Jon Morgan
Published by Jon Morgan | Co-Founder & Chief Editor
Last updated: September 24, 2023

The process of starting an LLC in Oklahoma is a straightforward one.

There are a few steps that you need to take and legal documents to file before the state could approve your business.

After helping clients form LLCs for over a decade, I’ll provide you my insights and all pertinent information about starting an LLC in Oklahoma.

I also collaborated with our team of business consultants and legal experts in Oklahoma to help you clarify the rules set forth by the Oklahoma Secretary of State.

Quick Summary:

  • To start an LLC in Oklahoma, it would be necessary to register an available business name, hire a registered agent, file articles of organization, draft an operating agreement and obtain an EIN.
  • After forming your Oklahoma LLC, you need to acquire licenses and permits, open a bank account and pay the required taxes.
  • An Oklahoma limited liability company can be taxed as a single-member, multi-member, S-Corp or C-Corp.

Start an Oklahoma LLC

Man busy working on is table

To start an Oklahoma LLC, members should comply with state laws, submit all legal documents and draft an operating agreement.

There are a few things that owners need to keep in mind before they can register with the state, including how many members there will be and if your business name has already been taken.

It applies even when you're a foreign LLC.

Step 1: Choose a Name for Your Oklahoma LLC

If you're ready to move forward with registering your Oklahoma LLC, the very first step is choosing a name and then filing a trading name with the Oklahoma Secretary of State.

Think of a name and determine its availability on the Business Registry website [1].

If the name you want to take is available, register it with the Oklahoma Secretary of State and proceed to the next step.

If you need to change a name for your LLC, read our article and learn the quickest way to rename an LLC in Oklahoma.

Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent

Shaking hands with a registered agent

After coming up with a business name, you should employ an Oklahoma registered agent.

A registered agent is an individual or business entity representing the company in legal matters, and they are necessary to maintain your business within state lines legally. They can file an annual report in your stead, for example.

You cannot register an Oklahoma LLC without a registered agent because it is required by law.

If you want to find your own registered agent, do an internet search for a registered agent service in Oklahoma.

You will have several options of companies that offer the registered agent service at different prices.

On average, you can find a registered agent service for $49 a year in the state of Oklahoma.

You can find an agent without the help of a service such as this one, but agent services help streamline the entire process.

Step 3: Submit Oklahoma Articles of Organization

After you've chosen a registered agent, the next step is to file articles of organization with your county clerk. You can also file online with the Secretary of State.

Oklahoma LLC Articles of Organization need to contain the following information:

  • Name of your LLC 
  • Its business address in the state of Oklahoma 
  • A list of members
  • The nature and purpose of your business
  • Date of completion if applicable
  • Registered agent (Name and address)
  • Management structure

You can submit articles in person or file online and pay the filing fee with the Secretary of State.

For more information, check out our article on the expenses incurred to forming an LLC in Oklahoma.

Step 4: Formulate an LLC Operating Agreement

Having a discussion and agreement outside office

An Oklahoma LLC operating agreement is an important document that sets up the operating rules for your LLC.

Technically, operating agreements are not legally required in Oklahoma.

However, they can be extremely helpful when it comes to keeping track of important information about your company and its members.

With an operating agreement, you won't be able to set clear rules and expectations.

An Oklahoma LLC operating agreement should contain some basic information, such as the following:

  • Member names 
  • Management structure (members or managers) 
  • Roles and responsibilities of all people involved 
  • Operating procedures
  • Operating capital
  • Ownership percentages
  • Adding, removing, retiring and death of members

Step 5: Obtain an Employer Identification Number

An employer identification number serves as the business identification number for federal taxes. It is also known as EIN or federal tax ID.

EIN can be obtained from the internal revenue service (IRS). It's necessary to have an EIN if a business has employees or operations in more than one state.

A federal employer identification number allows the company to have access to federal funds and tax benefits, such as withholding allowances for its employees.

It also makes it possible to open bank accounts with ease so the company can keep track of its earnings.

Once you have an EIN, you will be informed about available tax classification options.

Most LLCs opt for the default tax status, but C corporation status is also an option.

Do You Need a Business License for Your Oklahoma LLC?

Approved files and business license

You need a business license for your Oklahoma LLC, depending on the nature of the business and its location.

Certain types of businesses require business licenses before they can operate in Oklahoma.

Business licenses and permits are two terms used interchangeably to show that a certain business entity has permission to conduct business in the state of Oklahoma.

While Oklahoma doesn't have a general business license, it does require different types of permits and business licenses for companies depending on their business structure and the services provided.

