DBA Oklahoma registration is required by law if a business owner decides to use a company name other than their legal name. Filing a “Doing Business As” (DBA) allows a company to enter into contracts, open a bank account, and operate under a new company name.

What Is a DBA?

A business owner should file a Do Business As (DBA) if they wish to operate the business under a trade name or under a name different from their own. By filing a DBA, a secondary name is registered with the State of Oklahoma. Also, it will make the DBA a fully legal name for business purposes.

Upon registering the DBA name, the business has exclusive rights to the name. Also, the business may now be able to sue other parties for using that exact name. For example, if Mike Smith owned a pizzeria business called "Mike's Pizza," the secondary name, "Mike's Pizza," would be filed as the DBA. Then Mike can legally advertise the business as "Mike's Pizza."

A DBA is most commonly needed to:

  • Advertise
  • Open a business checking account
  • Create contracts

When Do You Need a DBA?

When an individual, organization, or company would like to conduct business using a different name, Oklahoma requires that the business file a DBA. Businesses are not required to register DBA names in Oklahoma. Nonetheless, registering with the State will secure the business name for exclusive use. It will also decrease the overall legal liability. For example, it will decrease the risk of potential consumer confusion lawsuits.

Filing for a DBA can reduce the following risks:

Moreover, opening a business bank account and engaging in transactions will probably require a DBA. In many cases, a sole proprietorship is required to file a Certificate of Fictitious Name. This certificate helps to identify the owner of the business with the local county's clerk office.

Setting Up a DBA in Oklahoma

The first step in obtaining a DBA is to search the Oklahoma business name database to determine if the desired name is available. Remember, a business name needs to be unique and distinguishable from others. Certain names should be avoided in all situations. The following types of names should not be used:

  • Those that are previously taken
  • Those that are deceptive or fraudulent with respect to the purpose of the business
  • Those that misrepresent the entity

Also, business names will not be issued for businesses that perform illegal activities or that misrepresent themselves as governmental organizations, e.g., "Mike's Illegal Narcotics Boutique."

Is There a Tax Consideration for Registering a DBA?

Obtaining a DBA will in no way, shape, or form influence how the business is taxed.

What Are the Requirements for Filing a DBA?

The Oklahoma State site allows applicants to download DBA forms online. Applicants who wish to file for a foreign entity must include the following information:

  • The original business name
  • The foreign state or country where it was originally registered
  • The fictitious name to be used as the DBA

Companies that were originally registered in Oklahoma are known as "domestic entities" and must provide:

  • A proposed DBA name
  • An address for the DBA
  • A description of the business activities to be conducted
  • The original legal name of the business
  • The entity type
  • The jurisdiction where the business was originally formed

To open a business bank account for a sole proprietorship using a Certificate of Fictitious Name, the business owner must visit the local county clerk's office. Companies that were originally registered in a state or country other than Oklahoma are known as "foreign entities" and will need to use a completely different form.

How to Start a Business in Oklahoma

There are eight steps to starting a business in Oklahoma.

  1. Create a business plan.
  2. Choose a business entity type.
  3. Register the business name. To verify whether the DBA name is available, you can search the Oklahoma Secretary of State and U.S. Patent & Trademark Office databases.
  4. File the DBA (trade name). Whenever you use a business name that isn't your legal name, you must register it with the Secretary of State. You'll need to file the Trade Name Report with the Secretary of State Forms Library and submit it to the Secretary of State. The filing fee is about $25.
  5. Obtain permits, licenses, and zoning clearances. Additional documents that may need to be filed with the State include:
    • Licenses
    • Permits
    • Zoning clearances
  6. Obtain an EIN: The Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as the Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). It is a nine-digit tax number that is registered with the IRS. When filing online, the number is instantly available.
  7. Raise capital.
  8. Hire employees.

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