How to Start an S Corp in Oklahoma: A Step-by-Step Guide
If you’re considering starting a business in Oklahoma and want to take advantage of the benefits offered by an S Corporation (S Corp) structure, this step-by-step guide will help you navigate the process. An S Corp combines the liability protection of a corporation with the tax advantages of a partnership, making it an appealing option for many entrepreneurs. Follow these steps to get started on forming your S Corp in Oklahoma.
Step 1: Choose a Name for Your S Corp Selecting a unique and distinguishable name is an essential first step. Ensure that your chosen name complies with Oklahoma’s naming requirements, which generally include using “Corporation,” “Company,” “Incorporated,” or an abbreviation like “Corp.” or “Inc.” in the company name. It’s a good idea to check the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s website to verify name availability.
Step 2: File Articles of Incorporation To officially establish your S Corp in Oklahoma, you need to file Articles of Incorporation with the Oklahoma Secretary of State. The Articles of Incorporation document typically includes information such as the company’s name, registered agent’s name and address, purpose of the corporation, number of authorized shares, and names of the incorporators. You can file online or submit the documents by mail along with the required filing fee.
Step 3: Appoint Directors and Hold an Organizational Meeting As an S Corp, you must appoint directors who will oversee the company’s operations. Hold an organizational meeting with the directors to adopt bylaws, elect officers, and address any other necessary matters. Bylaws outline the internal rules and regulations of the corporation, including procedures for shareholder meetings, voting rights, and corporate governance.
Step 4: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) An EIN, also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, is necessary for your S Corp to conduct business, hire employees, and open bank accounts. You can obtain an EIN from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by completing the online application or submitting Form SS-4 by mail. Make sure to include your newly formed S Corp’s information when applying for the EIN.
Step 5: Submit Form 2553 to Elect S Corp Status To enjoy the tax benefits of an S Corp, you need to elect S Corp status with the IRS. Submit Form 2553, Election by a Small Business Corporation, within 75 days of your S Corp’s formation date or the beginning of the tax year in which you want the election to take effect. The form requires information about the corporation, shareholders, and details of the S Corp election.
Step 6: Fulfill Ongoing Compliance Requirements Once your S Corp is established, you must meet certain ongoing compliance requirements in Oklahoma. These may include filing an Annual Certificate with the Oklahoma Secretary of State, maintaining accurate records and financial statements, and holding regular meetings of directors and shareholders. Staying compliant with these obligations ensures the continued validity of your S Corp’s legal status.
Step 7: Seek Professional Advice Starting an S Corp involves complex legal and tax considerations. It’s advisable to seek professional advice from an attorney and a certified public accountant (CPA) who specialize in business formations and taxation. They can guide you through the process, help you make informed decisions, and ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.
Starting an S Corp in Oklahoma requires careful attention to detail and adherence to legal procedures. By following these steps and seeking expert guidance, you can establish your S Corp successfully and take advantage of the liability protection and tax benefits it offers. With the right foundation in place, you’ll be on your way to building a thriving business in Oklahoma.