- Step 1. Naming Your Oklahoma LLC
- Step 2. Choosing a Registered Agent
- Step 3. File Your Articles of Organization
- Step 4. Create an Operating Agreement
- Step 5. Get an EIN/Tax ID Number
- Step 6. Keeping Your LLC Running
- Oklahoma LLC Resources
- Oklahoma LLC FAQs
Step 1. Naming Your Oklahoma LLC
When choosing a name for your Oklahoma LLC, you need to ensure that it is unique and distinct from other businesses in the state. You also need to follow some essential naming rules.
Legally Required Designation
To follow Oklahoma LLC regulations, your chosen name must contain the phrase “limited liability company” or one of the following abbreviations:
- Limited Company
As we mentioned above, it is important that your LLC’s chosen name be unique and avoid infringing on another Oklahoma business. To ensure it’s distinct, you can use the business entity search tool on the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s website.
If the name you desire is available, you can file an Application for Reservation of Name with the Secretary of State’s office. This form can be filed online or through the mail (send the completed form to the address listed on the document) and carries a $10 filing fee.
You may also want to perform a search of available domain names while you are looking for the perfect LLC name. Purchasing a matching domain name can save you future stress when it comes time to set up a business website for your LLC.
As you choose your name, keep in mind that you cannot include any words that run the risk of confusing your business with a government entity. This includes words like “State Department,” “Treasury,” or “IRS.”
You should also be aware that using words such as “dentist,” “attorney,” or “chiropractor” may require the presence of a properly licensed individual in your LLC and filing separate paperwork. Oklahoma does allow for the formation of professional LLCs, but you may be required to meet additional state and national licensure requirements to legally operate your LLC. More information on this can be found here.
Using an Assumed Name
Any LLC in Oklahoma can choose to use an assumed or DBA (doing business as) name for their business. This means the business uses its registered LLC name on all official documents and the assumed name when interacting with the public. This allows business owners to market their LLC in a specific way or maintain an extra level of privacy.
To use an assumed name in Oklahoma, you need to file a Trade Name Report with the Secretary of State’s office. This report can be filed online or through the mail, and there is a $25 filing fee associated with it.
Step 2. Choosing a Registered Agent
All LLCs in Oklahoma are required to appoint a registered agent (also referred to as an agent for service of process). Your LLC’s registered agent is responsible for receiving all legal documents, government communications, and tax documents, essentially acting as a contact point between your business and state or federal agencies. They are also the responsible party that is contacted in the event of a lawsuit against your LLC.
You can appoint any Oklahoma resident, LLC, or business authorized to conduct operations in the state as your registered agent. As long as your appointee has a valid Oklahoma street address, they are eligible to be your registered agent.
Step 3. File Your Articles of Organization
To officially set up your LLC in Oklahoma, you must file your Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State’s office. You will need to put essential information about your business on this form; a sample of this information can be found below.
- Your LLC’s name
- Your LLC’s principal office address
- Your LLC’s email address
- Your LLC’s end date, if not perpetual
- The signature of your LLC’s manager, member, or representative
You can file your Articles of Organization online or through the mail. There is a $100 filing fee associated with this form.
To file your Articles of Organization online, you can access the Secretary of State’s online business filing system here. From there, select the option to file “Articles of Organization, LLC” and will be taken to a page that asks you to provide your contact information and create an account. Once set up, you can put in all the necessary information and file your document. Upon submittal, you will be prompted to pay the applicable $100 filing fee.
If you want to file your Articles of Organization by mail, you need to print out and complete this form. Place it into a secure envelope along with a check for the $100 filing fee made out to the Secretary of State’s office. You can then seal the envelope and mail it to the address listed below.
Oklahoma Secretary of State
421 NW 13th Suite 210
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
Step 4. Create an Operating Agreement
LLCs in Oklahoma are not required to create an operating agreement, but you may want to consider drafting one up regardless. Your operating agreement should set guidelines for how your LLC is managed, the rights that members or managers have, and what to do if your LLC dissolves or experiences a lawsuit.
If you choose not to create your own LLC operating agreement, Oklahoma LLC law will dictate how your LLC is to be managed in the event of dissolution, conflict, or lawsuit. This may not be in your best interest, so if you want to protect yourself and your assets, creating a valid operating agreement is the way to go. You can follow this template to start drafting one up.
Step 5. Get an EIN/Tax ID Number
You must apply for a Tax ID number, also known as an EIN (Employer Identification Number), through the IRS once your LLC has been established in Oklahoma.
Any LLC that has more than one member — or any single-member LLC that wants to hire employees or chooses to be taxed as a corporation — must apply for an EIN.
Your EIN is used to identify your business to the IRS on all tax documents and necessary government filings; it acts as a social security number for your LLC. If you want to hire employees, file federal taxes, open business bank or credit accounts, or apply for business funding, you need an EIN.
It is free to apply for your EIN with the IRS, and you can file the application online or by mailing it in. Keep in mind that if you are a foreign filer or do not have a social security number, you must file for your EIN through the mail.
The quickest and easiest way to apply for your EIN is online; you will receive your number once your application is completed. Visit the IRS website to apply for your free EIN.
You must fill out this form when applying for your LLC by mail. If you are a foreign filer or do not have a social security number, leave section 7b blank. Mail the completed form to the address below. You can follow up on any questions with the IRS at (267) 941-1099.
