Legal Law

Business license requirements for home-based businesses in Oregon

Salem is the capital and Portland is the largest city in Oregon. It is a good location to start any business, especially home based businesses. More people have started home-based business as it offers them several advantages such as reduced operating costs, saving time and money spent on commuting to the workplace, spending quality time with family, etc. However, you do need to do some research to find out if there are any licensing requirements for operating a home business.

Business license requirements:

Giving your business a legal structure is recommended, which can be done with the help of an experienced attorney who will also guide you as to the type of entity that best suits your business. This can also be done by calling the Oregon Corporate Division at (503) 986-2200 or by visiting their website at

You will need to choose a business name that has been formed in compliance with applicable state laws and ensuring that it is not a replica of any registered business.

It will be necessary to know the various licenses that are required for your type of business and verify if it is allowed to operate as an internal business. To obtain a license, all businesses must obtain approval from the County Planning, Building, Environmental Health and Facilities Departments. Home-based businesses must comply with all zoning restrictions, regulations, and ordinances required by the Tax Collector, Planning Department, as well as being reviewed by the Fire Department and Sheriff’s Department if the nature of your business requires it.

There are several factors to consider, such as:

o Rule that allows only the resident of the house and one employee to work in the house, etc.

o Certain commercial businesses have certain restrictions, such as complying with zoning laws and regulations that may limit the size of their signs, restrict outdoor storage, parking space, or require other special permits, etc.

It will be advisable to contact your local court for details of the exact licenses and permits pertaining to your chosen business area.

Some types of businesses do not need licenses, while others require special business licenses, and still others need a general business license. Some home-based businesses also require licenses at the state level, such as the food service industry or if you are a professional, such as a lawyer, doctor, etc. Businesses that offer investment advice or sell firearms need federal business licenses.

For more information, contact the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality at (800) 452-4011; OSHA at (503) 378-3272 or (800) 922-2689 within Oregon; or the State Fire Marshal at (503) 373-1540.

For information on Oregon taxes, contact the Oregon Department of Revenue, (503) 378-4988 or visit

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