How to Start an LLC in Oklahoma: Easy Steps to Follow

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    Starting your own Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Oklahoma is an exhilarating endeavor that brings your business aspirations to life. An LLC offers a harmonious blend of partnership flexibility and corporate liability protection.

    This comprehensive guide presents a concise outline of the essential steps in establishing your LLC within Oklahoma’s jurisdiction to assist you throughout the process.

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    Starting an LLC in Oklahoma Step-By-Step

    To understand the ins and outs of an LLC fully, it’s crucial to have a firm grasp of its basic principles. In the state of Oklahoma, an LLC offers the best of both worlds by providing limited liability protection akin to a corporation while maintaining the ease and adaptability typically associated with a partnership. This combination makes it an appealing choice for small businesses seeking legal protection and operational flexibility.

    1. Choose a Unique Business Name

    In Oklahoma, when forming a new Limited Liability Company (LLC), choosing a name that sets your business apart from others is essential. This means that the name you desire may take time to be available. To avoid any issues down the line, conduct a search using the official search engine provided by the Oklahoma Secretary of State. Neglecting this step could delay getting your LLC approved or even result in rejection.

    If your desired business name is available but you’re not quite ready to establish your Oklahoma LLC, there’s an option for reserving the name for up to 60 days by applying. This process comes with a small fee of just $10 and can save you from losing out on the desired name.

    Ensuring that your chosen LLC name stands out while adhering to legal requirements will set you on the right path toward establishing a successful business presence in Oklahoma.

    Oklahoma LLC Naming Laws:

    In Oklahoma, naming your LLC requires compliance with guidelines set forth by the Oklahoma Secretary of State, aiming to guarantee that your selected name conforms to specific criteria regarding uniqueness, accuracy, and clarity.

    As per Oklahoma’s LLC naming regulations, your LLC name must:

    • Be distinct from existing business entities.
    • Incorporate a descriptor such as “Limited Liability Company” or “limited company” or their abbreviations such as “LLC,” “LC,” “L.L.C.,” or “L.C.,” denoting its limited liability status.
    • Steer clear of any misleading connotations or implications contrary to the actual nature of your business.

    Consider Purchasing a Web Domain (Optional):

    For many small enterprises, possessing a website is crucial, and it’s recommended to gain a domain name that closely matches your business name. Verify the availability of the corresponding domain name while conducting research and finalizing your business name.

    If you discover an accessible domain that you find appealing, registering it represents a cost-effective investment. You’re not required to establish a website right away. However, securing the domain guarantees its availability when you decide to use it to avoid potential issues relating to unavailability at a later stage.

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    2. Appoint a Registered Agent

    Establishing an LLC in Oklahoma requires thorough deliberation, especially for selecting the recipient responsible for handling important company communications.

    For your LLC to conduct business within the state, it’s essential to have a designated agent who can accept legal documents on behalf of your company in the event of any legal proceedings or act as an intermediary between your business and the state authorities.

    The designated representative must maintain a physical address within Oklahoma and can include:

    • An Oklahoma resident
    • Another Oklahoma-based LLC
    • A domestic or foreign business entity authorized to operate in Oklahoma

    You also have the option to appoint yourself or a member of your LLC as the representative. Depending on your business framework, selecting a third party might prove helpful. Some LLCs prefer legal professionals to act as representatives to facilitate legal proceedings in the event of litigation.

    Pro Tip: Several companies specialize in providing registered agent services to LLCs and other businesses in Oklahoma. It’s crucial to conduct comprehensive research and select a service with excellent ratings that fits within your financial parameters.

    Our Picks of the Best-Registered Agent Services

    By teaming up with ZenBusiness, you can bid farewell to the burden of managing paperwork. This organization stands out for its expertise in offering an array of LLC services, with a strong emphasis on ensuring the proper establishment of your business. Their specialization lies in efficiently handling and submitting all the required documentation to the relevant state government division.

    Although ZenBusiness does have fees for its services, customers consistently confirm that they receive excellent value for their investment.

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    Northwest Registered Agent logo

    Embarking on a business endeavor entails maneuvering through a multitude of mandatory paperwork imposed by the state, which can be especially overwhelming for novice entrepreneurs. Northwest streamlines this procedure by providing extensive business solutions. 

