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Oklahoma DBA / Trade Name Registration In 3 Easy Steps

Oklahoma DBA / Trade Name Registration In 3 Easy Steps

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Oklahoma DBA / Trade Name Registration In 3 Easy Steps

If you plan to start a business in Oklahoma under a name other than your own, you will need to register for a business name. Business name registration is commonly referred to as an Oklahoma DBA or “Doing Business As.” There are two options for business name registration in Oklahoma, officially which are called a Trade Name or Fictitious Name. 

To see if you need to register for an Oklahoma Trade Name or Fictitious Name and steps on how to register, check out our guide.

Related: How to start a business in Oklahoma

Who Needs to Register for an Oklahoma Trade Name?

The requirements and need to register for an Oklahoma business name will vary depending on the type of business entity.

Sole proprietorships are the most common business structure to register for an Oklahoma DBA. By default, the name of a sole proprietorship is the owner(s) legal name, but if the small business owner wants to operate under a specific name, they will need to register the business name.

For example, if Amy Pond starts a business creating websites but doesn’t use a business name, he wouldn’t need to register the name.  If Amy decides to name her business Amy’s Website Design, she will need to register.

A sole proprietorship has two types of name registrations available.

The first is a Trade Name, which is registered with the Secretary of State.  This is the strongest registration, but it will stop another business in the state from using the exact same name.

The other type of name registration is called Fictitious Name. A Certificate of Fictitious Name is filed with the County Clerk in the county where the business is located. The main reason a sole proprietorship would need this certificate is to verify the business when opening a business bank account.

Related: How to start an Oklahoma sole proprietorship

General Partnerships will commonly register a Trade Name unless the name of the business is going to be the full first and last name of the owners.  Partnerships will register their name with the Secretary of State.

A corporation and Limited Liability Company won’t typically register for an Oklahoma DBA since a unique entity name is created during the entity formation process. However, some will want to register for a DBA if they have another business or brand name they want to operate in addition to the legal name of the business. This can allow multiple businesses to operate with the liability protection of an Oklahoma corporation or Limited Liability Company without having to form another entity.

Steps to Register an Oklahoma Trade Name

Step 1: Verify Name Availability

A business may not register a Trade Name that is the same or similar to another business in Oklahoma. To find out if the name you want is available to use, you can do an Oklahoma business name search on the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s website. 

Step 2: Fill out the Trade Name Report Form

The Trade Name registration form is available as a PDF or can be filled out online:

Information requested on the form includes:

  • Trade name being applied for
  • Address of the business
  • Brief description of what the business does
  • Legal name of the business entity (sole proprietorships will skip)
  • Type of business entity
  • State where the business was formed

Step 3: File the Form

Submit the filing fee and form.  If sending by mail, the address is:

Oklahoma Secretary of State
421 N.W. 13th, Suite 210
Oklahoma City, OK 73013

If you have questions about the process, you can contact the Oklahoma Secretary of State at 405-522-2520.

Steps to Register an Oklahoma Certificate of Fictitious Name

Step 1: Obtain the Certificate of Fictitious Name Form

The Certificate of Fictitious Name Form is available from the local County Clerk’s office in the county where the business is located.

Step 2: Fill out the Form

The form typically requests only the fictitious name, name, and address of the owner, date of filing, and signature.

Step 3: Notarize the Form

Before submitting the form, be sure to have it notarized.  Most County Clerk’s offices provide notary services at no cost.

Step 4: Submit the Form

Submit the form and filing fee to the County Clerk.

If you would prefer to have a someone else research DBA name availability and file the required forms, Bizee and LegalZoom offer a DBA registration service for $99, plus state fees.

Oklahoma DBA FAQs

How much does an Oklahoma DBA cost?

The filing fee to register a Trade Name in Oklahoma is $25. 

The Certificate of Fictitious Name registration is often around $15.

Both registrations are a one-time fee.

How long does it take to get an Oklahoma Trade Name application?

It normally takes up to 10 business days to process a Trade Name registration in Oklahoma.

Are there any naming restrictions when filing an Oklahoma Trade Name?

DBAs can’t be registered using words that are related to banking or insurance unless the business is licensed to provide those services.

A Trade Name can’t use a business entity suffix that is different from the type of entity. For example, a sole proprietorship can’t use LLC or corporation in its name.

A business name can’t s will not be issued for businesses that perform illegal activities or that misrepresent themselves as governmental organizations

Additionally, words related to illegal activities or misrepresenting itself as a governmental organization aren’t allowed.

After registering the Trade Name, can someone use my business name?

While registering your Trade Name will keep someone else from registering the exact same name in the state of Oklahoma, it does very little to stop someone else from operating that business name in other states. If stopping others from using your business name is important, you can protect it through a trademark.

Related: How to trademark a business name

Does a DBA need an EIN?

An EIN or Employer Identification Number is a unique nine-digit number that some businesses will register for through the Internal Revenue Department (IRS). An EIN is required for partnerships, corporations, multi-member LLCs, or any business that has employees.

Sole proprietorships and single-member LLCs without employees can use the owner’s social security number to identify the business.
There is no cost to get an EIN when registering directly from the IRS.

Related: How to register for an EIN in Oklahoma

What is the difference between an Oklahoma Trade Name and a business license?

These are actually two different business registrations. In addition to the Oklahoma Trade Name registration, most businesses will also need a business license. The licenses a business will need vary depending on what the business does and local registration requirements.

Related: What business licenses are needed in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma DBA / Trade Name Registration In 3 Easy Steps

Oklahoma DBA / Trade Name Registration In 3 Easy Steps

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