What Business Licenses and Permits are Needed in Oregon?

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Starting a business in Oregon will mean potentially registering with a number of federal, state and local agencies.  Let’s take a look at common licenses and permits a business will register for in Oregon.

Business License – There is no general state of Oregon business license, however many cities require businesses to be licensed in order to operate. Rules for business registration vary depending on location and what the business does.  Below are a few cities that have licensing requirements. 

Portland – All businesses doing business in Portland must register for the City of Portland’s Business License Tax and the Multnomah County Business Income Tax.

Doing business is defined as:

    • Your business has a retail location in Portland
    • Your business comes performs services in Portland and/or Multnomah County
    • Your business maintains a stock of goods in city limits
    • Your business has residential or commercial rental property in Portland and/or Multnomah County
    • You are self-employed and work in Portland and/or Multnomah County

There is no cost to register for the business license, however taxes will be collected annually

Eugene Only a few types of businesses will need to register with the City of Eugene.  They include: payday lenders, public passenger vehicle companies and tobacco retailers.

Salem – A businesses license in Salem is needed for businesses such as vehicle transportation companies like taxis, limos, Uber, etc, tree trimmers, second-hand dealers and a few others. 

 Gresham – All businesses operating in the City limits of Gresham need a business license.  This includes commercial businesses, home-based businesses and independent contractors.  Business registration is required for any company operating in the corporate limits of the city.  Additionally, certain businesses such as billiard halls, food service establishments, tattoo artists, ice cream trucks and more have to register with the Office of the City Clerk.  

Hillsboro – The City of Hillsboro requires all businesses to be licensed in order to operate in the City. 

The cost of a business license in Hillsboro starts at $105.

Employer Identification Number (EIN) – Many businesses will register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for an EIN or Employer Identification Number.  The EIN is the business equivalent for a Social Security Number for an individual.  Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships and Sole Proprietorships with employees will all need to register for one. Sole Proprietorships without employees can use the owner’s Social Security Number. 

There is no cost for an EIN and it only takes a few minutes to get.

Learn how to apply for an EIN.

Oregon Business Identification Number – Any in-state or out of state business with employees working in Oregon or corporations with or without employees must obtain a Business Identification Number from the Oregon Department of Revenue.

Professional License – A variety of professions in the state are regulated and need to be registered before offering certain services.  A few common professions that require licensing in Oregon include; food-related businesses, accountants, electricians, barbers and many more.   Additional information, fees and Oregon licensing requirements for professions are available from the Oregon Department of Consumer & Business Services.

Assumed Name Registration – While not a business license, it’s common for Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships operating under a name that is different from the full name of the owner(s) to register for an Assumed Name (also known as a Doing Business As or DBA) with the Secretary of State’s Office.


These are a few of the most common business licenses, but there are way too many licenses and permits in Oregon for us to keep track of. Before starting your business, check with the City Hall, County Clerk, Chamber of Commerce and/or Economic Developer in your area to get more information regarding business licensing.  Additionally, there are companies like IncFile or CorpNet that can do the research to ensure you have the proper federal, state and local licenses.