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Step 6. Keeping Your LLC Running
There are several tasks to keep up with on a regular basis to ensure that your LLC stays running without issue.
File Your Annual Certificate
All LLCs in Oklahoma are required to file an annual certificate with the Secretary of State’s office. You are required to file this form by your LLC’s anniversary establishment date each year; failure to file can result in an involuntary dissolution of your LLC by the state.
You may choose to file your annual certificate online or through the mail (send the completed document to the address on the form. There is a $25 filing fee associated with the annual certificate.
Separate Your Business Finances
It is not required for LLCs in Oklahoma to open a separate bank account, but you may want to set one up anyway. A dedicated business bank account will keep your LLC’s finances separate from personal ones, further establishing your LLC as an independently operating business. This can be very helpful in the case of a lawsuit against your LLC.
You most likely need to show essential internal LLC documents, such as your Articles of Organization, an operating agreement, or your business’s EIN when opening a business bank account. Make sure to compare all your account options before deciding what to open, as different banks have varying minimum required balances or spending limits; you should be certain to select the best option for both you and your LLC’s needs.
Keep Up With Federal and State Taxes
It is essential that you keep up to date with your federal and state tax burdens to avoid major penalties or fines that can interrupt the operation of your business.
Federal Tax Requirements
There are several tax structures you can choose from to use in your LLC that may meet different company needs; each structure comes with its own unique type of federal taxation. This article can help you gain an in-depth understanding of the differences between each type and help you decide which is best for you.
In general, most LLCs are taxed as sole proprietorships or partnerships. This means you are expected to file Schedule C along with your individual income tax return to declare any income that you receive through your LLC. When using this tax structure, keep in mind that you most likely need to pay self-employment tax (at a rate of 15.3%) in addition to any income tax. You may also need to make quarterly estimated tax payments to avoid IRS fines; the IRS website gives more details on this.
If you want, you can choose to have your LLC taxed as a corporation, like an S Corporation or a C Corporation. You must fill out IRS Form 8832 and IRS Form 2553 to declare this. After these have been processed, your LLC will be treated as a corporation and expected to file a separate corporate tax return with the IRS.
Oklahoma Business Taxes
While Oklahoma used to impose a general business tax, called the Business Activity Tax (BAT), it has since been repealed. This means LLCs in the state are only liable to pay state income taxes that pertain to their individual taxation structures.
LLCs taxed as pass-through entities, such as sole proprietorships and partnerships, are required to report their income on individual state income tax returns each year. LLCs that elect to be taxed as S or C Corporations must file a separate corporation tax return in Oklahoma. More information can be found here.
Sales and Use Taxes
If your LLC sells goods or services in Oklahoma, you most likely need to register for and pay sales and use taxes. The Oklahoma Tax Commission is in charge of these taxes, and more information on them can be found here.
State Employer Taxes
For any Oklahoma LLC that has employees, you are likely liable to pay state withholding taxes and unemployment insurance taxes. Withholding taxes are handled by the Oklahoma Tax Commission; more information on them can be found here.
To register for and pay unemployment insurance taxes, or to find out more information on this tax, visit the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission’s website here.
Acquire Necessary Permits and Licenses
There is no general license required in Oklahoma to start up your business, but you may be required to obtain certain permits or licenses on a local level. Additionally, if you are offering professional services with your LLC, you may be obligated to meet certain state or national licensing requirements. You can find out more information on Oklahoma business licensing and operating requirements here.
You also should keep in mind that you may need to acquire permits and licenses for your LLC on a federal level. Again, this depends on the type of business you run and the professional services you offer. For help determining if you need to meet additional federal licensure requirements, use the directory on the US Small Business Administration’s website.
Oklahoma LLC Resources
Use the below list as a reference as you progress through each step of the Oklahoma LLC establishment process.
- Available LLC name search
- Reserve an LLC name
- Available domain name search
- Register an Assumed Name
- Articles of Organization
- Oklahoma online business filings
- Oklahoma downloadable business forms
- IRS EIN online application
- Annual Certificate document
- Oklahoma business tax information
- Oklahoma Tax Commission
- Oklahoma Employment Security Commission
- Oklahoma business licensing and operating requirements
- S. Small Business Administration
Oklahoma LLC FAQs
The frequently asked questions below can help clarify any confusion over starting up your LLC in Oklahoma.
In Oklahoma, it will cost $100 to file your Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. You may also need to pay $10 to reserve an LLC name or $25 to register an assumed name in the state.
The cheapest way to start your LLC in Oklahoma is to file your Articles of Organization online or by mail without first reserving an LLC name or registering a DBA name. Doing it this way will only cost $100 to get your business established.
How much your Oklahoma LLC pays in taxes depends on the individual tax structure you set up for your business. Keep in mind that in addition to federal taxes, you also need to pay for state individual or corporate income taxes, sales and use taxes, or state employer taxes.
In Oklahoma, you must file an annual report. This annual certificate is due by your LLC’s anniversary establishment date every year and can be filed online or through the mail. There is a $25 filing fee, and failure to file may result in the involuntary dissolution of your business.
If you are finished conducting business under your LLC, you need to file Articles of Dissolution with the Secretary of State’s office. This document can be filed online or through the mail, and there is a $50 filing fee.
You also need to consult any operating agreement or internal LLC documentation that you have to complete previously agreed-upon terms for wrapping up and concluding your business in the state.