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How to Register a Business Name in Oklahoma – Thorough Guide

    How to Register a Business Name in Oklahoma
    (Last Updated On: September 17, 2023)

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    Are you looking to establish a business in the diverse and vibrant state of Oklahoma? Register a business name in Oklahoma is the initial key to unlocking countless opportunities and building a recognizable brand. Whether you’re opting for an LLC, corporation, or a “doing business as” (DBA) name, we’ve got you covered with a straightforward and efficient registration process. Our step-by-step guide will help you navigate through the necessary procedures and ensure compliance with state regulations. 

    To simplify the registration process and focus on what truly matters – growing your business – consider relying on ZenBusiness, a trusted partner known for its expertise and support. Let’s set the foundation for your success in the Sooner State!

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    4 Steps to Register Your Business Name in Oklahoma

    When it comes to building your business in Oklahoma, registering your business name is a crucial first move. To simplify the registration process, we’ve broken it down into four simple steps. By following these steps, you can get your business name officially registered in the Sooner State and set the stage for your entrepreneurial journey.

    Step 1: Choose Your Business Structure in Oklahoma

    Selecting the appropriate business structure is a crucial step in establishing your business in Oklahoma. The decision should align with your business goals and growth plans. Oklahoma offers various business structures, including incorporated and unincorporated options. Let’s explore each of them in detail to help you make an informed choice.

    Sole Proprietorship

    A sole proprietorship is the simplest form of business in Oklahoma, where the owner and the business are considered one entity legally. This means the owner is personally responsible for the business’s debts and liabilities. Setting up a sole proprietorship is straightforward and involves minimal legal requirements. Though you’re not required to register with the state, obtaining local permits or licenses might be necessary.

    General Partnership

    A general partnership is formed when two or more individuals own a business and share its profits and losses. Each partner is personally liable for the business’s debts and legal obligations. While registration with the state isn’t mandatory, filing an “Oklahoma Assumed Name Certificate” (DBA) in the county where the business operates is recommended.

    Limited Partnership (LP)

    An LP consists of general partners who manage the business and have unlimited personal liability and limited partners who provide capital but have limited liability. To establish an LP in Oklahoma, you must file a “Certificate of Limited Partnership” with the Oklahoma Secretary of State.

    Limited Liability Company (LLC)

    An LLC combines the liability protection of a corporation with the tax benefits and simplicity of a partnership. To form an LLC in Oklahoma, you need to file “Articles of Organization Limited Liability Company” with the Oklahoma Secretary of State and create an Operating Agreement outlining the management and ownership structure.


    A corporation is a separate legal entity from its shareholders, offering limited liability protection. There are two types of corporations in Oklahoma: C-corporations and S-corporations. 

    To establish a corporation, you must file a “Certificate of Incorporation” with the Oklahoma Secretary of State, specifying whether it’s for-profit or nonprofit. Corporations involve additional formalities like creating bylaws, issuing stock, and conducting regular board and shareholder meetings.

    When selecting your business structure in Oklahoma, consider factors such as liability protection, taxation, and management requirements. Seek advice from legal or business professionals if needed.

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    Step 2: Select a Unique Business Name in Oklahoma

    Naming your business in Oklahoma involves following specific rules and regulations. You have three options: registering a legal entity name, obtaining a trademark, or registering a legal name and operating under a different one. Let’s delve into each naming option:

    Every business in Oklahoma must register a unique legal entity name, serving as the official identifier used by the state. The name must be distinctive, ensuring no other business shares the same name. Oklahoma’s naming laws also dictate the use of appropriate company suffixes (e.g., LLC, LP, or Corp) that reflect the type of business registered. Verify name availability using the online database provided by the Oklahoma Secretary of State.


    Registering a trademark in Oklahoma offers intellectual property protection for your business name or logo at the national level. Conduct a thorough trademark search in the USPTO database to ensure your chosen name or logo isn’t already registered. Obtaining a trademark grants exclusive rights, preventing others from using a similar name or logo for similar goods or services nationwide.

    Doing Business As (DBA)

    You have the option to register your business under an official name and operate it under a different one through a Doing Business As (DBA) name. To establish a DBA, file an Assumed Name Certificate (DBA) with the county clerk’s office in the business’s location. While federal trademark laws apply to DBAs, uniqueness at the state level isn’t mandatory.

    By understanding these naming options and considering your business’s unique needs, you can successfully register your business name in Oklahoma and protect your brand identity.

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    Step 3: Check Business Name Availability in Oklahoma

    Before officially registering your business in Oklahoma, it’s crucial to ensure that the desired name is available. To conduct a comprehensive search for name availability, follow these three steps:

    The first step is to check if your desired business name is already trademarked at the federal level. Trademarks take precedence over state-level registrations. To perform this search, visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website and use the TESS Search tool. If your preferred name is already trademarked, you’ll need to select a new business name.

    >> File a Trademark with IncFile >>

    Once you’ve confirmed that your name isn’t trademarked, it’s time to verify its availability within the state of Oklahoma. Use the Oklahoma Search Corporation Entities tool to search for registered business names in the state. In addition to checking for an exact match, ensure that there are no significantly similar business names already in use.

