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). The Land of the Red Man is the third-largest producer of natural gas & 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:

  1. There are 358,647 small businesses in Oklahoma that account for 99.4% of all businesses in the state.
  1. According to Sperling’s best places survey, the cost of living in Oklahoma is 83.7 percent that of the national average, with housing as the largest contributor to its low cost. This means that overhead costs for SMBs are greatly reduced and employee remuneration is quite affordable.
  1. Industries with the highest number of small businesses include:
    • 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.
  1. There are 2,640 small businesses in the export business that represent 26% of Oklahoma's $5.6 billion worth of export revenue.
  1. Small businesses in Oklahoma employ 710,271 individuals. That’s 52% of the entire state’s labor force.
  1. 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.
  1. State law requires that every new Oklahoma LLC designates an Oklahoma registered agent that will be available during regular business hours at a physical address within the state.
  1. 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 than, the fee is $50,000.  If the TAC is over $50,000, the filing fee is $1.00 per $1,000.
  1. The top three industries with the largest share of small business employees are:
    • Health Care and Social Assistance – 114,160.
    • Accommodation and Food Services – 94,885.
    • Retail Trade – 67,474.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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 startups that generated 13,010 new jobs in Oklahoma.
  1. There are 50,271 self-employed minorities in the state. That’s 14.02% of all small business owners in the state.


  1. US SBA State Small Business Profiles
  2. Nolo
  3. Business News Daily
  4. Startingyourbusiness.com