What Business Licenses and Permits are Needed in Oklahoma?

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Starting a business in Oklahoma will mean potentially registering with a number of federal, state and local agencies.  Let’s take a look at common licenses and permits a business will register for in Oklahoma.

Business License – There is no general state of Oklahoma business license, however many cities require businesses to be licensed in order to operate. Rules for business registration vary depending on location and what the business does.  Below are a few cities that have licensing requirements. 

Oklahoma City – The Business Licensing Office of the City of Oklahoma requires business licenses for certain businesses.  A few of these include daycares, kennels, pawn shops, contractors and more.

Tulsa The City of Tulsa issues business licenses to businesses operating within city limits selling food or alcohol, pawnbrokers, contractors and more.

Norman – Businesses such as mobile food vendors, coin-operated vending, kennels, contractors and others will need to register with the city. 

Lawton – Child care facilities, food establishments, secondhand dealers, tow trucks and others are required to obtain a business license from the City of Lawton.

Moore – The City Clerk’s Office issues business licenses for entities offering catering, selling alcohol, operating as a pawn broker, along with a few others

The costs for business licenses vary depending on location and type of business.

Employer Identification Number (EIN) – Many businesses will register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for an EIN or Employer Identification Number.  The EIN is the business equivalent for a Social Security Number for an individual.  Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships and Sole Proprietorships with employees will all need to register for one. Sole Proprietorships without employees can use the owner’s Social Security Number. 

There is no cost for an EIN and it only takes a few minutes to get.

Learn how to apply for an EIN.

Oklahoma Sales Tax Permit – Most businesses that are selling a product or offering certain services will need to register for a sales tax permit.  The sales tax permit is issued after applying for the Oklahoma Business Registration from the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

Resale Certificate – Businesses purchasing merchandise to resell will usually want to obtain an Oklahoma Resale Certificate in order to not pay sales tax for merchandise that is being resold to customers.

Professional License – A variety of professions in the state are regulated and need to be registered before offering certain services.  A few common professions that require licensing in Oklahoma include; contractors, personal trainers, barbers and many more.  

Trade Name Registration – While not a business license, it’s common for Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships operating under a name that is different from the full name of the owner(s) to register for a Trade Name (also known as a Doing Business As or DBA) with the Secretary of State’s Office.


These are a few of the most common business licenses, but there are way too many licenses and permits in Oklahoma for us to keep track of. Before starting your business, check with the City Hall, County Clerk, Chamber of Commerce and/or Economic Developer in your area to get more information regarding business licensing.  Additionally, there are companies like IncFile or CorpNet that can do the research to ensure you have the proper federal, state and local licenses.