Starting a business in Oklahoma can be fun and challenging at the same time. Oklahoma is a great place for entrepreneurs to start a business because of the low cost of living. Still, the process requires a lot of work with legal requirements, documentation, and strategic development. Your procedure will involve coming up with a business idea and turning it into a successful business which takes time and effort. This article provides steps to starting a business in the state of Oklahoma. 

11 Basic Steps To Start A Business In Oklahoma 2022

If you have a great idea but don’t know how to operationalize it, you are in the right place. There are several important aspects to consider when starting a business. The state has its rules and regulations to follow before you can officially launch the business. Here’s a step-by-step guide to starting a business in Oklahoma to save you the hassle.

Pick A Business Idea

Start by coming up with a great idea for your own business. Choose an idea that suits your natural abilities and personal interests. Consider how you will set your business apart from competitors and your target customers. Some ideas include running a grocery store, clothing boutique, a liquid store, or even a drive-in movie theater.

Plan Your Business 

Plan how you want to run your business by coming up with a business name and plan. Starting any business without a business plan is akin to failure. Business planning is important to raise funding for your business and provide a clear path to financial security. It should comprise an explanation of your business operations and competitive analysis. Before writing a business plan, conduct thorough market research. Make sure you address all the major points about your business purpose, organization, financial goals, target market, location, and marketing strategy.

Get Funding

Once you have a great business idea and want to put it into action, you’ll also need to secure enough funding to cover all start-up costs for your business. The loan amount depends on your front business start-up business costs and other personal and business expenses needed to run the business. There are several ways you can secure funding for your business. For example, you can use your personal finances, get small business grants, or go for a small bank loan. It’s possible to secure a loan through a bank or the small business administration if you have a good personal credit history.

Choose A Business Structure

A business structure describes how your business will be legally organized. You need to select the right structure for your business to provide the right legal and financial protection. The structure determines how the business is taxed, the small business owners, and your? protection in the event of litigation. You can structure your business as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or LLC. 

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is an informal business entity that is not Incorporated or separated from business ownership. This business structure has the least amount of paperwork and is the least expensive way of starting a business. The small business owner gets 100% of the business profits and bears all financial protection. In business law, this is known as piercing known this the corporate veil.

LLCs

A limited liability company (LLC) is a legal business entity that combines personal asset protection and the flexibility of a sole proprietorship. It is the structure with the most favorable tax treatment. Most businesses choose the LLC business entity to avoid double taxation. However, you will need to file a certificate of organization with the Oklahoma Secretary of State and appoint a registered agent when establishing a limited liability company.

The Top 2 LLC Services



Corporations

Corporations are separate legal entities owned by shareholders. This is a more formal business structure than an LLC and is more attractive to investors. It is the best structure for liability protection because you can protect your personal assets in litigation or bankruptcy. You can also choose between C corporation and S corporation based on how you want to elect to be taxed.

Nonprofits

A nonprofit organization is created to further a social cause. This is an informal business structure funded by donations instead of investors. However, you will be responsible for the debts and liabilities because it doesn’t offer stability protection.

Partnership

Partnerships are informal unincorporated business entities. Compared to corporations, partnerships don’t have liability protection because they are informal business structures. All the profits and losses pass down to the owner’s tax return. Alongside sole proprietorship, the partnership is one of the simplest business entity types.

Related: How to Form an LLC Oklahoma

Register Your Oklahoma Business

After settling on a business structure, your next step is to register your Oklahoma business. Registering your business as an LLC or corporation provides personal liability protection in case of litigation or bankruptcy. When registering your business, there are several steps to follow, starting by naming a business. Conduct a business name search online to see whether the chosen business name is available and not already claimed by another Oklahoma business.

Oklahoma Registered Agents

Another step is to choose a registered agent who can provide business advice delivered straight to your address. Oklahoma registered agents have several responsibilities, such as receiving important government documents and forwarding them to your business address. 

Federal Employer Identification Number

The third step is to get an employer identification number (EIN) for your business. Retail businesses operating in Oklahoma need an employer identification number that facilitates paying federal taxes or collecting sales taxes. The EIN is free to get in Oklahoma, and you can use it for your business license and permits. You can also set up an account for employees’ unemployment taxes through the Oklahoma employment security commission. 

