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Oklahoma boasts three inland ports, 3,850 miles of rail, and 12,000 miles of highway with 26 major cities within 800 miles. The tax credits, pro-business policies, and central location make Oklahoma a great state to start a business. If you’re thinking of starting a business, remember that every successful business starts with a strong business idea.
Many entrepreneurs know what type of business they want to run, but others need inspiration. When you’re brainstorming the best business to start in Oklahoma, consider these ideas from our business experts. Don’t forget to compare the business skills and resources you already have to the current business opportunities in your area.
Once you’ve decided the best small business for you to start in Oklahoma, let us help. We offer how-to guides on choosing a business structure and starting your company. Along with expert support, you’ll have access to all of our specially curated business resources and services.
What is the best business to start in Oklahoma? You can find our list here in the next section.
Here are some of the best of Oklahoma’s up-and-coming business ideas.
Oklahoma doesn’t necessarily come to mind when thinking of the entertainment industry. However, the state houses three certified soundstages, 1.3 million square feet of stage facilities, and more than 279,000 square feet of production space. Further, if your film production employs Oklahoma workers, you may receive cash incentives through the Filmed in Oklahoma Act.
With Oklahoma’s labor costs at 25% below the national average, it’s no wonder the manufacturing sector represents the best of Oklahoma business. The state is great for manufacturing because of its central location, multi-modal transportation system, skilled workforce, and supply chain connected by a mobile portal (the Connex Supply Chain Portal). Oklahoma’s manufacturing sector provides a wide range of opportunities, including:
Further, if your business works in the automotive sector, you may qualify for the Automotive Engineer Workforce Tax Credit and the many other incentives available to manufacturing businesses.
Oklahoma ranks in the top five states for its days of sunshine. In addition to its mild climate and 34 million acres of farmland, this helps make an agriculture business one of the best businesses to start in Oklahoma. The state assists new farmers with tax incentives and site selection. Finally, Oklahoma ranks first in rye production, second in canola production, fifth in beef production, and fourth for its number of farms. You’ll be in good company in this sector.
Oklahoma ranks third in wind energy generation, fourth in wind energy employment, and sixth in solar potential. With 40% of its energy generated by renewable sources, renewable energy is a profitable industry in Oklahoma. If you consider yourself technical, managerial, or outdoorsy, this might be a good sector to start your new business.
Since it became a state in 1907, Oklahoma has hosted many historical events, people, and places. It’s also home to abundant lakes and rivers with plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Consider starting your business to serve tourists visiting these places. The opportunities for new hotels, restaurants, boat rentals, and guided camping services qualify the tourism sector as among the best options for a small business in Oklahoma.
While the best business in Oklahoma for you to start is the one that fits you, these types of businesses made our list as good businesses to start in Oklahoma because:
While these are important considerations when finding a business idea, your business goals might differ. Consider your business plan and choose a type of business that will help you meet your goals. If the type of business you choose is one of Oklahoma’s most profitable business ideas but it doesn’t match your interests, it might not be a good fit for you long-term.
Connected to the rest of the country through I-35, I-40, and I-44, Oklahoma offers many opportunities for starting a lucrative business. We’ve noted these cities as the best place to start a business in Oklahoma.
In addition to infrastructure, these cities provide entrepreneurial resources, a talented workforce, and tax incentives. Like choosing a type of business, you should start your business in whatever city you feel comfortable working in. The best place for your business is the city where you have a connection to the established business ecosystem.
We’ve helped many entrepreneurs choose the best business to start in Oklahoma. When you’re ready, our team of business experts wrote these guides to help you form your Oklahoma LLC or Oklahoma corporation, and we’ll even complete the filing for you. We’re not only here for business formation. When you sign up for our business products and services, like our Worry-Free Compliance Service, we’ll remind you of important deadlines, keep your business documents organized, and help you ensure your business stays compliant. We’ll keep track of the details so you can focus on running your business.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.
Oklahoma’s business-friendly policies have removed roadblocks and streamlined the process of starting a new small business. In addition, the state boasts up to 40% lower living costs and 22% lower electrical costs than the national average.
One of the most beneficial things a new business owner can do is use their local resources. The Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce, Oklahoma SBDC, REI Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, and Tulsa SCORE connect entrepreneurs with mentoring, training, and education.
Opening a franchise location is an excellent way to start a new business. You’ll get the business’s established goodwill and operational processes for a cost. It’s best to check at the time for which franchise opportunities are available in your area.
An online business can grow to be a lucrative business with little overhead. Consider online sales, consulting, or educational services.
The best home-based business is one that you can start without much effort. If you already write, code, or use social media, consider freelance blogging, writing, or marketing.
Oklahoma Business Resources
Best Businesses to start in each state
Ready to start a business? More leading business idea's listed by state.