This is the next article in our series on starting a business in Oklahoma with confidence. The last article dove into the cost of starting an Oklahoma Limited Liability Company (LLC). In this article, we will discuss various license requirements for your new business.

Registering your entity with the Secretary of State, drafting organizational documents, and funding the business are only a part of the puzzle. Inquiry into whether the business requires a license or permit and going through the process of applying is another crucial step.  If you are starting a new business or just expanding or changing an existing one, we are here to help.  Contact Niroula Law online or by telephone for assistance with entity selection, entity formation, organizational document draft and execution, or any other business-related issues.

No general license requirement in Oklahoma

Oklahoma does not have a general license requirement to start a business.  However, certain businesses or occupations may require a federal, state, or local license or permit.  Bear in mind that license requirements are separate from sales tax requirements.  If your business deals in tangible personal property (i.e., sell a product), then you must charge, collect, and remit sales tax to the Oklahoma Tax Commission (OTC).  Sales Tax Permit can be acquired from OTC.  You need the Secretary of State Filing Number and EIN to register.

State licenses are required for these industries in Oklahoma

An exhaustive licensing requirement is beyond the scope of this article.  Therefore, we have compiled a list of some common state licensing requirements.  In addition to these, there may be a city, county, or another local license (or, permit) requirement.  Make sure to check with the local licensing authority before operating your business.

  • Electric, Plumbing, and Heating and Air Conditioning Services Contractors: These types of services require a specific state license and can be obtained from the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board (CIB).
  • Out-of-state Contractors: An out-of-state contractor in Oklahoma must register with the Oklahoma Tax Commission (OTC) as a “Non-Resident Contractor” before starting work.
  • Selling Beer, Wine, or Mixed Drinks: If your business includes the sale of beer, wine, or mixed alcoholic drinks, then you must obtain a liquor license from the Alcohol Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission (ABLE). But before you apply, you may need to obtain local (city or county) licenses and a sales tax permit from OTC.
  • Home Health Care and Home Companion/Sitter Services: To operate a home health care or a home sitter business, it is necessary to secure a license issued by the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) before providing services.
  • Medical Marijuana: To operate an Oklahoma medical marijuana dispensary or grow medical marijuana you must obtain a license from the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA). The Oklahoma grower’s license from OMMA allows the license holder to grow and sell to licensed dispensaries and processors. And, the dispensary license allows a business to sell medical marijuana and medical marijuana products in the State.  

Local (County, Town, City) license requirements

Regardless of whether a state license is required or not, local governments such as county and city may require licenses (or, permits) for certain businesses.  It’s important to inquire with the local authorities and make sure you satisfy all county and city requirements if any.

Here is a list of some businesses that do not require a state-level license but may require a local license or permit.

  • Cleaning services,
  • Power washing services,
  • Automotive repair services,
  • Business general consulting,
  • Business general accounting, bookkeeping, and tax services, etc.

Short-term rentals in Oklahoma such as Airbnb

Setting up and operating an Airbnb in Oklahoma does not require a state-level license or permit.  The decision on how to regulate this market is left to individual governments such as Cities and County with an eye towards public policy and local needs.  So, cities including Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Norman, and Stillwater have their laws regulating short-term rental businesses.  These laws specify the license requirements, application process, usage types, application fee, license duration, taxes, and other relevant information.  Before venturing into a short-term rental endeavor be sure to check with your City and County for local license requirements and regulations.

OKC Business Lawyer: Oklahoma business law firm

If you are thinking about starting a new business or growing an existing one, we understand you may have a plethora of questions.  Contact us online or via telephone if you need legal counsel to answer these questions such as entity selection, entity formation, and document execution. We proudly serve Oklahoma County, Logan County, and Cleveland County.