Looking to establish a business in the dynamic and diverse state of Oklahoma? The first step towards unlocking many opportunities and creating a memorable brand is registering your business name. Whether you form an LLC, corporation, or operate under a “doing business as” (DBA) name, we have you covered with a straightforward and efficient registration process. Our comprehensive guide will walk you through each step, ensuring you meet all state regulations.
How to register a business name in Oklahoma? To streamline the registration process and focus on what truly matters, growing your business, consider partnering with ZenBusiness. Known for their expertise and support, they can simplify the journey toward success in the Sooner State!
4 Steps to Register Your Business Name in Oklahoma
To register your business in Oklahoma, register your business name as a primary step. To make the registration process easier, we have divided it into four straightforward steps. Following these steps, you can officially register your business name in the Sooner State and lay the groundwork for your entrepreneurial venture.
Step 1: Choose Your Business Structure in Oklahoma
Choosing the proper business structure is an essential part of setting up your business in Oklahoma. Selecting a structure that aligns with your goals and plans for growth. In Oklahoma, there are different options available, both incorporated and unincorporated. Now, let’s inspect each one so you can make an informed decision.
In Oklahoma, a sole proprietorship is the most basic type of business structure. Legally, the owner and the business are one entity. This implies that the owner bears personal responsibility for any debts and liabilities of the business. Establishing a sole proprietorship is simple and has few legal obligations. While registration with the state isn’t mandatory, it may be necessary to obtain local permits or licenses.
When two or more people join to own a business and divide its profits and losses, they form a general partnership. In this type of partnership, each partner is personally responsible for the debts and legal responsibilities of the business. While it’s not required to register with the state, file an “Oklahoma Assumed Name Certificate” (DBA) in the county where the business operates.
Limited Partnership (LP)
In Oklahoma, forming a Limited Partnership (LP) requires the submission of a “Certificate of Limited Partnership” to the Oklahoma Secretary of State. This type of partnership consists of general partners who oversee the operations and bear unlimited personal liability, while limited partners contribute capital with limited liability.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
To obtain the advantages of liability protection from a corporation and the tax benefits and simplicity of a partnership, individuals can establish an LLC. In order to create an LLC in Oklahoma, submit “Articles of Organization Limited Liability Company” to the Oklahoma Secretary of State and develop an Operating Agreement that details the structure of management and ownership.
How to register a business name in Oklahoma? In Oklahoma, corporations are distinct legal entities that provide limited liability protection to their shareholders. There are two types of corporations: C-corporations and S-corporations.
To establish a corporation in Oklahoma, you must submit a “Certificate of Incorporation” to the Secretary of State, clearly indicating whether it’s for-profit or nonprofit. Additional formalities associated with corporations include drafting bylaws, issuing stock, and conducting regular meetings with the board and shareholders.
When deciding on your business structure in Oklahoma, consider factors such as liability protection, taxation implications, and management requirements. Consult with legal or business professionals for guidance.
Step 2: Select a Unique Business Name in Oklahoma
When it comes to naming your business in Oklahoma, certain rules and regulations must be followed. You have three choices: registering a name for your legal entity, obtaining a trademark, or registering a legal name and operating under a different one. Now we will explore each option for naming your business in more detail.
Legal Entity Name
In Oklahoma, all businesses are required to register a distinct legal entity name that serves as the official identification recognized by the state. Ensure that no other business shares the same name to maintain uniqueness.
Oklahoma’s naming regulations specify the use of company suffixes such as LLC, LP, or Corp, which show the type of business being registered. To confirm if a particular name is available, you can use the online database provided by the Oklahoma Secretary of State.
Securing a trademark in Oklahoma provides essential safeguarding for your business name or logo on a national scale. Conduct an extensive search in the USPTO database to ensure that your preferred name or the logo isn’t already registered. By acquiring a trademark, you gain exclusive rights and prohibit others from utilizing a similar name or logo for comparable goods or services throughout the country.
Doing Business As (DBA)
You can choose to register your company using an official name and operate it under a different name with a Doing Business As (DBA) designation. To establish a DBA, you will need to file an Assumed Name Certificate (DBA) at the county clerk’s office in the location where your business is based. While federal trademark laws apply to DBAs, it’s not required for them to be unique at the state level.
By familiarizing yourself with these naming options and considering the specific needs of your business, you can effectively register your company’s name in Oklahoma and safeguard your brand’s identity.
Step 3: Check Business Name Availability in Oklahoma
Before officially registering your business in Oklahoma, it’s vital to verify that the desired name isn’t already in use. To perform a thorough search for name availability, follow these three essential steps:
Before finalizing your business name Oklahoma, verify if it has already been trademarked at the federal level. Trademarks hold more weight than state-level registrations. To conduct this search, navigate to the website of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and use their TESS Search tool. If your desired name has already been trademarked, choose an alternative business name.
Oklahoma Business Name Search
After ensuring that your name isn’t protected by trademark, the next step is to check its availability in the state of Oklahoma. Use the Oklahoma Search Corporation Entities tool to search for registered business names within the state. Aside from looking for an exact match, it’s important to make sure there are no existing business names that are substantially similar.
