STEP 1) VERIFY & SECURE YOUR BRAND NAME

Choose a Business Name

To secure and register your brand name it should be unique, not too similar to another registered name in OR, 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.

Your LLC name should contain the words ‘Limited Liability Company’ or ‘Limited Company’. Abbreviations for these words like ‘L.C.’ or ‘L.L.C.’ 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 AgentEvery Oregon LLC must have a Registered Agent who receives and help process all very important documents like for example state filings. 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.

So you can hire an outside professional service and expect to pay up to $160/year, or get an Oregon Registered Agent free of charge when you register an LLC through filing services like IncFile or CorpNet. They handle this along with much more depending on your startup package.

STEP 3) FILE ARTICLES OF ORGANIZATION

Register an LLCDownload the LLC-specific Articles of Organization which need to be filed with the Oregon Central Business Registry through mail when you’re ready to become an official business entity. The form declares the basics of your new brand for the public record including:

  • LLC name and complete address;
  • LLC Registered Agent name and complete address;
  • LLC organizer(s) name and complete address;
  • Notice if the LLC will be managed by a member or a manager;

LLC Filing Fee: $100

STEP 4) GET AN EIN

Get an EIN for Your LLC

Your EIN, or FEIN, which stands for Federal Employer Identification Number, is almost exactly like a social security number but for businesses. State and federal agencies use it to track your business activity so it’s essential. You also use it to open business bank accounts and legally hire employees among other things.

To get your free EIN number, you can print out and mail in This IRS Form or apply online using the IRS Website.

STEP 5) START A BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT

Best Business Bank Account

This step’s about deciding where set up your brand’s financial foundation. And this isn’t personal banking, so if you’re new to the business-side of things do some shopping around. Look at least at a handful of local, state, and national banks as well as credit unions. There’s plenty of great deals, perks, incentives and kickbacks to be leveraged.

The other important thing to remember is to completely separate your brand’s financials from data streams and bank accounts of any other kind. Don’t muddy the waters! Here’s a quick breakdown article of Business Checking Accounts from some of the biggest banks to begin your research.

STEP 6) DRAFT AN OPERATING AGREEMENT

Create an Operating AgreementNo, you do not have to have this document by law. But, we along with any decent business consultant will tell you to have one even if you’re a solopreneur because Oregon’s default rules take over if one isn’t in place. It also provides your LLC status with some protection, and lays out on paper managerial/ownership financial duties, rights, and responsibilities along with basic rules of operation. Pretty important, right?

To get started, choose and use an online Operating Agreement template which you can customize yourself.

STEP 7) HANDLE LLC TAXES & LICENSING/PERMITS

Small Business Taxes

Getting square with Oregon state/federal taxes and getting the right business permits/licenses is required. So depending on the nature of your business, how many employees, your location and a number of other things it’ll either be a cake walk or take some time. This is why having an attorney or taking time to do your own research is highly recommended.

Start by bookmarking the Portland district office of the Small Business Administration and the state’s Small Biz Development Center because they’re likely going to be go-to sources. If you need help, consider professional Business License Research packages that take care of the groundwork for you.

OPTIONAL) BEGIN YOUR BUSINESS PLAN

Write a Business PlanDo you need a super-professional or more formal business plan in the initial startup-phase? No, tons of entrepreneurs float along on informal plans of many kinds and are more reactionary. But, there WILL come a time when a presentation-ready plan determines whether you continue to grow or stagnate.

Why? Well, because all serious potential partners, stakeholders, investors, lending institutions, VC-types, funds, organizations, competitions, and so on will need to see one before they take your brand seriously. These days it’s about presenting the core fundamentals though, not 40-page tomes of data. Learn more in the links below.

  • This Business Plan Software Guide is our savvy breakdown of all the best software solutions to help you plan better. (Spoiler: We’re huge fans of LivePlan, plus they offer our readers a special discount.)

OPTIONAL) BUILD A BUSINESS WEBSITE

Build a Business WebsiteListen, everyone knows modern businesses are required by the marketplace to have a website, especially in the eCommerce space. The issue is that for tons of beginners 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.

For true beginners without an in-house designer, we highly recommend looking into a website builder like Wix or Weebly. They’re both extremely easy to use and affordable.

Need Help Forming Your LLC?

Have a reliable LLC filing 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 LLC in Oregon 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 LLC in Oregon or business in general, please consult with a lawyer or other accredited professional.