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Oregon Licenses, Permits and Registration


1) Tax Registration

Employer Identification Number (EIN): All employers who have employees, including business partnerships and corporations, must be assigned an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Employer Tax ID from the United States Internal Revenue Service, sometimes referred to as a Form SS-4.

U.S. Internal Revenue Service Phone: 1-800-829-4933

Oregon Tax Registration: Those businesses operating within the state of Oregon are additionally required to register for more specific identification numbers, licenses or permits for different tax purposes. Examples of these include income tax withholding, sellers’ permits for sales and use tax, and unemployment insurance tax. Contact the State of Oregon Department of Revenue  for more specific information regarding business owner tax obligations and registration procedures.

2) Business Licenses

General Business Licenses: The Oregon License Directory provides specific information regarding permit, license and registration requirements through an extensive collection of links links and contact information.

3) Local Permits

The local government in your area, such as that of your city or county, may require specific permits and licenses. Each municipality may have its own unique regulations. Here are some of the most common licenses and permits you may need.

  •  Alarm Permit
  • Building Permit
  • Business License and/or Tax Permit
  • Health Permit
  • Occupational Permit
  • Signage Permit
  • Zoning Permit

4) Incorporation Filing

Any businesses within the state of Oregon which operate as corporations, limited liability companies (LLC), a partnership (either limited or limited liability) or who are a non-profit organization need to register with the state. Forms and applications can be found here:

5) Doing Business As (DBA)

Filing for a fictitious name allows the creation of a business name which is then separate from your legal name. This is called Doing Business As (DBA), or an Assumed Business Name. In Oregon, this is required for any business owners who wish to conduct business under anything other than their “real and true name.” This is a legal term, the definition of which can be found here. All businesses operating in Oregon as limited partnerships, registered limited liability partnerships, limited liability companies, corporations, professional corporations, nonprofit corporations, and professional associations must register with the Secretary of State.

6)  Employer Requirements

There are several registration requirements for businesses which have employees. New employers may be interested in reading Ten Steps to Hiring Your First Employee.

Withholding Income Taxes The IRS requires that records of employment taxes be kept for at least four years. An overview of employer responsibilities regarding the withholding of federal taxes is provided in the IRS Employer’s Tax Guide publication.

Federal Income Tax Withholding (Form W-4): All employees must fill out an exemption certificate for their employer (Form W-4) either on or before their start date of employment. The employer is then responsible for submitting the W-4 to the IRS for verification.

Federal Wage and Tax Statement (Form W-2): Employers must report annually to the IRS the wage and tax information which has been withheld for all employees. This report is filed using Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. A W-2 must be completed for each employee by January 31 each year. Copy A of the W-2 Form must be sent to the Social Security Administration (SSA) to report employee wages for the preceding year. Additional Employer W-2 Filing Instructions and Information are provided by the Social Security Administration.

State Taxes: In Oregon, employers must withhold tax regardless of where employees are located. This applies to those employers who have employees living both within the state and living elsewhere. Visit your state tax agency for further information.

Employee Eligibility Verification (I-9 Form): Federal law requires that employers verify work eligibility in all employees hired after November 6, 1986. Proof of eligibility to work in the United States must be completed within three days of hire by completing the Employment Eligibility Verification Form, commonly referred to as an I-9 form.

Form I-9 must be completed for both citizens and non-citizens. The Small Business Guide to Immigration Regulations provides a summary of immigration laws and information to assist in completing the I-9 form for non-citizens.

New Hire Reporting: Employers are required to declare all newly and re-hired employees to the Child Support Department within 20 days of hiring. This information should be submitted via the Oregon Department of Justice Child Support Division New Hire Reporting Program, and must additionally include the employee’s start date.

Insurance Requirements: The State of Oregon requires businesses to carry certain kinds of insurance. An overview of insurance requirements can be found in the Business Insurance Guide. The State of Oregon Employment Department administers Oregon’s Unemployment Insurance.

Disability Insurance: Temporary disability insurance benefits provide payment to workers, if needed, due to a non-work related illness or injury. In Oregon, employers are not required to carry this insurance.

Unemployment Insurance: Tax Businesses are required to pay unemployment benefits to eligible employees. More information regarding unemployment benefits and insurance requirements can be located on the State of Oregon Unemployment Insurance Tax page.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance: A Worker’s Compensation claim can be filed by employees who are injured on job. In most instances, businesses are required to carry this insurance in Oregon, but there are exceptions based on particular circumstances. Specific guidelines for Workers’ Compensation can be found at the State of Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division web page.