Your company is on the clock: Do you know when your company has to file its’ Beneficial Ownership Information?

You have probably heard about the Beneficial Ownership Reporting Act, its everywhere nowadays. 

So, I wanted to break it down to explain what it is and what that means for you and your business.

What is the Beneficial Ownership Reporting Act?
Congress enacted the bipartisan Corporate Transparency Act in 2021 (the “Act”) to curb illicit finance.  The Act requires many companies doing business in the United States to report information about the individuals who ultimately own or control them.  The Act is enforced by the United States Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”). 

So. in something close to plain English the Act requires:  Almost all corporations and LLCs have to report to FinCEN who the people or companies are that either own or control them, directly or indirectly.  You file a beneficial ownership information report on a website created by FinCEN.

What is a reporting company?
There are two types of reporting companies:

  • Domestic reporting companies are corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities created by filing a document with a secretary of state or similar office in the United States.
  • Foreign reporting companies are entities (including corporations and limited liability companies) formed under the law of a foreign country that have registered to do business in the United States by filing a document with a secretary of state or similar office.

There are exceptions for companies engaged in certain areas and you can find the exceptions here.

Who is a beneficial owner?
A beneficial owner of a company is any individual who, directly or indirectly, (a) exercises substantial control over a reporting company, or (b) owns or controls at least 25 percent of the ownership interests of a reporting company.

What is beneficial ownership information?
Beneficial ownership information refers to identifying information about the individuals who directly or indirectly own or control a company.

When do I have to report my company’s information?

  • In business before 2024. A reporting company created or registered to do business before January 1, 2024, will have until January 1, 2025, to file its initial BOI report.
  • In business January 1, 2024 or later. A reporting company created or registered in 2024 will have 90 calendar days to file after receiving actual or public notice that its creation or registration is effective.
  • A reporting company created or registered on or after January 1, 2025, will have 30 calendar days to file after receiving actual or public notice that its creation or registration is effective.

Where do I report my company’s information?
If you are required to report your company’s beneficial ownership information to FinCEN, you will do so electronically through a secure filing system available via FinCEN’s BOI E-Filing website.

What type of information has to be reported?
Beneficial ownership information reporting is not an annual requirement. A report only needs to be submitted once, unless the person filing or the company needs to update or correct information. Typically, reporting companies must provide four pieces of information about each beneficial owner:

  • name;
  • date of birth;
  • address; and
  • the identifying number and issuer from either a non-expired U.S. driver’s license, a non-expired U.S. passport, or a non-expired identification document issued by a State (including a U.S. territory or possession), local government, or Indian tribe.

The company must also submit certain information about itself, such as its name(s) and address. In addition, reporting companies created on or after January 1, 2024, are required to submit information about the individuals who formed the company.

What are the penalties for failing to file the report?
The BOI carries potential civil and criminal penalties:

  • Civil penalties for a violation are up to $500.00 per day, or 
  • Criminal penalties of up to 2 years of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $10,000.00

Need help?
I am going to be submitting reports for people and companies that need help.  You can contact me at for more

Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts

Am I an Oklahoma at-will employee if I have a written employment contract?

So, you are going to love the answer to this one!  Ready? 

The answer is I don’t know whether you are an at-will employee in Oklahoma if you have a written employment contract.

You might be thinking “This guy asked a question that he doesn’t know the answer to”.  You would be correct by the way if you are thinking that!  The important part here is the “why”.

I don’t know the answer to the question because having a written employment contract doesn’t mean you are not an Oklahoma “at-will” employee. What does determine if you are an Oklahoma “at-will” employee?  Whether your employer has promised and you have accepted employment for a defined period of time.  While you can read more about “at-will” in Oklahoma here, to summarize it: 

An at-will employment relationship is one that can be terminated by either the employer or the employee for any reason or no reason at all, at any time.

A written employment contract may or may not make the employment relationship “at-will”, it depends on the terms of the written contract.  Let me see the contract and I will give you an answer!

Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts, Oklahoma Employment Law

What does it mean to fund your Oklahoma living trust agreement?

