You have a big idea, truckloads of ambition, dreams of a thriving Oklahoma LLC, and you’re mentally prepared to make it happen.
But the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” and for you, that first step is filing the Certificate of Formation.
With such grand plans, the last thing you might want to do is file paperwork, but completing the Certificate of Formation is what authenticates your LLC, making it official in Oklahoma. It’s perhaps the most important step in starting your Oklahoma LLC. Following this guide will help take the tedium out of paperwork and get your business started quickly.
But before you dive into the Certificate of Formation, you should have a few pieces of information ready to help streamline the process.
Choosing an LLC Name
Before anything else, you will need to decide on an LLC name. You must include a business name on your Articles of Organization, and if the Secretary of State deems that name unacceptable or unavailable, the document will be rejected, so make sure you nail down a good name right away.
You might be proud of the name you dreamed up, but it won’t work unless it adheres to Oklahoma’s business name requirements. This means that it must include the terms “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” “LC,” or “L.C.” Not only that, but it must also be completely unique and distinguishable from every other name reserved or registered with the Secretary of State. To check your name’s distinguishability, search for it using the Name Availability Search feature.
Once you’ve found your perfect name, include it on your Articles of Organization to automatically register it. In the event that you’re not quite ready to file an LLC, you can place a 60-day hold on your name by submitting a name reservation request.
Choosing an Oklahoma Registered Agent
A registered agent is your LLC’s liaison to the state, the mediator who takes care of all your important legal, tax, and compliance documents, keeping your business in good standing. Your Articles of Organization will not be complete without the inclusion of a valid registered agent’s name and address. Speak with your agent beforehand so you can include this information. Otherwise, your form will be rejected.
Your registered agent can be an individual, provided they are an Oklahoma resident and have a continuous physical address in the state.
Or you can use a business entity that’s authorized to do business in the state, like a registered agent service.
Quick Note: If your first choice doesn’t work out, don’t worry. You can always change your registered agent in the future.
Preparing to File Your Oklahoma Articles of Organization
Now for the main event: the Articles of Organization. Here’s your opportunity to get your LLC officially on record and authorized to conduct business in Oklahoma.
Despite its great importance in the LLC formation process, the Articles of Organization is pretty quick and easy. In fact, it’s only one page and doesn’t require much information. Still, it’s a good idea to gather this necessary information beforehand so you can complete it in one sitting. Here’s what you’ll need:
- The LLC name
- The principal office address (P.O. boxes not allowed)
- Registered agent name and address (P.O. boxes not allowed)
- Term of existence (if applicable)
- An LLC representative signature
Pretty easy, right? It might not take long, but like most other state forms, it will still cost money. The filing fee is $100, so have your credit card or checkbook ready.
Once you’ve collected your information and planned out your payment, it’s time to file. You have three options: online, by mail, and in person.
To access the online application, you will need to create an account. After you’re logged in, follow the onscreen instructions to complete the form. Once complete, your form will be processed in 1-2 business days.
Filing by Mail
Download, complete, and print the paper application and send it, with your payment, to the address below. It will be processed in 7-10 business days.
421 N.W. 13th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
Filing In Person
Complete and print the application, then deliver it to the address above. When you walk in your form, you’ll pay an extra $25 fee, but your form will be processed while you wait.
What About Foreign LLCs?
The process outlined above works for domestic LLCs (those formed in Oklahoma), but what if your business is expanding to Oklahoma from another state? In this case, forget the Articles of Organization. Your LLC will go a different route.
Foreign entities are required to foreign qualify in Oklahoma instead. This just means that you’ll file a different form: the Application for Registration, either online or with a paper form. Under no circumstances should you conduct business in Oklahoma without foreign qualifying first. It’s for your own good! There are some serious consequences for doing so, and that’s not how you want to start your relationship with the state.
But after your application has been accepted, go right ahead. You’re free to begin your business activities.
Want Help Filing Your Articles of Organization?
Let’s be honest: you’ve got a lot on your plate. Filing paperwork can take time away from your other tasks, ones more focused on setting your budding LLC up for success.
The good news is that you don’t need to file the Articles of Organization yourself. But if an attorney is out of your price range, hiring an LLC creation service is a great option.
There’s no shortage of business incorporation services out there, but not all of them are equal. Each one offers different packages, costs, and processing times, so it’s important to find the right fit for your LLC.
While each service has optional upgrades and perks packages, on the most basic level, they will review your business information, prepare your formation documents, and submit them to the Oklahoma Secretary of State. They will complete everything outlined in this guide and notify you when your Articles of Organization has been filed. You won’t have to lift a finger.
There are other benefits too. Some services will include a year of free registered agent service when you hire them. Other services offer order tracking, notifications on future documents (like Annual Reports), assistance drafting your operating agreement, or coverage of certain LLC formation costs.
Which is the Best LLC Service?
All you need to do now is research every service extensively and make side-by-side comparisons for each option. Easy, right? Just kidding – we did all of that for you.
And from our meticulous research of reviewing and ranking the top LLC services, we’ve drawn the conclusion that IncFile and Northwest are your best overall options.
They might not have the brand recognition of LegalZoom, the industry giant, but both have amazing customer support, affordable prices, and include a year of registered agent service.