Steps for Setting up Shop
When starting a new business, there are 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 and your first stop for
starting a business in Oregon. The
Business Wizard has
customized referrals and information on 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
aspects of creating a plan. For a tutorial on
a business plan, visit the
U.S. Small Business Administration.
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 an
overview of the principal types of legal business structures
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.
Forms and Fees
to file a business online or download forms to print and mail.
5. Learn your tax obligations
Understanding tax obligations is important for any business.
The Business Information Center has information about
Oregon and federal income taxes.
Most businesses 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 has a searchable License Directory
with over 1,100 licenses, permits and certifications.
The Business Information Center also provides 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 license, permit or zoning requirements.
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 about
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
requirements. The Referral List
has contact information for government agencies.