What is a membership interest in an Oklahoma limited liability company?


It almost sounds like the type of thing you would get when you join a health club, right?  Not so fast.

There are three components to consider to understand the Oklahoma limited liability company.

Members vs. Stockholders

An Oklahoma corporation’s owners are known as “stockholders” or “shareholders”.  A membership interest is the rough equivalent to stock in a corporation.  The owners of an Oklahoma limited liability company are known as “members.”

Membership Units

Technically, the measure of membership interest in a limited liability company is the “unit.”  A member for example might purchase 10 units in the company while an Oklahoma stockholder might purchase 10 shares of stock in a corporation.

What you get when you purchase a membership interest



Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts

Why would I want to plan my Oklahoma Estate? HINT: It’s not only for you . . .

Is there any good reason for you to think about planning what will happen after you pass away?

Last week I wrote generally about the benefits of doing estate planning to replace the cookie-cutter plan the State of Oklahoma has for all its citizens. This week my focus is on one aspect of the estate planning process: the appointment of guardians for minor children.

When a guardian is necessary

If both parents pass away at the same time or a single parent passes away, Oklahoma law requires that a guardian be appointed. A Judge is going to make this appointment and the process, depending upon the material with which the Judge has to work, can be anywhere from smooth and relatively quick to painful and protracted. There are two sources to which the Judge can look. One is Oklahoma law that provides an order of relatives who might be entitled to appointment; the other, if it exists, the written nomination by the deceased parents of the person they want to serve as the child’s guardian.

How a guardian is appointed

If the deceased parent has nominated a competent individual, this person is usually appointed with no issue. If, however, the deceased parent has not nominated anyone, the Judge will consider the law and the request from what frequently turns out to be competing relatives. If there are competing relatives, the child could be placed in foster care until the Judge makes a decision. It also goes without saying that the people with whom the child is placed may not be the people the deceased parents wanted.

What you need to do

The way to avoid this scenario is to nominate a guardian in your Last Will and Testament. While a Judge is not legally required to honor a nomination, for all practical purposes, the Judge will honor the nomination (your choice). 

In my law practice, we address the critical decision of guardianship in all Wills and Trusts we create.


Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts

Checklist of items to consider when buying or selling real estate

From http://momoge.com

If you are buying real estate, my top recommendation is to use a licensed realtor. The kind of person who legally has the right put the big “R” by their name. I know several good ones, including Dave Moeller of Redbud Realty & Associates in Edmond. The standard principal applies: hire a professional to do the work that is outside of your area of expertise. Buying a home is one of the most important decisions we make and having solid representation in the process is critical.

If for some reason you find yourself purchasing or selling land without a Realtor, consider these basic points as a starting place to negotiating the deal:


  • What is the purchase price?

  • How will the purchase price be paid? (all at closing, part earnest money and the rest at closing)

  • What are the conditions on which earnest money can/is required to be refunded?

  • Who will pay for the title work on the property?

  • Who will pay the transfer fees connected to the recording of the deed?

  • Where will closing happen? (typically a title company in the county where the property is located, but you can close a real estate deal without being physically present at signing, you can sign the documents in advance)?

  • Are you transferring mineral rights to the property or keeping the rights?


If you want to get more tips and checklists like this, please sign up for the email list.

Sales Tag

Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts, Business Law

What is an Oklahoma statement of judgment?

An Oklahoma statement of judgment is the vehicle through which someone enforces their judgment. It is closely associated with a lien because that is what the statement of judgment creates.


What does a statement of judgment do?

The statement of judgment creates a lien on all real property owned by the judgment debtor within the county in which the statement of judgment is recorded.

What is an example of how a statement judgment works?

That typically means if I file a statement of judgment with the Oklahoma County Clerk for Joseph Smith, a lien is created from the date I record the Statement on whatever real property Mr. Smith owns in Oklahoma County. If Mr. Smith owns real property and Beckham County for example, then I have to record a statement of judgment in back in County.

What is the process for recording a statement of judgment?

Either the judgment creditor (the person you have the judgment) or sometimes an attorney for the judgment creditor files, unsurprisingly, a document known as a statement of judgment with the county clerk. The statement provides the critical details about the judgment including the county, the amount in the name of the judgment debtor (i.e. the person who owes on the judgment).

What does it cost to record a statement of judgment?

It’s $13 for the first page and $2 for each additional page, so usually approximately $15.

What happens after the statement is recorded?

Besides the lien being created, not much. That is unless somebody takes some kind of action to foreclose on the lien, the statement of judgment could sit there for a lengthy period of time. There is another way however where the statement of judgment could trigger some action: if the person who owes the money is selling

If the person who owes the money is selling property or trying to refinance property that they own, typically the lender is going to require the statement of judgment be paid off before closing. As you might expect, this type of leverage can go a long ways towards getting the judgment paid.

Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts

I GUARANTEE you will learn something in this post about a guaranty

Yes, pun intended; I had to get your attention somehow, right?

If you have been involved in commercial lending in any capacity, you have probably come across the guaranty (in this post, I am using the terms “guaranty” and “guarantee” interchangeably, as both a noun and a verb, per Adams on Contract Drafting). In working with clients on issues where a guaranty is required, I have noticed some confusion about what is actually being given. Below is material to clear up the confusion.

Guaranty, defined.

According to dictionary.com a guaranty is a “warrant, pledge, or formal assurance given as security that another’s debt or obligation will be fulfilled.”  The alternative definitions provided by dictionary.com provide that a guaranty can be something that is presented as security or a person who acts as guarantor.

A guarantee (or a guaranty) is promise by a person or a company to be responsible for another person or company’s debt.  Here is a visual example:


There are a couple of types of guaranty:

Unconditional Guaranty

An unconditional guaranty means that the person or company that signs it, the guarantor, “unconditionally guarantees payment to Lender of all amounts owing under the Note.” Some of the finer points:

  • This guaranty remains in effect until the loan is paid in full.
  • The guarantor must pay all amounts due under the Note when the lender makes written demand upon guarantor.
  • The lender is not required to seek payment from any other source before demanding payment from guarantor.

Personal guarantee

This is another variant of the guarantee. With this instrument, the guarantor is agreeing to be individually liable for the debt. While an entity may be the actual borrower, the guarantor is agreeing that it will pay the debt if it not otherwise paid. Without the word “unconditional” added to it, this means that the lender may be required to seek payment from the borrower first before trying to recover directly against the guarantor.

The individual guarantee a common requirement when a new business is applying for a loan. Without any credit history, the lender requires additional security beyond the business’s promises to pay and the additional security is one or more individuals involved in the business agreeing to pay.


One example of the difference between an unconditional guarantee and a guarantee of payment found in comparing the SBA’s Form 148, the Unconditional Guarantee with the SBA’s Form 148L, the Unconditional Limited Guarantee.

The key point in this discussion is if you sign a personal guarantee, you the are putting your assets at risk to secure the loan. This is not uncommon but it is important to understand the effect of the personal or individual guarantee.

Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts

Oklahoma Business Law: When is an employer required to pay for overtime?

If you are a business owner or someone in a position of authority with a business, do you know if your business required to pay overtime to employees?

You might be surprised by the answer, read on to find out.

For Oklahoma employers covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the FLSA controls the payment of overtime.  Here are the basic requirements your business must meet to required to pay overtime pay:
  • The business must be covered by the FLSA.  Consider this blog post to answer the question of whether your business covered by the FLSA.
  • The employee must not be an exempt employee to qualify for overtime pay.  Consider this post for the type of employees who might be exempt from the FLSA.
  • The employee must work more than 40 hours in one work week. 


What is the work week? I have seen some uncertainty about this from employers.  According to the United States Department of Labor:

The Act applies on a workweek basis. An employee’s workweek is a fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours — seven consecutive 24-hour periods. It need not coincide with the calendar week, but may begin on any day and at any hour of the day. Different workweeks may be established for different employees or groups of employees. Averaging of hours over two or more weeks is not permitted. Normally, overtime pay earned in a particular workweek must be paid on the regular pay day for the pay period in which the wages were earned.


To summarize:  All nonexempt employees of an FLSA-covered employer must be paid at a time and a half for all hours worked over 40 in the same work week.

Discouraging fact provided by the Tulsa World:

Oklahoma Minimum Wage

Oklahoma Minimum Wage

Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts, Business Law, Oklahoma Employment Law

Get on the right track for analyzing your Oklahoma non-compete agreement


Have you wondered if there is an easier path to begin the analysis of an Oklahoma non-compete agreement?  If so, you are in luck.

I have written extensively about Oklahoma non-compete agreements, non-solicitation agreements, non-disclosure agreements and related competition documents. Recently, it ocurred to me that there is a better to explain how Oklahoma competition law fits together.

Oklahoma public policy is decisively against non-compete agreements . . . that limit employees.  This directly in contrast to a couple of other areas where Oklahoma public policy expressly allows non-compete agreements.  Those areas are when partners make an agreement about how to handle the break-up of a partnership and if the goodwill of a business is sold.

Determining whether you fit into to the first or second scenario is about 99% of the battle in determining whether the non-compete restriction will be enforceable.  To best understand Oklahoma competition law, think of an analysis moving across two tracks:


  1.  Were you an employee when you signed the restrictive agreement?
  2. Were you an owner of a business when you signed the written agreement?

The answer to these questions determines your track.  If you are on tract 1, consider this post for some additional guidance.  If you are on track 2, consider this post for additional guidance.


Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts, Oklahoma non-compete

Apple Podcasts – A micro search tool for easy listening hyper-focused audio learning

That title is a fancy way to say you can use Apple Podcasts to find the audio to learn how to do things and how do use the software.

Although you can probably generate a lot of the same results using Google, you can be more focused and therefore more efficient when you want audio learning by using Apple podcasts.

For example, I am interested in implementing Slack into my small business. I’ve read a few articles about it and read the literature provided by the developer.

However, I’m not satisfied that I have the information I need to understand what caps lock is and how it could be implemented in my business. For that reason, my search for the podcast and the Apple Podcast app to find short audio shows were people explain what Slack is and how to use it.
This is an example of the offerings I found:



I can listen to a few of these short podcast and come away with a much more complete and useful understanding how Slack. Next time you need to learn about a piece of software consider using Apple Podcast as a starting place.

Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts, iPhone tips

Are you familiar with the new employee overtime pay rules?

Do you know how many of your employees are entitled to receive overtime pay?

If you do, you will want to check on this issue again in a couple of months because the rules are changing.

The number of employees who are entitled to get overtime pay is about to explode in size.

Most business owners that are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act are aware that employees who work more than 40 hours in a work week are entitled to overtime pay UNLESS the employee fits into exemption. (If you do not know this, you might consider reading this post).

Employees that fit into an exemption do not have to be paid over time.  Watch out though because the number of employees who qualify for the exemption is about to drastically drop:

The United States Department of Labor has issued new regulations which take effect this fall change the amount of money an employee needs to make to be exempt from the overtime requirements.

The Current Law

The current test is that workers who exceed 40 hours on the job in a week do not have to be paid at overtime rates if they meet three criteria:

  • They are employed on a salaried basis.
  • Their jobs are primarily professional, administrative or executive.
  • They make at least $23,660 per year.

The New Law

The new regulations double the threshold salary amount at which executive, administrative and professional employees are exempt from overtime pay to $47,476 from the current $23,660.

According to USA Today, this change is “expected to make 4.2 million additional workers eligible to receive time-and-a-half wages for each hour they put in beyond 40 a week.”

How many of those 4.2 million works who are about to become overtime eligible are your employees?

Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts

Are you ready for a new kind of tax problem help? Oklahoma Tax Help is here . . .


Help arrives for taxpayers in the crosshairs of the IRS:

Oklahoma Tax Help

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, March 30, 2016:  Today, Cazes Roberts, a full-service Oklahoma law firm, announces the launch of “Oklahoma Tax Help” (irstaxhelpok.com).

Oklahoma Tax Help fights for individuals and companies to get relief from IRS or Oklahoma Tax Commission (“OTC”) tax problems. The IRS is the most powerful collection agency in the world and when it focuses its resources on an individual or company, the pressure is excruciating (so too with the OTC).  For example, an individual’s state-issued professional license (e.g., doctor, nurse, attorney, engineer or anyone else who has a state-issued license) or a company’s sales tax permit, can be suspended for failure to pay taxes.

What can feel like the end of the world does not have to – there is a pathway to resolution with the IRS or the OTC and relief from the tax debt pressure.  Oklahoma Tax Help leads its clients on a pathway through the resolution process that ends with relief from the tax debt pressure and, therefore, peace of mind.

It is exciting to use the experience and skills we have to offer relief to Oklahomans who are being targeted by the IRS or the OTC”, said Dale B. Cazes, Esq., co-Founder of Cazes Roberts and the leader of Oklahoma Tax Help, who has a masters degree in taxation plus 17 years of experience helping taxpayers resolve their tax problems.  Mr. Cazes continued,

Oklahoma Tax Help offers the relief individuals and companies need, with two key advantages over the current businesses in this space – you will meet with a tax attorney personally, which is the actual person who will be in your corner fighting for you and we offer much more reasonable rates without hammering you at a time when you are already under tremendous financial pressure.

Oklahoma Tax Help was spawned by hearing from people who responded to the onslaught of television and radio advertising from tax resolution firms offering tax debt help, who found out those resolution firms charge astronomical rates and demand the entire cost up front. Along with this, people found out those firms often take your case and take your money without getting enough information to determine whether they can realistically help you.  This leads to wasted money and frustrated people.

Almost every week I run into someone who has tax problems and has visited one of the big tax resolution firms”, said Mr. Cazes, “I hear the same story every time:  Either the big tax resolution firms want an enormous sum of money upfront for their help or someone has paid that large sum and is frustrated because they haven’t seen any results. We can provide superior service, the same or better results, without causing sticker shock.

About Cazes Roberts: Cazes Roberts is a full-service law firm that proudly serves businesses and individuals throughout the State of Oklahoma.

For information contact Shawn J. Roberts (405-254-5005 or shawn@cazesroberts.com) or visit http://www.irstaxhelpok.com.

Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts