One of the most important decisions you can make when starting your business is the proper entity to use. As a sole proprietor, you would subject yourself to unlimited personal liability, which means your bank account, car and even house could be taken to satisfy a judgement against your business. If you incorporate, however, you're limited to losing what you put into the business, but not your personal assets. To receive this protection in Oregon, you must file articles of incorporation with the Oregon Secretary of State.
Run a Business Name Availability Search on the Oregon Secretary of State's website to make sure that the name that you want to use for your business is available. The name of your corporation must include the words “incorporated,” “corporation,” “limited,” “company,” or their abbreviation at the end of the name.
Create the articles of incorporation for your business. The articles must contain the name of the corporation, the registered agent and the address at which the registered agent can be reached, where the Oregon Corporate Division can mail notices and how many shares the corporation can issue. You must also include the names and signatures of the incorporators. The corporation can also elect to indemnify the directors, officers, employees and agents, which means the corporation will be liable for any actions of these individuals while they are working for the company.
File your articles of incorporation either online or through the mail. Filing online is the fastest way to get your business incorporated. If you prefer to file through the mail, send your application to 255 Capitol Street NE, Suite 151, Salem, OR 97310.
Pay the fee to register your corporation when you register either online or through the mail.