How to Start an LLC in Oregon? (Step-by-Step Guide)

Jon Morgan
Published by Jon Morgan | Co-Founder & Chief Editor
Last updated: February 14, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Lou Viveros, Growth & Transition Advisor
We meticulously research and verify the information presented in our articles. By consulting reliable sources and ensuring factual accuracy, we are committed to providing readers with well-informed, trustworthy content.

An LLC in Oregon can be an exciting endeavor, but navigating the legal requirements can initially seem daunting. If you're considering starting a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Oregon, it's essential to understand the process and its implications.

With an in-depth knowledge of the legal requirements and procedures, we’ve prepared a guide for forming an LLC for aspiring entrepreneurs and existing business owners.

This comprehensive guide outlines the key steps, from choosing a business name to filing the necessary paperwork. The article will also discuss foreign LLCs, taxes that LLC owners must pay, and all the rules and regulations regarding LLCs in Oregon.

You can also rely on one of these Oregon professional LLC services to undertake the establishment of your LLC.

Quick Summary

  • Starting an LLC in Oregon involves understanding legal procedures, including choosing a business name, appointing a registered agent, and filing paperwork​​.
  • The key steps include registering a business name, appointing a registered agent, submitting articles of organization, and obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN)​​.
  • The necessity for strategic financial planning is highlighted by Oregon's corporate tax structure, which taxes corporations at 6.6% on incomes up to $10,000,000 and 7.6% beyond, according to the Tax Foundation.
  • From my experience, seeking professional guidance, such as consulting with attorneys or utilizing online resources, can significantly simplify the process of meeting legal requirements for forming an LLC in Oregon.

How to Form an LLC in Oregon

Important document on office table

Forming an LLC in Oregon can be a strategic step for entrepreneurs seeking to structure their business with flexibility and limited liability.

In Oregon, with, according to the U.S. Small Business Profile, 397,422 small businesses making up 99.4% of all businesses, the significance of small enterprises in the state's economy cannot be overstated [1].

Here's everything you need to navigate the legal and administrative steps involved in establishing an LLC in Oregon.

1. Choose the Type of Your LLC (Mandatory)

When choosing the type of your Oregon LLC, consider the two primary structures: Single-Member LLC and Multi-Member LLC. Each structure offers unique benefits and challenges tailored to different business needs.

A Single-Member LLC is ideal for sole proprietors seeking personal liability protection without the complexity of a larger organization. Its main advantage is simplicity in management and tax filing, though it may face limitations in raising capital and less credibility with some financial institutions.

On the other hand, a Multi-Member LLC is suitable for businesses with multiple owners. This structure offers a shared liability and the potential for more diverse management and investment opportunities. However, it requires more complex agreements and decision-making processes, and there might be potential for internal conflicts.

I often advise clients that both types provide limited liability protection and pass-through taxation, but the choice largely depends on the size and nature of your business.

2. Choose a Name for Your Oregon LLC (Mandatory)

In my role as a business consultant, I guide clients through naming their Oregon LLCs. The key is ensuring the name is not only unique but also compliant with state regulations.

Given that small firms, which, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, employ 900,294 people or 54.1% of Oregon's workforce, dominate the state's business landscape, selecting a distinctive and compliant name is crucial in the competitive market [2].

I recommend checking name availability on the Oregon Business Registry and, if possible, reserving it to secure your preferred business identity [3].

Check for the availability of the Oregon LLC name on the Secretary of State website under Corporation Division Search.

If available, you’ll have the option to reserve a name before registering it. You'll be given 120 days to register a name you've reserved before it expires.

The next step is to register the name using the name application form on the Secretary of State website.

You can also decide to file for a DBA name or "doing business as." This is an option if you want to use a different name than the official business name."

3. Select a Registered Agent (Mandatory)

Shaking hands with a registered agent

After finding and reserving a name, you’ll need to appoint a registered agent to maintain the limited liability of an LLC.

It's a vital position considering the state's corporate tax structure. According to the Tax Foundation, corporations are taxed at 6.6% on incomes up to $10,000,000, and any income above this threshold is taxed at 7.6% [4].

This tax framework highlights the importance of careful financial planning, for which a knowledgeable registered agent can provide invaluable assistance.

Most professional registered agents offer a variety of additional services with their packages, including support with financial planning and tax filings to help navigate these tax rates efficiently.

An Oregon registered agent is an individual or business entity responsible for receiving official documents and packages on behalf of your business, such as tax forms or court summonses.

You can opt to be your own registered agent or hire a professional registered agent service to handle various tasks for you, including filing an Oregon LLC annual report or assisting with the Corporation Division naming tasks.

Remember, the value of a reliable registered agent service, typically around $50 a year, extends beyond basic compliance to strategic business support, especially in financial matters.

