How to Start a Business in Oregon: The Ultimate Guide, Step-by-Step

Oregon is home to many national and international companies, including Nike, Daimler Trucks North America, Collins, Precision Castparts, Fred Meyer, Lithia Motors, and Les Schwab Tire Centers, and many others.

In fact, Oregon’s economy is growing at a rapid pace and the city of Portland, in particular, is a breeding ground for independent businesses, with locals and tourists drawn in by the self-expression of its entrepreneurs.

So, if you’ve been dreaming to start a business in Oregon, now is the right time. And this article is the ultimate guide you need to set your business rolling.

Oregon’s laid-back youth culture, an abundance of outdoor activities, and high-tech employment opportunities are just some of the reasons this picturesque northwestern state ranks well on the national “best places to start a business” lists.

Oregon entrepreneurs are motivated by the state’s pioneering spirit, educated workforce, strong infrastructure, and high quality of life.

However, Oregon’s lack of capital, high taxes on personal income and capital gains, and strict land use laws are hampering the growth of Oregon businesses.

But this is not fully a limitation for you. It’s a problem that has soution and herein lies the solution to starting your business with ease.

Follow this step-by-step guide to start your dream business in Oregon.

Facts about Oregon

Oregon, founded in 1859, is known for its Old West past, wacky traditions, and many natural wonders (including the largest living organism in the world).

It’s not surprising to know that Portland, Oregon, has more breweries than any other city in the world. Within its city limits, Portland has over 60 breweries.

Oregon is also the only state that has an official state nut called the Hazelnut. Equally, Oregon grows 99 percent of the entire U.S. commercial crop.

That’s a huge number here, right?

This is just a tip to the interesting facts about Oregon.

Here are 25 fascinating facts about the 33rd US state.

#1. Oregon Has the Deepest Lake in the US

Crater Lake in south-central Oregon is the deepest lake in the United States (and one of the 10 deepest in the world). This Crater Lake was formed by the collapse of a volcano around 7,700 years ago.

The lake is nearly 2,000 feet deep and is home to two islands: Wizard Island and Phantom Ship. The crystal clear waters of Crater Lake are known throughout the world.

#2. Largest Cheese Factory in the World

The Tillamook Cheese Factory is the largest cheese factory in the world and a popular tourist attraction for all ages.

Visitors can see how cheese is made and learn about the cheese-making process on a self-guided tour.

A souvenir shop offering a wide variety of items, including cheese and other good food items, is open during business hours.

Don’t forget to try Tillamook’s famous ice cream when you visit Oregon.

#3. Home to Famous Movies & TV Shows World

Numerous movies and television shows have been shot throughout Oregon.

In addition to the popular IFC comedy Portlandia, classic films such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) and The Goonies (1985) were shot and filmed in Oregon.

Also, there is still the ever-popular Twilight franchise, which takes place in Forks, Washington, but was filmed in both Washington and Oregon.

#4. Has a Unique Flag

Oregon’s flag is the only state flag in the United States with two unique designs on each side.

The front features the escutcheon from the state seal in blue and gold on the obverse and a gold figure of a beaver on the reverse side.

#5. Home to the Biggest Mushroom on Earth

Oregon is home to the largest mushroom in the world. Stretching about 2.4 miles into the Blue Mountains of Oregon, the huge honey fungus is believed to be between 1900 and 8650 years old.

Hence, it attracts tourists to Orgon for mushroom hunting. Over the years, mushroom hunting has become a lucrative business in Oregon.

This introduced the Mushroom festival, which is held annually in Estacada. The Estacada Mushroom Festival offers mushroom hunting, tastings, mushroom-themed artwork, and mushroom identification, classes.

