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How to Form an Oklahoma LLC: Oklahoma and its Many Business Benefits

There are many requirements that go into getting your Oklahoma LLC up and running, some of which can be overwhelming for new business owners.

However, with the right support, you’ll be able to successfully form your Oklahoma LLC so you can start doing business as a limited liability company. Below you will find an overview of each step.

Forming an LLC in Oklahoma is done in five steps:

1. Choose a name for your Oklahoma LLC

2. Pick a registered agent

3. File Articles of Organization

4. Draft an Operating Agreement

5. Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Creating an LLC in Oklahoma also takes additional steps that do not involve filing LLC documents with the state. These steps are:
  • Submit the LLC’s Annual Certificate
  • Obtain business licenses and permits
  • Pay taxes

What is an LLC?

A limited liability company, or LLC, is a type of business entity created to lower an owner’s liability for business debts. This means that if your LLC has unpaid debts, creditors can only go after the assets of your company. Your personal assets such as your home, car, or bank account are off-limits to lawsuits as well.

An Oklahoma LLC is a legal structure used to protect personal assets in the event that your company issued by a creditor or customer. Starting an LLC in Oklahoma is done for two reasons. The first reason is to operate a business, such as selling goods or providing a service. The second reason is to hold certain assets such as real estate, boats, vehicles, or aircraft.

1. Choose a Name for Your Oklahoma LLC

Before you file any paperwork to form your Oklahoma LLC, you must decide on an LLC name that best represents your business. Oklahoma requires you to follow three requirements when choosing a name:

  1. Use the abbreviations of “L.L.C.” or “LLC” at the end of your business name. Most people use “LLC.” This is called a designator, which indicates that your Oklahoma business is an LLC. Your name must include a designator.
  2. Don’t include any names that make your LLC appear like another type of legal entity such as “Corporation”, “Corp.”, “Incorporated” or “Inc.” If you include these in your company name, your LLC in Oklahoma will not be approved by the Oklahoma Secretary of State.
  3. Make sure to pick a distinctive name for your LLC in Oklahoma. This means that your LLC name must be so unique that it can’t be the same and/or resemble any other business registered in the state of Oklahoma.

Conduct an LLC Name Search

You must make sure that your chosen name is available to use in Oklahoma so you can form an LLC. To do this, conduct an Oklahoma LLC search through the Oklahoma Secretary of State website. You can find the search tool on the Business Entities Search webpage.

Your next step is to type in your potential LLC name. When you search the Oklahoma Secretary of State database, be sure to:

  • Exclude any LLC abbreviations (limited liability company, limited liability)
  • Enter the first word and/or the second word of your business name. This will help determine if your business name is unique enough to be used for a new LLC in Oklahoma.
  • Enter the words in lowercase or uppercase. This detail does not matter.

After you click the search button, one of four things will happen. The results will show:

1. Your chosen name isn’t too similar to any other existing LLCs and you can start an LLC with this name.

2. No results are found that meet your criteria. The name is available to be used for an Oklahoma limited liability company.

3. Your business name appears in the search results. This means that you can’t use the name because it’s already in use by another Oklahoma LLC.

4. Results on the Oklahoma Secretary of State website show that your business name is deceptively similar to one or more business names in the database. This means you can’t use your chosen name. You must think of a more unique LLC name.

Purchase a Domain Name for Your Oklahoma LLC

When you choose the name of your Oklahoma LLC, you’ll want to make sure that the domain name is available to be used for a website. The domain name should match the name of your Oklahoma LLC. This way, your business can be easily searched for by future clients or customers who may be interested in what your Oklahoma LLC has to offer.

You’ll also want to obtain a business email address under the same name so your information can remain consistent. By having a business email address with the same name, customers and clients will see that your Oklahoma LLC is organized and appears to be professional.

If you need help with choosing a name for your Oklahoma LLC, contact the professionals at LLC Formations so we can help you form your Oklahoma limited liability company.

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2. Pick a Registered Agent for Your Oklahoma LLC

Oklahoma LLC

Another important step towards forming your Oklahoma LLC is to choose a registered agent for your Oklahoma business. A registered agent, also called a resident agent, is a business or person who accepts all legal mail on behalf of LLCs. In other words, a registered agent is your LLC’s point of contact with the state of Oklahoma. You need to fill this role as soon as you form an LLC.

The Oklahoma Secretary of State will send all legal notices to your registered agent. This is called service of process. Your registered agent will receive all legal documents such as lawsuits, tax notices, and payment reminders involving your LLC in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma has two requirements for LLCs to follow when selecting a registered agent. The first requirement is that the person or business has an Oklahoma street or office address. No post office box address is allowed. The person does not need to be an Oklahoma resident, but he or she needs an Oklahoma address.

