How to File the Certificate of Incorporation for an Oklahoma Nonprofit

Filing the Certificate of Incorporation is a critical step in starting a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit in Oklahoma. Whether you have been running a charity for a while or are just starting out, your nonprofit organization will need to fill out the Certificate of Incorporation and file them with the State of Oklahoma. This will allow you to file for 501(c)(3) status and reap the benefits of having an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Want to form a nonprofit elsewhere? Check out our other How to Start a Nonprofit guides.

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Starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Oklahoma is easy, just follow these easy steps to file the Oklahoma Certificate of Incorporation:

If you are starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Oklahoma, you have come to the right place. After reading the comprehensive guide for Oklahoma nonprofit formation, follow this guide to file the Oklahoma Certificate of Incorporation with the Secretary of State.

What is covered in this guide:

  1. Information you will need to file the Oklahoma Certificate of Incorporation
  2. How to file the Oklahoma Certificate of Incorporation
  3. Oklahoma Nonprofit Formation FAQ

Information you will need to file the Oklahoma Certificate of Incorporation

To become a nonprofit corporation in Oklahoma you must file a Certificate of Incorporation with the Secretary of State.

Here are the sections that you will need to complete.

Section 1: Entity Name and Type

Enter the name you have selected.

For help with selecting a name for your nonprofit read our comprehensive guide on how to name a Oklahoma nonprofit.

Section 2: Registered Agent and Registered Office

The registered agent can be any entity registered to do business in Oklahoma or any person who is a resident of the state. Your organization cannot act as its own registered agent.

Enter the information of the registered agent you have selected.

For more information read our guide: What is a registered agent? And The Oklahoma Registered Agent Guide.

Section 3: Church

If your nonprofit is a church, enter the street address of its location.

Section 4: Duration

Most organizations are started with no end date in mind.

Your nonprofit’s period of duration will be considered perpetual unless you specifically state otherwise.

Section 5: Purpose

Describe the purpose of your nonprofit organization.

In order to qualify for 501(c)(3) status, the organization’s purpose must explicitly be limited to one or more of the following:

  • Charitable
  • Religious
  • Scientific
  • Literary
  • Testing for public safety
  • Fostering national/international amateur sports competition
  • Preventing cruelty to animals/children

NOTE: You can read the IRS guidelines on their website.

Section 6: Directors

Enter the number of directors to be elected at the first meeting.

Section 7: Directors

Enter the information of the directors selected.

Section 8: Incorporator(s)

The incorporator is the person who completes, signs, and submits the certification of formation. This person does not need to be a part of your organization. This can be you or a lawyer helping you with the process of formation.

Additional Section: Supplemental Provisions/Information

Add a section to formally state what the assets of the organization will be used for, and what will happen to the assets if the organization is dissolved.

To be eligible for 501(c)(3) status, you must convince the IRS that the organization’s assets will always only be used for the purposes approved under 501(c)(3) rules. To this end, you must include provisions ensuring that in the event your organization is dissolved, the assets of the organization will be used towards tax-exempt purposes.

Section 5 of this sample document provides an example of these provisions required for 501(c)(3) eligibility.

How to file the Oklahoma Certificate of Incorporation

You can submit your Certificate of Incorporation in one of two ways:


Submit the Certificate of Incorporation through the Secretary of State's online portal.

By Mail:

Submit 2 copies of the Certificate of Incorporation to the mailing address below: 

Secretary of State
Colcord Center
421 N.W. 13th
Suite 210/220
Oklahoma City, OK 73103

The filing fee is $25.

  • Personal checks or money orders must be made payable to the "Oklahoma Secretary of State"

Oklahoma Nonprofit Formation FAQ

How long does it take to process Certification of Incorporation?

If you file online it typically takes about 3 business days. If you file by mail expect to get a response in 1-2 weeks.

How do I contact the Secretary of State for more information?

You can call for information at (405) 522-2520 or visit them at their website.