Fast Facts About Oregon

Capital: Salem
Nickname:Beaver State
Language:Oregon Penutian
Statehood:4 February 1859; 33rd state
Biggest City:Portland (The City of Roses)
Currency:US Dollars
Popular Business:Cheese
Official State Colors:Navy Blue and Gold
Official State Fish:Chinook Salmon
Best University:The University of Oregon
Best Place for Windsurfing:The Columbia River gorge
Common Sport:WindSurfing
Population (as of July 2019):4.218 million

Is Oregon a Good Place to Start a Business?

Most people understand Oregon for its diverse landscapes, mild climate, myriad breweries, and also the quirky city of Portland.

They’re not wrong about these facts. I bet you saw that above, right?

Also, Oregon has over 320,000 small businesses and is home to familiar brands like Nike, Adidas, Precision Castparts, and Columbia Sportswear.

Now, this is clear evidence Oregon is a good place if not the best state to start a business in the United States.

So what makes Oregon so attractive?

Business owners love it for its business-friendly incentives, favorable tax system, and access to capital.

It is also a great place to live, whether you like the outdoors or prefer to live in the city.

Here, we’ll list the top reasons Oregon (Beaver State) may be the best place to start your business.

6 Great Reasons to Start Your Business in Oregon

#1. Favorable Business Climate

Oregon offers several incentives to attract and encourage small businesses. For instance, Oregon Investment Advantage is a creative incentive that encourages small and medium businesses to start or locate in select cities in the state.

Additionally, the Oregon Small Business Certification Program gives preference to small businesses in a variety of government contracting opportunities, many of which include city contracts and state contracts.

#2. Favorable Tax System

Without sales taxes, state business owners are the largest beneficiaries of Oregon’s favorable tax system.

In 2019, Oregon ranked seventh in the United States for ease of business, according to the Tax Foundation. They’ve upheld this position since 2014.

In addition, Oregon allows any company’s net operating losses to carry over for up to15 years with no limit. This significantly reduces any business’s tax liability and allows you to reinvest those savings back to the business.

#3. Access to Capital

According to new data from the National Venture Capital Association and the industry analysis firm PitchBook, venture capital investments in Oregon reached $103.5 million in 2017. This is one-third of the entire $348 million invested in Oregon startups last year.

Although this figure is relatively low compared to states like California, New York, and Texas, it still shows that venture capitalists are willing to invest in top-notch business ideas.

For example, the Portland Seed Fund is one of the leading early-stage investors in the Pacific Northwest and continues to raise funds to support promising startups, especially those with diverse leadership teams.

#4. Highly Skilled Workforce

Oregon’s rapidly growing population benefits small businesses in many ways. This growing population will not only attract more potential customers, but also to provide a diverse and talented workforce.

In fact, each region’s workforce, which numbers more than a million people, is growing six times the national average.

Businesses focused on technology, manufacturing and creativity continue to attract highly qualified employees to Beaver State, which means that your chances of finding solid teammates to join your business are high.

#5. Reduced Operating Costs

Portland is a relatively inexpensive place to start your business compared to nearby Seattle, San Francisco, and San Diego.

The median price per square foot of office space in Portland is 75% lower than in San Francisco and 20% lower than in Seattle.

Additionally, Oregon has lower than average health and energy costs compared to the rest of the country.

By saving from this, you can return more money to your business at the end of the day.

What is the Best Business to Start in Oregon?

Oregon, and Portland, in particular, are fast becoming a Mecca for motivated entrepreneurs.

In fact, Portland ranks 10th on the list of Inc’s America’s 50 Best Places to Start a Business.

Portland’s startup scene spans a variety of industries, from tech companies, early-stage food companies, and innovative clothing stores.

The city offers entrepreneurs and startups a variety of resources, events, training and development programs, and meetings, all to foster startups and collaboration.

List of the best business you can start in Oregon

Here is a list of the best business you can start in Oregon:

  • Apparel Making: Everyone wears clothe and as long as you produce quality clothes, there would be a great demand for our products.
  • Business Consulting: You can offer customer relationship management, business planning & budgeting, and sales and marketing strategies to business owners.
  • Business Grant Writer: A grant proposal writer helps business owners and NGO’S to write proposal letters to seek funds. You can put your writing and your business knowledge skills together to start a grant proposal writing business.