The second requirement is that your registered agent must be available during normal business hours. Service of the process typically arrives during the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you need further assistance you can also reach out to our professional agency at LLC Formations.

Who Can Be an LLC Registered Agent?

You have four options when choosing a registered agent:
  • You select yourself as the LLC’s registered agent
  • You select your LLC as its own registered agent
  • You select a family member or friend to be your LLC’s registered agent
  • You hire a commercial registered agent

Your registered agent can be anyone who is legally able to do business in the state of Oklahoma. Your registered agent must be over the age of 18 and must also be willing to list his or her name and address on the LLC documents, which will become public record.

If you need help choosing a registered agent for your LLC in Mississippi, contact the professionals at LLC Formations so we can help you choose the right agent for your LLC.

What are the Benefits of Hiring a Registered Agent Service?

When you form an LLC, you may prefer to hire a registered agent service for a few important reasons. When you form an LLC, the registered agent must include his or her information on the formation documents which are then made publicly available. For business owners who want to maintain their privacy, hiring a registered agent service is a great option for Oklahoma LLCs.

Registered agents must also be available during normal business hours. This is another reason why many business owners prefer to hire a registered agent service. If you don’t plan on being at the listed address during normal business hours, or if you live out of state and operate as a foreign LLC, then you could miss important information about your Oklahoma LLC.

Additionally, a registered agent service knows how to handle everything efficiently, leaving you with more time and energy to invest back into your Oklahoma LLC. Professional registered agents can handle the paperwork so you can work on growing your business.

When you form an LLC, it is best to leave certain things to the professionals. Contact the team at LLC Formations so we can help you start an LLC in Oklahoma.

3. File the Oklahoma LLC Articles of Organization

The next important step is to file your Oklahoma LLC Articles of Organization with the Oklahoma Secretary of State. The Oklahoma LLC Articles of Organization is a legal document which gives an overview of your company. Your LLC doesn’t legally exist until the Oklahoma Secretary of State approves your Oklahoma Articles of Organization document.

The information outlined in this legal document includes, but is not limited to:

  • Your LLC’s name and address
  • Statement of general-purpose. This means you must indicate whether your Oklahoma LLC is operating a business or holding assets
  • Names and addresses of each member. If you are the sole owner of the Oklahoma LLC, you have a single-member LLC. However, if you co-own the LLC, you have a multi-member LLC. This means everyone who owns a percentage of the company is listed in the document
  • Name and address of your LLC’s registered agent
  • The procedures of buying out existing members
  • How a member’s shares is divided if they die or leave the company
  • The procedures for any new member’ to buy into the LLC
  • Duration of your LLC. This refers to how long your LLC will operate. If you plan on the LLC operating for a long time, choose “perpetual.” If you have an ending date, include the date

Once you’ve created your Oklahoma LLC Articles of Organization, submit the document along with the filing fee to the Oklahoma Secretary of State. The Oklahoma Secretary of State will process your document within seven to 10 business days. If your LLC is rejected, your registered agent will be notified by mail. If you file online, the processing time is one to two business days before your LLC formation is approved.

How to Know if Your Oklahoma LLC Has Been Approved

If your LLC is approved, your registered agent will receive three things in the mail:

  1. A stamped copy of your Articles of Organization
  2. The approved copy of your Articles of Organization
  3. The Certificate of Organization. This is considered your LLC’s birth certificate. It means that your LLC is now active and approved to operate in the state of Oklahoma.

4. Draft an LLC Operating Agreement

An LLC Operating Agreement is an internal document for your Oklahoma LLC. Thus, the Oklahoma Secretary of State doesn’t require you to include it in your LLC formation documents and there is no need to register the document or pay a state filing fee. The purpose of an Operating Agreement is to detail how Oklahoma LLCs will be managed, operated, and financed.

What is Included in the Operating Agreement?

The agreement spells out who the LLC members are and what percentage of the business they own. It also includes a description of how the taxes are paid, how profits and losses are distributed to members, and who manages the Oklahoma LLC once the LLC formation process is complete.

The type of Operating Agreement needed will depend on whether you are a sole LLC owner or a multi-member LLC. The latter will be more detailed because you have more LLC members. Some single-member LLC owners believe they don’t need an operating agreement because they are the company’s sole owner.

Do I Need an Operating Agreement?

Every LLC needs an Operating Agreement in order to protect the members and the business itself. Operating Agreements are crucial when doing business in any state. When a single-member LLC owner has an Operating Agreement, it provides more credibility to the company by providing organized information. Also, it ensures that LLC assets and losses remain separate from your personal finances.

