Whether you’re researching the availability of a business name or checking the status of a business entity the Oklahoma Secretary of State website has the information you are looking for.
The Secretary of State Business Entity Database provides information on corporations and LLCs registered in Oklahoma. The names of sole proprietorships or general partnerships can be registered with the Secretary of State, but are not required to register. This registration can stop another business in the state from using the same name.
There is no fee to search the database.
What information can be looked up?
The database search can find several pieces of information about the business. Some of the highlights include:
- Business Name
- Status – “Active” or “In Existence” means the entity is in good standing and all reports and filing fees are up to date. Other results include “Inactive”, or “Cancelled” among others. The names of these inactive results may be available to register.
- Corp Type – Corporation, Limited Liability Company. Etc.
- Formation Date – Date the entity was first filed with the Secretary of State
- Registered Agent’s information – An Oklahoma Registered Agent is the singular point of contact for the entity should a legal or tax notice need to be sent to the business. This is often one of the owners and if their home address is used, that address becomes public information. Many people find this concerning and use a Registered Agent service like Northwest Registered Agent or IncFile so their home address isn’t listed.
How to do an Oklahoma Business Name Search
Visit the Oklahoma Secretary of State website.
Enter the name you would like to use in the “Name” field. In this example, we will look up “Storage Depot” and click “Search”.
Searching the registered names, we get a list of several businesses the database thinks is close to “Storage Depot”. Many of them won’t be close at all, so pay the most attention to the names at the top of the list.
To be able to register a corporation or LLC name in Oklahoma, the name must be distinguishable from the other names registered. If you were looking to form an LLC with this name you wouldn’t be able to since there is already one registered.
To find more information about any of the registered business names, click on the link in the “Filing Number” column to see a detailed report. In this example, we will look up “Storage Depot LLC”.
While the name “Storage Depot” by itself may not be available for an LLC, other variants are such as “Oklahoma Storage Depot” or “Storage Depot of Oklahoma” are. While final approval is still with the Secretary of State, it is likely available to register.
These are the basics of searching for a business name in Oklahoma. Even when the name of the business you want looks like it is available, the Secretary of State will make a final determination at the time of filing to ensure the name you picked isn’t too similar to other registered names.
How do I form an LLC?
Before starting your business and forming an LLC, be sure to do the business entity search first to make sure the name is available to use. Once you know the LLC name is available, learn how to form a Oklahoma LLC by reading our step-by-step guide on filing the Articles of Organization.
While not required in Oklahoma, an Operating Agreement, which contains the rules for how the LLC operates, may be a document worth considering especially for multi-member LLCs.
After forming a Limited Liability Company, be sure to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This is a “social security number” for the business. There is no cost to get one through the IRS.
After forming the LLC, Oklahoma business licenses and permits may still be necessary.