How to Register a Business Name in Oregon

Updated: October 1, 2023
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In Oregon, registering a business name can be done in three distinct ways. You can establish an LLC or Corporation if you want your business to be a separate legal entity or file for a DBA (officially referred to as an Assumed Business Name) if you’re a sole proprietor or a general partnership. For nationwide registration and additional legal protections, you may also want to consider filing a federal trademark with the USPTO.

Your Oregon business name should be registered before:

  • Register for an Oregon Business Identification Number (BIN) from the Oregon Department of Revenue to report and pay Oregon payroll taxes
  • Apply for professional or occupational licenses on the Oregon Business Xpress website
  • Obtaining local licenses and permits from your city and county
  • Get an IRS Tax ID (EIN)
  • Create a separate business bank account

How much does it cost to Register a Business Name in Oregon?

The cost to register an Oregon business name varies depending on the type of registration:

  • Oregon LLC cost: $100
  • Oregon Corporation cost: $100
  • Oregon DBA cost: $50

1. Check Business Name Availability

Before you dive into registering your name, you must ensure your chosen name is available to use. That means checking if it’s already being used or is too similar to other business names out there. This step is extremely important because it helps prevent legal problems related to trademarks and issues with similar businesses that can lead to your Oregon name registration being turned down. To do this properly, you should do three specific types of searches:

Oregon Business Name Search Help

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Trademark Search

The first step to verify your name’s availability is to ensure your desired name isn’t already trademarked. Trademarks offer superior protection by being registered at the federal level, meaning they override state and local registrations. If you encounter a match, it’s time to brainstorm a fresh business name that stands out.

You can search the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database using the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) page. However, interpreting TESS results can be challenging. If you want a simpler display and layout, try using Trademark Engine’s Free Trademark Search.

Oregon Business Name Search

Once you’ve confirmed that your chosen business name isn’t trademarked, the next step is to ensure it’s not registered within Oregon. Utilize the Oregon Business Name Search to verify that your business name isn’t already registered within Oregon.

Perform multiple searches, employing wildcard characters or fragments of your business name to identify any potential matches. If your business name closely resembles an existing Oregon business, it might lead to the rejection of your name registration application, so you may want to reconsider using that name.

Pro Tip: You might come across instances where your desired name was registered in the past but is currently available due to the previous business being dissolved or the name expiring. Even if the name is now able to be registered, it’s strongly recommended to opt for a new name.

Previously registered business names can cause complications when obtaining an EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS. Using a previously registered name oftentimes results in EIN Reference Number 101 error. Although getting an EIN after this error is possible, the process can be cumbersome and requires phone calls to the IRS and faxing your registration paperwork to an agent to get an EIN. Consider generating a different business name unless it’s absolutely necessary to use that particular name and you’re willing to endure potential hours on the phone dealing with the IRS.

Website Domain Search

The final search after you’ve confirmed you don’t have trademark or state-level registration issues in Oregon is for a website domain name. If someone else is already using your domain name, it could cause issues for your business. Consider if it’s worth not having the domain name that matches your business name and if it could cause problems for your business in the future. If your domain name is available, you should register it. Whether a website is in your immediate plans or not, you want to prevent others from taking it. You’ll also appear more legitimate to people you do business with since you can use an email with your business name.

Domain Name and Business Email

You can use Namecheap to verify if your domain name is available. They also offer a business email service that’s free to try for the first 60 days when you purchase a domain.

2. Choose a Business Structure

In the process of registering your business name in Oregon, you’ll need to determine the legal structure for your business. This decision not only affects how you register the business name but also impacts aspects like personal liability, financing options, and taxation. Think about the number of owners, funding needs, how comfortable you are with potential risks, and tax considerations. For more detailed guidance, refer to our comprehensive guide on How to Choose a Business Structure.

Recommended Business Structure:

For a typical new business an LLC is the recommended choice. Why? Because LLCs combined the best of all other business structures. You get liability protection similar to a corporation (unavailable for sole proprietors and general partnerships) but business income is only taxed once whereas a corporation is subject to double taxation.

For the assurance that your LLC is filed the right way, you can use a professional filing service. We’ve reviewed the best LLC services so you can find the one that works for you.


An LLC (Limited Liability Company) is a business entity providing liability protection to owners, separating personal and business assets, while offering flexible management and taxation choices under Oregon law (OR. Rev. Stat. § 63).

