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Planning to start your own venture in the beautiful and progressive state of Oregon? Register a business name in Oregon is a crucial early step in establishing your brand identity and legal presence. Fortunately, Oregon offers a user-friendly registration process for various business structures, such as LLCs, corporations, and trade names. Our guide will lead you through each step of the registration process, ensuring a smooth and compliant experience.
For added convenience and expert assistance, consider leveraging the services of ZenBusiness. They’re experienced in handling business registrations and can help you save time and effort while staying on the path to success. Let’s dive into the registration process and begin your entrepreneurial journey in the Beaver State!
4 Steps to Register Your Business Name in Oregon
If you’re ready to make your mark in Oregon’s thriving business landscape, registering your business name is the initial step to success. To assist you in this process, we’ve outlined four easy-to-follow steps to officially register your business name in Oregon. By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to turning your entrepreneurial vision into reality.
Step 1: Choose Your Business Structure in Oregon
When starting a business in Oregon, selecting the appropriate business structure is essential for your expansion goals and the type of business you plan to run. There are several options available, each with its advantages and requirements. Let’s take a closer look at the different business structures in Oregon:
A simple and easy-to-establish structure where the owner and the business are considered the same entity. The owner is personally responsible for the business’s debts and liabilities. While you don’t need to register a sole proprietorship in Oregon, you may require local permits or licenses.
Ideal for businesses co-owned by two or more individuals sharing profits and liabilities. A general partnership does not need state registration, but you may have to file an “Oregon Assumed Business Name” (DBA) in the county where your business operates.
Limited Partnership (LP)
Involves one or more general partners with unlimited personal liability and limited partners who contribute capital with limited liability. To establish an LP in Oregon, you must file a “Certificate of Limited Partnership” with the Oregon Secretary of State.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Offers liability protection like a corporation while maintaining the tax benefits and simplicity of a partnership. Creating an LLC requires filing Articles of Organization with the Oregon Secretary of State and drafting an Operating Agreement.
A separate legal entity from its shareholders, providing limited liability protection. In Oregon, there are two types of corporations: C-corporations and S-corporations. Establishing a corporation involves filing Articles of Incorporation with the Oregon Secretary of State and adhering to additional formalities like creating bylaws and issuing stock.
Consider the pros and cons of each structure and seek advice from a legal or business professional to make the best decision for your needs.
Step 2: Select a Unique Business Name in Oregon
When naming your business in Oregon, you must follow specific rules and regulations. There are three main options for naming your business:
Legal Entity Name
This is the official identifier for your company registered with the state. It must be unique, reflect the type of business, and adhere to Oregon’s naming guidelines. Check name availability using the online database provided by the Oregon Secretary of State.
A trademark offers nationwide intellectual property protection for your business name or logo. Conduct a thorough search in the USPTO database to ensure your chosen name or logo isn’t already registered. Registering a trademark grants exclusive rights and prevents others from using similar names or logos for similar goods or services.
Doing Business As (DBA) Name
This option allows you to operate your business under a different name while officially registering it under a DBA with the Oregon Secretary of State. Unlike legal entity names, DBAs are not required to be unique at the state level, but they’re still subject to federal trademark laws.
By understanding these naming options, you can confidently register your business name in Oregon and protect your brand identity.
Step 3: Check Business Name Availability in Oregon
Before officially registering your business in Oregon, it’s crucial to ensure that your desired business name is available and not already in use. To conduct a comprehensive search, follow these three steps:
To begin, check for federal trademark registrations to see if your desired business name has already been claimed by another entity. You can perform this search on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website using their TESS Search tool. If your preferred name is already trademarked, you will need to choose an alternative name.
Oregon Business Name Search
Next, verify the availability of your chosen name within the state of Oregon. Use the Oregon Business Name Search tool to check for any existing registered businesses with the same name. It’s essential not only to search for an exact match but also for any significantly similar names.
Website Domain Search
Once you have confirmed that your business name is free from trademark restrictions and available for use in Oregon, it’s prudent to check if the .com version of the name is also available for a website domain. Even if you don’t plan to create a website immediately, securing the .com domain early on can prevent potential conflicts in the future.
By registering the .com version of your business name with ZenBusiness, you secure exclusive rights to the website name, protecting it from potential use by others at an affordable cost.
Step 4: Form Your Business With the State of Oregon
After determining your business structure and name, the next step is to formally establish your business with the State of Oregon. To do this, you must file the necessary formation documents.
