Start an LLC in Oklahoma

You’ve chosen a limited liability company to be a legal structure for your future business entity and wonder how to get an LLC in Oklahoma? In our DIY, you’ll find all the answers. Basically, you can start an LLC either on your own or with expert assistance at hand. Whichever way you choose, it is still useful to know the whole process from within to have an idea of how everything is done. For the start, though, consider your future business plans and decide what type of LLC you need. Below, we provide instructions on common LLCs, which are the choice for most entrepreneurs. Yet, you might need a professional one or series LLC if you already have some sort of professional license and look for a more complex business framework accordingly. If so, check our forming guides on Professional LLC in Oklahoma and Oklahoma Series LLC

How To Launch An Oklahoma LLC?

To have a complete vision of the process you are about to go through, it’s nice to have detailed instructions outlining the main actions you need to undertake and arranging them in proper sequence. And this is just what we are going to do. Below, you’ll find the steps to create an LLC in Oklahoma that will make this process feasible even for first-time entrepreneurs and startuppers. 

Name an LLC in Oklahoma

A business name will make your limited liability company distinguishable among other Oklahoma LLCs, as well as among the rest of the companies in the country. That’s why it’s important to treat this formation step seriously and with due diligence. First of all, no legal person is legitimate and eligible without a name. And secondly, you won’t be able to even launch the formation process without naming your company. 

Your Oklahoma LLC business name should be recognizable, memorable, catchy, and somehow reminiscent of your business activity. Though it’s up to you to invent the name for your business entity, it’s not only about good imagination and creativity. There are still certain legal rules to follow and they are laid in the Oklahoma Statutes Sect 18-2008:

  • Business type identifier, which is LLC or a full wording is an obligatory part of the company name;
  • There should be a direct and clear reference to your business activity, with no ambiguous or hidden meanings; 
  • No abusive, unethical, deceitful, or misleading words and phrases are allowed;
  • No references to state, regulatory, or financial authorities, as well as to any scientific degrees and social organizations are allowed unless you have special permission for that;
  • The key requirement is that your business name should be unique, which means in no way similar to any other already existing business names in the state registry. However, punctuation marks, spacing, conjunctions, capital letters, or articles won’t make your company name unique. You need to juggle with keywords and meaningful parts instead. 

To get a unique business name, it’s advisable to have a few versions at hand, and to make sure this name is available in Oklahoma, you need to do a name search using Business Entities Search, which is a free public service. 

Once the desired name option is available, you need to act quickly to avoid it being snatched by some other legal entity. You have two ways to follow here. The first one is to kickstart the filing process immediately. And even in this case, there are no guarantees you’ll get the name since filing might take from several days up to several weeks, not to mention that you might need some time to prepare the docs. The second one is to reserve your LLC name. The state of Oklahoma allows for a 60-day reservation period in contrast to 120 days in many other states. To put the chosen name on hold, you have three options.

Online

Fill in an online form via the filing page.

Mail

Send an Application for Name Reservation by mail:

Oklahoma Secretary of State
421 N.W. 13th, Suite 210 
Oklahoma City, OK 73103

In Person

Drop the application form in person to the above-mentioned address if you reside in that city. 

Surely enough, the online reservation is the fastest and is processed within two business days. Reviewing mailed applications takes up to 10 working days. And if you want your form to be processed the same day, hand it in and pay $25 for the expedited speed. 

Apply For an EIN

EIN or an IRS Employer Identification Number is a sort of an individual tax code that will make your company traceable for the tax authorities. Getting an LLC in Oklahoma, you don’t need an EIN to have your business entity registered with the state. However, you can’t skip paying taxes, as well as you’ll need a business account in the bank and might want to hire employees when operating in Oklahoma, so one way or another, you’ll need this number later on. Fortunately, registering an EIN won’t take you a lot of time or effort. You just need to submit an application to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and you can do it in three ways. 

Online

File an online application, which is the fastest method allowing you to obtain your EIN once you complete the digital form. Online filings are available from 7 am to 10 pm on weekdays.

Fax

Download the Form SS-4 and fax it to 

(855) 641-6935

Mail

Deliver the above form by mail to

Internal Revenue Service Operation
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999

Note, though, that with faxing or mailing, you’ll have to wait for four business days and four weeks accordingly to get your number. So, online application is obviously the easiest and quickest way to go. 

Appoint a Registered Agent for an Oklahoma LLC

To set up an LLC in Oklahoma and lawfully run it afterward, you need to designate a registered agent for your company. What is a registered agent and do you really need one, you wonder? In short, a registered agent is a contact point between your company and the state. The registered agent maintains flawless communications with regulatory and state authorities on behalf of your company so that you won’t miss any essential deadlines and timely receive important state docs and notifications. As such, it’s a core element in your business structure that will function both for your convenience and for maintaining compliance with the state rules. 

You can choose a registered agent between adult individuals over 18 years old who reside in Oklahoma and have a registered physical address there. More than that, such a person needs to be accessible during normal working hours to receive any mailings on your behalf. With that, the best individual options for a registered agent are tax and financial experts, accountants, lawyers, attorneys, and business consultants who are anyway operating in the state and can handle the formalities for your company. 

