A nightclub is an adult entertainment venue that remains open late at night. The primary beverage consumed at a nightclub is alcohol, though many clubs also serve food. Many nightclubs have one or more dance floors, and often feature live music. In Oklahoma, nightclubs must be located in an eligible business zone, have a uniquely identifying name, register with the required state and federal agencies and obtain the appropriate state licenses to operate legally.
One of the primary concerns when opening a nightclub in Oklahoma is zoning. According to state law, a nightclub in Oklahoma must be located in an area zoned for alcohol consumption, and must be located a minimum of 300 feet from a school or house of worship. Another consideration for future nightclubs is the availability parking for the traffic the club will generate. Once an appropriate location has been identified, interested parties should obtain a lease or purchase agreement.
Oklahoma nightclub owners must next determine the business structure and name to be used in daily operations. A single owner is, by default, a sole proprietor, while one or more owners constitute a partnership, corporation or limited liability corporation. A business name should be clever and unique. Nightclub owners can check the availability of potential names by contacting the Oklahoma Secretary of State Business Filing Division.
After selecting a name, Oklahoma nightclub owners must register the business name with the Oklahoma Secretary of State and pay the appropriate fee to use the name. It's the nightclub owner's responsibility to re-register the name after the usage term expires, or risk losing the name. Nightclubs and other businesses in Oklahoma must also register with the Internal Revenue Service to obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number for the purpose of paying federal taxes. Additionally, nightclub owners must apply for a mixed beverage tax permit from the Oklahoma Tax Commission as a prerequisite to receiving a liquor license.
Nightclub establishments in Oklahoma aren't required to obtain a general business license, but to legally operate, the nightclub will have to apply for a liquor license from the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Committee. A nightclub generally requires a mixed beverage license, which allows for the sale of wine, beer and hard liquor. However, the establishment may also apply for the substantially less expensive beer and wine only permit. The person applying for the liquor license must be of legal age to consume alcohol and have no felony criminal convictions to be eligible for a liquor license.