How to Register a Business Name in Oregon

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This article will provide an overview of the process for registering a business name in Oregon. While starting a new business can be a fulfilling and exciting experience, it’s important to ensure that the business is properly registered and in compliance with all applicable laws. 

With the right knowledge and preparation, you can confidently and successfully navigate the process of registering your business name in Oregon, and hopefully begin your journey towards success.

Before you begin the process of registering a business name in Oregon, or any other state for that matter, you need to have decided on the legal structure for your enterprise.

Each structure has its own advantages and disadvantages, and thus, it is worth thoroughly researching each option before making a final decision.

Knowing the structure you are going with is important as it affects which process to use for registering your business name.

Step 1: Choose a Name

While the state of Oregon does not require entrepreneurs to conduct a business name search, it is highly advised to ensure that the name is available and does not infringe upon another business’s rights. 

The Oregon Secretary of State has a business name search tool available on its website that can be used to look up the availability of a proposed business name.

When creating a business name, it is important to ensure that it is unique enough to not be confused with another business. 

Apart from this, it’s just best practice for the name to be easy for customers to remember, and should be descriptive of the type of business that it represents. 

While Oregon does not regulate the use of words in a business name, the use of certain words such as bank, lawyer, and university may require additional registration steps.

Step 2: Register the Business Name

Once you have selected a business name, you will need to register it with the Oregon Secretary of State

To do this, you will need to fill out the Business Name Reservation form and submit it with the appropriate fee. This will reserve your business name for a period of 120 days. 

After the 120-day period, you will need to file a formal application with the Oregon Secretary of State.

When registering your business, you will need to provide an address and contact information for the business. This will be used to register your business in the state database and will be made available to the public. 

It is important to ensure that the address and contact information is up-to-date and accurate. You want to have the right place if they send you any documentation or requests.

Step 3: Create Your Business Entity

There are four common business entities in Oregon: sole proprietorship, partnership, LLCs, and corporations. Each of these entities has its own advantages and disadvantages that should be considered carefully when deciding which one best fits the needs of the business.

Sole Proprietorship in Oregon

Forming a sole proprietorship in Oregon requires a business owner to register a business name through the Oregon Secretary of State’s website.

After the name is approved, you must then obtain a business license from the Oregon Department of Revenue. 

This license is required for all business activity in Oregon, regardless of the type of business entity.

You must also obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.

Lastly, the business owner needs to open a business bank account to store the business’ money.

With these steps complete, the sole proprietorship is formed and the business owner is ready to conduct business in Oregon.

Partnership in Oregon

Establishing a partnership is very similar to the Sole Proprietorship steps, except this business is shared between 2 or more people.

Having a written agreement will be extremely important for a partnership, to clearly outline the rights and responsibilities of each partner, as well as the distribution of profits and losses.

By following these steps, a partnership in Oregon can be established and adequately protected.

LLCs in Oregon

LLCs are the most popular business structures for small businesses in Oregon.

The Oregon Secretary of State provides an online service to help register a business name, as well as complete other necessary steps to form an LLC in Oregon.

The service is user-friendly and allows business owners to quickly and easily register their business name and receive the necessary documents to form an LLC.

Corporations in Oregon

Incorporating a business can provide a greater level of protection from personal liability, making it an attractive option for businesses that need to manage greater risk. 

Businesses in Oregon that wish to officially register as a corporation must first obtain a Certificate of Incorporation from the Oregon Secretary of State, and then file the document with the county in which their business is located.

The Certificate must include information such as the business’s name, purpose, duration, address, and the number of authorized shares. 

Once the Certificate of Incorporation is filed with the county, the business must obtain and pay for a license to legally operate in the state.

By properly registering and licensing your business in Oregon, you can gain access to an array of innovative resources and start-up incentives.

Step 5: Apply for Licenses and Permits

When registering a business in Oregon, it is important to understand the requirements for tax registration, as well as the process for applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Tax registration includes filing any applications or forms necessary for the business to be compliant with local, state, and federal taxes.

The EIN is a nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that is used to identify a business entity.

Applying for an EIN is an important step for business owners in Oregon to complete in order to establish their business.

Tax registration is typically required to be completed within 30 days of the business being established. It is important to be aware of the fees associated with the registration process and pay any applicable taxes in a timely manner.

In Oregon, all businesses are required to have an EIN before they can start a business. It is important to obtain an EIN as soon as possible to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations, and to enable the business to take advantage of the various benefits that come with having a business entity.

Additionally, an EIN is required to open a business bank account, hire employees, and file tax returns. Obtaining an EIN is a simple process and is the first step in setting up a successful new business in Oregon.


It is important to understand the process of registering a business name in Oregon in order to ensure that the venture is legal and compliant with state regulations. 

The chosen name must be distinguishable from any other registered business names in the state. It should also include the words “Corporation”, “Incorporated”, “Company”, or “Limited”, or the abbreviation of any of these words. 

Additionally, the business name must not be deceptive or misleading.

Business owners need to consider the state’s naming guidelines and ensure that they have the necessary documents and information to register the business. 


This article is meant to give a brief overview of what steps you need to follow in order to register a business name in Oregon and is not meant to act as legal advice.

Registering a business name in Oregon can get quite complicated, so I always recommend spending some money on an experienced attorney who can guide you through the intricacies of the legal and tax set up.

Attorneys will be able to advise you on the best set-up for your business. This helps avoid any future legal problems and optimize your tax planning structure. Just make sure you choose an experienced attorney.

Good luck with your business venture and please feel free to leave any comments or questions you might have, below.

For more guides on how to register a business name in the USA, please click here


I am a branding and naming consultant with 16 years of experience. I believe in building a strong brand name that identifies your visions and that of your business. A brand identity motivates you and your team to achieve success.