Legal Aspects of Business

Choosing a Business Structure

One of the first decisions that you will have to make as a business owner is how the company should be structured. These resources offer an introduction to business structures and types of ownership.

  • Forms of Ownership

    This site from the Small Business Administrations defines the types of business ownership.

  • Sole Proprietorship

    Information from the IRS to help you determine some of the forms that you may be required to file as a sole proprietor.

  • Partnerships

    If you are a partnership or a partner (individual) in a partnership, use the information on this site to help you determine some of the IRS forms that you may be required to file.

  • Corporations

    In forming a corporation, prospective shareholders exchange money, property, or both, for the corporation's capital stock. A corporation conducts business, realizes net income or loss, pays taxes and distributes profits to shareholders. Use this site to determine which IRS forms to file.

  • S Corporations

    S corporations are corporations that elect to pass corporate income, losses, deductions and credit through to their shareholders for federal tax purposes. This site offers information about what an individual may be liable for under an S Corporation and which IRS forms to file.

  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)

    LLCs are popular because, similar to a corporation, owners have limited personal liability for the debts and actions of the LLC. This site offers federal tax implications for LLC as well as additional resources for forming an LLC.

Fictitious Names / Doing Business As (DBA)

Understanding a DBA or Ficitious Business Name
This site provides an explanation and filing requirements by state for DBAs and Fictious Names.

  • Tulsa County Clerk

    In the State of Oklahoma, Fictitious Names should be recorded with the County Clerk.

  • Name Availability Search

    Search the Secretary of State for availability of your potential business name.

Registering a Business

Steps to Registering a Business

Whether you are starting a new business or expanding an existing business, you will need to follow some basic steps to ensure you have all the necessary licenses, permits and registrations needed to legally operate.

Permits & Licensing

Business Licenses and Permits

Every business needs one or more federal, state or local licenses or permits to operate. Licenses can range from a basic operating license to very specific permits.

  • City of Tulsa Permits and Licensing

    The City of Tulsa requires permits and licensing for certain types of businesses. Refer to this site to determine which permit or license your business might require.

  • Streamlined Business Registration System

    This site will allow you to determine the steps necessary to register your business and any related licenses or permits you might need in order to operate your business in the state of Oklahoma. this site requires a free registration

  • Oklahoma Licensed and Certified Occupations

    This publication provides students, clients, counselors and other interested persons with information concerning occupations that require licensing and certification in Oklahoma. 


Zoning codes could effect where you put your business.


IRS Publication 538, Accounting Periods and Methods

Determining the when's and how's of your business accounting practices is another important decision you’ll need to make. This IRS publication offers information to assist with this decision.

Business Certification

Small Business Certification

Small business certifications are like professional certifications.  They document a special capability or status that will help you compete in the marketplace.  In order to take advantage of business opportunities, such as government contracts, you may need to obtain some certifications.


Employer Issues

  • Oklahoma Department of Labor

    The Oklahoma Department of Labor answers questions age eligibility, wage and hour guidelines, safety standards and more.

  • Employment Elligibility Verification

    All U.S. employers must complete and retain a Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and non-citizens.

  • Form I-9

    The purpose of this form is to document that each new employee (both citizen and non-citizen) hired after November 6, 1986 is authorized to work in the U.S.

  • E-Verify

    An Internet-based system that allows an employer, using information reported on an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to determine the eligibility of that employee to work in the United States.

  • Oklahoma Unemployment Insurance

    Everything an employer needs to know to register and file employees with the OESC for unemployment insurance.

  • Oklahoma Worker's Compensation

    The Oklahoma Worker’s Compensation Court provides information useful to injured workers, employers, insurers, medical providers, attorneys, taxpayers and other interested parties.

  • Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)

    OSHA's mission is to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths.

Locating Professional Assistance

Because sometimes you can't do it on your own and need professional help.

TCCL's Business Center

The Business Center brings together an assortment of working tools and learning opportunities for our community’s business customers at no charge for library card holders. Our resources include a variety of databases for market and industry research, tools for business planning, legal guides for business, and more.

Doing Business in Tulsa

The City of Tulsa's Doing Business in Tulsa is a great resource for finding out  what it takes to operate a business legally and safely in Tulsa.