How to Start an LLC in Oklahoma

Written by: Kevelyn Rodriguez

Last updated:

An Oklahoma LLC is one of the most simple, cost-effective, and quick business structures to form. Even so, navigating the formation process can seem daunting without clear guidance and an actionable plan.

In this How to Start an LLC in Oklahoma guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know to form your LLC, from the steps you’ll need to take to get started to maintaining your structure.

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Oklahoma LLC

In order to form an LLC in Oklahoma, you’ll need to complete the following steps:

  1. Name Your Oklahoma LLC
  2. Pick an Oklahoma Registered Agent
  3. Submit Your LLC’s Articles of Organization
  4. Create an Oklahoma LLC Operating Agreement
  5. Get an EIN
  6. File Your BOI Report

In the sections below, we’ve broken down each of these steps in more detail.

Step 1: Name Your Oklahoma LLC

The first thing you’ll need to do before getting started is picking the right name for your LLC. This is important because your business’s name will need to represent your brand accurately, as well as be as memorable as possible.

In Oklahoma, all LLC names need to abide by the following statutory guidelines in order to be accepted by the Secretary of State:

  1. Uniqueness and Distinguishability: Your LLC name must be distinctly different from existing business entity names registered with the Secretary of State. This includes variations in:
    • Business structure terms such as “Inc.”, “Corporation”, and “LLC”
    • Articles of Speech (e.g., “The”, use of punctuation, spaces, etc
    • Names that are phonetically similar or have minor differences in spelling but sound the same when spoken out loud
  2. Required Words: Your LLC name must include an indicator of its business structure such as “LLC”, “L.L.C.”, or “Limited Liability Company”.
  3. Prohibited Words and Characters: Your LLC name can only include letters from the Roman alphabet, Arabic numerals, and specific symbols that can be reproduced on standard English language typewriters. Avoid using restricted words that could confuse your LLC with government agencies (e.g., FBI, Treasury), or those that require additional licensure (e.g., Bank, University) unless you have received prior permissions.
  4. Consent for Similar Names: If the name you propose for your LLC closely resembles the name of an existing business, written consent from that entity is required. This stipulation applies particularly when the differences between the names are subtle, such as the addition of a geographical descriptor or a numerical sequence that implies a connection or continuation of the existing business.
  5. Misinterpretation: Your LLC name must not be misleading in relation to the business’s purpose or affiliation with other entities.

You can see if your preferred business name is available by conducting a Business Entities Search on the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s website.

Keep in mind that even though picking an LLC name in itself has no cost, there are certain fees that can be associated with the overall process.

Reserve an LLC Name

If you’re not yet ready to launch your business and still need a little more time, you can choose to reserve your desired LLC name for later.

This can be done either online or by mail by submitting an Application for Reservation of Name with the Oklahoma Secretary of State, and will cost $10 fee.

This will keep anyone from being able to take the name you plan to use for 60 days.

If you need any longer than this, you’ll need to renew this reservation after it expires by following the same process.

Register a DBA Name

Another potential cost associated with naming your LLC is a “doing business as” (or DBA) name — known as a trade name in Oklahoma. This is essentially a nickname that you can choose to register for your business to operate under — particularly if you’re not content with your LLC’s legal name.

Registering a DBA name can be done by filing a Trade Name Report with the Secretary of State and paying a $25 fee.

Note: DBA names in Oklahoma have no expiration date.

Buy a Domain Name

Finally, you’ll want to focus on securing a good domain name (which is your website’s URL address) for your business. For this, try to focus on choosing one that’s easy for customers to remember, relevant to your business, and accurately reflects your brand.

After confirming the domain name you want to use is actually available, you can purchase it through a trusted registrar.

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Step 2: Pick a Registered Agent

The next step you’ll need to take toward forming your LLC is to pick a registered agent.

This is an individual or business entity that accepts legal correspondence on behalf of your business, such as service of process, notice of lawsuits, and official government communications; you’re required to continuously maintain one as long as your LLC is active.

Your registered agent can be an individual or business entity, but will need to maintain a business office that is identical to the registered office of the LLC. This office needs to be located in Oklahoma and must be open during regular business hours.

It should be noted that any changes regarding the registered agent or the address of the registered office must be officially filed with the Oklahoma Secretary of State.

