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

Jon Morgan
Published by Jon Morgan | Co-Founder & Chief Editor
Last updated: October 6, 2023
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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.

Quick Summary

  • The key steps to forming an LLC include registering a business name, appointing a registered agent, submitting articles of organization, and obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Starting an LLC in Oregon can be a beneficial option for businesses due to the flexibility in management and taxation it offers and the limited personal liability for debts
  • Professional assistance from attorneys, online resources, and services like ZenBusiness can help ensure compliance with legal requirements

Steps You Need To Follow To Form An LLC

Important document on office table

Before forming an LLC, decide which business structure is best for your company.

You have two options: an LLC or a corporation.

However, if you want more control over your business without being taxed as heavily as corporations, then the LLC might be right for you.

Here's everything you need to do before you conduct business in Oregon.

You will also need your company name, which cannot be similar to another registered business entity within the state or violate someone else's trademark. It must also adhere to the Oregon LLC naming guidelines.

Here's everything you need to do before you conduct business in Oregon.

1. Register Your Oregon LLC Business Name

If your business is in Oregon, the first step is to register your business name with the Oregon Business Registry before conducting business [1].

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 expiry.

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.

In case you want to change your LLC name, read our article and learn how to rename an LLC in Oregon.

2. Look for a Registered Agent

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.

Every Oregon LLC needs to have a registered agent, and most professional registered agents will offer a variety of additional services with their packages.

An Oregon registered agent is an individual or business entity responsible for receiving official documents and packages on behalf of your business, like tax forms or court summonses (when they're delivered by mail).

You can opt to be your own registered agent or hire a professional registered agent service to handle various tasks for you. One of these includes filing an Oregon LLC annual report or helping with the Corporation Division naming tasks.

However, you won't be able to use a reliable registered agent service free of charge. The service fee usually costs about $50 a year on average.

3. Submit Oregon Articles of Organization

The most important step in establishing an Oregon LLC is filing articles of organization with the Secretary of State.

Articles are typically filed using paper, but you can also file online through various electronic business-related services.

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.

4. Come up with an LLC Operating Agreement

Shaking hands with another business person

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, 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.

5. Obtain an Employer Identification Number

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 ensure 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 [2].

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

Once you've filled out the form, submit it to the IRS. You can send it online, by mail, or by fax, per the instructions on the form.

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 (IRS) website.

What Is an Oregon Limited Liability Company?

An Oregon limited liability company is a business structure that protects the owner(s) from being personally responsible if there are any debts.

It combines the benefits of a corporation and a partnership, providing flexibility in management and taxation.

Why Should You Opt for Starting an LLC?

Starting an LLC in Oregon is a great idea for many businesses since limited liability companies don't have to pay corporate and personal income taxes.

For example, an LLC doesn't get taxed when it distributes profits among LLC members or LLC owners, unlike corporations that are lawfully required to distribute earnings as dividends.

As a result, an LLC is extremely beneficial for those who want to start a profitable business.

In addition, limited liability companies in Oregon are known as flexible entities that offer limited disclosure and easy management.

For example, LLCs don't have to hold annual shareholder's meetings or elect the board of directors as corporations do. It applies even when you offer professional services.

All you have to do to get all this is file important legal documents with the Oregon Secretary of State and begin doing business.

Oregon LLC Tax Requirements

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.

Get a Business Bank Account

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 why 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.

You Might Need a Business License

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.

Get Insurance for Your Business

Explaining someone their business insurance

Don't forget business insurance. There are a variety of business types that require business insurance.

If you start an Oregon LLC, you'll probably need it. It can be hard to find the right policy for your business because there's a lot of information out there, and it often seems overwhelming.

Remember, unemployment insurance tax, especially if you're a business owner. You'll need to pay taxes on your business income, too.

At the end of the day, it's best to consult with professionals who can help ease getting business insurance and all other important business transactions done smoothly and quickly.

Related Articles:


Can I File for an LLC on My Own?

You can file for an LLC independently, but it is important to understand the legal requirements and complexities involved.

Always consult a qualified attorney or use reputable online resources to guide you and ensure compliance with the necessary steps, paperwork, and regulations for establishing an LLC successfully.

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 Start an LLC Online?

You can start an Oregon LLC online by filing the necessary formation documents through the Oregon Secretary of State's website. Follow the prescribed guidelines on the website and pay the required fees.

Is It Hard to Create Your Own LLC?

Creating your own LLC in Oregon is not hard. You must file the necessary paperwork, pay the required fees, and meet certain requirements. Consulting with a professional or utilizing online resources can aid in ensuring a smooth and legitimate LLC formation.

Starting an LLC In Oregon

LLCs in Oregon are companies that can be registered with the Secretary of State and are not subject to income tax.

To set up an LLC, you must file articles of incorporation or some other form and complete an operating agreement.

You should always seek professional help if you want to do everything by the books, such as hiring ZenBusiness to draft your documents and an accountant to file taxes on behalf of your business.

These professionals may charge a fee, but they can save you time and money in the long run by ensuring that all legal obligations are met from day one.



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