    They aid entrepreneurs in identifying the appropriate paperwork, ensuring its accuracy, and promptly submitting it to the respective governmental authority. Besides facilitating LLC formation, Northwest offers supplementary services such as registered agent services that are immensely beneficial for fledgling business proprietors.

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    Bizee logo

    Bizee distinguishes itself by providing a wide range of educational materials to aid novice entrepreneurs in selecting the optimal business framework. After settling on a decision, Bizee takes charge by offering support with paperwork and filing processes, clarifying terms like a registered agent, articles of organization, and EIN. 

    This company has established a robust standing and received favorable feedback online, cementing its position as a dependable option for aspiring business owners.

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    3. Submitting the Articles of Organization

    When establishing an LLC in Oklahoma, the subsequent pivotal step involves submitting the articles of organization for your Oklahoma Limited Liability Company, officially inaugurating your business. This crucial document must incorporate the following particulars:

    • The LLC’s name
    • The physical address of the LLC’s business location
    • The LLC’s email address
    • The LLC’s term of existence (e.g., perpetual, fixed number of years, fixed dissolution date)
    • Signature of a member, manager, or representative of the LLC

    For electronically filing the articles of organization, you can use Oklahoma’s entity filing webpage or choose the conventional method of mailing it to the Oklahoma Secretary of State at the provided address:


    Business Filing Department

    421 N.W. 13th, Suite 210

    Oklahoma City, OK 73103

    Important Information: Regardless of whether you decide to submit your application online or through postal mail, the filing fee will remain fixed at $100. It usually takes about five minutes to complete the form, and if you choose the online option, it will be processed within one to two business days. However, if you opt for a paper copy via mail, please expect a processing time of approximately three to four weeks.

    Registration for Foreign LLCs

    If your Limited Liability Company (LLC), established outside of Oklahoma, intends to engage in business activities within the state, you must adhere to the following procedures:

    • Ensure compliance with Oklahoma LLC naming regulations and confirm the availability of your LLC’s name in the state by checking the Oklahoma Secretary of State Business Entity Database. If the desired name is unavailable, you must complete and include a Statement of Fictitious Name Report along with your application.
    • Appoint an Oklahoma registered agent.
    • Submit an Application for Registration of a Foreign Limited Liability Company to the Oklahoma Secretary of State. This application can be filed online or by mail, with a filing fee of $300.

    The application must be accompanied by either a Certificate of Good Standing or a Certificate of Existence from the LLC’s home state, issued within the last 60 days.

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    4. Draft an Operating Agreement

    Crafting an operating agreement for an Oklahoma LLC isn’t mandatory, but it’s recommended to proactively address any potential complications that may arise in your business operations. 

    This important document outlines the financial and operational decisions that are crucial for the smooth functioning of the business. It clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of each member and establishes protocols for both regular activities and unexpected emergencies.

    While single-member LLCs have the option to forego a formal operating agreement, it becomes more risky for LLCs with multiple members or employees to operate without one. Without an agreement in place, there’s a higher chance of confusion and misunderstandings among the members. Therefore, create an operating agreement even though it may not be legally required in Oklahoma.

    Imagine this scenario: a two-member LLC based in Oklahoma agrees verbally to allocate 50% of its profits every year for reinvestment in the business. However, after one year passes, and it’s time to put the agreement into action, one of the members denies ever giving consent. 

    This disagreement leads to a conflict that eventually results in the dissolution of the LLC. To avoid such conflicts, it’s crucial to have a written operating agreement that captures all verbal agreements.

    Here’s an insider tip: The future is unpredictable, and there may come a time when your LLC needs to be dissolved. By including a section in your operating agreement specifically addressing the dissolution process, you can replace default rules set by Oklahoma law that may not align with your company’s best interests. 

    For example, while the default rule requires unanimous consent for dissolution, you might prefer a provision stating that only a majority vote is required, an option that becomes enforceable if stipulated in your operating agreement.

    5. Obtain Your EIN

    After successfully establishing an LLC in Oklahoma, you might consider the ongoing obligations for managing your business. Regardless of whether your enterprise employs personnel, obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) is imperative for all businesses operating in Oklahoma.