Some of the most common types of businesses that need a business license include:

  • Contractor/construction companies
  • Professional offices (i.e., lawyers, accountants)
  • Restaurants or bars

Retailers, resellers, and other businesses that sell tangible goods need a sales tax permit. Keep this in mind during business formation.

Separating Private and Business Assets

It's a good idea to keep your assets separate, especially when filing an LLC annual report in Oklahoma.

If you don't, then your personal money could be at risk if there's a lawsuit against the company for some reason.

Additionally, it will give individuals more privacy when they're doing personal transactions with their own finances rather than dealing directly with the LLC.

The biggest advantage of creating an LLC is the personal asset protection it provides.

This means that if someone files a lawsuit against your LLC, it can't go after any of its owners' personal assets to pay for damages or settlement agreements.

Only business-related assets and income will be used in court cases or settlements, not personal ones.

If you keep assets mixed, you're at risk of losing them all in case of a lawsuit.

Open a Business Bank Account

Holding a Bank card

Once you get an EIN, you can get a bank account. It's a requirement even when you're a foreign LLC or an LLC offering professional services.

You can easily open business bank accounts by contacting your local financial institutions and setting up an appointment with a business banker to discuss the account options available for LLCs.

You'll need to provide all of the relevant business information such as business name, EIN number, trade name if applicable, location of business office or headquarters, etc.

The main advantage of having a separate bank account for your LLC business is that business bank accounts offer a lot of liability protection.

Having an LLC bank account can protect your personal assets from being attached in case your business fails to pay the debts it owes to others or if someone successfully sues you for damages caused by negligence on the part of your LLC business.

You can also take advantage of business credit card benefits besides enjoying complete personal liability protection.

How are LLCs Taxed in Oklahoma?

Pressing equals button on a calculator

LLCs in Oklahoma are taxed depending on which tax classification status the members opted for. They can elect to be taxed as single-member, multi-member, S-Corp or C-Corp.

The tax requirements for LLCs are pretty straightforward.

They're taxed as a pass-through entity, meaning that there are no federal income taxes paid at the federal level, and any profits from your business get distributed to you or other members of the company according to their ownership stake in it.

Go to the IRS website for more information on taxation.

1. Oklahoma Employer Tax

Employer tax in Oklahoma is meant to contribute to the state's Unemployment Insurance Fund.

This fund helps workers who have been laid off from their jobs and are looking for new ones.

This is done through a percentage-based tax, which goes up or down based on how many claims were filed against this unemployment insurance pool in previous years.

2. Oklahoma Sales Tax

In Oklahoma, sales tax is based on a percentage of the sales price, and it's applied to the products the company sells.

The state allows individual cities and counties to add an additional sales tax or excise tax.

For example, Tulsa County has its own sales tax rate in addition to Oklahoma's statewide sales taxes.

What Is a Limited Liability Company?

A man signing a paper for a limited liability company

A limited liability company is a limited company that is very similar to a limited partnership or an S corporation, but it has even more benefits.

The owners of the limited liability company are called members, and they have limited personal liability for any debts or liabilities incurred by the LLC.

Because limited liability companies are legally treated as separate entities from their LLC owners, they can enter into contracts that businesses cannot do with individuals or general partnerships.

A domestic limited liability company is one formed in your home state where you also happen to do your business, as opposed to a foreign LLC that already operates in a different state.


Are LLCs Subject to Oklahoma Franchise Tax?

LLCs are not subject to Oklahoma franchise tax, unless your business is classified under C-Corporation.

Is an Oklahoma LLC Easy to Start?

An Oklahoma LLC is easy to start and maintain, as long as you follow the steps as provided for by the state laws.

What Taxes Does an LLC Pay in Oklahoma?

LLCs in Oklahoma pay federal and state taxes, just like LLCs in all the other states.

Can I Start an Oklahoma LLC on My Own?

You can start an Oklahoma LLC on your own, provided that you stay compliant with state laws. However, it is advisable to seek legal consultation.

Starting an LLC in Oklahoma

The process of setting up a limited liability company in Oklahoma is not complicated, but it does require some careful planning.

If you want to do everything by the books and minimize your risk for any potential legal challenges or complications down the line, then talk to a lawyer about what documents are necessary at each stage of this endeavor.

And remember that just because something can be done on your own doesn't mean it should be - always consult with professionals when necessary.

Take legal and business advice from ZenBusiness, and you'll have all the information you need to start an Oklahoma LLC today.

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