How to File a DBA in Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, a business operating under a fictitious name may need to register a DBA. Learn more about what a DBA is, who needs one, and how to register.
Related: How to start a business in Oklahoma
What is a DBA?
A DBA, also known as “Doing Business As,” Trade Name, Assumed Name, or Fictitious Name, is a name used by a business that is different from the legal name of the business.
What is a DBA good for?
A DBA is required for Oklahoma businesses that want to operate under a name that is different from the legal name of the owners or entity. The DBA registration provides information on the people operating a business, so if there is an issue, the owners of a business can be tracked down.
In addition to the legal requirement, a DBA offers other benefits such as proving the existence of a business, opening a business bank account, registering a merchant account to accept credit cards, and others.
Who needs to register for an Oklahoma DBA Name?
The requirements and need to register for an Oklahoma business name will vary depending on the type of business entity.
Sole proprietorships are the most common entity to register for a DBA in Oklahoma.
The legal name of a sole proprietor can be the owner’s full first and last name, which can be used without registering. For example, if John Smith starts a business repairing computers but doesn’t use a business name, he wouldn’t need to register. If John decides to name his business John’s Computer Repair, he will need to register.
A sole proprietorship has two types of name registrations available.
The first is a Trade Name, which is registered with the Secretary of State. This registration is optional, but it will stop another business in the state from using the exact same name.
If a Trade Name registration is not obtained, a Sole Proprietorships may need a Certificate of Fictitious Name, which is a filing by the County Clerk in the county where the business is located to identify the owners of a business. The main reason a sole proprietorship would need this certificate is if the bank requires it.
General Partnerships will commonly register a Trade Name unless the name of the business is going to be the full first and last name of the owners. Partnerships will register their name with the Secretary of State.
Corporations and Limited Liability Companies won’t typically register a fictitious name since a unique entity name is created during the formation process. Some will file for a DBA if they have another business they want to operate under their corporate/LLC umbrella to keep the liability protection without forming another entity.
How much does it cost to get a DBA in Oklahoma?
The filing fee to register a Trade Name in Oklahoma is $25. This is a one-time fee.
The Certificate of Fictitious Name registration is often around $10.
What are the steps to file a DBA in Oklahoma?
Trade Name Registration
Step 1: Verify Name Availability
A business may not register a Trade Name that is the same or similar to another business in Oklahoma.
Names can be searched on the Secretary of State’s website. Learn how to do a business name search in Oklahoma.
Step 2: Fill out the Form
Trade Name Registration Form
PDF – https://www.sos.ok.gov/forms/FM0021.PDF
Online – https://www.sos.ok.gov/corp/filing.aspx (choose Domestic Trade Name unless your business was initially formed in another state)
Certificate of Fictitious Name Form
The Certificate of Fictitious Name Form is available from the local County Clerk’s office in the county where the business is located.
Information requested on the form includes:
- Trade name being applied for
- Address of the business
- Brief description of what the business does
- Legal name of the business entity (sole proprietorships will skip)
- Type of business entity
- State where the business was formed
Step 3: Submit the Form
Submit the filing fee and form. If sending by mail, the address is:
Oklahoma Secretary of State
421 N.W. 13th, Suite 210
Oklahoma City, OK 73013
If you have questions about the process, you can contact the Oklahoma Secretary of State at 405-522-2520.
Certificate of Fictitious Name
Step 1: Obtain the Form
Request the Certificate of Fictitious Name from the County Clerk’s office in the county where the business is located.
Step 2: Fill out the Form
The fictitious name, name, and address of the owner, date of filing, and signature are typically the only information requested on the form.
Step 3: Notarize the Form
Before submitting the form, be sure to have it notarized. Most County Clerk’s offices provide notary services at no cost.
Step 4: Submit the Form
Submit the form and filing fee to the County Clerk.
Is a DBA required in Oklahoma?
Any business in Oklahoma that wants to operate under a name that is different from its owners (sole proprietorships) or the legal name of the entity (partnerships, corporations, or LLCs) will need to register for a DBA.
How long does it take to process the Oklahoma DBA application?
It normally takes up to 10 business days to process a DBA registration in Oklahoma.
Are there any naming restrictions when filing an Oklahoma DBA?
DBAs can’t be registered using words that are related to banking or insurance unless the business is licensed to provide those services.
A Trade Name can’t use a business entity suffix that is different from the type of entity. For example, a sole proprietorship can’t use LLC or corporation in its name.
A business name can’t s will not be issued for businesses that perform illegal activities or that misrepresent themselves as governmental organizations
Additionally, words related to illegal activities or misrepresenting itself as a governmental organization aren’t allowed.
Can someone steal my business name?
While registering your Trade Name will keep someone else from registering another Trade Name in Oklahoma, it does very little to stop someone else from operating a business under that name in other states.
If stopping others from using your business name is important, you can protect it through a federal trademark by registering with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.
Learn more about trademarking a business name.
Does a DBA need an EIN?
An EIN or Employer Identification Number is a unique nine-digit number that some businesses will register for through the Internal Revenue Department (IRS). An EIN is required for partnerships, corporations, multi-member LLCs, or any business that has employees.
Sole proprietorships and single-member LLCs without employees can use the owner’s social security number to identify the business.
There is no cost to get an EIN when registering directly from the IRS.