    Why is an EIN indispensable? An EIN is essential for the following purposes:

    • Establishing a business bank account for the company.
    • Fulfilling federal and state tax responsibilities.
    • Hiring employees for the company.

    Where can I acquire an EIN? Business proprietors can obtain an EIN from the IRS at no charge subsequent to the formation of the company. This can be accomplished either online or via mail.

    FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS: It’s noteworthy that an SSN (Social Security Number) isn’t mandatory for obtaining an EIN.

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    6. Submit the Annual Certificate

    In Oklahoma, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are obligated to submit an annual certificate to the Secretary of State, which is also referred to as an annual report. This requirement can be fulfilled either online or by mail, along with a filing fee of $25.

    The deadline for filing the annual certificate is determined by the anniversary month of the LLC’s formation each year. Although Oklahoma doesn’t impose any late fees for missing this deadline, if the filing isn’t completed within 60 days, the state will revoke the LLC’s “good standing” status. 

    Note that failure to file the annual certificate for three consecutive years may lead to the dissolution or revocation of the LLC by Oklahoma.

    7. Secure Business Licenses and Permits

    Although Oklahoma lacks a comprehensive statewide general business license, individual cities and counties throughout the state have their own licensing requirements. For example, businesses in Oklahoma City must obtain a general business license.

    The particular license or permit necessary for your business depends on its type and location. Below are some potential licenses and permits to consider:

    • Sales Tax Permit
    • Professional and Occupational Licenses
    • Liquor License
    • Health Permits
    • Home Occupation Permit
    • Building and Construction Permits
    • Environmental Permits
    • Agricultural Permits

    For a complete list of activities requiring licenses or permits, refer to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce website.

    Federal Permits and Licenses

    Certain federal licenses and permits may be required depending on your business activities or industry. Here are some examples:

    • Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) Permits: Businesses dealing with alcohol, tobacco, or firearms may need TTB permits to operate legally.
    • Federal Communications Commission (FCC) License: Telecom businesses often need an FCC license for legal operation.
    • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Registration: Businesses involved in food, drugs, medical devices, or cosmetics may require FDA registration.
    • Transportation-Related Permits: Companies engaged in interstate transportation may need federal licenses from agencies such as the Department of Transportation (DOT).
    • Environmental Permits: Businesses handling hazardous materials or impacting the environment may need permits from federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
    • Aviation and Aerospace Licenses: Entities in the aviation and aerospace sectors may need licenses or permits from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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    8. Requirements for Filing Taxes for an Oklahoma LLC

    In order to uphold the positive reputation of your company, stay updated on the tax responsibilities that come with operating an LLC in Oklahoma.

    Based on the nature of your business, you may be required to register for multiple types of taxes.

    Oklahoma Sales Tax

    If your business revolves around the sale of tangible goods, it’s essential to acquire a seller’s permit via the Oklahoma Taxpayer Access Point website.

    The state sales tax rate in Oklahoma stands at 4.5%, but several municipalities and counties impose additional local sales taxes that can go as high as 5.5%. You can find a comprehensive listing of these taxes on the official website of the State of Oklahoma.

    Oklahoma Employer Taxes

    If you have workers in Oklahoma, register for Unemployment Insurance Tax with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. You must enroll in Employee Withholding Tax with the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

    Income Tax

    • In Oklahoma, individual income tax is organized into six brackets, with tax rates varying from 0.25% to 4.75%, depending on your LLC’s earnings.
    • For federal taxes, multi-member LLCs can file using Form 1065, while single-member LLCs can use Form 1040 Schedule C. State tax filings are annual and coincide with the federal deadline. To calculate taxes or ascertain your bracket, consult the Oklahoma Tax Commission website.

    Hiring Employees in Oklahoma

    If you intend to employ individuals for your Oklahoma LLC, ensure legal compliance by adhering to these guidelines:

    • Confirm the eligibility of new employees to work in the US
    • Report new hires to the state authorities
    • Provide workers’ compensation insurance for employees
    • Deduct employee taxes as required
    • Clearly display workplace compliance posters in visible areas within your workspace

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    How to Start an LLC in Oklahoma – FAQs

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