Oregon Incorporation Services
To start a corporation in Oregon, you must file Articles of Incorporation with the Corporation Division. You can file the document online or by mail. The Articles of Incorporation cost $100 to file. Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Oregon corporation. However, to actually ready the corporation to do business, you must complete several additional steps.
Starting an Oregon Corporation Guide:
Oregon Corporation Filing Options
Free PDF Download
Oregon Articles of Incorporation free download. When you're done filling out the form, submit it to your state.
Do It Yourself Online
Our free account and tools will walk you through starting and maintaining an Oregon corporation. All for free.
1 Day Oregon Corporation
Includes registered agent service, bylaws & more.$325 Total
Oregon Articles of Incorporation Requirements
To form an Oregon corporation, you must complete and file the Articles of Incorporation with the Corporation Division. See the document below and click on any number to see what information is required in the corresponding section.
Oregon business corporations must include “Corporation,” “Company,” “Incorporated,” “Limited” or an abbreviation of one of these words in their name. Tip: Most corporations keep it short and sweet with “Corp” or “Inc.”
This must be a physical street address (no PO Boxes). Like all the information in your Articles, this address will become part of the public record of your corporation. Tip: Hire Northwest as your registered agent and use our Oregon address as your principal address.
List either an individual (such as yourself) or a business (such as Northwest). Tip: Naturally, we’re big fans of Northwest.
This Oregon street address again must be a physical address, not a PO Box. Tip: Hire us as your registered agent, and our Oregon office address will go here.
You may have noticed a theme here—the state requests a LOT of addresses. This address is where the Corporation Division will send notices (except legal notifications—those go to your registered agent). Tip: Instead of listing a half dozen different addresses (and trying to remember to check them all and update them if they change), use our address throughout your Articles when you hire us.
List the number of shares you’d like to create. You must create at least one share.
If you’re a professional corporation, you’re required to describe your services. A professional corporation provides state-licensed services (think doctors and lawyers). Tip: Most corporations aren’t professional and can skip this section.
Have other provisions you’d like to add? For instance, if you want to form a benefit company, you’d have to note this in your Articles. Or, if you want to secure protections (indemnity) against personal liability for directors or others in your corporation, you could note this here.
Your incorporator signs your Articles of Incorporation. You must have at least one incorporator, but it doesn’t have to be a director or anyone in your corporation—just someone you authorize to submit your Articles. Incorporators must include their names and addresses. Tip: We’ll be your incorporator when you hire Northwest to form your Oregon corporation.
Yet another name and address! You can list a director, controlling shareholder or “an authorized representative with direct knowledge of the operations and business activities of the corporation.” Typically, your corporation’s president would qualify for the last one—and since you have to list your president’s name and address in your Business Renewal anyway, listing your president would help minimize hits to your privacy. Tip: Don’t list a personal home address (even the Oregon Secretary of State website recommends avoiding personal addresses on public documents). You can list our address when you hire Northwest as your registered agent.
How much does it cost to start an Oregon corporation?
The Corporation Division charges a $100 fee to file Articles of Incorporation.
Hire Northwest to form your Oregon corporation and your total, out-the-door cost is $325. This includes state filing fees, a year of registered agent service, and loads of tools and forms to help get your business up and running.
How long does it take to start an Oregon corporation?
File online and you’ll typically get an email notification of your approval within a day. Or, if you’re in downtown Salem and don’t mind hunting for parking and navigating a government building, you can drop off your filing at the Corporation Division in person and get your approval either that day or the next. Mail your Articles of Incorporation, and you’ll have to wait for the mail, the Corporation Division’s mail sorting, and a filer to process your submission by hand. You’ll get your approval in a few days (occasionally up to a week).
If you hire Northwest to start your corporation, we file online and typically have your Oregon corporation formed within 24 hours.
Does an Oregon corporation need a registered agent?
Yes, you’ll need to appoint and maintain an Oregon registered agent. Your agent is the person or business you designate to accept legal notifications. Agents have to be regularly available at an address that’s listed in your corporation’s public documents. You could do it yourself—that is, if you don’t mind data sellers and busybodies cluttering your mailbox or showing up on your doorstep. Or being stuck at your desk to make sure you don’t miss a court summons or other crucial legal notice.
A better option? Hire Northwest. We’ve been providing expert registered agent service for years, in part because we know just how frustrating it is to be your own registered agent. Privacy is a big deal to us—and by using our registered office address, you don’t have to list yours. Efficiency is also a major point of pride for us—so we accept, scan and send you your legal notifications in real time. This way, you’re free to take a few days off for a business trip (or a little vacay to Cannon Beach).