4. File Articles of Organization (Mandatory)

Filing the Articles of Organization is a process I assist many clients with. In my experience, online filing is efficient and straightforward.

It's important to accurately provide the business name, address, and registered agent details. The filing fee is a necessary investment for the LLC's legal foundation.

To file articles of organization for an Oregon LLC, it should contain your:

  • Business name (you can't use a name that is too similar to another Oregon company)
  • Business' physical street address, purpose, or activities of the business (this could also refer to what type of work you expect to be doing as an LLC)
  • Registered agent and address for service of process

Your articles can be filed online, by mail, or in person at the office of your Secretary of State's Corporations Division

You will need to pay a $100 filing fee when you file articles with this division. Here is a breakdown of the total costs of forming an LLC in Oregon.

Steps to Take After Forming an LLC in Oregon

Shaking hands with another business person

The Oregon LLC operating agreement states the rights, duties, and relationships of the LLC members.

This document is important because it preserves member responsibilities when absent or when a member doesn't communicate with other members about business matters.

An operating agreement should contain the following:

  • Name of your LLC operating in Oregon
  • The registered address for the service of process
  • Roles and responsibilities of members
  • Distribution of profits and losses and contributions to capital by each member
  • Rules for the LLC's dissolution in case a member leaves or dies. The agreement should also include entrance/exit provisions that deal with how members interact when added or removed from the business

Operating agreements aren't mandated by law but are highly encouraged.

They help to protect the LLC from litigation and resolve disputes between LLC owners in a constructive manner rather than through legal proceedings.

An operating agreement is not required when forming an Oregon LLC, but it should be created anyway for your business's protection.

As long as you include the necessary information listed above, you will have an effective operating agreement that everyone abides by.

Giving white plain card

Once you have an operating agreement, you must obtain your LLC's employer identification number (EIN).

You will use this federal tax ID when filing taxes in the future, so be sure to keep it safe.

The first step is to make sure that your Oregon LLC is eligible for an EIN. Typically, any LLC with employees or one taxed as a corporation needs an EIN.

Visit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website and complete Form SS-4, Application for EIN [5].

Provide accurate information about your Oregon LLC, such as its legal name, address, and structure.

After the IRS processes your application, they will assign an EIN to your Oregon LLC. You will receive an official confirmation letter or email containing your unique, nine-digit EIN.

Not only will this EIN help you file taxes and pay any necessary filing fee payments in the future, but an EIN can also make it easier for your business to open bank accounts and apply for financing.

An Oregon business identification number can be obtained through the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) website.

Having a business bank card

When you start an LLC business in Oregon, getting a business bank account as soon as possible is a good idea.

This will help your new business run smoothly and give people the impression that you have been running this business for some time.

Some banks may require company registration proof before opening an LLC bank account. Therefore, you'll need an EIN before you open your account.

When you apply for a bank account, ensure all of the LLC's business income and expenses are accounted for when filing taxes.

You can deduct business expenses like travel, software licenses, or any other type of business expense to reduce how much tax you pay each year.

The reason you'd want to have separate personal assets from business ones is to maintain your business's identity.

The business expenses are separate from the personal ones, making it easier for you to track each of them independently.

Having a bank account just for your business helps build trust between you and potential customers because they'll know directly that your business isn't just an extension of yourself.

"Search for a bank account offering minimal to zero monthly charges that seamlessly connects with your current business utilities and accommodates joint accounts for LLCs with more than one owner. Consider additional valuable features such as the ability to make cash deposits, the provision of complimentary employee debit cards, ATM fee reimbursements, complimentary wire transfers, or rewards like cash back on business expenditures."

- Jon Morgan, Co-Editor & Co-Founder of Venture Smarter

8. File Your Oregon LLC Annual Report (Mandatory)

Filing an Oregon LLC Annual Report is a crucial step in maintaining your business's good standing with the state.

Unlike some states where annual reports are not required or have varying schedules, Oregon mandates that LLCs submit an annual report to the Secretary of State.

This report is due each year on the anniversary of your LLC's formation. The process involves updating any changes in your LLC’s information, such as addresses, management structure, or registered agent details.

It's important to adhere to this annual requirement to avoid penalties and ensure your LLC remains compliant with state regulations.

Always verify the current requirements and submission guidelines directly with the Oregon Secretary of State to stay updated on any changes in filing procedures or deadlines.

9. Obtain Business Licenses and Permits

Certain types of businesses must have a business license, even if they're operating under an LLC.

Businesses that operate in the following industries will need to get business licenses:

  • Accountants
  • Architects
  • Attorneys at law
  • Trucking and transportation companies with vehicles over 26,000 pounds (you only need one permit per vehicle)
  • A business that works with hazardous materials
  • Healthcare professionals

To find a list of industries requiring business licenses, head to the Oregon Secretary of State website.

