How to Start a Small Business in Oklahoma

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The mere thought of starting a small business can be quite daunting, especially for new entrepreneurs. If you take the process one step at a time, however, you will find that starting a small business in Oklahoma is a relatively simple, and even enjoyable, process. In fact, you can complete the majority of the legal requirements online without ever leaving your office.

Draft a detailed business plan that thoroughly describes how you are going to grow your business, how you will finance it and how you will build your client base. If you need help writing your business plan, call the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center at 1-800-522-6154 to make an appointment with your local center, where you can receive free business writing help.

Do a name availability search by visiting the Secretary of State's website or by calling 1-405-521-3912, to verify whether your desired business name is available in Oklahoma. If your desired name is available, you can register it by completing and filing the Trademark Registration Form.

Call the IRS at 1-800-829-4933 or visit the IRS's website to apply for your business Employer Identification Number (EIN). You will receive your EIN number immediately after supplying the IRS representative with the appropriate information or after you've filled out the online application.

Use the Oklahoma Department of Commerce online Business Licensing System to determine if the type of business you are opening is required to have a business license or permit and whether or not you will have to register your business with the state.

Fill out a business registration form, which is included in the Business Registration Packet at the Oklahoma Tax Commission's website. Make sure you register your business, if you are required to do so by the state, before you launch your business.

Contact the city hall in your community to determine if you are required to have any city licenses or permits, such as a zoning permit, to legally operate your business.

Start marketing your business through as many online and offline avenues as possible, including publishing a website, starting a blog, engaging in article marketing, issuing press releases, advertising in local media and joining your local chapter of the Chamber of Commerce.

Set a date for your business's official launch once you have met all of the legal requirements for operating your business. A good way to encourage customers to give your business a chance is to offer a discount on their purchase or when they refer someone to your business.

Tips & Warnings

  • Oklahoma does not require business owners to register their business names. However, registering your business name will protect you from losing the name to someone who does register it. Both women-owned and minority-owned businesses in Oklahoma can file for and receive certification. Women-owned and minority-owned businesses that are certified, according to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, receive advantages such as the ability to apply for grants geared specifically toward certified businesses.

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