Consider this:  You build a house.  It takes a year, a lot of money and a lot time.  When it is complete and ready to move into, what do you have?  

An empty house. Until you move your possessions into the house, the house is empty and vacant.

So to it is with an Oklahoma revocable living trust agreement:  When you sign the trust agreement and bring it to life, what do you have?  An empty trust.  Until you move your possessions into it, the Trust has nothing and is of little to no value to you.  The process of moving your possessions into your trust agreement is known as “funding” the trust.

An example may be helpful. 

One item that is most important to transfer to your trust agreement is your home.  Assuming your house is owned by you, if you pass away with it owned by you, your family will have to file and complete a probate case to change the title.  You can avoid this probate by transferring title to your home to your trust agreement.  We do this for you using a deed, as part of the estate planning process. 

Transferring title to your home to your trust agreement is funding the trust. 

Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts

Oklahoma Revocable Living Trust: Questions & Answers

The Oklahoma revocable living trust is a great tool for a person to use to take care of their family both before and after the person has passed away.  Below is some additional information about  Oklahoma trusts.

What is an Oklahoma living trust?
The living trust is also known as a “revocable trust,” a “revocable living trust,” and an “inter vivos trust.”  What is a trust?  Simply put,

A trust is an arrangement under which one person, called a trustee, holds legal title to property for another person, called a beneficiary. With the revocable living trust, you can be the trustee of your own trust, you keep complete control over all property held in trust but get the benefits of the law treating the trust as a separate legal entity.

For more information about the Oklahoma living trust, check out this Blog Post.

What are some of the advantages of having your assets owned by a living trust when you pass away?
*Elimination of the Probate Process
*Immediate and continuous access to assets and cash flow
*Protecting your assets and providing continuous cash flow in the event you become mentally or physically disabled or incapacitated prior to your death 
*Reduces the burden on the children and other family members to search and gather assets after death.

What are five things you can do with an Oklahoma trust that you cannot do with a will?
(1) Your family can avoid probate.
(2) Protect your privacy.
(3) Plan for a special needs child.
(4) Facilitate your care during a disability.
(5) Allow your family to have immediate access to your assets at death.

For more information about the things you can do with an Oklahoma trust that you cannot do with a last will and testament, check out this post.

Why is privacy a highly underrated feature of an Oklahoma living trust?
How is privacy part of the trust process? To understand this, you must understand what happens if a person dies with no living trust. If a person passes away owning real property, investment accounts, or mineral interest, usually that person’s heirs must file in a probate proceeding to access the property.

Oklahoma probate is a public process. You file a lawsuit in the County Court in which the deceased person lived, and all of the documents filed in the lawsuit are publicly available. Not only are the documents publicly available, but with current technology, most of the documents can be accessed from any Internet-enabled computer. That means anyone can view the documents that are part of the probate case, including the last will and testament, which often contains personal details and other private family matters.

You avoid probate by ensuring that all of your property is held by a living trust. If the property is held by the trust, there is no need to have a probate proceeding when someone passes away because the owner remains the same: the living trust. Your heirs have immediate and continuous access to all the property and no reason to make all of the details of the family public in an Oklahoma probate case. The process of administering a living trust is private nothing needs to be filed publicly like with probate.  To read more about the sneaky goodness of the privacy provided by an Oklahoma living trust, check out this Post.



Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts, Oklahoma Estate Planning

Oklahoma Estate Planning: Questions & Answers

A decent portion of this Blog is dedicated to Oklahoma Estate Planning:  wills, trusts, powers of attorney etc. . .

With that in mind, a summary post of estate planning topics seemed in order:

What is an Oklahoma Estate?
Since this Blog contains so many posts about Oklahoma “estate planning”, it makes sense to define what an “estate” is.  According to Investopedia, an estate is “everything comprising the net worth of an individual, including all land and real estate, possessions, financial securities, cash, and other assets that the individual owns or has a controlling interest in.”  You can read more about what an estate is in this Blog Post.

