Oklahoma Business Facts
The capital of Oklahoma, aptly named Oklahoma City, was established in a land run of 10,000 homesteaders on April 22, 1889. Located equidistant from both US coasts, modern Oklahoma City serves as a principal distribution center in the state and region and was recently ranked by Forbes as America’s “Most Recession-Proof City” due to falling unemployment, one of the strongest housing markets in the country and strong growth in agriculture, energy and manufacturing.
Companies Headquartered in Oklahoma
The Sooner State is home to headquarters for Express Services, Hobby Lobby, QuikTrip, Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, Accord Human Resources, Helmerich & Payne, Sonic and MidFirst Bank, among others.
Oklahoma entrepreneurs benefit from low operating costs and incentives such as the Small Employer Quality Jobs Program for businesses with a maximum of 90 employees. Though the state itself has a low-ranked business environment, Oklahoma City was recently named by WalletHub as the country’s Best Large City to Start a Business.
There are 3 basic options: a DBA, a Corporation or an LLC. Click here to learn more about business entities.
Choosing a business name is easier said than done – many legal and business problems can arise from picking the wrong name (you can always change it later but the less times you have to do that the better). In Step 3 we’ll show you how to search for the name in Oklahoma, but we highly recommend you do the following before searching Oklahoma state databases:
TIP: search misspellings, plurals, variations of spelling, sound-alikes and other versions of your chosen name to be sure it’s not already registered.
Restrictions on Oklahoma Business Name & Business Purpose
Each state has its own requirements for registering a business. Now that you’ve chosen a business structure and selected your business name, here are the requirements to register your business in Oklahoma.
How to form an LLC in Oklahoma
How to Incorporate in Oklahoma
Note: You can expedite your company registration process by hand-delivering the documents directly to the Secretary of State or one of their field offices and paying an additional fee.
TIP: Check our order form to see how long Oklahoma is currently taking to process regular and expedited orders.
How to File a DBA in Oklahoma
Optional Considerations when registering an Oklahoma business
Ready to register a business in Oklahoma?
Sure, you could do all the steps above or you could spend 5-10 minutes on our order form and let us take care of it while you work on more important things.
Your EIN is like your Social Security Number for your company. It’s required for Corporations and LLC’s and optional for DBA’s (if you don’t have any employees, then it’s required). However, if you are a DBA and don’t obtain an EIN you will be forced to use your Social Security Number on many documents so it’s typically recommended you obtain the EIN to prevent identity theft.
TIP: We will obtain your EIN for you if you we form your company.
To keep business and personal expenses separate, you should open a separate account for your business. In addition, getting business credit cards is how you begin to build a company credit profile (corporation or LLC required) and can later qualify for larger loans and lines of credit. To open the account simply call your chosen bank and inquire on the steps to open a business bank account. Typically you’ll need a) your filed paperwork b) your EIN c) a company resolution authorizing your company to open the account (signed by the owners, members, officers or directors, etc.).
Click here to view a list of our recommended banks in our Vendor Network.
TIP: Our business formation service includes a free banking resolution for your use.
Setup your Accounting and Record-keeping system and learn about the taxes your new company is responsible for paying.
Company documents generally are required to be kept for 3 years, including: a list of all owners and addresses, copies of all formation documents, financial statements, annual reports, amendments or changes to the company. All Tax and Corporate Filings should be kept for at least 3 years. View our “Accounting & Financial Management” section for help with setting up an accounting system and purchasing accounting software.
Now that you’ve registered your business name you need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).
TIP: We can help you identify the necessary forms to obtain your business license.
If you intend to hire yourself or others as a full or part-time employee of your company, then you may have to register with the appropriate State Agencies or obtain Workers Compensation Insurance or Unemployment Insurance (or both). View our “Employees & Payroll” section for help with hiring employees and processing payroll.
Review our list of recommended Payroll Providers in our Vendor Network.
There are many types of insurance for businesses but they are usually packaged as “General Business Insurance” or a “Business Owner’s Policy”. This can cover everything from product liability to company vehicles. A decent policy can run as little as $300/year and offers a great extra level of protection.
Click here to view our list of insurance providers in our Vendor Network.
Prepare the business as if someone needed to take it over and run it for you. This means have a method to process orders, pay bills, pay employees, pay taxes, maintain your permits, etc. Basically, try to make the operational aspect of the business as automated and efficient as possible so you can concentrate on growing your business. View our “Manage Your Company” section for help with systemizing and automating your business.
Now that you’ve set-up the company for success, you need to get the word out. Create a marketing plan for your products and services that targets your ideal customer. View our “Marketing & Sales” section for help for more information.
DBA: Your Fictitious Business Name should be valid for two years at which point you’ll need to renew it.
LLC: Oklahoma LLCs are required to file an Annual Certificate every year by the filing anniversary date.
Corporation: Oklahoma does not require corporations to file an annual report.
Click here to view our MyCompanyWorks Premium™ service which can automate most or your ongoing compliance tasks.
Business Filing Department (for all business filings)
421 NW 13th St, Suite 210
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
Oklahoma Taxation Department
Oklahoma Labor and Employment Departments
Oklahoma Startup Resources
1. Small Business Administration (SBA) Oklahoma
3. Oklahoma Legal Statutes
5. Oklahoma Department of Commerce
6. Oklahoma Angel Investors
7. Oklahoma Business News
8. Oklahoma Works
9. Oklahoma Small Business Development Center
10. Green Oklahoma
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