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
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:
Once 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:
Filing Fee: $50 minimum
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.
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:
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.
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:
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
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.
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.