What are the tools used in Oklahoma estate planning?
Oklahoma Estate Planning tools: The Living Trust
Oklahoma Estate Planning tools: the Last Will and Testament
Oklahoma Estate Planning tools: The Durable Power of Attorney
Oklahoma Estate Planning tools: The Living Will

What are the critical decisions you make in an Oklahoma Will?
1. Determine who gets your property and in what proportions.
2. Choose the person who will take care of your estate and make sure everything is handled like the Will or Trust states.
3. Nominate people to be the guardians of your minor children.
4. Give specific items of personal property to very the person or people to whom you want them to go.

What are the 7 Myths of Oklahoma Estate Planning?
Oklahoma Estate Planning Myths: A will covers disposition of all your assets
Oklahoma Estate Planning Myths: Having a Will avoids Oklahoma probate
Oklahoma Estate Planning Myth: If I have a Trust, I do not need a Will.
Oklahoma Estate Planning Myths: If I die without a will, all my assets go to the government.
Oklahoma Estate Planning Myths: I can do my own estate plan
Oklahoma Estate Planning Myths: Estate Planning is only for the wealthy
Oklahoma Estate Planning Myths: I am too young for an estate plan

Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts, Oklahoma Estate Planning

Oklahoma Probate: Questions & Answers

Part of my law practice is dedicated to helping people with Oklahoma estate planning. 

One component of that estate planning is helping people set up their estate to avoid Oklahoma probate.  Sometimes, however, probate is necessary, and below is some information on Oklahoma probate.

What is Oklahoma probate?
Oklahoma probate is the process of a court administering the estate of someone who dies to determine:
1. What property the person owned.
2. What debts the person had.
3. Who is entitled to receive the property.
Ultimately, in a probate case, the court enters an order that transfers the property owned by the person who died to the people who are entitled to receive it.   You can read more about Oklahoma probate in this blog post.

What types of property require an Oklahoma probate?
Typically, the following types of real and personal property require probate when they are not set up upon a person’s death: (a) mineral interest, (b) life insurance (c) accounts with no beneficiary, and (d) real property.  You can read more about the types of property that often lead to an Oklahoma probate in this blog post.

Does having a last will and testament help you avoid Oklahoma probate?
No. A Last Will and Testament does not do anything to avoid a probate case when the property at issue is real property.  A Will is the written expression of a person’s desires for how their property will be passed on following the person’s death.  A Will cannot, however, change the title to real property.  For an example of this issue, check out his blog post.

What is the Oklahoma Summary Probate process?
Summary probate is a shorter, quicker version of full-blown probate. Rather than there being two hearings in front of the Judge, there is only one hearing at the end of the process. To give you an idea of what to expect, below is a diagram of how the Oklahoma summary probate process usually flows through the court:

Summary Probate

Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts, Oklahoma Probate

Oklahoma Non-Compete Agreements: Questions & Answers

This Blog contains a substantial amount of material on Oklahoma non-compete agreements. 

With that in mind, I thought it would be helpful to boil down all of the material to a brief series of questions and answers.  The result of the boil is below.

What is an Oklahoma non-compete agreement?
While the phase “non-compete” is used in different ways relating to employment contracts, when I say “non-compete”, I mean the pure non-compete which prevents an employee from working in the industry. The pure non-compete, as I discussed in this blog post, is typically unenforceable under Oklahoma law.  Consider the language below as an example of a pure non-compete restriction:

Employee shall not, within a radius of fifty (50) miles from anywhere that Employer maintains an office or facility from which Employer’s business is then-conducted, serve as an incorporator, director, officer, partner, employee, manager, consultant, agent, independent contractor, advisor, stockholder or otherwise, or directly or indirectly own an interest in, provide any financing for, or perform any services for himself herself, or on behalf of any person, business, corporation, partnership~ entity or organization that directly or indirectly engages in competition with. the Business engaged in by Employer.