Always keep the Operating Agreement safe with your business records. You can update the agreement at any time, just be sure to get new signatures. If you need help with drafting your LLC’s Operating Agreement, contact the professionals at LLC Formations.

5. Apply for an EIN from the IRS

When forming an LLC, it’s important to obtain an EIN from the IRS as soon as your LLC is approved. Once your LLC is approved, your next step is getting an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

The EIN is your LLC’s Social Security Number (SSN). It identifies your LLC for tax and filing purposes. You can also use the number to conduct other types of business transactions. For example, with an EIN, you can open a business bank account, obtain a business credit card, and pay employees from the payroll.

Use your EIN to:

  • Hire employees
  • File local, state, and federal taxes
  • Handle employee payroll

Apply for your LLC’s EIN via the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You can submit an online application via the IRS website or send the application by mail. There’s no required filing fee to obtain your LLC’s EIN, however, you must have an SSN to apply online and apply during business hours. If you don’t have an SSN, complete the paper form and send it to the IRS. This also applies if you are a foreign LLC.

The IRS requires an LLC owner to use their personal SSN to obtain an EIN. If you have more than one co-owner, any member can use their SSN to apply for an EIN. If you need help with applying for an EIN, contact the team at LLC Formations.

Submit Your Oklahoma Annual Certificate

All LLCs operating in Oklahoma must file a report each year. This is called an Oklahoma Annual Certificate. If you have owned an LLC in another state, “Annual Certificate” is the same thing as an annual report. The Annual Certificate is required to remain in good standing with the Oklahoma Secretary of State.

You may file an annual certificate via mail or online. In both instances, a filing fee is required which can be paid by a credit card, check, or money order. The check or money order can be made payable to the Oklahoma Secretary of State.

The processing time for the Secretary of State to approve your certificate depends on whether you file online or by mail. Processing time is seven to 10 business days when received by mail. It is one to two business days when submitted online.

What if I Forget to File my Annual Certificate?

Your Annual Certificate is due on your LLC’s anniversary date. This is the date your Oklahoma LLC was approved. If you fail to send your information to the Secretary of State, your LLC will be marked as “not in good standing.”

The Secretary of State gives you 60 days past your anniversary date to file the information. If you don’t provide the information on time, your registered agent won’t be allowed to file any legal documents.

Your LLC will be canceled after the third year of not filing your Annual Certificate. After six years of not receiving your Annual Certificate, your LLC name will be available for anyone to use in Oklahoma state.

Obtain Business Licenses and Permits

Once you have your EIN, you can comply with local and county business requirements such as getting licenses and permits. Whether you need to take this step depends on your industry and where you’re located in Oklahoma. These licenses and permits include alarm permits, building permits, and tax permits.

The filing fee for each permit type and the requirements vary by location and business type. If you need help with applying for LLC licenses or permits, contact the professionals at LLC Formations so we can help you obtain the proper information for your LLC’s needs.

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Understand LLC Taxes

Your last step is to pay any taxes due to the state. For example, if you are a retailer, reseller, or if you sell any goods, you need to obtain a state sales tax permit. Other taxes depend on the goods you’re selling such as property tax, fuel tax, or alcohol tax.

You’re also required to keep all federal taxes up-to-date. The IRS taxes a single-member LLC as a sole proprietorship. The IRS taxes a multi-member LLC as a partnership. It’s best to have a tax professional to provide tax advice and guide you through the process of keeping up to date with Oklahoma state taxes.

If you need any additional tax advice, contact the professionals at LLC Formations so we can help you understand taxes for your Oklahoma LLC.

Open a Business Bank Account

All LLCs need to have a bank account in order to conduct business properly. Once you form an LLC, step 1 is to make sure that all personal finances and business finances remain separate. “Piercing the Corporate Veil,” also known as mixing personal and professional funds, is a sure way for LLCs to end up in legal trouble.

Having a business bank account comes with many benefits. LLCs with a business account can pay employees directly from payroll, and all of the finances will be organized in one place. Additionally, having a business bank account allows LLCs to grow a line of credit with the bank for future business needs. If you ever want to expand your business, having a bank account is crucial.

How Can LLC Formations Help You?

You’re ready to run your own business. You have your business idea, the financing, and the determination to make your endeavor successful. Now you just need to finalize your LLC with the state of Oklahoma.

To avoid mistakes and missteps that could lead to the rejection of your LLC application, you should use a professional service. It’s a stress-free way to form your LLC quickly so you can get your business up and running. Check out our Oregon LLC step by step guide.

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