STEP 1) VERIFY & SECURE YOUR BRAND NAME

Choose a Business NameTo secure and register your brand name it should be unique, not too similar to another registered name in Oregon, and shouldn’t contain any restricted wording. To check, conduct a Business Entity Search through the state and if there are potential trademark issues conduct another quick search using the TESS System through the U.S. Patent Office.

Keep in mind your brand name should contain the words ‘Corporation,’ ‘Company,’ ‘Incorporated,’ or ‘Limited.” Abbreviations for these words are also acceptable. If needed, an Application for Name Reservation can be submitted to the Sec. of State’s Central Business Registry that’s valid for 120 days.

Filing Fee: $100

STEP 2) APPOINT A REGISTERED AGENT

Choose a Registered Agent

Every corporation in Oregon must have a registered agent who receives and help process all very important documents like state filings. You can hire an 3rd party service and pay up to $160/yr, or get an agent free when you incorporate with IncFile or Incorporate.com. There are a few state-mandated requirements that must be observed:

  • The individual must be a resident of Oregon; or,
  • A business entity legally registered to operate in the state.
  • The agent should provide a physical street address upon designation.

STEP 3) FILE ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION

Register an LLCOnce you have a registered agent and the company is ready to become an official business entity, file Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State. It declares the basics of your brand for the public record including:

  • Corporate name and address;
  • Registered Agent name and address;
  • The number of stock shares authorized for issuance;
  • Each of the incorporator’s names and addresses, etc.

Filing Fee: $100

STEP 4) GET A CORPORATE RECORDS BOOK

File Annual Reports & Publication Requirements

Think of this as the hard copy record book where all critical corporate documents are kept like the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, meeting minutes, stock certificate ledger, stock certificates, stock certificate stubs, stock transfer documents, etc. It’s the ultimate company binder! They’re very common and while not necessary having one is highly recommended for all serious business entities.

You can find them at nearby office supply stores or on Amazon, but we’re huge fans of Corporate Kits which include gorgeous records books/binders you can brand for as little as $99.

STEP 5) ELECT DIRECTOR, MEET, DISCUSS BYLAWS

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of Directors

Appoint at least 1 Director who among other things will oversee the Oregon corporation until the first shareholder meeting where new directors will be voted in. Prepare an “Incorporator Statement” with complete names and addresses of each director and keep it in your records book. Once elected, an initial meeting should:

  • Appoint officers & discuss/create Corporate Bylaws.
  • Choose a bank & approve the issuance of stock certificates.
  • Agree on corporate seal and adopt official stock certificate form.
  • Approve s-corp (opt.). Record Minutes of Meeting, have directors sign, then add to records book.

STEP 6) SETUP A BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT

Best Business Bank AccountIn your initial meeting you and the board should have discussed where to set up your corporation’s financial groundwork – where to bank. This is no simple matter. If you aren’t a/haven’t hired a qualified CFO or accountant, then you need to check out a good number of different local, state, and national banks as well as credit unions.

To get your research going, check out this short free quasi-guide to Business Checking Accounts from the more big bank perspective. It should help give you a basic idea of the numbers involved.

STEP 7) HANDLE TAXATION & LICENSING/PERMITS

Business Licenses

As a legally operating Oregon corporation, you’re required to be 100% compliant with all relevant local/state/federal agencies. Ideally you should have an attorney or be working with a professional filing service. Otherwise, here are four resources to get started:

  1. Get an EIN, or Employer Identification Number, free and easy through the IRS website.
  2. Bookmark the Portland Small Business Admin office and the state’s Small-Biz Dev Center.
  3. To form an S-Corp, submit Form 2553 with the IRS and be sure all board of directors have signed it.
  4. Consider professional Business License Research packages that handle the legwork for you.

OPTIONAL) WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN

Write a Business Plan

In truth, success in business is about 80% execution. But, that being said, there’s a huge different between startup-phase execution and being empowered by a professional business plan. No, not some huge complex collegiate-level plan but a streamlined and presentation-ready plan that focuses on core fundamentals: marketing, demographics, budgeting, financials, forecasts, pitch, etc.

These days there are software solutions that walk you through the process so that you learn a ton and end up with a presentation-ready plan to show potential partners, stakeholders, venture capitalists, banking institutions, or even crowdfunding-style platforms.

QUICK LINKS TO BUSINESS PLANNING

  • Our free email-based Business Plan Course is designed to take you smoothly through the process step-by-step.
  • Discover which Business Plan Tool helps you create a presentation-ready breakdown of your brand in half the time. We highly recommend LivePlan, but there are other great options too.

OPTIONAL) PUBLISH A COMPANY WEBSITE

Build a Business Website

Everyone knows modern businesses are required by the marketplace to have a website, especially in the eCommerce and corporate spaces. The issue is that for tons of new business websites can become not only a huge time-sink and a headache, but waste far too many resources with little ROI until a platform’s been established.

To get started, we highly recommend looking into Wix or Weebly (which both offer free trials and are very easy to use), but you can see all the best business website builders on our buyers guide.

Need Help Forming Your Corporation?

Have a reliable incorporation service like IncFile or LegalZoom do the work for you. Just answer a few questions about your business and they’ll take care of the paperwork.

Although both offer virtually the same service, IncFile is $100 less and our top pick. Enjoy!

Visit IncFile Or Visit LegalZoom

Note that this article on how to form an Oregon corporation isn’t a legal document or legal advice. It’s for informational purposes and the information above is subject to change. For specific legal questions regarding how to form an Oregon corporation or business in general, please consult with a lawyer or other accredited professional.