In addition, if you're an individual who works as a contractor or consultant for other businesses in any industry (including those listed above), you will need to get your own business license.

10. Choosing Your Tax Structure

Giving thumbs up on a document

The federal government agency requires all LLCs to pay a tax yearly, but there are no Oregon state taxes for either corporations or limited liability companies.

However, an annual fee is required by the Secretary of State, which is based on how many members your company has.

Since LLCs are pass-through tax entities, LLC members pay taxes on their share of profits and losses for their individual tax returns. The LLC itself doesn't need to pay both federal and state taxes.

However, the company may need to file a federal corporate income tax return if you have a corporation as an LLC owner or partner.

It depends on whether you classify taxes as a C corporation, S corporation, or sole proprietorship.

Business entities selling goods or services must pay a sales tax. Besides sales tax, there's also employee withholding tax if you hire employees.

If you want professional services regarding taxation issues related to starting an Oregon LLC, talk with tax experts before starting your LLC.

Benefits and Drawbacks of an LLC in Oregon

Explaining someone their business insurance


  • Limited Liability Protection: Members are protected from personal liability for business debts and claims, safeguarding personal assets.
  • Pass-Through Taxation: LLCs typically benefit from pass-through taxation, where profits are taxed only at the individual level, avoiding corporate taxes.
  • Flexibility in Management and Operation: LLCs offer flexibility in management structure, not requiring boards of directors or annual meetings.
  • Ease of Formation and Maintenance: Compared to corporations, LLCs have simpler formation processes and fewer ongoing formalities.


  • Self-Employment Taxes: Profits of an LLC may be subject to self-employment taxes.
  • Limited Growth Potential: LLCs may face difficulties in raising capital since they can't issue stock.
  • Varied State Laws: Regulations and compliance can vary significantly from state to state, requiring careful attention to Oregon's specific requirements.
  • Limited Duration: In some cases, LLCs have a limited lifespan, dissolving when a member leaves, unless otherwise stated in the operating agreement.

Related Articles:

DIY vs. Professional LLC Formation

DIY LLC Formation


  • Cost-Effective: Generally less expensive as it avoids professional fees.
  • Control and Learning: Offers a hands-on understanding of the formation process.


  • Time-Consuming: Requires significant time to research and understand legal requirements.
  • Risk of Errors: Without professional guidance, there's a higher risk of mistakes in filing and compliance.

Professional LLC Formation


  • Expert Guidance: Professionals are knowledgeable about state-specific regulations, reducing the risk of errors.
  • Time-Saving: A professional service can streamline the process, freeing up your time.
  • Compliance Assistance: Helps ensure ongoing compliance with state laws.


  • Cost: More expensive due to service or legal fees.
  • Less Personal Control: Some business owners may prefer a more hands-on approach.

The choice between DIY and professional LLC formation depends on individual needs, expertise, time availability, and budget.

For those who are comfortable with legal procedures and requirements, DIY can be a viable option. Conversely, for those seeking expertise and efficiency, professional services are beneficial.


Do I need to Publish a Notice of LLC Formation in Oregon?

No, you do not need to publish a notice of LLC formation in Oregon in a newspaper or any other publication. This is a requirement in some other states, but Oregon does not have this stipulation for LLCs. Once you have filed your Articles of Organization with the Oregon Secretary of State and completed the other necessary steps, your LLC is considered legally formed without the need for publication.

What Taxes Do LLCs Pay in Oregon?

LLCs in Oregon pay various taxes, including Oregon Corporate Excise Tax and Oregon Income Tax. Additionally, LLCs may be required to pay the Oregon Minimum Tax. Understanding and fulfilling these tax obligations is crucial for Oregon LLCs.

Can I Operate an LLC in Oregon from Another State?

Yes, you can operate an LLC in Oregon from another state. However, you must still comply with Oregon's business regulations. This includes appointing a registered agent with a physical address in Oregon, filing the necessary documents with the Oregon Secretary of State, and adhering to any relevant state-specific tax and business license requirements.



About The Author

Co-Founder & Chief Editor
Jon Morgan, MBA, LLM, has over ten years of experience growing startups and currently serves as CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Venture Smarter. Educated at UC Davis and Harvard, he offers deeply informed guidance. Beyond work, he enjoys spending time with family, his poodle Sophie, and learning Spanish.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Growth & Transition Advisor
LJ Viveros has 40 years of experience in founding and scaling businesses, including a significant sale to Logitech. He has led Market Solutions LLC since 1999, focusing on strategic transitions for global brands. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Communications, LJ is also a distinguished Matsushita Executive alumnus.
Learn more about our editorial policy

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *