information for all local health departments. ​

Ohio Department of Taxation

The Ohio sales and use tax applies to the retail sale, lease, and rental of tangible personal property as well as the sale of selected services in Ohio.

Ohio Division of Liquor Control

A complete guide to serving alcohol in your establishment. Review the laws, find information on the various permits and get all of your questions regarding alcohol answered. ​

Ohio Division of Travel and Tourism

Whether you’re looking for a luxurious suite, a quaint B&B, a cabin in the hills or the perfect place to pitch your tent or park your trailer, you’ll find it in Ohio. Utilizing this link, you'll find out all you want to know about upcoming special events and the goings-on around the state.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency

The mission of the Ohio EPA is to protect the environment and public health by ensuring compliance with environmental laws and demonstrating leadership in environmental stewardship. The Ohio EPA is a state agency whose goal is to protect the environment and public health by ensuring compliance with environmental laws. ​

ORA Records Retention Guide

The Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA) offers its members another valuable benefit for their investment in the association. In 2011, the Members’ Guide on Records Retention was made available as a complimentary download to all members. Prior to 2011, member pricing was $29.95. A resource that no business should be without, the Members’ Guide on Records Retention lets you know what records are important to retain and what records can be destroyed. Buckley King, the ORA’s “Ask the Attorney” legal counsel, has identified the most common business records and put their retention guidelines in an easy-to-read format.

Ohio Secretary of State

The Secretary of State oversees the elections process and appoints the members of boards of elections in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. The Secretary of State supervises the administration of election laws; reviews statewide initiative and referendum petitions; chairs the Ohio Ballot Board, which approves ballot language for statewide issues; canvasses votes for all elective state offices and issues; investigates election fraud and irregularities; trains election officials and works with counties to train poll workers. ​

Ohio Secretary of State Business Services

Includes information needed to start a business. For example, under Ohio law, businesses are required to file forms prescribed by the Ohio Secretary of State. These forms are available online for download.

Ohio Wage and Hour Bureau, A Division of Labor and Worker Safety

This bureau of the Ohio Department of Commerce (ODOC) administers and enforces Ohio's Minimum Wage Laws, Ohio's Minor Labor Law, and Ohio's Prevailing Wage Law. ​

Opening a Foodservice Business in Columbus, Ohio

This guide was designed to assist those who are planning to open a food business in Columbus or Worthington. Operating a food business can be challenging, but having a suitable facility design and the right tools in the beginning can reduce the impediments one encounters when opening a new food business.

Restaurant Startup & Growth Magazine

Restaurant Startup & Growth targets new restaurant owners with practical, down-to-earth editorial.

RestaurantOwner.com

A member-based site for independent restaurant owners, operators and managers who want to build a more successful business.

Sales and Use Tax Blanket Exemption Certificate

A downloadable Sales and Use Tax Blanket Exemption Certificate from the Ohio Department of Taxation.

Sales Tax Exempt Listing of Restaurant Equipment & Supplies

Industry specific listing of restaurant items that are exempt from sales tax as specified by the State of Ohio Department of Taxation Sales & Use Tax Division.

SCORE

SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground and realize their goals through education and mentorship. Because its work is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and its network of more than 12,000 volunteers, SCORE is able to deliver its services at no charge or at a very low cost.

Small Business Administration

A valuable tool for business owners. Includes helpful advice for those looking to open a restaurant as well as those that have been in the business for years.

Starting a Business in Ohio

This page from Ohio.gov is intended to serve people who have decided to start a new business in Ohio or expand an existing business into Ohio. If you are merely considering a new start or expansion into Ohio, check out the Why Ohio? page to discover the benefits of business expansion, relocation and capital investment in Ohio.

State & Local Governments

A directory of official state, county and city government websites.