A great place to start your research is the Oklahoma Department of Commerce's "Business Services & Startup Guide" website. You'll find a wide range of business information that will help your company have a successful start.
Below, you'll find helpful links and frequently asked questions about starting a business in Stillwater.
Business Licensing & Operating Requirements (Oklahoma Department of Commerce)
That’s great! The following frequently asked questions should get you started.
Lenders look for a number of things when evaluating a loan application—a conservative business plan, a significant equity contribution, capable management, realistic repayment ability, good credit history and collateral.
Visit the U.S. Small Business Administration website for information about loans.
Commercial Venture Capital
Venture capitalists have exacting standards for choosing an investment and often require some management and ownership control in the business. A good primer can be found on the U.S. Small Business Administration website.
USDA Guide to financing your business (PDF)
Kick Start it with Crowdfunding
Here's a summary of the types of loans you may be interested in: Entrepreneur Magazine.
The City does not determine how many or which franchises (including restaurants, retail stores or services) can open a business. The City welcomes all kinds of businesses because they generate sales taxes, jobs and provide useful services for our residents.
On the flip side of that question: Residents often ask why the City doesn’t have their favorite restaurant or store. To operate a successful business, retailers or restaurants must decide for themselves if Stillwater meets their business model. For example, does Stillwater have the right customer base? Are Stillwater residents interested in purchasing their product? After all, businesses are interested in making a profit.
The City of Stillwater does not require businesses to register or to apply for a business permit. However, there are some types of businesses that are required by ordinance to obtain annual licenses. The following licenses are issued through the City Clerk’s Office: Alcohol Beverage License; Bus Business License; Itinerant Merchant/Peddler License; Itinerant Merchant/Peddler License for Mobile Food Services; Low-Point Beer License; Pawnbroker License; Solicitor/Canvasser License; and Taxi/Limousine Business Registration.
You do not need to register with the City of Stillwater; however, all entities conducting business in Oklahoma must register with the Oklahoma Tax Commission (OTC). To register, visit the Oklahoma Tax Commission’s Online Business Registration.
You also need to register your business with the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s Entity Filing.
The Zoning Map for the City of Stillwater is available on the City’s website.
Uses allowed by right or with a specific use permit are identified by zoning district in City Code, Chapter 23, Article VI.
For additional information, contact Development Services at 405.742.8220.
Yes. The City calls this a home occupation. The specifics for a home occupation are found in City Code, Chapter 23, Article V, Division 2, Section 23-97.
Building permits are necessary to ensure that the work performed, whether on a new building or on an existing building, is safe and that licensed and knowledgeable people are performing the work.
When you apply for a building permit, Development Services (Per 11 OS § 43-101.2) will provide you a list of Oklahoma State taxes that may potentially be assessed against Oklahoma or out-of-state taxpayers. These taxes include, but are not limited to, the following:
Ad valorem taxes
Aircraft excise taxes and registration fees
Employment security tax
Employee withholding tax
Motor fuel tax
Motor vehicle excise taxes and registration fees
Sales and use tax
The Tax Commission requires proof of registration when an occupancy permit is requested. Proof of registration with the Tax Commission will be required upon request for issuance of an occupancy permit. Failure to provide proof will result in Tax Commission notification of non registration. The City of Stillwater issues a certificate of occupancy when permitted work is completed or when a change of use of a building occurs.