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How to Form a Oklahoma LLC in 10 Steps

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a common business structure that allows one or more persons to own a portion of a company. Profits earned by the LLC are passed through to its members, and the LLC does not file a separate tax return the way a corporation does. An LLC also reduces the owner(s) exposure to liability from company activities.

Forming a Limited Liability Company is a straightforward process, but there are several steps you'll want to follow.

1. Choose Your Company Name.

You must choose a company name that other businesses do not have the rights to. Specifically, businesses in Oklahoma cannot have the rights to the name you choose. 

You conduct a name search of your own, or SunDoc can run a name search or reserve for you. You will also want to check for a previously registered trademark.

2. Understand the LLC Organizer Requirement.

All LLCs must have an LLC organizer who will be named on your Articles of Organization form. An organizer is the person or company that drafts your LLC. By preparing on-line with us, SunDoc Filings will be your organizer. If you choose to prepare and upload your filing with SunDoc, you can name your own organizer. 

3. Designate a Registered Agent.

Either a firm or a person will need to be designated as your company’s registered agent. Your Articles of Organization form will require this position to be named (see #6 for more information about the Articles of Organization). 

For additional information about registered agents and what their position means to your LLC, read this SunDoc article: Registered Agent Service.

4. Decide Your Ownership and Management Structure.

Would you prefer all members, multiple managers, or one single manager manage your Oklahoma LLC? This is a question you’ll have to include on the Articles of Organization form.

5. Create an Operating Agreement.

It's likely that your LLC will require an operating agreement. You should think of your operating agreement as the legal engine that pushes your business forward. It does many important things, including outlining your company’ regulations, rules, and provisions. 

An operating agreement also directs and manages your financial and functional decisions. All internal operations will be outlined within your operating agreement. This includes critical matters of money, liability, fiduciary constraints, payout of profits, governance, working capital management, and liability issues. 

If you need advice concerning your operating agreement, you can talk to an attorney.

6. File the Articles of Organization.

Most states require that you file a form called the Articles of Organization. This form, once accepted by the Secretary of State of Oklahoma, will actually create your new LLC. The form simply provides company details that the state requires.

On your Articles of Organization, you will need several things, including: the new name you've chosen for your LLC, your company's new address, who your registered agent is and who your organizer will be, and finally, how you plan to manage your LLC (management method). In some cases, you may need to provide and file member names as well.

If time is a problem for you and your other owners and members, SunDoc would be happy to file your Articles of Organization on your behalf as well.

7. Obtain an EIN and Open a Business Bank Account.

Congratulations! It's now time to obtain an EIN. 

EIN stands for Employer Identification Number, and it can be obtained from the IRS. You need an EIN if you have more than one member within your LLC. You need it whether you have employees or not. You can for an EIN with the IRS yourself, or SunDoc can file for you.

Your EIN will be necessary in other situations as well. For example, many banks require an EIN if you'd like to open a business account.

Remember also that if you've been buying things for your business out of pocket up until now, you should take this time to organize the fiscal management of your new LLC. This means opening a business account and reimbursing yourself for any expenses that you previously paid out of your personal accounts. Finding an accountant who can manage your businesses money is another smart thing to do right now.

8. Pay Oklahoma State Taxes.

Every year, the State of Oklahoma will require that you pay taxes. Generally speaking, the first year that your LLC is in operation is included in this tax schedule. 

You will also need to collect sales tax if you plan to sell goods within Oklahoma. Use State of Oklahoma’s tax web site to find out more about taxes in Oklahoma.

9. Determine Necessary Licenses and Permits.

Most states require companies to have one or more business licenses or permits to operate at the city or county level. Use your state's business website to find the requirements for your business. It’s important to check this website even if you think your business is exempt. You may be surprised to discover what’s required. Operating without the proper license or permit can result in expensive fines.

10. File an Annual Certificate (Biennial Report or Initial List).

After the initial formation of your Oklahoma LLC, you will usually need to file what's called an Annual Certificate.

This document must be submitted initially as well as every one or two years after the creation of your LLC. States vary on their requirements.

What is the Annual Certificate? The Annual Certificate is a simple document given to the state to update them on basic information pertaining to your LLC. Later on, if you end up changing your company in any way, this is one of the documents that you will have to update and file again with the state of Oklahoma.

We want to make certain that you know how important it is to file your annual certificate on time after the creation of your LLC. You will have to pay a hefty late fee if you file outside of the required time frame. To help you with this, allow SunDoc to file your Annual Certificate on your behalf. We will file on time and reliably.

All LLC forms, including the report form, can be found on the Oklahoma business web site.

Important Notice: It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss your potential insurance needs, or matters relating to employees. You should consult an attorney or accountant with any questions about legal or financial matters. Please note that nothing in this article can be construed as legal, tax or accounting advice.

For additional learning, please visit our LLC FAQs.

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