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Oregon Corporation Service We’re Just Not Annoying®

How to Start a Corporation in Oregon

To start an Oregon corporation, you must file Articles of Incorporation with the Corporation Division and pay a $100 filing fee. While this filing creates your business, it’s really just the first step to launching your Oregon corporation. The complete steps to incorporating in Oregon are as follows:

  1. File Oregon Articles of Incorporation
  2. Pay Oregon’s Corporation Division $100
  3. Wait to receive your approved Articles
  4. Get a federal tax ID (EIN) for the corporation
  5. Create Oregon corporate bylaws
  6. Take these documents to the bank and get an Oregon corporate bank account
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Oregon Articles of Incorporation free download. When you're done filling out the form, submit it to your state.

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How to File Oregon Articles of Incorporation

To form an Oregon corporation, you file the Articles of Incorporation in the following steps:
Step 1 Choose a name for your new corporation
Step 2 Decide what address you’d like to list publicly
Step 3 Decide if you want to hire a registered agent service to minimize public disclosures
Step 4 Decide how many shares to authorize
Step 5 Choose an incorporator to sign and submit your Articles
Step 6 List the name and address of an individual with direct knowledge of your corporation
Step 7 File online and pay $100 with a credit card (fastest) or mail to the Corporation Division at 255 Capitol St NE STE 151 Salem OR 97310-1327 with a check for $100

How Long Does it Take to Start an Oregon Corporation?

1-2

Fastest: 1-2 Days

File yourself 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.

1-2

Almost Fastest (and some might say better): 1-2 Days

Avoid all the hassle of preparing and filing your own Articles and hire Northwest. Just answer a few easy questions about your business, sit back, and let our Corporate Guides do the rest.

2-5

Not Too Shabby: 2-5 Days

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).

What is the Cost of 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 Much Does a Corporation in Oregon Cost Each Year?

$100. This is the state fee to submit your mandatory Oregon Business Renewal each year.

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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.

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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%.

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Is a Registered Agent Required for an Oregon Corporation?

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).

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Oregon Corporation Versus Oregon LLC:

State filing fees are the same for Oregon corporations and LLCs: $100 to form and $100 a year to renew. Tax obligations depend more on your tax election than your entity type—both entities could be taxed as S corporations, for example, which would make their tax obligations the same. With costs being pretty comparable, your choice really boils down to how you want to run your business.

Corporations are a little more complicated—but they have some advantages. Stock can make it easier to raise capital or attract investors. Corporations have been around for decades, so they tend to be more familiar. They also have a long legal history, so there are more court precedents that can guide corporations in confusing legal matters. LLCs, on the other hand, are simpler and easier to manage (especially if you’re new to running a business). Considering an Oregon LLC? Northwest can help—check out our page on starting an LLC in Oregon.

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Do I Need a Tax ID Number (EIN) for an Oregon Corporation?

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.

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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.

Does an Oregon Corporation 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.)

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.

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.

Oregon Articles of Incorporation Requirements

Business Name

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.”

Principal Office

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.

Registered Agent

List either an individual (such as yourself) or a business (such as Northwest). Tip: Naturally, we’re big fans of Northwest.

Registered Agent Address

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.

Mailing Address

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.

Authorized Shares

List the number of shares you’d like to create. You must create at least one share.

Professional Services

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.

Optional Provisions

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.

Oregon Incorporator

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.

Individual with Direct Knowledge

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.

Corporate Compliance
by Local Corporate Guides®