An Oklahoma business license isn't a requirement for all businesses, and these licenses are issued at the local level instead of the state level. If your business is required to have a license, you must get one to be in legal compliance.

About Business Licenses and Permits in Oklahoma

When you start a new business in Oklahoma, you might have to obtain various permits or state licenses. You might also have to file other types of registration documents with the state. If you choose to structure your business as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), you'll have to comply with the permit and license requirements in your city and county. The industry you operate in and the location of your LLC determine what your compliance requirements are. If you fail to comply with your permit and license requirements, you run the risk of being penalized with fines, revocation, or dissolution.

The Types of Permits and Licenses You May Need

Not all businesses in Oklahoma are required to have a license, but many are required to do so. The following are common types of permits and licenses you may need to obtain: 

  • Building permit
  • City business licenses/tax permit
  • Zoning permit
  • Health permit
  • Alarm permit
  • Signage permit
  • Occupational permit
  • Seller/reseller permit
  • Liquor license
  • Alcohol and tobacco permit
  • Design firm license
  • Sales and use tax permit
  • Employee leasing license
  • Inspector's license

Various state agencies issue different types of permits and licenses.

Do It Yourself

There is no business license in Oklahoma issued at the state level. You'll obtain a business license on a local level, and the type of license you get depends on the type of business you operate. Visit the Oklahoma Department of Commerce website for more information about the license(s) your LLC may need. Industries and their requirements are listed toward the bottom of the page. You can also call the Business Customer Services line at 405-815-5218.

The following are required to have a sales tax permit: 

  • Retailer
  • Reseller
  • Seller of tangible or physical property

The Oklahoma Tax Commission (OTC) issues sales tax permits.

Because permits and licenses are controlled at the local level, contact the county where you're planning to do business. Find a list of all counties in Oklahoma at OKCounties.org. You should also contact the city where you plan to do business.

Professional or Occupational Licenses

An occupational license isn't the same thing as a business license. The state requires occupational licenses for certain professions and trades, such as ones requiring a state license to practice. These professions include the following fields: 

  • Legal
  • Medical
  • Accounting

Don't confuse local business licenses with state occupational licenses, because the latter is required for someone to practice that profession. You may need both types of licenses: business and occupational.

Register an Assumed or Fictitious Business Name (Trade Name)

Most small businesses operate under a business name instead of the name of their owners. Some businesses, including LLCs and corporations, initially register under one name (also known as the true name, actual name, or registered name) and later decide to operate under another name. 

An alternative business name is also known as any of the following: 

The term used depends on the location where you do business as well as your business structure.

If your corporation or LLC plans to operate under an assumed name in Oklahoma, you're required to file a form with the Secretary of State. This is also true for partnerships that don't operate under the partners' names. You can handle fictitious and trade name filings online at the Oklahoma Secretary of State website.

It's easy to use the available resources to get the information you need regarding the permits and licenses your Oklahoma business must have. Make sure you're complying at the city, county, and state level to avoid any legal complications. You might not even need a business license in Oklahoma, but if you do, the Secretary of State site is a helpful resource for the information you need. As long as your business complies with all requirements, you'll be able to avoid costly penalties and fines that could jeopardize your company.

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