14 Fascinating Oklahoma Small Business Statistics


The energy industry is one of the primary income earners in Oklahoma and contributes $35 billion to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP). In fact, Oklahoma is the third-largest producer of natural gas and the fifth-largest producer of crude oil in the US.

Among the state's largest industries is the aerospace sector, which generates $11 billion annually. Tulsa, Oklahoma, is home to the world’s largest airline maintenance base, which also serves as the global maintenance and engineering headquarters for American Airlines.

Oklahoma has a tax structure that encourages businesses to launch and grow in the state. Small business (SMB) owners who create new jobs can receive up to 5% of their taxable wages in quarterly cash-back rebates as part of the state's Small Employer Quality Jobs incentive.

Here are some interesting statistics on the state of small businesses in the Sooner State:

  • There are 358,647 small businesses in Oklahoma that account for 99.4% of all businesses in the state.
  • According to Sperling’s best places survey, the cost of living in Oklahoma is 83.7% that of the national average, with housing as the largest contributor to its low cost. This means that overhead costs for SMBs are low and employee remuneration is quite affordable.
  • These ndustries have the highest number of small businesses:
    • Other services (except public administration) — 55,167
    • Construction — 44,744
    • Professional, scientific, and technical services — 39,717
    • Retail trade — 36,134
    • Administrative, support, and waste management — 31,448
  • There are 2,640 small businesses in the export business that represent 26% of Oklahoma's $5.6 billion worth of export revenue.
  • Small businesses in Oklahoma employ 710,271 individuals. That’s 52% of the entire state’s labor force.
  • The average median income for self-employed individuals who run incorporated businesses is $47,000, which is $22,000 more than those with unincorporated businesses.
  • To form a corporation, you need to file your Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State’s office. The filing fee is one-tenth of one percent (1/10 of 1%) of the total authorized capital (TAC). The TAC is computed by multiplying the number of shares by the par value of each share. For example, if the TAC is $50,000 or less, the fee is $50,000. If the TAC is over $50,000, the filing fee is $1.00 per $1,000.
  • Three industries claim the largest share of small business employees:
    • Health care and social assistance — 114,160
    • Accommodation and food services — 94,885
    • Retail trade — 67,474
  • In 2018, banks in Oklahoma issued 54,067 loans under $100,000 while reporting under the Community Reinvestment Act. The total value of the loans was $857.1 million.
  • Oklahoma’s corporation income tax is a flat 6% tax on federal taxable income. Returns are due on the 15th day of the fourth month after the end of the tax year.
  • The state considers retailers who sell at least $100,000 in the previous 12 months in the state to have economic nexus. This means the state considers these retailers obligated to collect sales tax from buyers in the state.
  • In the fourth quarter of 2018, 2,481 SMBs closed down, resulting in 10,427 jobs lost. In the same period, there were 2,716 start-ups that generated 13,010 new jobs in Oklahoma.
  • There are 50,271 self-employed minorities in the state. That’s 14.02% of all small business owners in the state.


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