Registering a company in Oregon involves filing forms with the Secretary of State, or SOS. In Oregon, whether you're planning on registering an LLC or incorporation, the process is fairly simple.

What's the Actual Process to Start a Business in Oregon?

To register a company in Oregon:

  • File Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization for an Oregon LLC with the Oregon Secretary of State.
  • Request a federal tax ID (FEIN) number with the IRS.
  • Open a business bank account with your FEIN and Articles.
  • If you plan on having employees or withholding sales tax, you'll need to register with the Oregon Department of Revenue.
  • Check the Oregon License Directory to find out if you need any certifications, permits or registrations.
  • Be sure, if your business has a physical location, that city zoning allows it.

Forming a Corporation

To start a corporation, you'll file Articles of Incorporation with the SOS. To start an LLC, file Articles of Organization. Each costs $100.

If you want a corporation, you file Oregon Articles of Incorporation:

  • End your company's name in Inc, corporation, or incorporation.
  • The number of shares your company will have and their par value.
  • The corporation's mailing address.
  • The incorporator's name, address, and signature. You don't need to list officers.
  • Give your corporation at least one director. Oregon doesn't require they live in the state, but their address must be listed.
  • The registered Oregon agent you're using and their address. Post office boxes are not allowed.
  • Any optional provisions you're using.
  • Oregon doesn't require original signatures on corporate filings. The SOS will mail or fax a filing confirmation.
  • In Oregon, professionals like accountants, attorneys and physicians can found a professional corporation.

Forming an LLC

If you want an LLC, you file Oregon Articles of Organization:

  • End your LLC's name with, or a variation of, limited liability company.
  • Make sure your LLC's name is different from other registered companies' in Oregon.
  • The LLC's duration.
  • The address and name of your registered agent.
  • Your LLC's mailing address.
  • The names, addresses, and signatures of the LLC's organizers.
  • If the LLC isn't member-managed, inform the State how many managers it will have. It's not required that you list the members or managers.
  • Oregon doesn't need an original signature on filings. The filing confirmation will be faxed or mailed to you.

Corporate Name

In Oregon, the name of your company must contain the word or an abbreviation of "corporation," "company," "incorporation," or "limited." It can't be too similar to any other Oregon company or organization. The name can't have the word "cooperative" in it or parenthesis. You can only you English alphabet characters.

What Type of Business License Do I Need?

In Oregon, you don't need a General Business license, but depending on the nature of your business, you may need a special license, permit or certificate. You can see if you need any county or city business licenses with your county or city administrative offices.

You can find a directory of licenses, permits, registrations, and certifications on the Business Xpress License Search or more information on state requirements with the State's Business Information Center.

To apply for a business license with the city, make sure you have a city business license application, an Exemption Request form and a Business Income Tax Form.

What Are Some Other Possible Requirements Need to Start My Business?

You might need to check with the Department of Environmental Qualifications, register for a patent or trademark, buy wholesale for your business and determine if you have to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Do I Need to Register My Business in Oregon?

If you're going to use a DBA name, you can fill out a Business Name Registration. You might also need to register your business entity by filing a Domestic Business Entity form.

You can file both these registrations through the Oregon Secretary of State's Corporate Division or by calling 503-986-2200. You can send completed forms to: Corporation Division Public Service Building, Suite 151, 255 Capitol Street NE, Salem, Oregon 97310-1327 or by fax at 503-378-4381.

Registering requires a $50 fee and may take two weeks to process. You may also need to register with the Oregon Trade and Service Mark Registration.

What's a "B Company"?

Oregon now lets businesses include social responsibilities in their bylaws. This lets business make sustainability tenets as important as their responsibilities to their shareholders and transparency. Twenty states and the District of Columbia have allowed "B Companies."

If you need help with registering a company in Oregon, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.