Others include:

  • Foreign Market Consultancy
  • Dog grooming
  • Pet lodging
  • Restaurant catering delivery
  • Craft granola
  • Mobile karaoke
  • Campervan rentals
  • Sports coaching
  • Freelance writing
  • Skincare products

Best Places To Start A Business In Oregon

Oregon doesn’t rank among the top 15 places to start a business. However, NerdWallet states that five of the state’s top-ranked cities have access to beaches, mountains, and other attractions.

I bet you know what it means for a city to have places for sightseeing, right? It means the state can generate income for the state.

Also, it opens prospective business opportunities for the residents.

So here are the best places to start a business in Oregon:

  • Portland
  • Wilsonville
  • Hood River
  • West Haven-Sylvan
  • Tualatin
  • Lake Oswego

What are the Top Startups that started in Oregon?

In spite of a populace of 2.4 million, Oregon, a metro zone is home to only one major traded organization with yearly deals of more than $3 billion. We mean Nike in Beaverton.

The flood of taught youthful grown-ups has been an aid to the $157 billion economies, with family wages up 4% every year since 2011 and joblessness falling underneath 4% from a peak of 11.3% in 2009.

According to Experian, Portland currently has the 10th most noteworthy convergence of exceptionally taught recent college grads.

A solid financial viewpoint has pushed Portland to the best position in FORBES’ 19th annual ranking of the Best Places for Business and Careers.

It even got a rating as the fifth last year.

The City of Roses positioned exceptionally in all cases, completing in the top quartile for 12 of the 14 measurements we estimated (business and living expenses were the only special cases).

Organizations with a huge nearby presence in the Portland metro like Nike, Intel, Daimler, and Boeing benefit from the 36 colleges and 150,000 undergrads inside 50 miles of the downtown area.

STEM fields (science, innovation, designing, and math) represent 7.2% of all jobs in the metro area, well over the public normal of 5.8%.

Google opened its first office in Portland a year ago, joining other tech stalwarts like Hewlett-Packard, eBay, and Salesforce.

New businesses are additionally springing up, offering ascend to the nickname “Silicon Forest.”

Companies and laborers in Portland profit from drastically more moderate conditions than in the Bay Area.

Aside from the amazing companies mentioned above, here are other startups arising in Oregon:

  • Cascade Foot and Ankle Specialists – Portland, Oregon
  • Cibelli’s Pizza – Redmond, Oregon
  • Clean by Amy & Company – Portland, Oregon
  • Erickson’s Automotive – Lake Oswego, Oregon
  • Fat Milo’s Family Kitchen – Sherwood, Oregon
  • Grace Place Learning Center – Mcminnville, Oregon
  • Heitman Analytics – Eugene, Oregon
  • Hillsdale Veterinary Hospital – Portland, Oregon

Do You Need a Business License in Oregon?

The state of Oregon doesn’t have a general business license. However, many occupations and business exercises require unique licenses, permits, or certifications from state offices or boards.

Urban communities and regions may require a permit for organizations working in their jurisdictions. If your business is within the city limits, check city offices to check whether they require a local business license.

If there is no specific listing for business licenses in your directory, the city hall information number is an appropriate initial contact.

Licensing offices for the following cities are:

Portland Bureau of Licenses  |  503-823-5157
111 SW Columbia St., Ste. 600
Portland, OR 97201-5840 

Salem Permit Application Center | 503-588-6256
555 Liberty Street SE, Room 320
Salem, OR 97301 

Eugene Building and Permit Services | 541-682-5379
99 W 10th Avenue, Suite 240
Eugene, OR 97401 

City of Medford Finance Department | 541-774-2030
411 W 8th Street
Medford, OR 97501

To check on business license requirements at the county level, contact​ your county administrative offices. The county planning department or county commissioner’s office is a good first contact.