It is also worth noting that a registered agent can resign from their position by filing a resignation notice with the Secretary of State. Having said that this notice must include at least thirty days’ advance warning to the LLC in order to provide sufficient time for the company to appoint a new agent.

Keep in mind that in cases where the LLC’s registered agent cannot be found, service of process may be made by serving the Secretary of State as the agent for the LLC.

Note: You can choose to act as your own registered agent if you’re looking to save money — though we don’t typically recommend this as you’re much more likely to suffer fines and penalties due to non-compliance than if you just hire a professional service.

On top of this, you’ll lose any anonymity your LLC would have given you since your name, address, and contact information will be publicly available.

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If you’re ready to get started, you can form your LLC with Northwest Registered Agent and get a free registered agent service for your first year (normally costs $125).

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Note: To have a look at some of our other top recommendations, you can also check out our Best Registered Agent Service of 2024 guide.

Step 3: Submit Your Certificate of Formation

In Oklahoma, the Certificate of Formation is the filing document that you’ll need to submit with the Secretary of State in order to officially register your LLC (this is also referred to as the Articles of Organization in other states).

You can submit your LLC’s Articles of Organization through the Oklahoma Secretary of State website or by downloading this form and mailing it to the following address:

421 N.W. 13th
Suite 210
Oklahoma City
Oklahoma 73103

To complete your filing, you’ll need to pay a $100 fee; if you file online, there’s an additional 4% charge, bringing the total to $104.

Note: If you are registering a foreign LLC, you will need to file an Application for Registration of a Foreign Limited Liability Company and pay a filing fee of $300 instead.

Step 4: Create an Oklahoma LLC Operating Agreement

Once this is completed, the next step you’ll need to take is to create an operating agreement.

This is an internal document that clearly outlines the ownership and management structure of your company in order to reduce potential future conflict.

While this document isn’t legally mandated in Oklahoma, all LLCs are recommended to have one as it can help maintain both: smooth operations and your LLC’s corporate veil.

A number of companies provide drafting services for operating agreements online, typically for a fee of around a few hundred dollars. However, it’s quite easy to sort this out by yourself if you want to save money, and you can even find a number of free templates online to help with this.

Step 5: Get an EIN

Even though it’s not a legal requirement (unless your LLC has employees or multiple members), all Oklahoma LLCs should apply for an Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). federal employer identification number.

This is a free, nine-digit number used by the IRS to identify your business and keep track of its tax reporting — much like a Social Security Number (SSN) for individuals.

You’ll need an EIN to be able to:

  • Hire employees
  • Open a business bank account
  • Apply for some business licenses/permits
  • Establish a line of credit

On top of this, using an EIN instead of a Social Security Number (SSN) helps to protect your personal information and safeguard your anonymity as the business owner of your LLC.

You can quickly apply for an EIN for your LLC online through the IRS website. You’re also able to submit a paper application using Form SS-4 either via fax to (855) 641-6935, or by mailing it to the following address:

Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999

Note: Don’t worry if you don’t already have an SSN, it’s not necessary to have one in order to apply for an EIN — instead, you can just leave Section 7b of the application blank and call the IRS on (267) 941-1099.

Step 6: File a BOI Report

Starting January 2024, the vast majority of LLC owners will be required to file a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Report with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

This is part of an initiative by the U.S. government to stop individuals and entities engaging in illegal or unethical activities from being able to conceal this using “opaque ownership structures”, like shell companies, to hide their true identities.

Existing LLCs will be able to file this report anytime between January 1, 2024, and January 1, 2025, while new LLCs will have up to 90 days after the date they were initially formed to do so (30 days for LLCs formed after the start of 2025).

Keep in mind that failure to file your LLC’s BOI report on time can result in exorbitantly high fines (i.e., $591 per day) or even jail time (up to two years).

Note: Not every LLC owner is required to file a BOI report. For example, companies with more than 20 full-time employees, accounting firms, and banks are exempt. For a full list of filing exemptions, you can have a look at FinCEN’s website.

How to Maintain Your Oklahoma LLC

In order to keep operating legally in the state of Oklahoma, your LLC will need to keep up with its Annual tax obligations — which we’ve discussed in greater detail below.

File an Annual Certificate

To ensure your Oklahoma LLC remains in good standing and its registration stays active, you will need to submit an Annual Certificate to the Oklahoma Secretary of State each year.

