New & Existing Business

Starting a New Business

How do you start a business in Oklahoma? Here are the basics that apply to almost all new business start-ups:

  1. Determine your business name and business structure. The Secretary of State has a guide to organizational structures at https://www.sos.ok.gov/corp/organization.aspx. The Oklahoma Tax Commission has important information related to these structures at http://www.tax.ok.gov/structures.html.
    1. If you choose to be a Sole Proprietor, you will most likely want to register your trade name. This is done by filing a “Domestic Trade Name” through the Secretary of State’s office They can be reached at (405) 521-3912 or www.sos.ok.gov.
    2. Decide and register the desired business structure. Note that the formal types of business structures must be registered. See the Business Structure Matrix for details. These filings are also done through the Secretary of State’s office (SOS). The SOS can be reached at (405) 521-3912 or www.sos.ok.gov.
  2. Determine if you want or need a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) by visiting the Internal Revenue Service EIN page.
  3. If your business is going to have employees, there are additional registrations and filings that will be required. They are the following:
    1. You will need to set up a withholding account for income taxes through the Oklahoma Tax Commission (OTC). The OTC can be reached at (405) 521-3160 or www.tax.ok.gov.
    2. You will need to set up an account for employees’ unemployment taxes through the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC). The OESC can be reached at (405) 557-7100 or www.oesc.ok.gov.
    3. If you do not have a private workers compensation insurance policy, contact CompSource Oklahoma at 405/232-7663 or 800/347-3863 or www.compsourceok.com.
  4. In accordance with state laws in Oklahoma, you may need specific licenses and permits to operate various types of businesses. The Business Licensing and Permits System will help guide you to the requirements.

There are many questions when you are starting a new business. Get answers to those questions from our quick Startup FAQ or from our more in-depth Startup Guide.

To contact a member of our team call us at (800) 879-6552 or send us an e-mail at info@okcommerce.gov.

Small Business Incubators

Small Business Incubators help new small businesses survive and prosper in their early years. They provide real-world business know-how, access to financing, shared spaces for offices and warehousing and hands-on management assistance.

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Startup FAQ

The Start UP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) answers some of the most common questions you may have when starting a new business in Oklahoma. It contains information on licensing, registration, financing, certifications, assistance, and more.

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Startup Guide

The Start Up Guide is a detailed guide to starting a business.

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