Learn More: What is an LLC

LLC Pros

  • Personal liability protection
  • Legally separate entity
  • Default pass-through taxation (business income taxed once)
  • Unlimited number of owners (members)
  • Flexible management – can be run by members or non-owner managers
  • Option for S-Corp tax status

LLC Cons

  • Upfront filing costs
  • Ongoing cost and filings to stay compliant
  • Unable to go public

Do you need to register to be an LLC in Oregon?

Yes, registration with the Oregon Secretary of State is required if you want your business to legally be an LLC in Oregon.

Jump to: Register an LLC Name


A corporation is a separate legal entity that can be created under Oregon law (OR. Rev. Stat. § 60). Stockholders own it, with limited liability. It’s optimal for securing outside investment and providing owner protection.

Learn More: What is a Corporation

Corporation Pros

  • Personal liability protection
  • Legally separate entity
  • Unlimited number of owners (shareholders)
  • Easier to raise capital by selling stock
  • Able to go public
  • Option for S-Corp tax status

Corporation Cons

  • Default double taxation
  • Upfront filing costs
  • Ongoing costs and filings to stay compliant
  • Increased record keeping requirements
  • Strict management structures set by law

Do you need to register to be a Corporation in Oregon?

Yes, to ensure your business is formally identified as a Corporation in Oregon, you must register with the Oregon Secretary of State.

Jump to: Register a Corporation Name

Sole Proprietor

A sole proprietorship is an individual-owned business. Quick setup, minimal forms. There’s no legal separation between the business and owner, creating unlimited liability.

Learn More: What is a Sole Proprietorship

Sole Proprietor Pros

  • Easy and inexpensive to start
  • Simple taxes (business income taxed once)
  • Easy to maintain
  • Complete control for owner

Sole Proprietor Cons

  • Unlimited Liability Risk
  • Hard to raise money and get loans
  • Not separate from owner
  • Difficult to sell business
  • No other tax status options

Do you need to register your sole proprietor business name in Oregon?

When operating as a sole proprietor in Oregon, it’s crucial to note that if your business name doesn’t have your name, you’ll need to file a “doing business as” name (DBA). For example, if your name is “Taylor Harris” and you’re going to run a barber shop, there’s no requirement to register “Taylor Harris Grooming.” However, selecting a better brandable name like “Kingscape Grooming Lounge” would require registration of a DBA.

Jump to: Register a DBA Name


A partnership is a business with 2 or more owners that work together jointly and share in all business liabilities. Partnerships are pass-through entities so income is reported and paid by each individual partner.

Learn More: What is a Partnership

Partnership Pros

  • Easy and inexpensive to start
  • Pass-through taxation (business income taxed once)
  • Unlimited number of owners (partners)
  • Shared business responsibilities

Partnership Cons

  • Unlimited Liability Risk
  • Responsible for partners’ actions
  • Hard to raise outside capital
  • Not separate from partners
  • Difficult to sell business
  • No other tax status options

Do you need to register your partnership business name in Oregon?

Partnerships operating in Oregon need to register a “doing business as” (DBA) name unless their business name includes the last names of all partners. For example, a landscaping partnership founded by Jessica Davis, Michael Wilson, and Emily Stevens can use the name “Davis, Wilson & Stevens Landscapes” without filing. However, if they prefer the unique brand name “Greener Scapes Oasis”, they need to register an Assumed Business Name (DBA).

Jump to: Register a DBA Name

3. File your Oregon Business Name Registration

After ensuring your business name is available and deciding on a structure, the next step is to officially register it in Oregon. Choose the procedure that aligns with your selected business structure. Note: sole proprietorships or partnerships name registrations are done via a DBA filing.

Register an Oregon LLC Name

To officially register an Oregon LLC, you’ll have to submit Articles of Organization to the Oregon Secretary of State, along with the state filing fee of $100. Your Articles of Organization is where you will list vital information about your business, including:

  • LLC Name
  • Information about the LLC members (owners) and managers (if applicable)
  • Business Address (Must be a physical address – PO Boxes not allowed)
  • Name and Address of your Registered Agent

Oregon LLC Name Requirements

Oregon LLCs must use a name that follows the naming rules outlined in Oregon law (OR. Rev. Stat. § 63.04.9):

  • Must be distinguishable (unique) from all others businesses registered with the Oregon Secretary of State
  • Must clearly denote the business is legally structured as an LLC by including the words “limited liability company” or an abbreviation such as “LLC”
  • Cannot use words or designators associated with Corporations such as “Corporation” “Incorporated” “Corp” or “Inc”
  • Cannot contain words that imply association with a government entity
  • Cannot contain words that are prohibited or require prior approval such as Bank, Trust

For more in-depth information check out our How to Start an LLC in Oregon guide, where we cover all the steps needed to form an LLC in full detail.

