Oklahoma Startup

Before registering your Oklahoma startup business, you'll need to determine what structure of business is best for your specific situation. While this decision is best made with the input of your lawyer or legal advisor, we've brought together information about some of the main types of business entities. We hope it helps!

Trade Name in Oklahoma

A DBA is called a trade name in Oklahoma. This type of filing is available for corporations, business trusts, common law trusts, limited liability companies, partnerships, or unincorporated businesses (such as individuals, or sole proprietorships).

Trade names in Oklahoma are not legally separate entities; they do not provide limited liability protection; they are simply a record of entities doing business as a name other than their legal name.

Incorporate in Oklahoma

If you want your business to provide limited liability protection (meaning that the owner is not liable for the business, and individual assets cannot be seized to pay off debts or obligations), you may decide to incorporate in Oklahoma. By doing so, you will create a new, separate legal entity, one that can exist perpetually and can be transferred to new owners. Unlike a sole proprietorship, the business is not intrinsically linked to its owner.

C Corporation

When your business files Articles of Incorporation, it will form a C corporation by default; this type of corporation provides structural flexibility, but at the expense of higher taxes.

S Corporation

An S corporation has a more rigid structure, but it has lower tax responsibilities. After incorporating in Oklahoma, an S corporation must elect to be treated as such by sending the appropriate form to the IRS upon incorporation.

Oklahoma Foreign Corporation

An Oklahoma foreign corporation is one that has registered first as a domestic corporation in another state, but wishes to do business within the state. It is registered by submitting a Certificate of Qualification, along with a Certificate of Good Standing obtained from the domestic state.

Not all corporate activities are considered "doing business" in the state for the purposes of a foreign qualification requirement; contact the Oklahoma Secretary of State's office for exceptions to this requirement, but note that conformation to these requirements is the corporation's responsibility and not that of the Secretary of State.

Oklahoma LLC

An Oklahoma LLC is registered by filing Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. This document is much like a corporation's Articles of Incorporation, and the registration process is similar.

LLCs formed in another state can also register as a foreign Oklahoma LLC.

Oklahoma Not-For-Profit Corporation

A 501c3 not-for-profit corporation is one that has first registered as an Oklahoma nonprofit corporation, and then has applied for and received 501c3 status with the IRS.

Before submitting your not-for-profit Articles of Incorporation, you may wish to contact the IRS and the Oklahoma Tax Commission to ensure your formation document fulfills both of these entities' requirements. If they do not, you will need to amend your Articles of Incorporation at some point after filing, which can cause delays in the IRS's acceptance of your 501c3 application.