Website Domain Search
After confirming that your business name isn’t trademarked and is available in Oklahoma, it would be wise to check the availability of the .com domain for your selected name. While having a website may not be necessary for all businesses, acquiring the .com domain can have advantages to the brand and establishing an online presence.
By registering the .com version of your business name through ZenBusiness, you will secure exclusive rights to the website’s name, protecting it from potential unauthorized use. ZenBusiness offers affordable options for domain registration.
By conducting these three different searches, you can ensure that your chosen business name is both available and unique. This will give you confidence as you proceed with the registration process.
Step 4: Form Your Business With the State of Oklahoma
Once you have selected the structure and name for your business, the following essential step is to complete the registration process with the State of Oklahoma. This requires submitting the required formation paperwork to state officials.
To register an LLC in Oklahoma, file the Articles of Organization with the Oklahoma Secretary of State. This can be done either online or by mail. With a corporation in Oklahoma, you must submit the Certificate of Incorporation to the Secretary of State for filing.
You May Also Want to Know
Protect Your Business Name With a Trademark
After verifying that your desired business name is available and securing it, contemplate filing for a trademark as an added measure to protect your brand. The usual cost of this process ranges from $225 to $400, which includes attorney fees and necessitates renewal every decade.
Though this step may appear costly for startups or small enterprises, it affords nationwide protection under federal law. By obtaining a trademark, you establish legal precedence if others try to use a similar name, providing your business with a stronger defense. However, for most local small businesses, acquiring a trademark may not be essential.
How to File an Oklahoma Fictitious Name – DBA?
To register an Oklahoma Fictitious Name, which is also referred to as a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name, you can follow these instructions:
- Choose a Name: Opt for a fictional name that you wish to use for your enterprise.
- Search Name Availability: Verify the name’s availability by checking the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s website or contacting their office to ensure it’s not already in use.
- Download or Obtain Forms: Acquire the “Application to Register a Trade Name” form from the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s official website, or you can personally collect a hard copy at their office.
- Complete the Form: Accurately complete the application form, providing your selected fictional business name and all required business information.
- Notarize the Form: Arrange for the notarization of the completed application form. Many banks and other establishments offer notary services for this purpose.
- Submit the Form: Dispatch the notarized application form, along with the applicable filing fee (check the current fee on the Secretary of State’s website), to the Oklahoma Secretary of State.
- Approval: After processing and approval, your business will be officially registered under the chosen fictional name.
Remember that a DBA (Doing Business As) name doesn’t offer legal protection for your business name, unlike a trademark. Instead, it serves to operate your business under an alternate name while maintaining the structure of your legal entity. If you require legal protection for your business name, it’s advisable to apply for a trademark.
How to Change the Name of an Oklahoma Business?
If you’re looking to alter the name of your business in Oklahoma, there are two approaches you can take: applying for a trade name or requesting an amendment to change the legal name of your existing business.
For sole proprietorships and general partnerships, the simpler option is to apply for a trade name, also known as a DBA (Doing Business As) name. This allows you to operate under a different name while keeping your business’s legal name unchanged. For LLCs and corporations, this method is convenient since it allows them to use brand names without including the necessary “LLC” or “Inc.” suffix that’s required in their legal names.
If you want an official change in your LLC or corporation’s legal name, filing an amendment is the choice. You can access and submit the respective forms for both options along with a minimum filing fee of $50, either by mail or online, through the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s office.
Business Name Registration Laws in Oklahoma
How to register a business name in Oklahoma? In Oklahoma, the regulations for business name Oklahoma registration are outlined as follows:
- Business Name Availability Search: Before officially establishing a business in Oklahoma, conduct a thorough search to confirm that your desired business name isn’t already in use by another registered entity. This search can be conducted via the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s online database or by contacting their office directly.
- Business Entity Types: In Oklahoma, there are various business entity types, such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), and corporations. Each of these entities comes with distinct registration requirements and legal implications, so it’s vital to select the one that aligns with your business needs.
- Fictitious Business Name (DBA): If your business operates under a name different from your legal name, it may be necessary to register a “Doing Business As” (DBA) or fictitious business name. This registration typically takes place with the county clerk’s office in the location where your business is situated.
- Business Registration with the Secretary of State: Depending on the specific business entity you opt for, you may be obligated to register your business with the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s office. Corporations, LLCs, and certain other business types often require submitting articles of incorporation or organization to the Secretary of State.
- Trademark Considerations: Registering your business name with the Secretary of State doesn’t automatically grant you trademark protection. If you intend to secure exclusive rights to your business name across the entire state, explore registering a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Remember that laws and regulations are subject to change, so seek advice from a legal expert or the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s office for the latest and most reliable information on business name registration laws in Oklahoma.
Bottom Line on How to Register a Business Name in Oklahoma
Registering a business name in Oklahoma is the initial step towards an exhilarating entrepreneurial endeavor in the Sooner State. By handpicking a business structure and a distinct name, fulfilling all necessary registrations, and considering trademark protection or using a DBA name, you establish a solid groundwork for achieving success.
Using the expertise and support of reputable business registration services such as ZenBusiness simplifies the registration process, making your journey to prosperity in Oklahoma even more seamless. With unwavering enthusiasm and determination, your registered business name Oklahoma is destined to make an unforgettable impact on Oklahoma’s thriving business landscape.