What is the difference between an Oklahoma non-disclosure agreement and an Oklahoma non-compete agreement?
An Oklahoma non-compete prohibits a person from working in a business or industry, while a non-disclosure agreement prohibits a person from disclosing or using materials that have been deemed “confidential.”  You can read more about Oklahoma non-disclosure agreements here

Are pure non-compete agreements enforceable in Oklahoma? 
No.  Generally, a pure non-compete restriction is not enforceable under Oklahoma law.  Consider this blog post for information on the enforceability of pure non-compete restrictions.

In what scenarios might Oklahoma non-compete agreements be enforceable? 
There are two scenarios where a pure Oklahoma non-compete agreement might be enforceable (a) when a business owners sells the business and the sale includes the goodwill of a the business; and (b) when partners create non-compete restrictions in anticipation of the dissolution of the partnership or company through which they are doing business.  Consider this blog post for more information.

Posted by Shawn Roberts in Oklahoma non-compete

Turning 18 in Oklahoma: The legal issues for parents to consider

Part of a young woman or young man’s journey into adulthood is turning 18, becoming legal so to speak. 

A young adult inherits many new rights and also corresponding obligations, including the right to vote, enter the military, play the lottery, and get married.  Conversely, newly-minted 18-year-old males must register with the Selective Service System and be called to serve on a jury. 

The change in legal status brought on by turning 18 also means that parents should consider getting several legal documents in place that will allow them to continue to care for their children:

Healthcare Power of Attorney
When your child turns 18, you as parents don’t necessarily have the right to make all healthcare decisions for the child.  Reaching the age of majority means your child has an accident and is incapacitated or temporarily disabled; unless you have an Oklahoma power of attorney, you might have to seek guardianship from the court.  Under an Oklahoma power of attorney, your child is authorizing you to act for them if they are incapacitated and there are medical decisions to make.  This type of power of attorney may be made effective immediately as an alternative to becoming effective when your child becomes incapacitated.

Financial Power of Attorney
Similar to the Healthcare Power of Attorney, the Oklahoma Financial Power of Attorney allows your child to appoint to make financial decisions, access bank accounts, pay bills, and the like for them.  This power of attorney can be effective immediately or only to become effective when your child becomes incapacitated.

HIPPA Authorization
This document, short of a power of attorney, is still helpful in that it will allow you to communicate with your child’s healthcare providers, even while your child is not incapacitated.  This may be particularly useful if you are still paying your child’s healthcare expenses and need to communicate with healthcare professionals.


The inspiration for this blog post came from a post written by Helene Wingens on the site Grown & Flown.  If you like what you read here, check out the full post on Grown & Flown.


If you have questions about this post or the document discussed here, please feel free to reach out to me anytime (

Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts, Oklahoma Estate Planning

The magical, nearly mystical return of the Oklahoma Health Care Power of Attorney

Almost as quickly as it exited Oklahoma law, the Oklahoma health care power of attorney recently reappeared, albeit under a different statute number.  Below is the backstory about this elusive document which provides a valuable right.

The old law
Until November 1, 2021, Oklahoma law allowed people to make a power of attorney to address health care issues (e.g., talking to a doctor, agreeing to treatment, dealing with medications etc. . .). In the halcyon days of the Oklahoma Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act, a person could give another person or people the ability to make a variety of health care decisions (Follow this link for a view of the previous POA statute).  The Health Care POA was useful and necessary because it covered a range of health care and medical decisions up to the end-of-life decisions that are instead made in an Oklahoma Advance Directive.  While a general power of attorney does cover primarily financial and personal decisions, it does not cover health care decisions.

The new law not covering health care
In 2021, the Oklahoma Legislature enacted a new Uniform Power of Attorney Act under Title 58 O.S. sec. 3001 et. seq.  This Act allows a person to make a power of attorney covering a wide range of decisions but stops short of health care decisions.  At the same time, the Oklahoma Legislature repealed the Uniform Durable Power of Attorney Act (Note: If you did a power of attorney under the Act prior to November 1, 2021, it remains valid under Oklahoma law).  So, following the flurry of power of attorney-related legislation, Oklahomans could do a power of attorney covering most personal decisions but not health care.

