Choosing a name for your business entity is an exciting first step. It lets you visualize your letterheads, advertisements, and how the phone will be answered when clients call. To prevent any delays or disappointments, we will review the basics what should be considered when making this decision. Registration of the name is not required in Oklahoma, but is encouraged as it will protect its use in the state
First, if your business is going to be set up as a limited liability company, your name needs to reflect that structure. That means “limited liability company”, “limited company”, “LLC”, “LC”, “L.L.C.”, or “L.C.” must be included in the name. “Limited” may be abbreviated to “LTD” and “company” may be abbreviated to “CO.” Types of other legal structures, such as “incorporated” or “corporation,” cannot be included unless that is your entity’s legal structure. If you are opening a professional practice for medicine, law, or accounting, you may be creating or professional limited company and “PLLC” should be included in the name. If you are unsure of your business’s structure at this point but already have a name picked out, you can apply for more time. A name can be reserved for up to 60 days by filing for a name reservation on the Secretary of State website (www.sos.ok.gov) while other registration filings are completed.
Another consideration when choosing a name should be your web presence. It is extremely likely that your business will have a website, so you should ensure that a domain name that is suitable to your needs is available before making a final decision. There are various creative solutions if the domain you want is taken, but it is best to have this information before anything is finalized in case none are to your liking. At the end of it all, you must be happy with what you are calling this entity and how it is promoted.
Once a name is chosen, the next step is to complete a name availability search on the Secretary of State website. Your business cannot have the same name as other limited liability companies, corporations, or partnerships in the state. This also means that once your name is registered, no one else may use it or use something too close to it and mislead the public or your clients.
Finally, if your name is available it’s time to register your name. This is done by filing for a trade name report on the Secretary of State website, which can be done before or after the business entity has been registered with the state a. A trade name is the name under which your entity is doing business other than its legal name, which is determined when the entity is registered. Once your trade name report is finished and the fees are paid, the name registration with the state is done and has all the protection registration affords.
Choosing a name is an exciting milestone for you and your company, and we want to help with any problems or struggles you face along the way. We are trying to create resources and tools to help you create and achieve your business goals, so please send any questions or concerns you have our way so we can get to work!