STEP 1) VERIFY & SECURE BRAND NAME

Choose a Business Name

To secure and register your brand name it should be unique, not too similar to another registered name, and shouldn’t contain any restricted wording. To check, conduct a Business Entity Search through the state and if there are potential trademark issues conduct another quick search using the TESS System through the U.S. Patent Office.

Keep in mind your brand name should contain the words ‘Corporation,’ ‘Company,’ ‘Incorporated,’ or ‘Limited.” Abbreviations for these words are also acceptable. If needed, an Application for Reservation of Name can be submitted to the OK Sec. of State that’s good for up to 60 days.

Filing Fee: $10

STEP 2) APPOINT A REGISTERED AGENT

Choose a Registered Agent

An Oklahoma registered agent is a mandatory requirement. They act as a representative of your business whose job it is to receive and help process all important documents, especially state filings. Some basic criteria includes:

  • Must be an Oklahoma resident;
  • Must be a registered itself and;
  • Must be authorized to transact and operate business in Oklahoma.

That said you can hire 3rd party service and pay up to $160/year or get an agent free of charge when you register a business with IncFile or Incorporate.com.

STEP 3) FILE YOUR ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION

Register an LLCOnce you have a registered agent and the company is ready to become an official business entity, file a Certificate of Incorporation with the Secretary of State. It declares the basics of your brand for the public record including:

  • Corporate name, address, and purpose.
  • Name and address of Oklahoma registered agent,
  • Number of shares the corporation is authorized to issue,
  • Name and address of every incorporator/director,

Filing Fee: $50 minimum

STEP 4) SET-UP A CORPORATE RECORDS BINDER

File Annual Reports & Publication Requirements

Think of this as the hard copy record book where all critical corporate documents are kept like the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, meeting minutes, stock certificate ledger, stock certificates, stock certificate stubs, stock transfer documents, etc. It’s the ultimate company binder! They’re very common and while not necessary having one is highly recommended for all serious business entities.

You can find them at nearby office supply stores or on Amazon, but we’re huge fans of Corporate Kits which include gorgeous records books/binders you can brand for as little as $99.

STEP 5) ELECT DIRECTOR, MEET, DISCUSS BYLAWS

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of Directors

Appoint at least 1 Director who among other things will oversee the Oklahoma corporation until the first shareholder meeting where new directors will be voted in. Prepare an “Incorporator Statement” with complete names and addresses of each director and keep it in your records book. Once elected, an initial meeting should:

  • Appoint officers & discuss/create Corporate Bylaws.
  • Choose a bank & approve the issuance of stock certificates.
  • Agree on corporate seal and adopt official stock certificate form.
  • Approve s-corp (opt.). Record Minutes of Meeting, have directors sign, then add to records book.

STEP 6) OPEN A BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT

Best Business Bank Account

Okay, so where do you and your board/CFO plan on establishing the financial groundwork of your corporation? The first thing to ensure is that no other financial data-streams or accounts of any kind will get into the mix and muddy the waters. Keep everything separate. Then, shop around at different local, state and national banks as well as credit unions to get a good idea of your options.

To get your research going, check out this short free quasi-guide to Business Checking Accounts from the more big bank perspective. It should help give you a basic idea of the numbers involved.

STEP 7) HANDLE TAXATION & LICENSING/PERMITS

Business Licenses

As a legally operating corporation in Oklahoma, you’re required to be 100% compliant with all relevant local/state/federal agencies. Ideally you should have an attorney or at least be working with a professional filing service. Otherwise, here are four resources to get started:

  1. Get an EIN, or Employer Identification Number, free and quick through the IRS Website.
  2. Bookmark the OK Tax Commission, and the Oklahoma City Small Business Admin office.
  3. To form an S-Corp, submit Form 2553 with the IRS and be sure all board of directors have signed it.
  4. Consider professional Business License Research packages that handle the legwork for you.

OPTIONAL) WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN

Write a Business Plan

No matter what stage of corporate development you’re in, in terms of actual products/services, if you plan on going “all the way” then you’re going to need to get down to some basics are plan accordingly. No serious company gets to genuine heights without a game plan.

What does this mean? It means a presentation-ready plan that focuses on the core fundamentals of the brand for the purposes of showing VC-types, lending institutions, potential partners and stakeholders, and these days opportunities like Crowdfunding platforms. Just to name a few.

QUICK LINKS TO BUSINESS PLANNING

  • Discover the best Planning Software on the market; user-friendly, inexpensive, intuitive, and effective! We’re huge fans of LivePlan, plus they offer our readers a special discount.

OPTIONAL) PUBLISH A COMPANY WEBSITE

Build a Business Website

No one’s saying you need to hire a digital marketing director and begin funneling resources into building a magnificent work of website-art to represent your brand. Thanks to advances in web-design and development, there are much trimmer and streamlined solutions that come with one-click apps, intuitive dashboards, already responsive and sharp customizable themes, etc.

Wix and SquareSpace are two big names these days, along with Shopify if you’re going 100% eCommerce. Either way you’re in good hands, as all three of these business website builders are affordable and easy to use.

Need Help Forming Your Corporation?

Have a reliable incorporation service like IncFile or LegalZoom do the work for you. Just answer a few questions about your business and they’ll take care of the paperwork.

Although both offer virtually the same service, IncFile is $100 less and our top pick. Enjoy!

Visit IncFile Or Visit LegalZoom

Note that this article on how to form an Oklahoma Corporation isn’t a legal document or legal advice. It’s for informational purposes and the information above is subject to change. For specific legal questions regarding how to form an Oklahoma Corporation or business in general, please consult with a lawyer or other accredited professional.