How to Set Up a DBA in Oregon

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A DBA (Doing Business As) allows individuals and businesses to operate under a different name or expand their brand presence while maintaining legal compliance. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of setting up your DBA in Oregon.

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What is a DBA?

A DBA is an acronym for “doing business as,” sometimes known as a fictitious name, trade name, or DBA name, depending on which state you are acquiring, is a state-level name that your company can use to do business under. Or in simpler terms, a DBA is just another name you can use for your business.

Sole proprietors can benefit a lot from using a DBA because instead of using their own name to run their business, they can use a DBA to operate under a different name, which makes your company look more legitimate and trustworthy to future consumers. 

If you are thinking about a unique business name for your startup as a sole proprietor, the next step would be DBA filing to make sure the name of the business you thought about could be the legal name for your business. Where you are registering for LLCs, general partnerships, or any type of business entity, the acquisition of a DBA is a good way to start. 

How to search DBA names in Oregon (step by step)

The first step for setting up a DBA name is to search the Secretary of State database for all DBA names in the system. Note that similar and the same names are not allowed in the state of Oregon, so checking the availability of a name is essential. 

1
Go to the Secretary of State Website and check for the DBA names available

If you already have a list of names, you can visit the Oregon Secretary of State’s website to see if the names are available. 

2
Search for business names

When thinking of a name, make sure it is relevant to your business. Once you have a list, you can use the Oregon business name search tool to check for availability.

Just type in each name you came up with to see if they are available to use and wait for the results. 

3
Check results

If there aren’t any exact matches in the business name results, then you are free to use the name. However, if the name is too similar to one of the names in the results, it is ideal to pick a different and more unique name for your business.

4
Consider reserving the business name

If you really like the name you have chosen, but you are not yet ready to file for a DBA, you can consider reserving that business name for 120 days. It will allow you to lock the name for your business for a certain amount of time. However, the downside is the filing fee. It costs $100 to reserve the name, which is more than what the DBA costs. 

5
File name reservation

If you decide to reserve the name, you can check this form here and fill it out with the necessary details. Note that when you reserve the name, you can use it for filing a trade name and for filing articles of organization for an LLC.

Have a name in mind? Check on name availability first here.

Cost to get a DBA set up

The DBA cost in Oregon is $50, and you can pay with cash, credit card, or check when you go visit your local county clerk’s office to pay. Unlike other states where a DBA lasts for 5 years, in Oregon, a DBA will only have a 2-year validity. This means you will need to renew the DBA every 2 years for the same price. 

If you wish to make changes to your DBA application, you can use this form here. For cancellations, you will need this form.

The good thing about renewing your DBA in Oregon is that you can do it online. If you need to renew your trade name in Oregon, you can do so through this link.

How to register a DBA in Oregon

Registering for a DBA in Oregon is easy, all you need to do is have the necessary information you need about your business, such as the name of your business, the nature of the business, which county you are operating in, and more. Here are the steps to set up a DBA in Oregon:

1
Think of a name and search if the name is available

The first step is already explained at the top of the article. All you need to do is come up with relevant names for your business and check if they are available.

2
File with the Secretary of State

The next step is to file online or in person. When filing online, you can go through the portal using this link here. If you are filing in person, you can download this form and fill it out. Then, submit the form to your local county clerk’s office.

3
Gather the information you need

The information you need to file an assumed name in Oregon is a full description of your business, the name of the owner or authorized representative, the contact information of all owners, and the counties you wish to register your DBA.

4
Wait 5 to 10 business days for your DBA

After filing, the processing time takes around 5 to 10 business days. In the meantime, you can do the other necessary steps you need to operate your business, and your business will be running in no time.

Ready to register your DBA? Fill out these forms.

What comes next

Now that you filed everything you need to set up your assumed business name in Oregon, here are more steps that come next before you can operate your new business:

1
Get an EIN

An EIN or Employer Identification Number is essential for most businesses. Not only for tax reasons, but you will need an EIN to get a business bank account, set up credit for your suppliers, hire employees, and obtain insurance for your employees. It is quite easy to get an EIN, which is also referred to as a FEIN in some states. Just visit the IRS website to get an EIN online.

