Business In Stillwater, OK
Stillwater is proud to offer an expanding economy with opportunities across a range of industries.
Operating a Business in Stillwater
While businesses are not required to register with the City of Stillwater, certain types of businesses are mandated by local ordinances to hold a license or permit on an annual basis. Zoning and planning may also be required. Learn more in the sections below.
Visit the Licenses page for a comprehensive list of licenses, their fees, and application forms.
A permit is required for the construction of a new structure or for significant modifications to an existing structure. This ensures commercial buildings meet the building code requirements and safety standards.
- To obtain a permit, you need to submit an application and obtain approval. Depending on the scope of the project, additional permits may be necessary.
- Failure to obtain the necessary permits before starting construction or modifications may result in legal action, fines, or the need to remove or modify the structure to comply with regulations.
For more information, visit the Building Permits page.
Planning & Zoning
Applications for planning and zoning are required for various projects, such as rezoning a property, obtaining a Specific Use Permit, splitting a property lot, closing, and more. Some projects are presented to the Planning Commission, City Council, and/or Board of Adjustment for review and approval.
Visit the Planning and Zoning page for a list of applications.
When it comes to doing business in the state of Oklahoma, there are additional requirements to consider beyond those specific to the City of Stillwater. The Oklahoma Department of Commerce website provides helpful resources on its Doing Business in Oklahoma page.
Payne County Health Department review is a mandatory requirement for all food and lodging establishments operating within Payne County. To undergo this review process, establishments must submit an application for Plan Review (PDF) to the Payne County Health Department.
- Does the city determine which kinds of businesses can operate within city limits?
The City does not determine how many or which franchises (including restaurants, retail stores or services) can open a business. The City welcomes all kinds of businesses because they generate sales taxes, jobs and provide useful services for our residents.
- Do I need to register my business with the City?
The City of Stillwater does not require businesses to register with us. However, there are some types of businesses that are required by ordinance to obtain annual licenses. In addition to this, all entities conducting business in Oklahoma must register with the Oklahoma Tax Commission (OTC) and with the Oklahoma Secretary of State's Entity Filing.
- Where can I learn more about business zoning?
Start by using the online Zoning Map. Uses allowed by right or with a specific use permit are identified by zoning district in City Code, Chapter 23, Article VI. For additional information, contact Community Development.
- Can I operate a business from my home?
Yes. The City calls this a home occupation. The specifics for a home occupation are found in City Code, Chapter 23, Article V, Division 2, Section 23-97.
- Why do I need a building permit? I’m only remodeling an existing building.
Building permits are necessary to ensure that the work performed, whether on a new building or on an existing building, is safe and that licensed and knowledgeable people are performing the work.