Oregon has corporate law typical of all U.S. states. Individuals may form either a for-profit corporation to run a business or a nonprofit corporation for charitable, educational, religious or similar purposes. The Oregon Secretary of State has the statutory duty to oversee the registration of Oregon corporations. Filers should first use the online database to check for name availability of their desired business name. After confirming that the name is available, filers can then obtain paper filing forms online or use an online system to file over the Internet. Assuming the filing fee is paid, the Secretary of State then files the new corporation at the state level.
Open the Oregon business search engine at Egov.sos.state.or.us/br/pkg_web_name_srch_inq.login. Enter and run a search for the name you wish to use as your official Oregon corporate name. Make sure it is available. The Oregon Secretary of State will not file your corporation if you attempt to use an existing business name.
Open the “Business Registration Forms” page at Filinginoregon.com/forms/business.htm. From that page, you can then click on “Oregon Business Corporation” or “Oregon Nonprofit Corporation” to find the printable or online “Articles of Incorporation” form for the business or charity you are seeking to register.
Click on the applicable filing form and fill it out, using the name you chose before as your corporate name. Bear in mind that Oregon business forms provided by the Secretary of State essentially list only the bare minimum necessary to incorporate. Your own business or charity may have special requirements. Consult an Oregon business attorney to get specific advice on structuring and filing a corporate entity.
As an example, you must follow specific federal law if you intend to apply as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization. You will have to include certain provisions in your state “Articles of Incorporation” to obtain status as a tax-exempt organization by the Internal Revenue Service. Read Publication 557 at the IRS.gov website for additional information.
Prepare the filing fees if you are sending in a paper form. Of course, you can pay by credit card if filing online. As of 2010, the fee is $100 for business organizations and $50 for Oregon nonprofits. You may also purchase a confirmed copy for $5. Make checks payable to “Corporation Division.”
Send the filing form and fee to the following address:
Secretary of State
255 Capitol St. NE
Salem, OR 97310-1327
Oregon Business Search Engine
Oregon Business Registration Forms Page