One more option is hiring another company to be your registered representative for formal communications with state authorities. There are a whole lot of companies providing registered agent service in Oklahoma. Most often, those companies are online LLC services that offer assistance in business formation and make registered agent service a valuable perk. Two market players that really excel in this concern are Northwest Registered Agent and IncFile

File the LLC Articles of Organization

Filing your Oklahoma LLC formation documents with the state is where your business starts to legally exist. To do that, you need to prepare the Articles of Organization (which is the main formation document) and submit it to the Oklahoma Secretary of State to get permission to run your business in this state. 

Articles of Organization or Certificate of Organization is a kind of typical document. Yet, its content will vary depending on the type of business activity and the sphere or industry your company is engaged in. Detailed info on all state-specific regulations is available in the Oklahoma Statutes section on the state government official website. Meanwhile, some general data the Articles of Organization should cover include:

  • The company name and registered address;
  • The purpose of your business;
  • Names and addresses of the company organizer and key members;
  • Name and signature of the registered agent;
  • Duration terms specifying whether your LLC is perpetual or should be dissolved on a certain date.

The customized and signed document should be delivered to the Oklahoma Secretary of State to be processed and registered. Besides, there is a state processing fee of $100 you need to pay and attach the payment confirmation to your filing application. 

Speaking of the application process, you have three filing methods at your disposal.

Online

Online application by filling in an electronic form on a free state webpage. These submissions are the first to review and will be processed within two business days.

Mail

Downloading a paper form and sending it by regular mail to 

Oklahoma Secretary of State
421 N.W. 13th Street Suite 210
Oklahoma City, OK  73103

This option takes up to 10 days to be processed by the state. 

In Person

Bringing the paper form in person to the Secretary of State office. It’s a perfect choice for Oklahoma City residents who can physically come to the office and get their formation documents back the same day by paying an extra $25. 

Create an Oklahoma LLC Operating Agreement

Though an optional company bylaw is not required by law for doing business in Oklahoma, an Operating Agreement is a crucial document for many LLCs, especially those with multiple owners, and here is why. It brings a whole lot of benefits and conveniences to company owners helpful for running the business in a safer and more protected manner:

  • It will strictly determine the rights and liabilities of the owners and managers to prevent any conflicts and misunderstanding;
  • It will standardize many operating procedures to ease operational management and control; 
  • It will further enhance limited liability protection by separating your personal assets from the business ones;
  • It allows avoiding generic Oklahoma default laws that make the base for LLC operation but might be not that beneficial for some business scenarios and situations. 

You can write down an Operating Agreement on your own using one of the multiple templates available online or entrust this task to an attorney if you are ready to pay for that quite a bit of money. An easy and affordable alternative that stands in between is to hire an LLC service that will do all the formation work for you or at least get an Operating Agreement template from it. Many services, such as ZenBusiness, for example, not only make those templates a part of their service bundles but also allocate them on their platforms for free.

What To Do After An Oklahoma LLC Registration?

Registering an LLC is only a formal part of the process, which is legalizing the business and making it an eligible entity. Yet, it’s not enough to keep it up and running, and there are some more aspects to consider in that concern. 

LLC Tax Requirements in Oklahoma

Normally, business entities are exposed to federal and state taxes. Yet, the best thing about LLCs is that these are “pass-through” entities in the eyes of the tax law. In other words, this business structure is free from paying Oklahoma federal and state taxes. All company profits and losses are transferred to the personal tax returns of its owners unless you choose your company to be taxed as a corporation when filing Oklahoma LLC. But it in no way means that your business will be exempt from any other taxes. 

After state registration, you need to register your company with the Oklahoma Tax Commission to learn what Oklahoma LLC taxes you are obliged to pay. If you are engaged in some sort of commercial activity, you’ll have to submit for the Sales Tax permission. And if you have any hired staff, your tax liabilities will be extended with a Withholding Tax payable to Oklahoma’s Taxpayer Access Point and an Unemployment Tax payable to Employment Security Commission.

Oklahoma Annual Certificate

To lawfully conduct an LLC in Oklahoma and maintain your company compliance with the state, you need to file an Annual Certificate or annual report on a yearly basis. The due date is the date of your business formation, and the filing fee is $25. An overdue up to 60 days will strip your company of good standing with the state while three years with no reports will result in administrative dissolution.  So, keep an eye on that, and don’t forget to deliver an electronic form of your certificate online or send a paper application by mail to

Oklahoma Secretary of State
421 N.W. 13th
Suite 210
Oklahoma City, OK 73103

Online applications are considered within two business days while mailed versions will be processed within almost ten business days. And you can have your certificate registered even the same day if you bring it in person and pay $25 for speedy registration. 

Oklahoma LLC Business Permits and Licenses

Creating an LLC in Oklahoma, you might need some licenses and permits to legally operate it further on. Those permissions are industry-specific and vary by the type of business you are doing. To find out whether you need to obtain some professional licenses or special permits for your company in Oklahoma, check the Department of Commerce’s business licensing and operating requirements.

Oklahoma LLC Bank Account

Last but not least, opening a bank account for your LLC is a necessity to properly distribute your personal and business assets as well as distinguish between them and make accounting easier. By the way, to open an Oklahoma business checking account in a local bank, you’ll need both an EIN and an Operating Agreement that will make your company look more trustworthy and reliable. 

Conclusion

Starting an LLC in Oklahoma is pretty much as common as doing that in many other states. It might seem a bit complicated and tricky at a glance, yet, it’s still feasible. However, if it pushes you off or you are simply not eager to delve into all those formalities, LLC formation companies will come to help. They’ll do the work for you without hitting your budget too much. Some of them even offer to file your Oklahoma LLC for free and provide free registered agent service.