Set Up A Business Bank Account, Credit Cards & Accounting

You will need to separate your personal and business accounts by opening a business banking account. This separation protects your personal assets if the business runs into legal trouble or you want to apply for a loan down the line. It also makes accounting and tax filing easier. You will need a business checking account and sign up for a dedicated business credit account if you want to use a credit card for your business. 

Get Insured

Getting insured is an important part of starting small businesses. Every new business needs business insurance to protect itself against potential legal claims. You can get general liability business insurance, professional liability insurance, or workers’ compensation insurance for the business. If you have employees, you will need to obtain unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, and health insurance. General liability insurance protects if a client takes legal action against your business due to an injury.

Obtain Permits & Licenses

Oklahoma doesn’t have a universal business license, meaning you have to determine whether your particular business requires local, state, or federal licenses and permits to operate legally. Obtain a sales tax permit and license that comply with the local, state, and federal regulations. The Oklahoma Department of Commerce has provided a business licensing and operating requirements page that can help guide you through the requirements. 

Hire Employees

The success of a business requires a strong team of employees. If you’re planning to hire contractors or employees, you need to understand employee requirements. For example, register with the state through the Oklahoma Tax Commission to withhold state income taxes from employee wages and obtain unemployed, workers comp, and health insurance for your employees. 

How To Start A Business In Oklahoma 3

Build A Business Website

Your business needs a website that can be as simple or as complex as possible. The website provides a landing page for social media accounts such as Facebook pages and is essential to getting your business online. For example, you can sell items on your website and social platforms by creating a standalone online store where readers purchase services discussed. You can hire a professional or use website builder tools to get a basic website for your business. Include you are store’s address, operating hours, and contact information.

Promote Your Business

The last step involves promoting your business and marketing your business promoting it to the target audience. All the previous steps will not amount to much if you don’t market your business. So, create a marketing plan and implement a marketing strategy as soon as you start your business and before the official launch. Conduct market research to understand your target audience and the best marketing approach. Today, you can use search engine optimization and social media marketing, which is often low-cost and can reach a large audience.

Important Steps After Forming A Business In Oklahoma 

Starting an Oklahoma business requires more than an entrepreneur streak, as it needs a bit of elbow grease to fine-print before legally launching it. Ensure you get an EIN, open a business bank account and business credit card, and get a business accountant. You should also get insurance for your business and apply for business permits and licenses. Sometimes you need to establish a web presence for marketing purposes. Other important steps include learning about the Oklahoma state employment taxes and creating an LLC operating agreement. 

Type Of Business Start In Oklahoma

You can try many different business ideas in Oklahoma. The most popular Oklahoma businesses you can start are home-based businesses because they are more profitable. Other great business ideas include vending machines, medical transportation, food truck businesses, and lawn care. 

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How Much Does It Cost To Start A Business In Oklahoma?

Several factors determine the cost of starting a business. These factors include your business location, business entity, and industry. In most cases, the fees needed to launch a business depend on the business needs, product materials, research expenses, and marketing.

Final Thoughts

Starting a business in Oklahoma is not different from starting a business in any other state. Regardless of the location, all entrepreneurs need a combination of belief, creativity, and grit to succeed. You also need the patience and humility to follow the rules are necessary. There are several steps to follow when starting a business in the state. You will need adequate funding options, personal and professional support, and enough time to set up the business.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much does it cost to start an Oklahoma business?

The cost of starting a business depends on several factors, such as your industry, business type, and Oklahoma City.

Do you need a registered agent to start businesses in Oklahoma?

Yes, Oklahoma requires having a registered agent to receive the service of process, legal documents, annual reports, or notifications from the Secretary of State on behalf of the Oklahoma corporation and LLC.

How do you get a license in Oklahoma?

You don’t need a general license to operate a business in Oklahoma, though you will need other specialized licenses based on your location and industry.

Where do you get funding from the business?

You can get funding from bank loans or non-bank alternatives such as home equity loans, small business loans, or peer-to-peer lending. You can also ask friends and family members to invest in your business.

How do you get an EIN for your business?

It’s free getting a federal ID or employer identification number from the Internal Revenue Service. Visit the IRS website and apply for it online, and we’ll get the number immediately.

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