Steps for Setting up Shop
When starting a new business, there are many important decisions to make and rules and procedures to be addressed.
First and foremost, are you required to register your business in Oregon?
Although there is no single source for all filing requirements, the following steps will assist in starting your business.
1. Do your research
The Business Xpress
is a cooperative effort of state agencies designed as a first stop for
starting a business in Oregon.
An online Business Wizard provides customized referrals with information regarding government or organization contacts for your business. The How to Start a Business in Oregon guide (PDF) provides a checklist to guide you through the process of registering your business.
2. Create a business plan
It helps to begin with a plan. A business plan is a blueprint of every aspect of your business. Sales, marketing, advertising, promotion and location are some of the aspects of creating a plan. For a tutorial on creating a business plan, visit the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Oregon has many programs available to assist businesses. The Oregon Business
Guide lists three categories of business assistance programs.
Oregon's Economic and Community Development Department provides reports and services for and about Oregon businesses.
3. Select your business name and structure
Choose a business structure.
Select a business entity type from the following list for a brief overview of the principal types of legal business structures available in Oregon. A legal representative and accountant should be consulted before determining the type of business entity to form. Read about choosing a legal structure.
- Sole proprietorship
- Limited liability company (LLC)
- Limited partnership (LP)
- General partnership
- Limited liability partnership (LLP)
Choose a business name. Check the
Business Registry Database for name availability.
Note: Sole proprietors may conduct business under their own name or choose an assumed business name.
4. Register your business
The Oregon Secretary of State's Corporation Division is the place to register
your corporation, nonprofit corporation, assumed business name, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, Oregon trademark or service mark.
Go to Forms and Fees to file a business online or download forms to print and mail.
5. Learn your tax obligations
Understanding your tax obligations is important for any business.
The Business Information Center provides information about
Oregon and federal income taxes.
Learn about requirements to report personal property
to your county assessor's office.
You will also want to check other taxes
that may apply to your business.
Most businesses will need to apply to the Internal Revenue Service for a federal
Employer Identification Number (EIN).
You can apply online
through the IRS. For more information:
6. Check what licenses, permits or certifications you need
Many occupations and business activities require licenses, permits or certifications from state agencies or boards.
The state of Oregon offers a searchable License Directory with over 1,100 licenses, permits and certifications.
The Business Information Center also provides information on state license requirements.
Construction and landscape contractors need to register with the Construction Contractors Board or Landscape Contractors Board.
Cities and counties may also require businesses to have a license or permit. Check with your city and county government to determine the license, permit or zoning requirements for your area.
7. Learn about other requirements
Protect your idea. Learn about registering patents, copyrights, trademarks and service marks with the state of Oregon and federal government.
Check with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Some business activities require you to contact DEQ.
Determine whether you comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Many businesses are subject to this federal law which prohibits discrimination against disabled persons.
8. Meet ongoing registration requirements
Keep your reporting and registration obligations current.
Businesses registered with the Secretary of State Corporation
Division must file annual reports and renew registration information.
We mail payment coupons approximately 45 days before your renewal due date.
Check Renew Online for more information.
Nonprofit organizations engaging in charitable activities
need to file annual reports with the Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ),
Charitable Activities Section, and with the Internal Revenue Service. Check Information for Nonprofit Organizations.
Many occupational or business licenses require annual
renewal. Check with the licensing agency
for requirements. The Referral List
provides contact information for government agencies.