This certificate serves as a formal record confirming the continued operation of your business and must be filed by the anniversary date of your LLC’s initial registration.

For example, if your business was originally registered on October 1 2023, its first Annual Certificate will be due by October 1, 2024.

You will have two options for submitting your Annual Certificate in the state of Oklahoma, online or via mail.

Online Filings

For online filings, you can visit the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s website and complete the following steps:

  • Go to the “File Annual Certificates Electronically” section under “MOST REQUESTED INFO” on the right side of the page
  • Enter the contact information for someone in your organization to receive email notifications about the filing status
  • Follow the prompts to enter your LLC’s filing number, confirm the legal name and details, and update any necessary information
  • Review and submit the filing. You will receive a Session ID for your records and an email notification once the filing is processed

Mail Filings

Alternatively, you can print the Annual Certificate form, fill it out, and mail it to the following address:

Oklahoma Secretary of State
421 N.W. 13th, Suite 210
Oklahoma City, OK 73103

Regardless of the submission method you choose, you will need to pay a $25 filing fee in order for your submission to be processed.

Note: If you fail to file this certificate within 60 days of your filing deadline, your business will be considered delinquent and will lose its good standing with the state.

Oklahoma vs Other States

Oklahoma provides a favorable environment for business formation and operation, with regulatory requirements that are generally straightforward.

While the initial costs of forming an LLC in Oklahoma are on par with the national average, the ongoing maintenance costs, such as the annual certificate fee, are relatively low compared to most other states.

Regardless, keep in mind that the best state to form your LLC is almost always the state that you will be operating in; this is because otherwise you’ll likely be required to register as a foreign LLC in your home state, meaning that you’ll need to pay registration and maintenance fees twice.

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Oklahoma Secretary of State Contact Information

Mailing Address:

Oklahoma Secretary of State
Business Filing Department
421 N.W. 13th, Suite 210
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Contact Information:
Phone: (405) 522-2520

How to Start an LLC in Oklahoma FAQ

How much does it cost to start an LLC in Oklahoma?

Starting an LLC in Oklahoma requires a filing fee of $100 for domestic entities. Keep in mind that if you choose to file online, an additional 4% charge is applied, making the total $104.

For more information on this topic, you can have a look at our How to Start an LLC in Oklahoma guide.

How do I set up an LLC in Oklahoma?

To set up an LLC in Oklahoma, you will need to start by picking a name for your LLC in accordance with the state’s naming rules.

Next, you will need to appoint a registered agent, submit your LLC’s Articles of Organization online or by mail, and obtain an EIN from the IRS.

Interested in finding out more? You can have a look at our state-specific How To Start An LLC article.

How long does it take for an LLC to be approved in Oklahoma?

Online filings for an LLC in Oklahoma are generally processed within two business days.

If you choose to submit your application by mail instead, be prepared for a longer wait due to potential postal and processing delays.

What is the tax rate for an LLC in Oklahoma?

LLCs in Oklahoma are generally treated as pass-through entities for tax purposes, meaning the LLC itself does not pay taxes on business income.

Therefore, the effective tax rate for your LLC will depend on each member’s total taxable income and applicable tax bracket.

For a more detailed breakdown of all the other expenses associated with this business structure, check out our Oklahoma LLC Cost guide.

What protections does an Oklahoma LLC offer against personal liability?

An Oklahoma LLC provides personal liability protection, meaning that members are not personally responsible for business debts and liabilities.

In other words, this legal structure separates your personal assets from your business obligations, ensuring that your personal finances, such as your home, car, and savings, are protected in the event that your LLC faces bankruptcy and/or corporate lawsuits.

How do I comply with Oklahoma LLC naming guidelines?

To comply with Oklahoma LLC naming guidelines, you will need to ensure that your LLC’s name is unique and includes a specific business entity designation — such as “LLC’ — to clearly indicate its legal structure.

Additionally, you will need to avoid terms that might be mistaken for government agencies or regulated professions, such as “FBI”. “Treasury”, or “Bank”.

What is the role of the Oklahoma Tax Commission?

The Oklahoma Tax Commission is tasked with handling state tax matters for your business, regardless of its structure (e.g., a sole proprietorship, LLC, etc.).

The commission ensures that all entities are properly registered for state taxes and comply with the state’s tax laws and obligations.

This role is distinct from that of the IRS, which handles federal taxes for all business types.

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