The fees to the State of Oklahoma to start an LLC are $100 plus the credit card processing fee if you don’t pay by another means. There’s no way to spend less than the fees charged by the Secretary of State. So, if you decide to take a run at the DIY approach, you’re going to be out around $100 for the LLC certificate. But, you know there’s always a catch, isn’t there? Can you get a real LLC for $100?
The LLC certificate isn’t an LLC, it’s just a piece of paper. If you pay the $100 and get back a certificate with the name of your LLC on it, you still don’t have an LLC. You lightened your wallet (or your Apple wallet) by $100! You have this really cool paper that shows the wonderful company name you picked out with the initials “LLC” right behind your company name. What do you have? Not much really; we guarantee it’s not an LLC!
We see a number of what we call “form vendors” or “form companies” offering you an LLC. Prices vary, but the prices of most of these vendors seem to be something in the range of $300 – 500 after you include the add ons and extras. The advertised price appears less, but you know how it works. You start off with a really low price, then they upsell you on other things. If you choose to purchase a kit to set up your Oklahoma LLC, will you have a genuine LLC when you finish? Maybe, but we have our doubts!
Form companies sell forms. Some of the forms aren’t necessarily bad ones. A handful of companies claim to have used a lawyer to write the forms they’re trying to sell you. The thing some folks don’t get is that if you don’t know what you’re doing, forms can really be dangerous. And we’ve seen a lot (I mean a whole lot) of people
In one case, our client was told that he needed to sign this document in order to keep his job. In his case, the boss called him into the office and said the company needed his signature to keep him working. He didn’t read what the paper said and figured he needed a paycheck. So he signed without much thought about it and without reading what it said.
Five years later, the company had long ago closed the doors to the business and the gentleman found himself in a lawsuit. He was being sued for the unpaid debts of the company. Not realizing what he had agreed to do, he had promised in writing to be personally responsible for $10,000 of the company’s debt. He had signed a personal guarantee!
You see, words have meaning and legal documents have significance. Take a minute and consider the substantial difference in a divorce decree and a marriage certificate. Both are relatively short, simple pieces of paper with terms, writing, and legal jargon. The marriage license says the State of Oklahoma is okay with you getting married (and “
These form companies want to sell you a bunch of LLC forms, then leave it up to you to figure out what the forms say and mean. If you’re a lawyer and went to law school, then you can understand what they say. If you didn’t go to law school and don’t have much experience in reading legal jargon, then you may be signing up for a divorce when you were trying to apply for a marriage license. Bottom line – if you don’t understand what you’re doing, it can really make a mess!
The real cost of setting up an LLC (one that is going to give you protection) is more than the cost to buy some LLC forms from an online vendor. We routinely see businesses
You may remember the children’s fable about the emperor who wore no clothes. It was a story about this emperor or king who got tricked into running around with no clothes on thinking he looked great. Finally, it was a little kid who was honest enough to point out there weren’t any clothes.
An LLC start-up in Oklahoma is going to cost more than just money. The operation of an LLC is about a new way of thinking for the average guy on the street. The cost is learning how to run, properly maintain, and legally operate the LLC. The expense comes in all sorts of ways including taxes, accounting, and legal obligations.
Do you have to use a lawyer? You don’t have to hire an attorney, but it may actually be less expensive. We’ll explain why using
If you’re told to get in the cab and go to work, you can get started with absolutely no training, coaching, or assistance. You may well knock down someone’s house, run over some kids on bicycles, or cause a lot of commotion and trouble. You may wind up in legal trouble depending on how much damage you cause while learning how to work the controls, but it’s possible to learn how to use the equipment all by yourself.
Now, some heavy equipment operators may have never in their life used this type of equipment. But, they have operated tractors on the farm, driven 18 wheelers, and maybe ran a bulldozer. With these skills, they probably stand a better chance of learning how to run the machine than you or I may have. Nonetheless, there will be a developmental learning curve that will take some trial and error.
If you hire an Oklahoma lawyer to start your LLC, you will probably spend $1000 – 1,500 for a completed LLC (not including ongoing maintenance). Again prices vary and some more complicated LLCs can run up into many thousands of dollars. The typical business starting up doesn’t have those complex factors, therefore the initial cost for the LLC should fall in the range above. The cost is typically affected by the number of members in the LLC. A sole member LLC will nearly always be the easiest since there is only one person to make decisions.
We can’t say what other law firms give you for your money, but we can tell you what we offer. In setting up an Oklahoma LLC, we aren’t just selling you a pile of forms. Oh, you’ll get the stack of forms in our package, but you will be given much more! We don’t believe that lawyers are supposed to be form processors. Lawyers are supposed to be advisors. We see our job as providing you with information about LLCs, how they work, how to stay legal, and good practices to make your LLC secure.
If you’re LLC isn’t capable of withstanding an attack by a lawyer making a legal challenge, then your LLC was built like a house of cards. While it looked great until the wind blew, it fell to the ground and broke apart when the stress of the wind hit it. When the tornado comes, do you really want to be sitting in a mobile home? Not me! Nothing against people living in them, but we all know they aren’t made to survive a tornado. (We know, a lot of houses don’t hold up very well either. But, given the choice between the closet in my house or someone else’s mobile home, I’m picking the house.)
If your LLC was constructed like some Oklahoma houses, there may be the added protection of a storm room. The home may have a special place designed to withstand greater wind speed and the velocity of tornados. The problem with LLC forms is that you may be getting nothing more than a bunch of papers that will go flying about when the legal storm hits.
Maybe you’re reading this thinking, “Great, I already blew $300 – 500 on one of those kits, and this lawyer says that I wasted my money!” The good news is that we may be able to salvage part of what you spent. It’s likely the LLC certificate is valid and possibly some of the other forms are okay.
Helping fix and repair existing LLCs is also part of what we do. You might think about one of our LLC Check-Ups.
If you are starting an Oklahoma LLC and want some training, we offer services to teach and educate LLC members and managers. Let us know if we can meet to discuss your situation. You’re more than welcome to schedule a convenient time with the calendar on our website.