For an Oregon LLC, you will need to submit the Articles of Organization to the Oregon Secretary of State either online or by mail. For an Oregon corporation, you must file the Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State.
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Protect Your Business Name With a Trademark
Once you have confirmed the availability of your business name and secured it, you may consider applying for a trademark. While this step is optional and may involve costs ranging from $225 to $400, as well as attorney fees and a renewal fee every ten years, it provides nationwide brand protection under federal law.
This legal safeguard can be particularly valuable if others attempt to use a similar name, giving you a strong legal position. However, for most small businesses with no national ambitions, this may not be necessary.
How to File an Oregon Fictitious Name – DBA?
To file an Oregon Fictitious Name, also known as a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name, follow these simple steps:
- Choose a Name: Decide on the fictitious name you want to use for your business. Ensure it’s unique and not already in use by another business in Oregon
- Conduct a Name Search: Check the Oregon Secretary of State’s business name database to ensure your chosen name is available and hasn’t been registered by another entity
- Download the Form: Obtain the “Assumed Business Name” form from the Oregon Secretary of State’s website
- Complete the Form: Fill out the form with accurate and relevant information, including your business name, address, and the DBA name you wish to use
- Notarize the Form: Some counties may require notarization, so check with your local county clerk’s office to confirm if notarization is needed
- File the Form: Submit the completed form, along with any required fees, to the county clerk’s office in the county where your business operates
- Publish the Name: In some counties, you may be required to publish a notice of your fictitious name in a local newspaper for a specific period
- Renew as Necessary: Fictitious name registrations in Oregon are typically valid for a specific period, after which you may need to renew the registration
Please note that the process and requirements may vary slightly depending on the county where your business is located. It’s essential to check with the county clerk’s office for any specific guidelines or additional steps for registering a fictitious name in that particular county.
How to Change the Name of an Oregon Business?
Changing the name of your Oregon business can be achieved through two methods. The first involves filing for an assumed business name (DBA name), which allows you to operate your business under a different name without changing its legal name. This option is suitable for sole proprietorships, general partnerships, as well as LLCs and corporations looking to operate with brand names that don’t include the necessary suffix (e.g., LLC or Inc.) required in a legal name.
For those who wish to change the legal name of their LLC or corporation, the best course of action is to file an amendment to the existing business name. The appropriate forms for both options (assumed business name and amendment) can be found online:
- Articles of Amendment for LLCs
- Articles of Amendment for Corporations
Remember to include the $100 filing fee when submitting the forms.
Business Name Registration Laws in Oregon
The business name registration laws in Oregon require businesses to register their names with the Oregon Secretary of State. Here are some key points to consider:
- Business Name Availability: Before registering a business name in Oregon, you should check the availability of the name to ensure it’s not already in use by another entity. You can do this by conducting a name search through the Oregon Secretary of State’s website or by contacting their office.
- Business Structure: The registration process may vary depending on the type of business entity you wish to operate. Common types include Sole Proprietorships, Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), and Corporations. Each entity type has different requirements and regulations.
- Trade Name Registration (Doing Business As – DBA): If you plan to operate your business under a name that’s different from your personal name (for sole proprietors) or the legal name of your entity (for partnerships, LLCs, or corporations), you may need to file a Trade Name Registration, also known as a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name with the Oregon Secretary of State.
- Registration Process: The registration process typically involves filling out the necessary forms and submitting them to the Oregon Secretary of State’s office. You may be required to pay a registration fee, which can vary depending on the type of business entity and the registration method.
- Registered Agent: Some business entities in Oregon may need to designate a registered agent, who is a person or entity responsible for receiving legal and official documents on behalf of the business.
- Annual Reporting: After registering your business, you may need to file annual reports with the Oregon Secretary of State to maintain your business’s active status. These reports may include updated business information and, in some cases, a small filing fee.
Please note that business laws and regulations are subject to change, and it’s essential to verify the most current information with the Oregon Secretary of State’s office or consult with a legal professional or business advisor to ensure compliance with all requirements.
Bottom Line on How to Register a Business Name in Oregon
In conclusion, registering a business name in Oregon marks the commencement of a thrilling entrepreneurial journey in the Beaver State. By carefully selecting a business structure and an exceptional name, fulfilling required registrations, and considering the advantages of trademark protection or a DBA name, you set the groundwork for prosperity.
Embracing the support and guidance of reliable services like ZenBusiness can expedite the registration process, making your path to success in Oregon even more rewarding. With boundless enthusiasm and determination, your registered business name is poised to lead the way in Oregon’s dynamic business environment.
How to register a business name in every US state: