Your company name is important. It’s your first impression, and it’s how people will remember you. You don’t want to be the business with a forgettable name. So, when you’ve got that perfect name in mind, that clever alliteration or meaningful acronym, you might think about reserving it before someone else does.
Naming your company is one of the first official steps when starting an LLC in Oregon. In certain situations, it may be necessary to reserve a business name while you’re preparing to bring your business idea to life.
Oregon has an interesting name reservation process. You cannot directly reserve a name like you can in other states. However, you can register an assumed business name, which will hold it until you’re ready to start your LLC, but it’s a bit more complicated.
Below, we’ll go into more detail on the whole process and discuss when registering an assumed business name is necessary.
Are You Required to Reserve a Business Name?
No, the state of Oregon doesn’t mandate that you reserve a business name prior to forming your LLC. You have the option to do so, but if you’re ready to launch your LLC right away, you can head straight for the Articles of Organization.
Should You Reserve Your LLC Name?
Maybe it took you sleepless nights of brainstorming, or maybe you thought of it while sitting at a traffic light. No matter how you came up with your memorable LLC name, you’ll want to make sure that it’s available and ready to use when you file your Oregon LLC registration.
You have the option to reserve your LLC name, but it’ll cost you a $50 fee. Overall, it’s cheaper to skip this fee and simply start your business, which will lock in your name.
However, there are cases where you may not be ready to officially start your business. Filing an application to register an assumed business name gives you “dibs” and ensures that competitors aren’t able to snag it while you’re preparing for launch.
If your business name is unique, including unusual spellings or characters and/or family names, it may not be necessary to register an Oregon assumed business name ahead of time. Plus, paying the extra state fee to reserve your business name could be a waste of resources if you’re planning to launch your business soon after.
How Long Does an Oregon Assumed Business Name Registration Last?
Anyone planning to do business within the state of Oregon can register an assumed name. Filing your name registration prevents another entity from using that name to conduct business in the state during the time of your hold. Registering an assumed business name in Oregon will give you two full years of sole ownership, during which no one else can use it. If the two years end and you need more time, you can renew your registration online.
Come up with something better? No problem at all. You can also submit an “Assumed Business Name Cancellation” to release your hold.
How do I Reserve a Business Name in Oregon?
Got a name in mind? Perfect. Follow these steps to reserve it.
As we mentioned earlier, reserving an LLC name is a bit more complicated in Oregon than it is in other states, as there isn’t a specific name reservation form. Instead, you will be registering an assumed business name. Then, before you file your Articles of Organization, you will need to cancel that registration to make the name available for use.
But before you do any of that, you first need to check name availability. Type your proposed name into the Secretary of State’s Business Name Search application to see if it’s already taken (find additional instructions here). Don’t forget that you also need to comply with other business entity name restrictions from the state of Oregon (find them all here and here). All good? Then check to see if your LLC name is available. If it is, let out a sigh of relief—you’re ready to reserve it.
You can apply for assumed name registration online, by mail, or in person. Find everything you need for each option here.
For online filings, click “Register Online” on the page linked above. Next, create an account to continue. Then, simply follow the directions to input your information and pay the $50 by card.
Or, click “Print Form” for mail or in-person filings. Download the linked form and fill it out using a PDF editor application (like Adobe Acrobat) or black ink. Then, mail or hand deliver this form and your $50 fee to:
Secretary of State – Corporation Division
255 Capitol St. NE, Suite 151
Salem, OR 97310-1327
*Make checks payable to “Corporation Division”
Once you’ve submitted your form and fee, you’re all set. The Secretary of State’s office updates its processing times frequently on the Business homepage if you want to keep track.
Important reminder: you must cancel your assumed name registration before filing your Articles of Organization. If you don’t, and if you include the same name on your Articles of Organization, it will show up as already registered and your filing will be rejected. To cancel the registration, submit a cancellation form.
Wrapping up and Choosing the Best Route
Your LLC name is an important part of the business. If you’re not ready to launch your business, but you’ve got a perfect name and you think someone else might claim it, consider reserving it.
However if your business is ready for takeoff, use our comprehensive guide to forming an LLC in Oregon to get started instead. This way, rather than paying an additional $50 for the assumed business name registration, you’ll only pay the one-time $100 Oregon LLC formation fee to claim your name and form the LLC at the same time. $50 isn’t a fortune by any means, but this will at least save you the hassle of reserving a name and registering an LLC separately.
Save Time by Using a Professional LLC Service
As a business owner, you have a lot to think about. Pile on the responsibility of handling state correspondence, tax information, and more while keeping your LLC compliant, and you’ve got yourself a pretty full plate. Sometimes the best move is to let someone else take care of the paperwork for you. This way, you can sleep easy knowing you’ll never miss a deadline or compliance requirement with the state of Oregon.
While LegalZoom is by far the most well-known LLC formation service and has decent overall value, we highly recommend looking into IncFile or Northwest Registered Agent. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to, and these two are reliable, professional, and efficient.
We compiled our meticulous research into thorough comparison guides for you to use. Take a look if you’re considering a professional LLC service. It’s well worth your time.