Oregon Business License

Oregon Business License

1) Tax Registration 

Federal Tax Registration - Employer Identification Number (EIN): If your business has employees, you have to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service. The EIN is also known as an employer tax ID. You make the request on IRS Form SS-4. Any business that has employees, including partnerships and corporations, will need to have an EIN.

EIN Contact Information:

IRS Phone Number: 1-800-829-4933

Instructions for IRS Form SS-4

Apply for EIN Online - If you don't want to hassle with filling out Form SS-4 and having to follow the IRS pamphlet on how to do so, you can click on this link, and you will be asked questions. If you don't understand one of the questions, there are help topics embedded in the online application. When you have completed the online application, you will have your EIN immediately. Then, it is important to download and print out the notice of confirmation.

Oregon Tax Registration: If your business is in the state of Oregon, you will need several more tax identification numbers, licenses and permits. These include the following:

Employer Tax Registration: If you have employees in the state, you have to get a state payroll account with the Oregon Department of Revenue (DOR). This is how you will report employer withholding taxes. This registration can be done all online on the Oregon Business Registry. You will receive a Business Identification Number (BIN). That will be the number you will use to pay payroll and unemployment insurance taxes. Those who register online get their BIN in one to three business days. If you prefer to register through the mail or by fax, you can use Form 150-211-055, Combined Employer's Registration.

Oregon State Business Income Tax: The state income taxes and even how you report them are dependent upon the kind of business you have. Nolo has a very good explanation of what taxes you will need to pay, based upon the type of business you have, and how these taxes are reported. The less complicated explanation by Nolo of these taxes and how they are reported is found here under Step 6.

Seller's Permits for Sales and Use Taxes: Since Oregon has no sales or use transaction taxes, you will not need a specific permit as a seller, nor will you have any taxes to report for Oregon transactions. If you are selling to buyers in a state that requires sales tax, you will need to consult that state's tax authority to see how to report transactions and remit the sales taxes you will need to collect. More information on this topic is on the Oregon Department of Revenue site.

Additionally, if you buy goods out of the state that you will resell within Oregon, you will need to get an Oregon Business Registry Resale Certificate. This is a more complicated topic because not all states will accept that certificate, and you may have to use the other state's required form.

Unemployment Insurance Tax: If you have paid over $1,000 in any quarter or in any 16 week period to one or more employees, you are liable for paying unemployment insurance in Oregon. How to register to pay the unemployment tax is through the Oregon Business Registry site and was explained under the "Employer Tax Registration" section of this article.

2) Business Licenses

General Business Licenses: The state of Oregon does not require a general business license, but there are many different types of business licenses for specific types of businesses. For example, there are licenses for pesticide applicators, nursery and landscaping companies, industrial hemp suppliers, etc. The quick way to find out what type of business license you need in the state of Oregon is to use the Business XPress License Directory Search. Also, there is a Business Wizard that explains what types of business licenses, permits and resources are available, based upon your type of business. It is best to consult both resources.

3) Local Permits

Local government requirements on business licenses and permits vary as well. The Business Wizard from the state website has quite a bit of this information, but they admit that not all information exists in the wizard at this time. This Oregon web page provides the contact information for each city in regards to local city license and zoning requirements.

Common licenses and permits required by local government entities include:

Alarm Permits

Building Permits

Business License and Tax Permits

Health Permits

Occupational Permits

Signage Permits

Zoning Permits

4) Incorporation Filing

If you have a corporation, LLC, partnership or non-profit, you must register that with the state of Oregon. There are two relevant links:

Oregon Business Registry Forms

Oregon Main Business Registry

5) Doing Business As (DBA)

If you are operating your business under any name other than your legal name, you must file for a Doing Business As (DBA). A DBA is required for partnerships, LLCs, corporations, non-profits and professional associations. This registration is completed with the Oregon Secretary of State's office. Information about the DBA and the forms are found here.

6) Employer Requirements

Businesses that hire employees have more requirements for registration.

Federal Income Tax Withholding: You will need to keep your employment tax records for four years at a minimum. The IRS Employer's Tax Guide has all of the relevant information.

Federal Income Tax Withholding (Form W-4): You must have your new hires fill out the IRS Form W-4 before they begin working. You will forward the form to the IRS.

Federal Wage and Tax Statement (Form W-2): How you report the wages and withheld federal taxes of your workforce is with the IRS Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. You have until January 31 each year to complete the W-2 for the prior year's wages. Copy A of the form is forwarded to the Social Security Administration.

State Taxes: Regardless of where your employees actually live, even out of the state, you are required by the state of Oregon to withhold state taxes. This is Oregon's version of the W-4 that must be filled out before an employee begins work. Oregon withholding tax formulas can be found here.

Employee Eligibility Verification (I-9 Form): The federal government requires that all employees must provide proof that they meet eligibility requirements to work in the U.S. The workers have to complete their I-9 eligibility form within three days of their date of hire.

All employees, including foreign nationals, have to complete the I-9. There is a summary of the federal immigration laws called the Small Business Guide to Immigration Regulations by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

I-9 Employer Handbook

Download IRS Form I-9

New Hire Reporting: In order to help the state keep abreast of child support payments, they require that new hires and re-hires be reported to the state's Child Support Department with 20 days of the hire date. You can either submit the information electronically or via mail.

Insurance Requirements: You will need to carry business insurance. The Business Insurance Guide by the U.S. Small Business Administration is very helpful.

Disability Insurance: There is no requirement in the state of Oregon for employers to carry temporary disability insurance benefits for their employees in the event of an illness or injury that is not sustained on the job.

Unemployment Insurance: Unemployment insurance is explained in this article in the section entitled "Unemployment Insurance Tax." You can find out more about the topic in the Oregon Employer's Guide on pages 25-27.

Workers' Compensation Insurance: If you have an employee injured at work, they will need to fill out a Worker's Compensation Claim. The vast majority of Oregon employers are required to carry worker's compensation insurance. There are some exceptions. The Oregon Worker's Compensation Division web site has more in-depth information.