2
Get the necessary business permits and licenses to run your business

Some businesses need to get the necessary permits, such as business licenses to sell tobacco or alcohol, and licenses for professions like accountants, barbers, contractors, and more. You can find all the information you need about business licensing here. Not all businesses need to be registered in Oregon, as long as you have the permits you need to operate legally.

3
Set up a business bank account

Getting a business bank account has more benefits than you think. Aside from allowing you to do business transactions other than your legal name, having a business bank account will also enable you to set up a line of credit, which is essential for growing businesses. You can also track and analyze business spending and income without getting confused with your personal expenses.

4
Hire employees

Now that you have an EIN, you can now legally hire employees to help you with your business. You can hire freelancers if you don’t need full-time employees and get them set up with their 1099 or W-2 tax forms. 

If you plan to get an EIN, you can do so on the IRS website.

Who is a DBA best for?

A DBA is best for a sole proprietorship that wants to operate or do business under a different name, other than its legal name. For sole proprietors, a DBA allows them to work under an assumed name of your business without having to file or open a separate LLC business structure.

Note that a DBA is different from an LLC or any other business entity. While your LLC is a formal business structure, a DBA is just another name your business can operate under. However, an LLC is a legal entity that can also benefit from having a DBA for business growth and creating separate entities within a growing small business. 

For example, suppose you already own a small business that sells one thing. In that case, you can also expand and create a separate legal entity with a DBA to differentiate between these two businesses regarding legal protections and liability. 

Why would entrepreneurs choose to set up a DBA in Oregon?

There are many reasons to get a DBA instead of an LLC or any other business entity, especially when you are just starting. With that in mind, here are some of the benefits of starting a DBA in Oregon:

  • Having a DBA allows you to apply for an employee identification number or EIN, which allows you to hire employees or freelancers.
  • Getting a DBA is the most affordable way to start a legitimate business as a sole proprietor.
  • A DBA will allow you to do business using a different name other than your personal name, which also allows you to create a business bank account and start credit lines with an assumed name, other than your legal name.
  • Acquiring a DBA is sometimes required by state laws to open a business.
  • Existing companies can use a DBA to rebrand without having to change their original name, whether it’s an incorporation or LLC.
  • A DBA offers privacy protection since you can do business under a different name.
  • A fictitious business name will make your business more legitimate and trustworthy, which is essential for growing your client base.
  • Having a separate company name or trade name is essential for small business owners to start a brand.
  • It allows you to separate personal assets from business assets.

FAQs

How long will it take to get a trade name certificate in Oregon?

It usually takes 5 to 10 business days to get the name certificate in Oregon. As of now, there are no expedited services in Oregon, so make sure you have all the necessary requirements ready to speed up the process and get your DBA as soon as possible. 

Aside from the DBA cost, do I need to prepare money for other fees in Oregon?

Aside from the DBA, some businesses also need to file business licenses and permits to legally operate, which require a separate filing fee. Some entities also need to file for the Articles of Organization if you are setting up an LLC. For sole proprietors, a DBA is enough to start.

How do I get funding for a new business in Oregon?

If you are planning to start a business and need funding, you can go to private lenders in the state of Oregon. Aside from lenders, there are also government programs. However, it is also ideal to pitch your business ideas to your friends and family who are interested in investing in your business idea. 

Does a DBA have liability protection?

A DBA is just a different name you can use for your business, and it does not include liability protection for your personal assets. If you want liability protection, you can set up an LLC or limited liability company. However, DBAs are still useful for any type of business entity. 

Can I file my DBA online in Oregon?

As of the moment, you can officially file a DBA in the state of Oregon online or by visiting your local county clerk’s office. You can download the form and fill it out before visiting to save time, and make the payment payable to “Corporate Division” if you are issuing a check for the $50 filing fee. 

Find out how to set up your DBA

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