A new business in Oklahoma may choose to structure the entity as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). This designation offers the flow-through tax benefits of a sole proprietor and personal asset protection of a corporation. Due to ease of formation, many small business or service providers in Oklahoma choose this structure. The good news is that the entire process, with a small caveat, can be completed online. Consult the following steps to create your own LLC and get your dream business operational in short order. Once you gather the basic information, submitting it should not be a time-consuming task.
According to state law, your LLC name must be distinguishable from any other that exists in the business name database. Conduct your search online through the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s office. Once you arrive at a suitable name, keep in mind that you need to attach some form of the LLC designation to it. The state allows you to reserve a name for 60 days upon payment of a $10 fee. That gives a prospective owner time to think through the process and get all his or her ducks in a row (such as reserving similar website name) before going forward with filing the official paperwork.
As with most states, Oklahoma requires an LLC to file particular paperwork called, in this case, Articles of Organization of an Oklahoma Limited Liability Company. This can also be filed electronically through the Secretary of State’s office website. The filing fee is $100. The form is not especially formidable, primarily serving as a vehicle to collect names and addresses of the LLC and registered agent, as well as the intended terms of existence. A business owner should consider this the founding document of his new endeavor.
Appoint an Agent
An important part of filing your initial Articles of Organization is to appoint a registered agent. This person (or business entity) is the point of contact in the event your company is sued. The main idea is that this agent must have a physical address within the state in order to take physical delivery of legal papers if it ever becomes necessary. The registered agent should be a resident of the state, an Oklahoma LLC itself, or a foreign business entity authorized to operate within the state. Though not required, many new businesses create an operating agreement at this point in the process. The existence of an operating agreement can forestall future misunderstandings by defining ownership duties and operating procedures.
Taxes and More
Collecting and paying taxes are an unavoidable part of operating a business. Oklahoma makes it easy by providing for the entire process (almost) to be completed online. If you have employees or sell goods and/or services you are required to remit sales and FICA taxes. Logon to the Oklahoma Tax Commission website for that. If your LLC has more than one member or you plan to hire employees, you will need to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN). These are distributed online through the IRS. A caveat – you also need an EIN if your one-member LLC is taxed as a corporation. Depending on the physical location of your new business, you’ll need local business licenses, probably county and city. This is the only part of the process that might not be available to be completed online, depending upon your particular municipality.
You’re not done with the forms yet. Each year, on the anniversary of the official creation of your LLC, you are required to file an annual report with the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s office. It’s called an Annual Certificate. The filing fee is $25 (with penalties if you’re late), and can be done through the state website. Look for what is called an “entry filing.”
Foreign business entities (located in other states or countries) can register an LLC in Oklahoma by filing an application, appointing a registered agent, and paying a $300 fee. Due to the advantages listed throughout this article, many new business owners are choosing to skip being a sole proprietor and opening as an LLC. The forward-looking state of Oklahoma has made the process even easier by providing the online filing option.