How to Register a Small Business in Oklahoma: A Beginner's Guide

Updated: Sep 25

Are you ready to start your local business in Oklahoma? You'll first need to register your business with the state of Oklahoma, which offers several types of business registrations. Learn the basics and get started with this important legal step!

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This beginner's guide only covers business registration at the state level, not local, such as a city or county. Most cities and counties require a business to first register at the state level before any local business registration can proceed, such as with a local business license or permit.


Business registrations of non-profits and other less common business structures are not covered in this beginner's guide. For more details, visit Oklahoma's state government website.


Step 1: Choose a Business Structure

To start a small business, you first need to choose a business structure which is a government classification for legal and tax purposes. In Oklahoma, you can structure your business as a:

  • Sole Proprietorship

  • General Partnership

  • Limited Partnership (LP)

  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)

  • Professional Limited Liability Company (PLLC)*

  • Corporation

  • Professional Corporation*

Each business structure has important legal and tax differences that may or may not be optimal for your small business.


*Only certain professions can form a Professional Limited Liability Company or Professional Corporation.


Helpful Resources to Help You Decide

Use the following resources to help your choose the right business structure:


Government Websites

Visit the following government websites to learn more about business structures: Oklahoma's state website and U.S. Small Business Administration.


Book/ebook

Read Nolo's latest edition book/ebook called Legal Guide for Starting & Running a Small Business, which provides an excellent and easy-to-understand overview of business structures and other important small business topics.


Online Business Quiz

Answer a few business questions with an online quiz and get a suggested business structure. Compare results with these online quizzes created by professional online filing services: CorpNet, Legalzoom, and MyCoporation.


Online Legal Advice

Consult a lawyer with RocketLawyer for a reasonable fee. Get advice on which business structure you should choose and have your legal questions answered by a real lawyer. Rocket Lawyer is a leading and top-rated online platform that provides online legal services.


 

Step 2: Check Business Name Availability

Once you have chosen a business structure, the next step is to check if your proposed business name is available in the state of Oklahoma. You can avoid filing delays or rejection by ensuring your proposed business name is not the same or similar to another registered business name.


Do a quick business name search on Oklahoma's state website:


Federal Trademark Business Name Search

For extra precaution, you should also check the United States Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) website for business names registered as federal trademarks. A business name that is registered as a federal trademark gives that business nationwide legal protection from other similar businesses from using that name, even if that business does not do business in Oklahoma.


Avoid using a business name that is the same or too similar to a business name that is registered as a federal trademark and in your same business industry. Start your online search:


Business Name Reservation (Optional)

If your proposed business name is available in Oklahoma, but you need more time before you officially register your business, the state of Oklahoma lets you reserve a business name for a limited time (see form).


To reserve a business name, you must file a Name Reservation form and pay a state filing fee.



 

Step 3: File State Paperwork

Once you have selected a business structure and found an available business name, you're ready to make your business official. You can register your business yourself or do what many small business owners do and use a professional online filing service.


Using an online filing service is an excellent option if you find it too complicated to do it yourself or you find it too expensive to hire a local professional to do it for you. Online filing services can also be your registered agent, which is required for certain business structures.


Sole Proprietorship

The state of Oklahoma does not require a sole proprietorship to register at the state level. However, you may need to register your business name as a trade name, also known as a DBA (doing business as), if it does not use your full legal name.


To register a trade name, use the following form:

Domestic (Oklahoma) Trade Name

Recommend online filing service: Swyft Filings (for DBA registration)


General Partnership

The state of Oklahoma does not require a general partnership to register at the state level, but it is optional. To register a general partnership, use the following form:

Statement of Partnership Authority


In addition, you may need to register your business name as a trade name, also known as a DBA (doing business as), if it does not use the full legal names of owners/partners.


To register a trade name, use the following form:

Domestic (Oklahoma) Trade Name

Recommend online filing service: Swyft Filings (for DBA registration)


Limited Partnership (LP)

To register a domestic Limited Partnership in Oklahoma, use the following form:

Certificate of Limited Partnership

Recommended online filings service: Legalzoom


Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

To register a domestic Limited Liability Partnership in Oklahoma, use the following form:

Oklahoma Limited Liability Partnership (Statement of Qualification)

Recommended online filing service: Legalzoom


Limited Liability Company (LLC)

To register a domestic Limited Liability Company in Oklahoma, use the following form:

Oklahoma Limited Liability Company (Articles of Organization)

Recommended online filing service: ZenBusiness


Professional Limited Liability Company (LLC)

To register a domestic Professional Limited Liability Company in Oklahoma, use the following form:

Oklahoma Limited Liability Company Professional (Articles of Organization)

Recommended online filing service: MyCoporation


Corporation

To register a domestic Corporation in Oklahoma, use the following form:

Certificate of Incorporation (for profit)

Recommended online filing service: ZenBusiness


Professional Corporation

To register a domestic Professional Corporation in Oklahoma, use the following form:

Certificate Incorporation (Professional)

Recommended online filing service: CorpNet