Be sure they zone the location you choose for your business activity. Other factors to consider include regulations on business signs and parking at the location.

If you are intending to work a business from home, decide whether there are limitations on home-based businesses in your general vicinity. Your local city or county planning office can give this information.​​​​​​​​​​

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Business in Oregon?

To have the idea of starting a business in Oregon is already a big plan.

However, before your business can formally take off, you’ll need to make somewhat of speculation.

Also, we’re not looking at leasing office space or paying workers only. Before you sell a solitary item, there are startup costs related to launching an LLC in Oregon.

Ensure that you consider every one of the potential expenses related to starting an LLC. To help you out, we’ve compiled the most widely recognized Oregon startup charges here.

Minimum Cost to Start an LLC in Oregon

Optional: LLC Name Reservation Fee

  • $50 for online or paper submissions

Optional: LLC Formation Service

  • $39 for an LLC service like ZenBusiness and $99 for LegalZoom

Required: Articles of Organization Fee

  • $100 for online or paper submissions

Another cost to also consider is the attorney’s fee. A few lawyers offer free conferences (normally 30-an hour) however will charge continuously after that.

All things considered, business lawyers charge between $150-350 every hour. Some will offer a level rate for setting up an LLC, which can go from $500 to-$2000.

Cost varieties rely upon the experience and area of the legal counselor.

Despite the fact that there are a ton of qualified, experienced business legal counselors out there, you just need to pick one.

When settling on this intense choice, consult a website like Avvo, which gives admittance to a data set of Oregon lawyers, so you can look, analyze, differentiate, and track down the best fit for your LLC.

How to Start a Business in Oregon

To start any business in Oregon is easy. All you have to do is fill a form with the Oregon Secretary of State and start running our business.

However, starting a business takes research, self-confidence, and determination. And you achieve that if you don’t have the right information, you need to start.

This page of this article reassesses the right step to take in order to set up your dream business.

We’ve compiled the essential steps to starting a business, including how to create a business plan, how to get financing, structuring and naming your business, and many more.

What Do You Need to Start a Business in Oregon?

#1. Pick a Business Idea

Set aside some effort to investigate and explore ideas for your business.

At this stage, contemplate your own advantages, abilities, assets, accessibility, and the reasons why you need to start a business.

You ought to likewise consider the probability of progress dependent on the interests and needs of your local area.

After you select an idea, consider drafting a business plan to assess your odds of making a benefit.

At the point when you make a plan, you will have a superior thought of the startup costs, your opposition, and procedures for making money out of your business.

Normally, investors and lenders will request to audit your strategy prior to giving financial help.

#2. Select a Name

For LLCs and enterprises, you should watch that your name is different from the names of other business elements effectively on a document with the Oregon Secretary of State (SOS).

You can check for accessible names by doing a business name search on the SOS site. There are sure name prerequisites for LLCs and partnerships (like including a word, for example, “LLC” for LLCs or “Organization” for companies).

Sole proprietorships and partnerships in Oregon should record an accepted name with the Oregon SOS if they use a business name that is unique in relation to the name of the entrepreneur (for a sole ownership) or individual accomplices (for an organization).

To document, you can utilize the SOS’s Oregon Business Registry.

If you plan on working on an online business, you might need to enlist your business name as a domain name.

Moreover, to maintain a strategic distance from brand name encroachment issues, you ought to do a government and state brand name check to ensure the name you need to utilize isn’t equivalent to or excessively like a name effectively being used.

Check Out: What Is A Trade Name For Business? Registration, Procedures

#3. Pick a Business Location and Check Zoning

You’ll have to pick an area for your business and check nearby drafting guidelines.

Before you focus on an area, set aside effort to compute the expenses of maintaining your business in the ideal spot, including rent and utilities.
You can refer back to your strategy to assess whether you can bear the cost of your ideal area during your organization’s early months.

