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.
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 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
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
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
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
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.