Every entrepreneur needs to know how to protect their assets. You need to know these 10 Oklahoma business laws to set on the path to success.
So, you’re an entrepreneur, you’re starting your own business, and the world can’t contain the size of your dreams. What about Oklahoma business laws? How well are you versed in them?
No doubt, this is a really exciting time for you. You’ve spent months, years, perhaps even decades meticulously mapping out your vision. There’s been blood, sweat and maybe even some tears.
Here at Erik Johnson, Attorneys at Law, we know that starting a business is an epic journey. It’s a truly incredible adventure, with moments of equal amounts elation, uncertainty, and euphoria. Starting your own business is certainly not for the faint of heart.
You’re trying to make a difference and you’re trying to make some profit along the way. And, in all of that, you have a hundred different things on your to-do list.
Oklahoma Business Laws
As an entrepreneur and a business owner, risk-taking may well be in your blood. But, there are some things that you can never take a risk with. Oklahoma business laws are one of those things.
You simply have to be fully up-to-date with all of the laws that relate to you and your particular business. You have got to know how to protect your assets.
But, since you’ve done all the hard work up to this point, we’ve done a little work for you ourselves. We’ve compiled a list of 10 Oklahoma business laws that you need to know.
And the great news is, we’re about to share them.
Ready? Great. Let’s get to it.
10 Oklahoma Business Laws You Need to Know
- Professional and Occupational License or Permits
In Oklahoma, you do not need a general license to start your own business. For some businesses, however, it is a legal requirement to obtain professional or occupational licenses or permits.
An Operating License
This generally requires you to pass a qualifying exam.
Here are some examples of where a state license is required:
- A plumbing service
- An insurance agency
- A hair salon
But for other services such as a construction company, no license is required.
Obtaining a Permit
To obtain a permit, a business must submit specific information about the business itself.
Here are some examples of the business types that will need a state license:
- A trucking company
- A public accounting service
- A day care center
For services such as a photography studio or an auto repair service, no permit is required.
Retail business owners in Oklahoma are not required to obtain a traditional license but they are required to obtain sales tax permits and they must collect and remit sales tax revenue.
- Taxes on Business Income
In Oklahoma, you are free to choose how to operate your business. You can choose to trade as a partnership, a limited liability company, sole proprietorship, etc.
But, the way you choose to trade dictates whether you or your business pays income tax on the business income.
Here are some examples:
- C Corporations are subject to corporation tax – 6 percent of Oklahoma taxable income
- S Corporations – The federal tax code allows your business to “pass through” its income to the shareholders. Your business will not pay any federal corporate level income tax
- Partnership – Your partnership will not be taxed on its net income. Partners instead must include their distributive share of partnership income in their Oklahoma taxable adjusted gross income.
- Interest Rate Laws
All states limit the amount of interest a lender may charge. Oklahoma business laws set the statutory interest rate limit at 6 percent unless it is stated otherwise in the ‘fine print.’
Of course, there are exceptions, and these include small loans and retail installment plans.
- Employees – Income Tax
Having employees comes with certain responsibilities with both the State and Federal government.
On a Federal level, business owners must set up accounts with the Internal Revenue Service for all employees.
Within Oklahoma business laws, businesses must set up an account with the Oklahoma Tax Commission for withholding and remitting state income taxes from the wages and salaries paid to employees.
They must also set up an account with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission for withholding and remitting state unemployment taxes from the earnings of the employees.
- Employees – Wage and Hour Laws
In Oklahoma, workers are protected by both, federal and state laws regarding wages.
Here are some points to consider:
- The current minimum wage for non-exempt employees is $7.25 per hour.
- There is no overtime provision under the Oklahoma Minimum Wage Act. However, under Federal Law, employers are required to pay non-exempt employees 1.5 times the usual hourly rate for any work in excess of 40 hours per week.
- Non-exempt employees must be paid at least twice monthly. Public employees must be paid at least once monthly.
- Employment Discrimination
Oklahoma business laws powerfully protect employees from discrimination. Companies with one or more employees are subject to Oklahoma’s antidiscrimination laws.
Federal law makes it illegal to discriminate based on the following:
- National origin
- Citizenship status
- Genetic information
In addition, Oklahoma state law also prohibits discrimination based on:
- Military service
- Being a smoker or non-smoker
- Employee Insurance
Employers are required to cover their employees in Oklahoma with Workman’s Compensation Insurance. This can be done through a general insurance agent or through CompSource Oklahoma, a state nonprofit insurance corporation.
Workers’ compensation is provided so that benefits can be paid to workers injured on the job. It covers medical care, part of lost wages and permanent disability.
- Oklahoma Statute of Limitations
The statutes of limitations are time limits imposed by state law for initiating a lawsuit or some other type of civil action.
In Oklahoma, the time begins “tolling” at the point an injury or some other disputed event has occurred in most cases, but there are exceptions to this – such as a discovery of an injury years after the incident.
- Deceptive Trade Practice Law
The Oklahoma Consumer Protection Act adopts model legislation known as the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
Here are just some of the deceptive or unfair business practices the act identifies:
- Making false representation of the origin or brand of service
- Making misleading statements about a product’s ingredients or quantity
- Selling something used or damaged as new or undamaged
- False advertising
- Anti-Trust Law
A trust is a very large organization, without any tangible competition. An illegal trust is one that willfully crushes its competition so that it may secure an unfair advantage.
The Oklahoma Antitrust Reform Act prohibits unfair restraint of trade through monopolistic activity. It also prohibits price discrimination for the design of hurting competition.
Oklahoma Business Laws for Your Business
Of course, there are many other laws within the Oklahoma business sector that may have a direct effect on your business.
Should you need any assistance, reach out and talk to us.
We would love to use our expertise to protect your most important assets.