An Oklahoma business entity search is a crucial step for anyone who wants to establish an LLC in the state. You must search through the Oklahoma name database and confirm that the name you want to call your business is available. After that, you're ready to move forward with other administrative tasks through the Oklahoma Secretary of State.

The process for setting up a business or corporate entity in Oklahoma is handled through the Secretary of State. This office keeps a record of all related filings and businesses that are authorized to work in Oklahoma. This includes records for the following:

  • Corporations
  • Limited Liability Companies
  • Limited Companies
  • Limited Partnerships
  • Limited Liability Partnership

One of the first steps you'll do if you want to start an LLC is to search through the Oklahoma Secretary of State's records, which are available online. In addition to checking these files to confirm that the name you want to use is available, you can perform some administrative tasks related to your LLC through the website.

Search by Name Availability

Anyone who wants to form an Oklahoma LLC must perform a name search. Follow these steps to check the State's records:

  • Select a name according to Oklahoma's guidelines for naming an LLC. For example, the LLC name must be unique.
  • Next, use the name availability tool to do a name search. The results will show you if your LLC name is free for you to use.
  • Check the URL. The records will also show if anyone has a website that uses your LLC name. This is important if running a website using this name is part of your business plan. Purchasing a URL with your LLC name will also allow you to use an email address that has the LLC name attached — i.e., “[email protected].”

To conduct a more thorough search, go to the Secretary of State's Advanced Search link. From there, you can search for all businesses that share your name, check for any instances of the name in the state's bank records, search for churches with the name, and more. To perform an advanced search, simply type the desired name, select your criteria, and click “Search.”

The results will show if anyone is using that name. You'll also see if someone has taken the name but their license to use it has it expired, meaning it's up for grabs, or if any has reserved that name for a future LLC. View more specific information by clicking on the filing number.

In addition to seeing all of the Secretary of State's available information, you'll find a list of options you can take — such as reserving the name — at the bottom. There's a link to print this page for your records, or you can press CTRL + P on your keyboard.

Searching the Oklahoma Name Database

From the Business Entities Search page, type your LLC name into the “Organization Name.”

  • Type the name without a designator (i.e., “LLC”).
  • Remove any punctuation.
  • Capitalization doesn't matter.

Start with only the first word or two of your desired name to see if anyone has something similar registered. This will show you any businesses in the state that have a name remotely close to the one you want. Click the “magnifying glass” icon/button to search.

The results page will show all businesses registered with the State. Your desired Oklahoma LLC name is available if there are no results too similar to yours or if the page returns no results, meaning your name is totally unique. If you see a business already registered with your exact name or a close variation, then you can't use it. Start from scratch or think of a way to make your name more unique.

You can also check name availability by filing paperwork with the Oklahoma Secretary of State. They'll respond and let you know if you can use the name. To avoid waiting for a response by mail, simply contact the Secretary of State for assistance with a name search.

It's important not to move forward officially with your LLC until you've secured a name. Do not do any of the following until your LLC name is on record:

  • Apply for a Federal Tax ID Number (EIN)
  • Purchase a domain name
  • Purchase business cards and other branded materials

If you need help with an Oklahoma business entity search, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.