Do I have to hire a paid professional finder to claim my unclaimed funds?

No, you can claim your funds from the Ohio Division of Unclaimed Funds on your own, without hiring a finder. Anyone can claim unclaimed funds by submitting to the Division a claim form, along with the required proof of ownership and authority to recover the funds. Division staff members will assist you throughout the claims process, and are available to answer your questions. Before entering into a contract with any finder, contact the Division to make sure the finder is registered under Ohio law to assist you in recovering funds held by the Department of Commerce.

Does a professional finder have to be licensed or registered to operate in the State of Ohio?

Yes. Under Ohio law, persons engaged in activity for the purpose of locating, delivering, recovering or assisting in the recovery of unclaimed funds, on behalf of another person, in exchange for a fee, compensation, commission or other remuneration, must hold a valid Certificate of Registration from the Director of Commerce. It is illegal for finders to operate without the required Certificate of Registration. You can find out if a finder is registered by calling the Division toll free at 877-644-6823.

How much may a finder charge for assisting in a claim?

Under Ohio law, a finder is not permitted to charge more than 10% of the total amount claimed.

How does the unclaimed funds process work if I decide to hire a paid professional finder?

Finder’s agreements must contain specified information under Ohio law. After a person signs an agreement with a finder, the finder must submit the agreement to the Division for determination that all requirements are met. Among other requirements the agreement must specify: The nature and value of the unclaimed funds; the amount the owner of the funds will receive after the finder’s fee or compensation is subtracted; a statement that the State of Ohio will pay the unclaimed funds directly to the owner; a statement that the finder is not an employee or agent of the Department of Commerce; a statement that the Commerce director is not a party to the agreement; a statement that the finder holds a valid Certificate of Registration issued by the Commerce Director; and the registration certificate number and expiration date. If the agreement between the finder and the owner of the unclaimed funds meets all requirements, the Division sends the claim form to the finder. The finder or the property owner later returns the original, signed form to the Division for processing, along with the proof of ownership. If proof requirements are met, the Division processes the claim and sends payment of the unclaimed funds to the owner of the unclaimed property. It is the owner’s responsibility to pay the finder. Ohio Administrative Code.

Are there any restrictions imposed on finders under Ohio law?

Yes. In order to allow the owners of unclaimed property time to claim the funds on their own, a person interested in entering into an agreement to act as a finder is not permitted to initiate any contact with an owner of unclaimed funds until the funds have been with the Division for more than two years. Finders are not permitted to engage in finding activity for the recovery of funds reported to the Division without a valid certificate of registration; and finders are prohibited from operating under an invalid finder’s agreement. Engaging in finder activity in the State of Ohio under an invalid finder agreement or without having first obtained a certificate of registration from the Director of Commerce is a misdemeanor of the first degree for a first offense and a felony of the fifth degree for any subsequent offense.

Where can I find more information on the laws and rules regulating finders in Ohio?

You may refer to the Division’s laws and regulations on-line by clicking on the Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 169.

How can I apply for a finder certificate of registration?

To obtain an application for finder certification, email your name, address and telephone number to You also may submit a request in writing to Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Unclaimed Funds, 77 S. High Street, 20th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215 or by calling toll free at 877-644-6823. Along with the completed application, registrants will need to provide 2 non-family character witness statements, a color photo, Secretary of State registration if operating as a business, a copy of your finder agreement template that meets all of the requirements in R.C. 169.13, and a criminal background check to ensure there were no criminal offenses within the last 10 years.

How do I report illegal finder activity?

To report illegal finding activity contact the Division by calling toll free at 877-644-6823, or writing the Division at Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Unclaimed Funds, 77 S. High Street, 20th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215. Complaints or inquiries may also be submitted by e-mail to

Does the Division have unclaimed funds for county surplus funds, tax overages, and foreclosures?

No. Tax overages, foreclosures, and surplus fund items are handled by the county in which the property is located. You would need to contact the county treasurer and/or county auditors for the specific county or counties related to finder activities. Each county has their own policies and procedures regarding finding activities. The Division does not have contacts for the counties regarding these matters.


Division of Unclaimed Funds
77 South High Street, 20th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-6108

Phone 614.466.4433
Fax 614.728.9769

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