Confirm that the spot is zoned for your sort of business. You may discover drafting guidelines for your town or city by auditing your neighborhood laws and reaching your town’s drafting or arranging division.

One option that stands as an alternative to starting your business at another area is running your company out of your home.

If you choose to maintain a run a home-based business, again check your local zoning laws.

#4. Create a Business Plan

A business plan can make or break a small business. A solid and detailed plan provides a clear roadmap for the future, forces you to think about the validity of a business idea, and can give you a better understanding of business finance and competition.

A business plan generally spans three to five years, detailing all of your goals and how you plan to achieve them.

If you are applying for a loan or looking for investors, a business plan shows that you are ready and have fully validated your business idea.

If you don’t have a financial forecast which is part of the business plan, it is very difficult to show the bank how you are going to pay off the loan.

The most widely recognized legitimate constructions for a private venture are:

sole proprietorship
limited liability company (LLC), and

There likewise are uncommon variants of a portion of these constructions, like restricted associations and S companies.

You’ll need to consider which business entity structure offers the sort of liability protection you need and the best tax, financing, and financial advantages for you and your business.

#5. Select Your Business Entity

Sole Proprietorship: To build up sole ownership in Oregon, you don’t have to record any hierarchical archives with the state.

Partnership: To make an overall partnership in Oregon, you don’t have to record any authoritative archives with the state.

Although not legally required, all partnerships should have a written partnership agreement.

The association understanding can be useful if there is ever a question among the accomplices. To form a limited liability partnership (frequently utilized by experts), you must file an Application for Registration with the Oregon SOS.

LLCs: To make an LLC in Oregon, you should document Articles of Organization with the Oregon SOS. You will likewise have to select an enlisted specialist in Oregon for the administration of the cycle.

In addition, while not legally necessary, you additionally ought to set up a working consent to set up the fundamental guidelines about how your LLC will work.

The working arrangement isn’t recorded with the state.

Corporations: To make a corporation in Oregon, you should file Articles of Incorporation with the Oregon SOS.

You will also have to name an enrolled specialist in Oregon for the administration of interaction.

Although not legally required, you also should prepare bylaws to establish your corporation’s internal operating rules. Bylaws are not filed with the state.

#6. Apply for Licenses and Permits

Tax Registration: If you will have workers in Oregon, you should enlist with the Department of Revenue (DOR) for a state payroll account in relation to paying employer withholding tax. You can enroll online through the Oregon Business Registry.

EIN: If your business has representatives or is taxed independently from you, you should acquire a government Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.

Whether you are not needed to acquire an EIN or not, there are regular business explanations behind doing as such.

Banks regularly require an EIN to open a record in the business name and different organizations you work with may require an EIN to handling installments.

You can get an EIN by finishing an online application. There is no documenting expense.

Regulatory Licenses and Permits: These cover areas, for example;

  • health and safety
  • the environment
  • building and construction; and
  • specific industries or services.

Professional and Occupational Licenses: These cover individuals who work in different fields. Aside from the locales referenced only above for administrative licenses, you can also check the licenses part of the state site for certain data with respect to proficient authorizing.

#7. Acquire Insurance

Business insurance can ensure your organization and your own resources from the aftermath of unforeseen calamities, like individual injury claims or common disasters.

An insurance specialist can assist you with investigating the diverse inclusion alternatives, for example, general responsibility protection to secure your business against claims identifying with substantial injury or property harm.

To find out additional, see this article, What Types of Insurances Does Your Small Business Need?

#8. Open a Business Bank Account

Regardless of the sort of business you structure, you ought to consider starting a different business record to make it simpler to follow your pay and costs.

For some business types, like LLCs and enterprises, a different financial balance is important to keep up your responsibility assurance.

To find out additional, see Opening a Business Bank Account.

Final Thought

Before you start any business in Oregon, it’s important you go through these steps here. This ultimate guide is a track that will lead you to run your business without hitches.



Leave a Reply
You May Also Like