Want Help Starting an Oregon LLC?

Use a professional filing service like Northwest Registered Agent ($39 +state fees), which can save you $210 vs LegalZoom when forming an Oregon LLC.

Register an Oregon Corporation Name

If you choose to register as an Oregon Corporation, you’ll need to submit a document known as Articles of Incorporation to the Oregon Secretary of State. The filing costs $100 and you’ll need to provide details about your business, including:

  • Corporation Name
  • Names and addresses of the board of the directors
  • Number and type of authorized shares
  • Business Address (Must be a physical address – PO Boxes not allowed)
  • Name and Address of your Registered Agent

Oregon Corporation Name Requirements

Corporations in Oregon are required to use a name that follows the rules detailed under Oregon law (OR. Rev. Stat. § 60.094):

  • Must be distinguishable (unique) from all others businesses registered with the Oregon Secretary of State
  • Clearly indicate the business is legally structured as a corporation by including the words “Corporation” or “Incorporated” or use an abbreviation such as “Corp” or “Inc”
  • Cannot use words or designators associated with LLCs such as “limited liability company” or “LLC”
  • Cannot contain words that imply association with a government entity
  • Cannot contain words that are prohibited or require prior approval such as Bank, Trust

Want to Incorporate in Oregon?

If you’re interested in incorporating, you can learn more with the ZenBusiness guide on How to Start a Corporation in Oregon, which covers each step you’ll need to complete to start an Oregon corporation.

Register an Oregon DBA (Assumed Business Name)

An Oregon DBA (Assumed Business Name) allows a business to operate using a business name that is different than their legal name. To register an Oregon DBA you’ll need to complete a Assumed Business Name – New Registration application and submit it to the Oregon Secretary of State, along with the filing fee of $50. You’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Name and address of Applicant(s)
  • Business Name (Assumed Business Name)
  • Address where business is transacted

Oregon DBA (Assumed Business Name) Requirements

The rules for an Oregon Assumed Business Name (DBAs) are not quite as strict as they are for LLCs or Corporations, however there are still restrictions. Mainly, your DBA can’t include designators used for legal entities like “LLC” or “Inc” in the Assumed Business Name. DBAs also can’t contain prohibited words or words that imply association with government entities.

You’re required to register a DBA if you operate under any name other than your legal name in Oregon. Those who do business with an unregistered assumed business name may not have standing in court to pursue o​r defend legal actions and are subject to a civil penalty of up to $100.

Oregon DBA Registration Assistance

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4. File a Trademark (Optional)

Securing a trademark is crucial if you want increased protection for your business identity. Trademarks are federal-level registrations that apply across state boundaries and allow increased control over your brand name.

You can submit a trademark application online, but it’s more complicated than most registrations. It takes 7-9 months on average before a USPTO examining attorney evaluates your application. As a result, errors in the initial application can significantly delay the process or result in an outright rejection of the application.

To make the trademark registration process more efficient, you should seek the help of a competent attorney or a specialized filing service. Their knowledge and experience can help you save time and streamline the complicated process of submitting applications and following up on them.

Trademark Filing Assistance

Ensure your trademark is filed properly with the help of the experts at Trademark Engine, who’ve helped file over 120,000 trademarks since 2016. Packages start at $99 (+USPTO fees).

Additional Business Resources in Oregon

For more help, check out our How to Start a Business in Oregon guide, or use these resources:

  • Oregon Secretary of State – Official government website providing information on business registration, forms, and guidelines in Oregon.
  • Oregon Department of Revenue – Access information about taxes, permits, and licenses for businesses operating in Oregon.
  • Oregon Chamber of Commerce – Connect with a network of local businesses and access resources, events, and advocacy initiatives to support business growth.
  • Oregon SBDC – A resource hub offering guidance, training, and consultation for small businesses, including startup assistance and planning.
  • SCORE Oregon – Volunteer mentors provide free business advice and tools to help entrepreneurs and small business owners succeed.
  • Business Oregon Financing Programs – Explore various financing and loan programs offered by the state to support business expansion and development.