Starting an LLC in Oregon FAQs
Why Start an LLC in Oregon?
If you’re in Oregon, or planning to move your business to Oregon, there are many great reasons for starting an LLC in Oregon. Boasting nearly 400,000 small businesses, Oregon is a highly business-friendly destination. Whether you’re an LLC or a corporation, Oregon is a hub for reaching out to national and global markets.
(image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Seal_of_Oregon.svg)
An LLC, or Limited Liability Company, is a type of private limited company in the United States, which is any type of business entity in private ownership. This means the company is owned by its founders and management and is therefore not beholden to shareholders. So what are the benefits of starting an LLC in Oregon?
Compared to other business structures, LLCs have a relatively simple, flexible, low-cost structure that offers tax benefits and personal liability protection. See our ultimate guide for How to Start an LLC for a full breakdown of the advantages of LLCs and how they compare to other business structures.
So if you’ve ever wondered how to get an LLC in Oregon, wonder no more. This simple guide for how to start an LLC in Oregon shares all the important steps, requirements, state fees and costs you’ll need during the LLC setup process so you won’t feel lost along the way.
What are the Steps to Starting an LLC in Oregon?
Learning how to form an LLC in Oregon may feel daunting, but we promise it’s not. There are 7 simple steps to start an LLC in Oregon:
Step 1: Name Your Oregon LLC
The first step to an Oregon LLC registration is to come up with a name that is not only distinct and memorable but also one that is available and adheres to Oregon naming rules. Your LLC’s name cannot have the same name as an existing business in Oregon. Do an Oregon LLC name search on the Secretary of State’s website to ensure that your intended name is not already taken.
If your name is available and you’re not quite ready to submit your registration documents, you can file an Oregon business name reservation application for $100, which reserves your name for 120 days. If you are still not ready to officially form your business after those 120 days, you can file another reservation application to hold the name for an additional 120 days.
Note that your Oregon LLC name must include an entity identifier like “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” or “Limited Liability Corporation” in order to comply with state rules.
Also, keep in mind that a filing officer with the Secretary of State will make the final determination as to whether your LLC’s name is “distinguishable on record,” which means visually distinct. For example, if an existing business entity’s name includes the word “fair,” your Oregon LLC filing can include the word “fare” even though they sound identical. However, if an existing business entity’s name includes the word “wind” (as in “the wind blows”), your LLC’s name cannot include the word “wind” (as in “wind up a clock”).
In addition to being distinguishable, there are a few additional naming requirements for a state of Oregon LLC. Consult the full list of rules before reserving a name or beginning your Oregon LLC registration.
Step 2: Designate a Registered Agent
Forming an LLC in Oregon means having a registered agent. A Registered Agent acts as an intermediary for receiving official legal documents and passing them on to the LLC owner. All LLCs in the U.S. are legally required to designate a Registered Agent. An Oregon LLC Registered Agent must either be an individual who resides in the state and has an identical business address to your LLC’s registered office, or a registered agent service company. Either way, you must get their consent before listing them as your Registered Agent.
Step 3: File Articles of Organization
Once you have a name, a Registered Agent, and an Oregon mailing address (a street address, not a P.O. Box), the next step to setting up an LLC in Oregon is to submit official formation documents, also known as Articles of Organization. In order to complete Articles of Organization, you’ll need the:
- LLC’s name and principal address
- Registered Agent name and address
- Address where the Secretary of State can send notices
- Management structure that details whether your Oregon LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed
- Name and address of each person who is forming the business
- Name and address of all members and managers
- Name and address of a specific individual who has direct knowledge of your LLC’s operations and business activities
You have a few options for filing your Articles of Organization: online, mail, or in person at the Public Service Building in Salem. See the Secretary of State’s website for more details.
See our Articles of Organization LLC Template to make sure you don’t miss anything.
Step 4: Receive a Certificate From the State
The next step for forming an LLC in Oregon is receiving the certificate of formation. After an LLC’s formation documents have been filed and approved, the state will send you a certificate that formally confirms the existence of your LLC.
(image source: https://sos.oregon.gov/business/Documents/cert-existence.pdf)
The time it takes to receive this certificate depends on how you filed your Articles of Organization. In-person and online requests can often be processed the same day or the next business day, while mail requests can take 6-8 weeks to be processed. If you filed by mail, the state will mail your certificate of formation to the Oregon mailing address you provided.
Once you have this certificate, you will be able to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN), business licenses, and business bank account for your LLC.
Step 5: Create an Operating Agreement
Creating an Operating Agreement is an essential step to setting up an LLC in Oregon. While an LLC Operating Agreement in Oregon is not mandatory, it is highly recommended that you create one. An Operating Agreement is a written document that outlines the LLC’s ownership, capital contributions, rights and responsibilities of management, rules, and operations. It can also be used to show that your LLC is truly a separate business entity, which can preserve your limited liability.
To help create your Oregon LLC Operating Agreement, see our LLC Operating Agreement Template to make sure you’re including all the essentials. An attorney should be consulted for more complex operations.
Step 6: Get an Employer Identification Number
The next step to starting an LLC in Oregon is getting your tax ID number. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will assign you an Employer Identification Number (EIN) in order to identify your LLC for taxes.
An EIN, sometimes referred to as a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN), is nine digits and enables an LLC to file and manage taxes at the state and federal level, open a business bank account, and hire employees. You can obtain an EIN for free via the IRS online portal.
Step 7: File a Statement of Information Annually
Now that you know how to get an LLC in Oregon, you need to know how to maintain it. Once your LLC has been established, you’ll file an Oregon LLC annual report, otherwise known as a statement of information, by the end of the anniversary month that your business was formed. This statement ensures that the state stays up to date on the contact information for your LLC. Fortunately, the state will send you a reminder 45 days before your statement of information is due. When the time comes, you can submit a statement of information online, and there is a $100 filing fee.
You will need to know your Oregon LLC Registry Number, which can be found on your certificate of formation. Also, you may visit the state’s online database to perform an Oregon LLC search to find your Registry Number.
NOTE: Filing Errors
Even if you do your due diligence and thoroughly research how to form an LLC in Oregon, mistakes still happen. It’s in your best interest to get it right the first time, of course, but in the event that you register an LLC in Oregon and then discover an error in your paperwork, correct it immediately by filing an Articles of Amendment form.
Mail the amendment paperwork along with the $100 filing fee to Secretary of State Corporation Division, 255 Capitol St. NE, Suite 151, Salem, OR 97310-1327.
How much does an Oregon LLC cost?
The cost to set up an LLC in Oregon is pretty straightforward. Here’s a roundup of the costs we’ve discussed so far for creating an LLC in Oregon:
- Business Name Reservation filing fee: $100
- Articles of Organization filing fee: $100
- Annual Statement of Information filing fee: $100
Does Collective Help with Starting an LLC in Oregon?
See? That wasn’t so hard! You now know the steps for how to start an LLC in Oregon.
If all the steps, forms, fees, and costs sound like too much work, don’t worry. Collective offers a smarter, more affordable way to get your LLC set up and running. We take care of your LLC formation, monthly bookkeeping, accounting, taxes, and more.
Start your LLC with Collective and find out how much you could save.