How to Form an Oklahoma LLC

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Oklahoma LLC Quick Facts

Oklahoma LLC Quick Facts

Initial LLC Filing Fee – $100

Recurring State Fee: Annual Report Fee – $25

LLC Processing Time

Online: 1-2 business days

By Mail: up to 2 weeks

 

Expedited processing is also available for an additional fee.

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Let IncFile or IncAuthority guide you through the LLC formation process, so you know everything was done right. Only pay state fees!

Quick Reference

The Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a popular entity structure for businesses starting in Oklahoma.  The LLC provides personal liability protection and has the potential to save money on taxes. With a little research, you can learn how to form an LLC in Oklahoma without an attorney.

Unlike a sole proprietorship or partnership where the small business owner can be personally liable for lawsuits against the business, the LLC is a separate legal structure, protecting the business owner’s personal assets.

Related: How Does an LLC Protect You?

Besides the liability protection, the Limited Liability Company provides several other benefits over the sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation because of the multiple tax options, ease of administration, and management flexibility.

Costs to Form an Oklahoma LLC

To form a Limited Liability Company in Oklahoma, file the Articles of Organization with the Oklahoma Secretary of State.  The LLC filing fee is $100.

Approval for the LLC is typically under 2 weeks when filing by mail or 1-2 business days when filing online.  Walk-in expedited filing is available, and an additional $25, the LLC is approved in about 1 hour.

Guide to Forming an LLC in Oklahoma

The steps for filing online or by mail are largely the same.  The screenshots show how to file online.  To file by mail, fill out the Oklahoma LLC Articles of Organization (SOS Form 0073).

Businesses that require state licensing and offer professional services such as accountants, attorneys, podiatrists, physical therapists, acupuncturists, etc. have the option of filing for a Professional Limited Liability Company (sometimes referred to as a Professional LLC or PLLC) instead of an LLC. Filing for a PLLC is very similar to the LLC outlined below.

Forming an LLC can be both affordable and is something most people can do themselves. Entity formation companies like IncFile or IncAuthority help guide you through the process and make sure there are no mistakes.

Related: Should you use a Formation Service, Hire an Attorney or Do it Yourself?

Step 1: Register with the Secretary of State

  • Begin by creating an account at the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s website.
  • Note that the business name you enter in the contact information may not be available.  We will explain how to get the business name later.
  • Next, click on “Business Services” and then “Business Entity” Under “File Online.”

How to Form an Oklahoma LLC

  • Then we want to look for and select “Domestic Limited Liability Company.”

Select Domestic Limited Liability Company

  • On the next page, enter your name and email again…
  • Then click on the “Start New” button to finally begin forming an LLC.
  • Click “next” after Special Instructions.

Step 2: Name the LLC

Enter the name you want for the LLC.  An Oklahoma Limited Liability Company Name name also has to differ from other entity names registered with the Secretary of State.  Check on Oklahoma LLC name availability before filing to be sure the one you want is available.

The name of the LLC must include one of the following phrases or abbreviations at the end of the business name:

  • Limited Liability Company
  • Limited Company
  • L.L.C.
  • LLC
  • L.C.
  • LC

A comma may be used after the business name and before the designator.  “Cowboy Cleaners LLC” and “Cowboy Cleaners, LLC” are both acceptable.

Enter the name you want in the box (be sure to include the designator) and click on the search icon.  If the name you want isn’t taken, click on the “Next” button; otherwise, come up with a different name.  Even if it looks like the LLC name is available, the Secretary of State will also do their own LLC name search before approving the LLC formation.

Before settling on a name, you may want to see if a domain name is also available to match your business name and website address.

If you plan to use a different name from the one that you register (perhaps you want to run multiple businesses under the LLC), you can use a trade name (sometimes referred to as a fictitious business name, assumed name, DBA, or Doing Business As name).  To register a fictitious name, file the Trade Name Report, along with the $25 filing fee will need to be sent to the Secretary of State.

If there is a name you want, but are not ready to register the LLC, you can file the Name Reservation Application. The name reservation will hold a name for up to 60 days, at a cost of $10.

Register an Oklahoma LLC Name

Step 3: Effective Date

If you want the LLC to start immediately, choose “Filing Date.”  If you want to LLC to start later, enter a date less than 90 days in the future to start.  The main reason for delaying the LLC start date is when the filing is being done close to the end of a calendar year, and the business isn’t going to have any activity until the start of the year.  By delaying until the following year, they will reduce the number of end-of-year filings.

Most people choose “Filing Date.”

Choose Oklahoma LLC Effective Date

Step 4: Principal Office Address

In this section, enter the street address, city, state, and zip code of the initial principal place of business.  This address can be the LLC’s physical address, or it can be the address where the business records are stored.  You may not use a PO Box for the designated office.  This address is where the annual certificate reminder will be sent.

Principal Office Oklahoma LLC

Step 5: Duration

In this section, you can indicate how long the LLC intends to remain in existence.  Most LLCs will choose a Perpetual duration; however, some businesses (usually investment-related) will have a specific closure date.

Oklahoma LLC Duration

Step 6: Registered Agent

To have an LLC in Oklahoma, a Registered Agent must be identified.  The Oklahoma Registered Agent can either be a resident of the state (Select “Individual”) or a Resident Agent service (Select “Business”).  The agent must have a physical address in the state (PO Boxes are not allowed), be available during normal working hours, and act as the primary contact for service of process to receive legal documents, tax notices, summons, subpoenas, etc. on behalf of the LLC.

You are not required to pay for a registered agent. Any individual meeting the requirements can be the agent; however, the agent’s name and address become public record, and with that comes a loss of privacy. This is more important for some entrepreneurs, especially when doing business from home or still employed.  Hiring a registered agent service like Northwest Registered Agent to be the Registered Agent will reduce unwanted phone calls and mailings.

Enter the Registered Agent’s name and the registered office address and click “Next” to continue.

Oklahoma LLC Registered Agent

Step 7: Attachments

This is an optional section and not used by most LLCs.  Here you would include additional rules for the operation of the LLC.

Step 8: Signature

An organizer of the LLC has to certify that the information provided in the Articles of Organization are correct to the best of their knowledge.  Click “Add Signature” and electronically sign.

Step 9: Review

Review that all the information is correct.  If there are no corrections, click “Continue.”

Step 10: Pay and File

Pay and file the Articles of Organization.

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Tasks After Forming Your LLC

Once the LLC has been formed, there are a few additional steps to take care of. Below is a list of the most common tasks.

Prepare an Oklahoma LLC Operating Agreement

The operating agreement is a document that governs the framework of an LLC.  This document covers items like ownership rights, member responsibilities, how profits and losses are distributed, and more.

Most states do not require an LLC to have an operating agreement, but it is still worth considering. Without an operating agreement:

  • The LLC could be subject to generic state rules that may be detrimental in the event of a lawsuit.
  • Member’s personal liability protection may be diminished.
  • Members may not fully understand their roles and responsibilities, which could lead to costly disputes in the future.

Related: Oklahoma operating agreement template

Obtain an EIN

The EIN or Employer Identification Number (also called a Federal Employer Identification Number or FEIN) is a unique 9-digit tax identification number assigned to a business by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Similar to a social security number for an individual, the EIN identifies business entities for tax purposes. The EIN will be needed to hire employees, open a bank account, build business credit, register for business licenses and permits, file federal and state taxes, and more.

There is no cost for the EIN when registering through the IRS. The number is available immediately when applying through the IRS website; however, you can also register by phone, fax, or mailing IRS Form SS-4.

Related: How to Apply for an EIN

Elect the LLC’s Form of Federal Income Taxation

One of the significant benefits of the Limited Liability Company is the tax flexibility it provides.  When applying for the Employer Identification Number, you will choose how the entity will be taxed for federal income tax purposes. While there are some limitations, an LLC may be classified for federal income tax purposes as a:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • C-corporation
  • S-corporation

While this may sound confusing, this refers to how the LLC is taxed, not the legal structure.

Related: How can an LLC be taxed?

By default, the taxation of an LLC is called pass-through taxation, which means the profits or losses of the LLC flow through to the members.

Single-member LLCs will, by default, be taxed as a sole proprietorship. The members can also elect to change the taxation to a C-corporation or an S-corporation.

Multi-member LLCs will, by default, be taxed as a partnership. The members can also elect to change the taxation to a C-corporation or an S-corporation.

In general, the difference between being taxed as a corporation and being taxed as a sole proprietorship or partnership the profits and losses are passed to the member’s federal income tax returns based on their percentage of ownership.  As a result, the owner will pay self-employment taxes on all business profits.  As an alternative, electing to be taxed as a corporation allows the members to take a reasonable salary and then pay payroll taxes.  Any remaining profits are distributed and aren’t subject to payroll taxes, resulting in potential tax savings.

Before electing how your LLC will be taxed, consider talking with an accountant to assess which one will be best for you. Some tax elections, such as the C corporation, may be detrimental for some people due to double taxation.

Open an LLC Bank Account

Opening a bank account for your LLC is important for liability protection as the account separates the business’s funds from the member’s personal funds.

Several documents will be needed to open a business bank account, such as:

  • A banking resolution is a document that authorizes the members to open a business bank account on behalf of the LLC.
  • Copies of the original formation paperwork from the state showing the creation of the LLC.
  • Driver’s licenses of the members.
  • Occasionally when registering a new LLC, the bank may require an Oklahoma Certificate of Good Standing to prove the LLC is active and in good standing with the state.

Related: How to Open a Business Bank Account for your LLC 

Apply for Business Licenses and Permits

Depending on what your business does and where it is located, there will likely be various business licenses and permits needed before starting your business. Some common registrations include:

  • Business License – Some cities require businesses to obtain licensing before they can start.
  • Professional License – Certain services such as barbershops, accountants, salons, and others must be licensed.
  • Sales Tax Permit – In order to sell products and certain services, registration with the Oklahoma Tax Commission will be necessary.

Related: What Business Licenses are Needed in Oklahoma?

Get Business Insurance

Even with the liability protection of the LLC, business insurance is important to protect the business. The most common types of insurance include:

General Liability Insurance – covers damages owed and medical expenses for accidents that happen at your place of business.
Business Property Insurance – replaces damaged, stolen, or lost business property. This includes your physical business location, equipment, supplies, and anything else you used to run your business.
Business Vehicle Insurance – covers company vehicles and may also include coverage for personal vehicles used for business-related activities. Many personal policies won’t cover your vehicle if there is an accident while being used for business purposes.
Workers Compensation Insurance – mandatory in most states if you have employees, this insurance covers medical expenses that occur because of an accident or injury that happens to one of your employees while they’re at work.

Related: 7 Types of Insurance Your Business May Need

File the Annual Certificate

LLCs are required to file an annual certificate with the Oklahoma Secretary of State.  The annual report updates ownership information and other details.

Related: How to File an Oklahoma LLC Annual Certificate