This was a problem.  Health care powers of attorney have been around for years and people routinely relied on the document to cover medical and health care decisions.  In the absence of the ability to do a health care power of attorney, there was a substantial void.  From my perspective, the Oklahoma Legislature tried to improve how powers of attorney were handled but somewhere in the process it forgot about health care.

The solution
Fear not, however, because it wasn’t long until the void was mostly filled:  The 2022 Oklahoma Legislature enacted a new Act that covered health care powers of attorney, known as the “Oklahoma Health Care Agent Act”, Title 63 O.S> sec. 3111.1 et seq.  The Health Care Agent Act, effective April 29, 2022, restored most of the options and rights Oklahomans need to do a health care power of attorney.

So, with the dust having settled, Oklahomans can once again make both a power of attorney for general matters and a health care power of attorney. 

Schedule an appointment with us today to create or update your Power of Attorney documents (405-562-7371). 

Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts, Oklahoma Estate Planning

The legal building blocks of a successful Oklahoma business

When building a house, at least a well-built house, you need a solid foundation, good materials, and someone who knows what they are doing to assemble all the pieces.

A similar principle applies when building an Oklahoma business: You need to have solid component parts and you need to know how the parts fit together.

This post is intended to discuss the items that an Oklahoma business needs to address to build a foundation for success.  Of course, as part of building your new business, you need to assemble a support team, a concept I talk about in this blog post.

The beginning: Organizational Structure
This means fundamental formation:  for a corporation, it means filing your certificate of incorporation with the Oklahoma Secretary of State and for a limited liability company it means filing your articles of organization with the Oklahoma Secretary of State.

Your business’s constitution
 Similar to how a country might have a constitution or a city might have a charter, Oklahoma corporations and limited liability companies have a central governing document: for limited liability companies it is an operating agreement and for a corporation it is bylaws.

Ensuring your business standing is “good”
Once you form your company and enact your constitution, you need to ensure you are taking the very simple steps necessary to remain in good standing with the State of Oklahoma:

If you are a corporation, you need to file a franchise tax return each year (see more about that —> here);

If you are a limited liability company you need to file an annual report (see more about that —> here)

The people running the business
For a corporation, it goes, from the top down, shareholders, members of the board of directors, and officers run the corporation on a day-to-day basis.

For a limited liability company, members (the owners) choose the manager(s) who run the day-to-day operations of the company (unless the LLC is “member-managed).

Note: If you are starting a business with at least one other person, it would be a good idea to consider my blog post The questions you need to ask when starting an Oklahoma business with another person

At the core of a successful business are the relationships it has with its employees, customers, and products and services.  For those relationships to be clear and operate efficiently, you need written contracts.  Among other things, a written contract defines the terms of your relationship, the money, and how the relationship ends.

Intellectual Property
Your business’s intellectual property is an asset that is often overlooked or disregarded.  What is intellectual property?  In practical terms, intellectual property is things like your business’s name, its logo, its marketing slogan as well as private and proprietary information that provides your business with an edge over its competitors.  How do you protect your intellectual property? You use the items listed below:

Intellectual property has value just like more tangible assets such as inventory, furniture and fixture and buildings.

As a means of addressing finances and simply making a wise decision, get a CPA involved with your business.  Not just for doing your taxes, but also for advising you on tax strategy and ensuring you have a sound accounting structure in place.  And if you need financing, consider reading my article I started an Oklahoma business, I need more money . . . what do I do?

This category is simple yet eminently important.  Obviously, you need to calculate your taxes, file your returns and pay any tax due (unless you are an Oklahoma limited liability company). The CPA I referenced above should be helpful in all things tax, both Oklahoma tax and the IRS.


There will probably be other legal-related issues, both that unfortunately, you can anticipate and those legal issues that you cannot anticipate.  This post is a great start, and  I am available to help with all of your Oklahoma business’s legal issues.  Feel free to email me:



Posted by Shawn Roberts in Blogposts, Business Law, Oklahoma limited liability company