For many Oklahoma businesses, no license is needed

what's your business idea?

By G.W. Schulz

So you’re ready to make your dream of opening an Oklahoma business a reality. Do you know where to start? It’s okay if you don’t, because few people do. Check out this explainer from Norwood.Law on business licensing created with help from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce

Factors like where you to choose to operate the business will inform whether both state and local permits and licenses are required. There’s a lot to consider for any entrepreneur or business owner, so keep reading below.

Are you trapped in a legal dispute? Does your business or organization need an attorney? If the answer is yes, turn to Norwood.Law to be your advocate and speak for you. We practice business, criminal defense, personal injury, family law, and more. Need help with a will, trust, or estate? We do those, too. Visit Norwood.Law online or call us for a free consultation at 918-582-6464.

Cities, counties, and towns – in addition to states – may have their own permit requirements for businesses. The state of Oklahoma does not require a general license for operating a business. But here are some of the specific occupations and businesses that may require special licenses, permits, and registrations from the state:

  • Out-of-state contractors Must register with the Oklahoma Tax Commission. 
  • Massage therapists Licensed through the Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology.  
  • Pawn shops Must obtain a license from the Oklahoma Department of Consumer Credit.
  • Restaurants selling alcohol Required license from the Oklahoma Alcohol Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission.
  • Retail businesses Must charge and collect taxes on behalf of the Oklahoma Tax Commission.
  • Pools and baths Approval from the Oklahoma State Department of Health is necessary for constructing bathing facilities and swimming pools. 
  • Air, heating, plumbing, and electrical Calls for licenses from the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board.
  • Roofing contractors Required to register with the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board.

Now here are some of the businesses and industries that DON’T require a license from the state of Oklahoma:

  • Consulting on computer and information technology
  • General business consulting
  • Business brokering
  • Auctioneer services
  • Tax services, bookkeeping, and accounting
  • Repairing and installing windows and doors
  • Gutter installation and repair
  • Cleaning and power-washing services
  • Lawn Services
  • Repair services for cars and engines

Keep in mind that we’ve only discussed state licenses here. Recall that you may need to also obtain permits and remit taxes to county and city authorities depending on where you are in Oklahoma. At this stage, you’re still a long way from opening your doors to the public.

That’s why you should consider having Norwood.Law on your side to help navigate the government’s requirements for opening a new business in Oklahoma and making your dream of entrepreneurship come true. The additional steps you’ll need to take may include securing an insurance policy for workers’ compensation, opening an account for unemployment taxes, and opening an account for the withholding of income taxes. You’ll also need a federal employer identification number. That’s just a glimpse at the hurdles we can help you overcome on the way to making your business idea a reality. The Oklahoma Department of Commerce has this to say:

“Due to the complexity of forming and operating a business, you may want to consult with financial and legal business advisors such as attorneys, accountants, and bankers before making any decisions or taking action.”