Create Bylaws for Your Oregon Corporation
Do I need bylaws?
Absolutely. Bylaws are essential for organizing your Oregon corporation. They’re not a document you file with the state like your Articles of Incorporation—the state isn’t really concerned with how many board members your corporation requires to vote on a resolution. (Oregon is more concerned with keeping general tabs on you to make sure you pay all your taxes and fees.)
Why are corporate bylaws important?
Oregon may not be interested in the minutia of your corporate processes, but the people in your corporation will be very interested. Why? Your bylaws determine who has power over what in your corporation. In your bylaws, you decide who’s on the board of directors, how long they stay, and how they’re replaced. You decide who your officers are and what their duties will be. You also lay out what classes or series of shares you’ll have, including any voting rights or restrictions. And while bylaws are a private, internal document, you’ll occasionally need to present your bylaws to those outside your business. Your bank will need your bylaws to see if you’re even authorized to open an account for your business. Potential investors and partners will want to check out your bylaws as well.
How do I begin writing bylaws?
The content of your bylaws is critical—but where do you start? We can help here. When you hire Northwest to form your Oregon corporation, we’ give you free corporate bylaws to get you started. We give you other key forms as well, like resolutions and meeting minute templates. Our job is to make your job easier, so you can focus less on tedious paperwork and more on growing your new business. Take a look at the free corporate forms we provide to help corporations form and maintain their businesses.
Get an EIN for Your Oregon Corporation
Do I have to get a tax ID number (EIN)?
Yes, corporations need an EIN for their federal tax filings. You’ll also likely need this ID for all sorts of paperwork, from opening a corporate bank account to applying for licenses and permits.
Where do you get an EIN? You can file a free application directly with the IRS. Or, if you don’t really want to start your day filling out an IRS application, you can hire us to get your EIN for you. Just tick the box that says “EIN service” during checkout when you hire us to form your Oregon corporation.
Open a Bank Account for Your Oregon Corporation
To open a corporate bank account, you will need to bring the following to the bank:
- A copy of the Oregon corporation’s Articles of Incorporation
- The Oregon corporation’s bylaws
- The Oregon corporation’s EIN
If your bylaws don’t specifically assign the power to open a bank account, you may also want to bring a corporate resolution to open a bank account that states that the person going to the bank is authorized by the business to open the account in the name of the corporation.
We recommend calling your bank ahead of time before going in and asking what their requirements are. Most banks don’t open corporate accounts nearly as frequently as personal accounts, so some bankers may be unfamiliar with their own bank’s requirements. As frustrating as that may be for you, calling ahead will help save you from being super annoyed when you walk into the bank.
Obtain a Business License
Does an Oregon corporation need a business license?
Oregon doesn’t have a general business license for all businesses. Instead, hundreds of different occupations and activities are licensed on the state level. (You can do an Oregon Licensing Search here).
Cities and counties often have additional requirements too. For instance, in the City of Portland and Multnomah County, all businesses are required to register for a business tax license (initial registration is free, but you’ll have to file city/county taxes each year). In Bend, however, you’ll shell out a $50 application fee to register your business.
File Oregon Corporation Reports
What is an Oregon Business Renewal?
To maintain your corporation in Oregon, you’re required to submit an annual Business Renewal. This filing confirms or updates your contact and ownership information. Most of the required information is what you already submitted in your Articles of Incorporation. One additional requirement, however, is to list the names and mailing addresses of your corporation’s president and secretary.
Your renewal and $100 fee are due on the anniversary of when you first registered your business. What happens if you don’t file? After 45 days, the state will dissolve your corporation.
No worries though—Northwest can help make sure you don’t miss a filing. As your registered agent, we’ll send you report reminders. Or, save yourself some hassle and let us file for you. For $100 plus state fees, you can hire us to submit your Oregon Business Renewal.
How much does a corporation in Oregon cost each year?
$100. This is the state fee to submit your mandatory Oregon Business Renewal each year.
Pay Corporate Taxes
What are the taxes for an Oregon corporation?
Corporations that do business in Oregon are required to file the state’s Corporation Excise Tax. The tax base is typically income (like a traditional income tax) and has the following rates:
6.6%: $0 to $1 million
7.6%: over $1 million
However, if it results in a higher tax, your tax base could be your corp’s Oregon sales. In this case, you pay a flat rate. For instance, the rate is $150 for corporations with less than $500K in sales and $500 for $500K to $1 million in sales.
Have an S corporation? S corps pay the the minimum tax of $150.
While the state has no sales tax (yay!), the personal net income tax is one of the highest in the country, topping out at a whopping 9.9%.