The Beaver state as it is usually called requires every new business registering in Oregon to obtain a general business license from the state, city or county in order to become operational. It is also important to note that certain regulated industries and occupations require specialized licenses, and in some cases, permits and certifications. An exhaustive list of 1,100 specialized licenses, permits, and certifications are issued by the state. Some of the categories for which licenses or permits are issued by the state include:
- Charitable organisations
- Financial institutions
- Food/Beverage industries
The different types company licenses or permits in Oregon are mostly issued by different state agencies.
How to Get a Business License in Oregon
Where and how do you apply for a business license in Oregon? Does your business fall under the “specialized licenses” category? Does your business entity require multiple permits or licenses? Who is the issuing authority for these licenses or permits? The only way to answer these questions is by understanding the process of business licensing.
Here is a step-by-step approach towards acquiring a business license in the state of Oregon:
Step#1: The Industry or Business Type
How would you know what type of business or professional license is required to operate in Oregon? The type of industry or the activities of a business entity helps in identifying the type of business license required. It is also important to note that some businesses will require only a permit and not a license.
Let’s take a look at some examples to understand this better:
Food Service Licenses
A business license in Oregon is issued by the state for different establishments covering temporary and permanent restaurants, limited service restaurants, bed & breakfasts, mobile units, warehouses, commissaries, and vending machines.
The license is being issued by Oregon Health Authority – Food, Pools and Lodging Health and Safety.
Those planning to set up a Bed & Breakfast will be required to obtain a B&B Tourist License.
The license is renewed every year on December 31.
An Oregon company license is required for serving or storage of alcoholic beverage. These types of licenses are mostly annual or multi-year licenses. The fee is different for different categories. For example, the annual fee for a Brewery is $500 while that of Full On Premises-Sales is $400.
If you have a winery then you will require an Oregon Winery license and the fee is $250 but if you plan to sell and ship your wine to an Oregon retail licensee then you will require an additional permit, the fee for this is $100.
These licenses are issued by Oregon Liquor Control Commission.
Check the different types of license.
Debt Management Service Providers
This type of business requires the issuance of an Oregon company license, which is valid for debt settlement, credit repair, debt consolidation, and loan modification services, like education and counselling on how to get out of a debt. The fee is $350 and one has to obtain the license from the Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) – Financial Licenses.
Step#2: Licenses issued by City/County
It is important to know that business licenses in Oregon are not always issued by the state agencies; sometimes they are issued by the city or county. At the same time, it is not always that your business may require a license. Sometimes, it may simply require a permit. Let’s look at an example to understand this:
If you were to establish a business in the event and entertainment industry in Portland, OR, and are planning to organize “Special Events”, which are essentially events that are held in the street or on the sidewalk like parades, walks, marathon runs, or even bicycle races. In such a scenario, you will be required to obtain a permit issued under the City of Portland Oregon, Special Events Program. The permit fee is $25 and you can check a sample application here.
On the other hand, if you were to operate “Amusement Rides” as a part of events and entertainment, in Portland then you would have to apply for a “Temporary Business License”. This type of license would be issued by the Office of Management & Finance, Revenue Division – Portland, Oregon. Sample Application
Step#3: Issuance of a Business License
A business license in Oregon will be issued by different state agencies and all you have to do is complete the following process:
- Identify the type of business or industry
- Identify whether you need a license or a permit or both
- Identify whether it will be issued by the state or the city or county
Once you have identified the above, all you need to do is either download the application online or contact the concerned state department or city of clerk office.
It is important to note that a business license or permit will have to be renewed annually unless specific dates have been mentioned, to keep the business operational.