Planning on starting a business in Oregon? Many new businesses being started in Oregon are in the form of an LLC or Limited Liability Company. Limited Liability Companies are popular because they provide the legal protection that many incorporated businesses have while at the same time providing the tax incentives and simplicity of some sole proprietorships.   Follow the steps below to create an Oregon LLC.

GETTING STARTED

Naming the LLC

  • The prospective business owner must decide on a name for the business and register it in Oregon. The name should be one that is not already in use in Oregon. There are prohibited names such as the names of federal or state agencies. A good name is one that also has an open domain name.  This is important as it can be registered to the company.

Naming Guidelines in  Oregon

  • Choose an original name that is not used in the state by another company. The business’s name must include the words “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C.” to define that it is a proper LLC. Besides the prohibited words, there are restricted words which imply a type of regulated business such as “Bank” and “MD.”   If restricted word or words are chosen, it will require additional paperwork.

Is the Name for the LLC Available in Oregon? (How To Search)

  • To determine if the name is available in Oregon, the prospective owner can search online at OR Name Search.

Is the domain name available?

  • Although it seems premature, it’s important to obtain the domain name now. Most registrars offer a search engine to see if a name has been taken. Sometimes the name may already be registered, but you can register a variant of the name.

Select a Registered/ Statutory Agent

  • Choosing a registered/ statutory agent is important for all LLC businesses. A registered agent is the person or corporation that receives correspondence from the Oregon government concerning the LLC. In Oregon, the registered agent must either be a resident of Oregon or a corporation authorized to operate in Oregon. Often, the registered agent  is the owner or member of the LLC.

Filing Articles of Organization

  • Filing the Articles of Organization with the State of Oregon requires the prospective owner to fill out a form and pay a fee. The owner may download the Articles of Organization form at Articles of Organization with a fee of $100 USD (non-refundable).

Create Operating Agreement

  • No operating agreement is required to register an LLC in Oregon.

RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS

Getting Your EIN

  • An EIN is an employee identification number, issued by the Internal Revenue service. Sometimes it is also called a Federal Tax Identification Number. It’s a unique number issued to each business. You’ll need an EIN to open a business bank account; file Federal and State Taxes; and hire employees.
  • Before you get your EIN make sure your new business has been properly formed before applying and be wary of paid sites. EINs are free direct from the IRS.
  • The easiest way is to apply online for an EIN. Note, the IRS website has office hours, and is only available Monday through Friday, 7am to 10pm. Yes, we also agree this is one of the most ridiculous things we’ve ever seen. You can call 1-800-829-4933, between 7am to 7pm of your time zone, Monday to Friday. Snail mail: You can download the form and mail it in.

Keeping Business and Personal Accounts Separate

  • Get a business bank account for your business. This will help you protect your personal assets from potential creditors and lawsuits, and will also make life a lot easier come tax time. 
  • Get a business credit or debit card. This will help you keep your expenses separate and easier to track.

Accounting

  • No matter what business you run, accounting software and processes is a must for any small business. If you have an accountant, ask them which software they work with and recommend. A good accounting system is necessary to track income and expenses, so you can easily see if you’re making money and make filing income taxes so much easier.
  • Always try and find something that will: sync with all of your bank and credit card accounts automatically – not just downloads, but auto sync; auto-match vendors, customers and other accounts; and let you accept credit cards and ACH drafts with ease. This can be applied for online, as can unemployment

Links to relevant taxes and what to do for Oregon

  • The new LLC must register for applicable federal, state, and local permits. Business owners must also register their business for industry tax, and unemployment insurance tax and employees withholding tax, if there are employees.

Unemployment Insurance Tax

Employee Withholding Tax

Industry Tax

  • Businesses falling in a specific industry must register for the Industry tax: Industry Tax.

Insurance

  • All Oregon businesses need workers compensation insurance and  should get general liability insurance. Find out more about workers compensation insurance at Workers Comp.

KEEPING YOUR LLC COMPLIANT

  • Business owners must keep the LLC in good standing with the State of Oregon. The business can request a Certificate of Good Standing online at OR Certificate of Good Standing .

Annual Report

  • The business must file an annual report with the Oregon Secretary of State. Filing an annual report must be done to maintain in good standing with the State of Oregon.

Cost

  • $100 USD.

Links

File online at: Annual Report

Deadlines

  • Due yearly on the anniversary of the LLC’s formation.

FILING A FOREIGN LLC IN OREGON

  • If a foreign LLC business wishes to do business in the State of Oregon, it can file a foreign LLC.  For more information see: Foreign LLC .  The fee for filing is $275 USD.

ABOUT HOW TO START AN LLC

I'm an entrepreneur myself. When talking to others who want to start their own business, they often get wrapped up in the nitty gritty of paperwork and forming the company. They forget that what really matters is customers, sales, and profit. That's why I created How to Start an LLC.org: a simple resource and guide so you can spend less time on forming your company, and more time on building it.

My lawyers want me to remind you that I'm not a lawyer and that I'm completely unqualified to offer legal advice. This site is meant to serve as a reference for you on your journey. If you have questions or concerns, please contact a qualified lawyer (or accountant) to help you. Also, as a general rule, never take random legal advice on the internet.