    After ensuring your business name is free from trademark and available in Oklahoma, consider checking the availability of the .com domain version of your chosen name. While not all businesses require a website, securing the .com domain can be beneficial for branding and online presence.

    Registering the .com version of your business name through ZenBusiness ensures exclusive rights to the website name, safeguarding it from potential unauthorized usage and with affordable domain registration options.

    By conducting these three types of searches, you can ensure that your chosen business name is available and unique, allowing you to proceed with the registration process confidently.

    Step 4: Form Your Business With the State of Oklahoma

    After you have chosen your business structure and name, the next crucial step is to register your business with the State of Oklahoma. This involves filing the necessary formation documents with the state authorities.

    For an Oklahoma LLC registration, you must submit the Articles of Organization to the Oklahoma Secretary of State. This can be done online or through the mail. In the case of an Oklahoma corporation, you’ll need to file the Certificate of Incorporation with the Secretary of State.

    You May Also Want to Know

    Protect Your Business Name With a Trademark

    Once you have confirmed the availability of your chosen business name and secured it, you may consider applying for a trademark to further safeguard your brand. The process typically costs between $225 to $400, along with attorney fees, and requires renewal every 10 years.

    While this step may seem expensive for startups or small businesses, it grants nationwide protection under federal law. Having a trademark can provide legal precedence if others attempt to use a similar name, giving your business a stronger defense. However, for most small businesses that operate locally, obtaining a trademark might not be necessary.

    >> File a Trademark with IncFile >>

    How to File an Oklahoma Fictitious Name – DBA?

    To file an Oklahoma Fictitious Name, also known as a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name, follow these steps:

    1. Choose a Name: Select the fictitious name you want to use for your business
    1. Search Name Availability: Check with the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s website or their office to ensure the name is available and not already in use
    1. Download or Obtain Forms: Get the “Application to Register a Trade Name” form from the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s website or visit their office to pick up a physical copy
    1. Complete the Form: Fill out the application form with accurate information, including your chosen fictitious name and your business details
    1. Notarize the Form: Have the completed application form notarized. Many banks and other institutions offer notary services
    1. Submit the Form: Mail the notarized application form, along with the required filing fee (check the current fee on the Secretary of State’s website), to the Oklahoma Secretary of State
    1. Approval: Once your application is processed and approved, your business will be officially registered with the chosen fictitious name

    Remember that a DBA name does not provide legal protection for your business name, unlike a trademark. It’s simply a way to operate your business under a different name while using your legal entity’s structure. If you need legal protection for your business name, consider applying for a trademark.

    How to Change the Name of an Oklahoma Business?

    If you wish to change your business name in Oklahoma, there are two methods to do so: filing for a trade name or submitting an amendment to the legal name of the existing business.

    The simpler way for sole proprietorships and general partnerships is to file for a trade name, also known as a DBA name (Doing Business As). It allows you to operate under a different name without changing your business’s legal name. For LLCs and corporations, this method is convenient as it enables them to use brand names without the necessary “LLC” or “Inc.” suffix required in a legal name.

    On the other hand, if you want to officially change the legal name of your LLC or corporation, filing an amendment is the appropriate choice. You can find the respective forms for both options and submit them, along with a minimum filing fee of $50, to the Oklahoma Secretary of State either by mail or online.

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    Business Name Registration Laws in Oklahoma

    The business name registration laws in Oklahoma are as follows:

    • Business Name Availability Search: Before registering a business name in Oklahoma, it’s essential to conduct a name availability search to ensure that the desired name isn’t already in use by another registered business. You can check the availability of a business name through the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s online database or by contacting their office.
    • Business Entity Types: Oklahoma offers several business entity types, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), and corporations. Each entity type has its own registration requirements and legal implications, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs.
    • Fictitious Business Name (DBA): If you’re operating a business under a name other than your legal name, you may need to register a “Doing Business As” (DBA) or fictitious business name with the county clerk’s office where your business is located.
    • Business Registration with the Secretary of State: Depending on the type of business entity you choose, you may need to register your business with the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s office. Corporations, LLCs, and certain other types of businesses are generally required to file articles of incorporation or organization with the Secretary of State.
    • Trademark Considerations: Registering a business name with the Secretary of State does not necessarily provide trademark protection. If you want exclusive rights to your business name throughout the entire state, you may need to consider registering a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

    Please note that laws and regulations can change over time, and it’s always a good idea to consult with a legal professional or the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s office for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding business name registration laws in Oklahoma.

    Bottom Line on How to Register a Business Name in Oklahoma

    In conclusion, embarking on registering a business name in Oklahoma is the first stride towards an exciting entrepreneurial adventure in the Sooner State. By thoughtfully choosing a business structure and a unique name, completing necessary registrations, and exploring trademark protection or a DBA name, you establish a sturdy foundation for success. 

    Leveraging the expertise and assistance of reputable services like ZenBusiness can simplify the registration journey, making your path to prosperity in Oklahoma even more seamless. With unwavering passion and determination, your registered business name is destined to leave a remarkable impression on the thriving business landscape of Oklahoma.

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