Whether you’re searching for the right business name or registering your LLC with the OK Secretary of State, we can help you. We’ve got all the information you need on how to conduct an Oklahoma business search, plus LLC naming rules, trade names and registering your business.
General Rules for LLC Names
Usually these rules apply to all LLCs, no matter the state they’re formed in.
The business name you use can’t be used by any other LLC or corporation in the State of Oklahoma. This is why it's imperative to perform an Oklahoma Secretary of State entity search before you begin the filing process.
It’s not enough for your LLC name to be unique. It also cannot be similar to the name of an existing corporation or LLC in Oklahoma. In addition, you cannot use the following factors to say your name is different from the name of another business:
- Suffixes, such as Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp., Co., Inc., Ltd., LLC, etc.
- Definite articles, such as “A,” “An,” or “The”
- The conjunction "And," or “&"
- The singular, plural or possessive forms of words
- Abbreviations, punctuation, symbols, fonts, typefaces, etc.
All LLCs must have the words “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC” in their names, usually at the end.
Most states will not allow you to form LLCs with names that:
- Are very similar to the name of a federal or state agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, Oklahoma Tax Commission, Oklahoma Police, Treasury, etc.)
- Suggest affiliation with a federal or state agency or organization
- Use the term “Olympic” or any terms that are trademarks of the International Olympic Committee
- Imply a purpose that would be illegal for your business to carry out
Specific Rules for Oklahoma Business Names
In addition to the general rules listed above, Oklahoma has some specific business naming statutes. You’ll need to follow these rules to name your business appropriately. Here is an excerpt:
§18-2008. Name of company - Restrictions.
The name of each limited liability company as set forth in its articles of organization:
1. Shall contain either the words "limited liability company" or "limited company" or the abbreviations “LLC”, “LC”, "L.L.C.", or "L.C." The word "limited" may be abbreviated as "LTD." and the word "Company" may be abbreviated as "CO."; and
2. a. May not be the same as or indistinguishable from:
(1) names upon the records in the Office of the Secretary of State of limited liability companies, whether organized pursuant to the laws of this state or licensed or registered as foreign limited liability companies, then in good standing or Oklahoma Statutes - Title 18. Corporations Page 513 registered or which were in good standing or registered at any time during the preceding three (3) years …
How to Come Up with a Business Name
Finding the perfect business name can be tricky. We have a complete guide to choosing the right business name, but basically, you'll want to choose a name that will:
Oklahoma Business Search
Once you have an idea of the business name you want to move forward with, you’ll need to perform an Oklahoma entity search to make sure another business in the state isn’t already using that name.
Incfile offers a simple, fast and convenient tool to look up your proposed business name. The OK Secretary of State also provides a tool that lets you search the Oklahoma registry of LLCs and corporations to see whether someone already has your desired business name.
Trademarks and Service Marks
You must ensure your Oklahoma LLC name doesn’t infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. The fastest way to make sure your proposed business name doesn’t violate another company's intellectual property is to complete a trademark search through Incfile. If no one else is using it, you can even register it as a trademark yourself.
Oklahoma DBA or Trade Name
You may do business under a different name from that of your LLC. In some states, this is called a DBA (doing business as), fictitious name or assumed name. In Oklahoma, it’s known as a trade name. You may elect to use an Oklahoma trade name for a variety of reasons.
For example, your LLC might be called Oklahoma Renewable Energy Holding Company LLC, and under that company, you own Sooner Solar Energy. You could file for a trade name just for that brand. In Oklahoma, you can do that by filing a Trade Name Report form, or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf through our Trade Name service.
Note: A trade name is not the same as a trademark.
Register Your Business Name with the OK Secretary of State
Once you’ve completed an Oklahoma Secretary of State business search, checked availability, followed the naming rules and decided whether you need a trade name, you can register your LLC name. There are a couple of ways to do this.
FAQs About Oklahoma Business Names
Yes. Most LLCs are bound by general rules (applicable to all LLCs) and specific rules (applicable in the State of Oklahoma). We’ve detailed these rules above.
Yes. You can conduct business under a trade name. Details are above.
Yes. The OK Secretary of State allows you to reserve a name if you don’t want to start your business immediately. Details are above. If you’re ready to start your business now, you don’t need to reserve a name.