Are you ready to setup an LLC in Oklahoma? It doesn't have to be difficult, and you can have your papers filed with the state for about $50 and a few hours of your time. Just read the instructions below.
Note: I am not a lawyer or accountant in real life, nor do I play one on the internet. The advice I provide below on how to setup an LLC in Oklahoma is based on my own experiences over 20 years as an entrepreneur and what my own attorneys and accountants have told me when I setup my Oklahoma-based businesses. Please consult your own legal and financial advisors.
The process of setting up a limited liability company is fairly easy and inexpensive, if you know what you're doing. I did hire someone to do the setup for me back in 2004, but I've renewed mine every year since then and have helped my clients and family members setup their own. As part of this process, I documented the steps it takes to setup an LLC in Oklahoma, including the links to find the proper pages and forms on the Secretary of State website.
Choose a business name
Choose two or three possibilities for a name for your business. This is important because someone may have already registered your name or it might get rejected for other reasons. If you're a teacher starting a new business, I'm offering consultations at reThink Your Lifestyle and would love to help you choose the right business name!
Research your name
Research your name on the state website to make sure no one else has it. (Also, don’t name your company after a town or county. At least one woman at the capitol will tell you no, if you try it.)
To research the name, you’ll go to the Oklahoma Secretary of State website and search for a registered business.
Enter the name you want to use. For example, if you enter “rethinkela” you will see that I have registered an active domestic limited liability company with that name. If you click “filing number,” you’ll see that my LLC is actually named SMCA Investments LLC and that reThink ELA is domestic trade name, which means it’s a name that my LLC is doing business under other than it’s legal name. That said, you’ll just need to make sure someone else hasn’t taken the name you want.
Register your name
Once you have created a name that no one else has, and if you want to register electronically, you will need to fill out this online form. The fee for this is $100.
If you want to see what is on the online form, you can download the PDF version of the Limited Liability Company (LLC) - Domestic (Oklahoma) Articles of Organization file. Personally, I would fill this out on paper first to make sure you have everything you need and it’s all correct, then go through the online form in step 1c. For the record, make sure you spell everything correctly and use the proper punctuation (apostrophes, for example). It will cost you $50 to correct a mistake.
Download and Print Your Articles of Incorporation
The state will email you a letter approving your new LLC. Inside the email is a link to login to the state website and download your Articles of Incorporation. I recommend creating a specific directory on your computer to save the digital file. The file name will have a bunch of numbers and the zip file you download will have several subfolders and files including your order receipt. But your 1 page Articles of Incorporation are in there. (For the record, I printed mine out on nice resume paper and framed it.)
Sign an Operating Agreement
Even if you are the sole manager/owner of your LLC, you will need to sign an operating agreement, which you will take with you to the bank with you when you setup a checking account.
Setting Up Your Finances
You MUST keep your business finances separate from your personal. So, when you go to your bank to setup your account, you will need your federal tax ID, which you can apply for on the Internal Revenue Service website.
You will also need to take your Articles of Incorporation with you and any other ownership documents. Also, if your company requires a license (like a plumber or electrician), you will need to take that with you ,too.
You will also need to see if you need to file taxes with the Oklahoma Tax Commission. I don’t have to since I don’t sell physical products or services.
What is a registered agent?
An Oklahoma registered agent is an individual resident or company that accepts service of process and other legal notifications on behalf of a Oklahoma business. Any owner or employee of a business can be its registered agent in Oklahoma as long as they are over the age of 18, and have a street address in Oklahoma.
In other words, put yourself and the address of the business. This information will be available online, so you might consider renting a mailbox at Sooner Mailbox in Norman or The UPS Store in Norman or the town where you live. I don’t know how much they charge per month, but both offer an actual street address, not a PO Box, which is what you need.
Where can I find a lawyer?
I recommend you sign up for Legal Shield so that you can seek legal advice.
How do I promote my new business?
The best way to promote your business -- and the method I've used for more than 20 years -- is to setup your own WordPress website and email marketing system. You can drive traffic to your site from social media and search engine optimization, but ultimately, all roads must lead back to YOUR website. Enter your name and email address below to download our DIY WordPress setup checklist to help you start your journey!