If you run a business under an assumed name in Oregon, you may want to set up a DBA. Short for “Doing Business As,” a DBA serves as an alternate title for your business. Often, a DBA is the name customers will use to refer to your company. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about DBAs: who needs one, who doesn’t, and two easy steps to filing with the state.
In Oregon, the DBA is actually called an “Assumed Business Name.” Essentially, they’re the same concept. “Assumed Business Name” is just the terminology used by the state. For consistency, we’ll call it an Assumed Business Name throughout the rest of this guide.
NOTE: Keep in mind that filing a trade name will not give your business protection through the corporate veil like an LLC will. If this is something you want or need, don’t fret, there are many business formation services that can help you take care of the paperwork.
Do You Need an Oregon Assumed Business Name?
Not all business entities in Oregon need an Assumed Business Name. Ordinarily, a business needs an Assumed Business Name when the name of their business differs from the name registered with the state.
So let’s say that Lauren operates a sole proprietorship; her legal business formation documents list her full name as the legal owner of the business. But if she wants to run her shop under the name Sew Sweet Creations, she’d need to file an Assumed Business Name in order to use that name. An Assumed Business Name is also useful for corporations which want to establish additional businesses or locations with a name that’s different from the Corporation name.
Limited liability companies, nonprofit corporations, and corporations operating exclusively under the name on file with the state usually do not need an Assumed Business Name. They may choose to use one if they want to establish a new product line or chain of businesses under their original parent company.
An Oregon Assumed Business Name does present a few advantages. While it doesn’t offer any specific legal protections or tax incentives, an Assumed Business Name allows you to get a business bank account. You can also give your customers peace of mind—most people are more comfortable writing a check to a business than an individual.
In this guide, we’ll cover how to file your Assumed Business Name as well as any requirements to maintain it once you’ve registered. The state does offer a guide to Assumed Business Names as well that you can consult for further guidance.
1) File Your Assumed Business Name with the Oregon Secretary of State
In Oregon, registering your Assumed Business Name does not technically grant you the right to use the name; actually conducting business under that name does. You are responsible for determining if you can use the name you’ve chosen. In addition to not infringing on national franchises or federal trademarks, your name must be distinguishable from other entities on file with the state.
To learn if your chosen name is distinguishable, you should run a Business Name Search. Simply type in the name you wish to use; if no exact matches appear, you name is probably available to use. If there are matches, you’ll need to make some tweaks to make your name distinct. In Oregon, you can simply change the order of keywords or spelling of a word. One letter is enough to make it distinguishable.
Next, you’ll need to complete an Assumed Business Name New Registration. This form includes important information about your business, including a description of your business, the contact information for the applicant, your principal office address, and of course the name you wish to file.
There is a $50 filing fee for this application. You can pay by check made payable to “Corporation Division.”
2) Maintaining your Oregon Assumed Business Name
Your initial name registration is good for two years. After that, if you wish to continue using your name, you’ll need to file a renewal. You can file online; there is a $50 fee.
In addition, if you need to make changes to your name or stop using it, you’ll need to file the appropriate forms with the state. These filings will keep both the state and potential customers aware of what businesses are operating in Oregon.
Need Help Filing your Assumed Business Name?
If this process sounds like a hassle, you can get help with setting up your business’s name with a service like Legalzoom. They make the process simple: you simply provide them with the necessary information about your company, and they’ll fill out the paperwork so you don’t have to. The process is both easy and affordable, letting you focus on running your business.
Your name is an important part of your business, but keeping compliant with state requirements can be tricky! We hope this guide made it quick and easy to set up your Oregon Assumed Business Name.