June 21, 2018  
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Oregon Entrepreneurs  
  Portland, Oregon Resources for Entrepreneurs  
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Open a Business in Portland, Oregon

Need help starting a business in Portland, Oregon? We've got the information you need to open a business in Portland.

Is Becoming an Entrepreneur Right for You?

Before quitting your day job, consider your entrepreneurial instincts and capabilities.

Here are three things we recommend you do before you fully commit to starting a new business of your own.

  • Talk to other entrepreneurs in Portland. Get their take on what it's really like to be an entrepreneur.
  • We recommend reading Why Small Businesses Fail. For aspiring new entrepreneurs, it's a must read article.
  • Get feedback from somebody whom you trust. That's the best way to get a truly objective assessment as to whether others think you have what it takes.

Portland, Oregon Demographic Information

Portland has an active business community that includes small businesses, mid-sized businesses and large businesses.

To give you a better feel for Portland demographics for small businesses, we have tabulated the small business sizes, based on number of employees, for business in Portland.

Business Size# of
1-4 Employees 451670
5-9 Employees 159230
10-19 Employees 115520
20-49 Employees 76290
50-99 Employees 29550
100-249 Employees 15630
250-499 Employees 3480
500-999 Employees 1050
1000+ Employees 870
All Portland Businesses 853290

As a new Portland entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Portland for each business category. By looking at this chart, you can get a general sense for how much competition there is in the business niche that you are pursuing.

Business Type # of
Abrasive Product Manufacturing 1
Adhesive Manufacturing 1
Advertising Agencies 103
Aluminum Die-Casting Foundries 1
Aluminum Extruded Product Manufacturing 3
Aluminum Foundries (except Die-Casting) 4
Ambulance Services 7
Amusement and Theme Parks 1
Amusement Arcades 2
Animal (except Poultry) Slaughtering 2
Appliance Repair and Maintenance 18
Apprenticeship Training 10
Architectural Services 190
Armored Car Services 4
Art Dealers 41
Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturing 3
Automobile Driving Schools 4
Automotive Exhaust System Repair 14
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 26
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 116
Automotive Transmission Repair 23
Baked Goods Stores 6
Barber Shops 13
Beauty Salons 242
Bed-and-Breakfast Inns 5
Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers 4
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 55
Blind and Shade Manufacturing 1
Blood and Organ Banks 5
Boat Building 4
Boat Dealers 34
Book Publishers 15
Book Stores 54
Books Printing 1
Bottled Water Manufacturing 1
Bowling Centers 10
Breweries 6
Broadwoven Fabric Finishing Mills 2
Broom, Brush, and Mop Manufacturing 2
Building Inspection Services 34
Business and Secretarial Schools 2
Business Associations 77
Business to Business Electronic Markets 4
Cable and Other Program Distribution 8
Cafeterias 18
Camera and Photographic Supplies Stores 14
Canvas and Related Product Mills 8
Car Washes 50
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services 38
Caterers 40
Cement Manufacturing 2
Cemeteries and Crematories 19
Charter Bus Industry 2
Child and Youth Services 70
Child Day Care Services 242
Children's and Infants' Clothing Stores 32
Civic and Social Organizations 78
Claims Adjusting 22
Clothing Accessories Stores 25
Coffee and Tea Manufacturing 3
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners 20
Collection Agencies 27
Commercial Bakeries 18
Commercial Flexographic Printing 4
Commercial Gravure Printing 2
Commercial Lithographic Printing 80
Commercial Photography 36
Commercial Screen Printing 14
Commodity Contracts Brokerage 2
Commodity Contracts Dealing 7
Community Food Services 26
Computer and Software Stores 39
Computer Facilities Management Services 16
Computer Systems Design Services 200
Computer Terminal Manufacturing 1
Computer Training 13
Concrete Block and Brick Manufacturing 2
Concrete Pipe Manufacturing 1
Confectionery and Nut Stores 18
Confectionery Merchant Wholesalers 4
Construction Machinery Manufacturing 3
Construction Sand and Gravel Mining 2
Consumer Lending 47
Continuing Care Retirement Communities 27
Convenience Stores 181
Convention and Trade Show Organizers 38
Convention and Visitors Bureaus 1
Cookie and Cracker Manufacturing 5
Copper Foundries (except Die-Casting) 2
Cosmetology and Barber Schools 11
Couriers 47
Court Reporting and Stenotype Services 15
Credit Bureaus 6
Credit Unions 60
Curtain and Drapery Mills 7
Custom Compounding of Purchased Resins 4
Custom Computer Programming Services 216
Custom Roll Forming 3
Cut Stock, Resawing Lumber, and Planing 4
Dance Companies 4
Deep Sea Freight Transportation 3
Dental Laboratories 33
Diagnostic Imaging Centers 14
Diet and Weight Reducing Centers 8
Digital Printing 9
Direct Life Insurance Carriers 43
Direct Mail Advertising 18
Direct Title Insurance Carriers 42
Directory and Mailing List Publishers 9
Discount Department Stores 8
Display Advertising 5
Document Preparation Services 27
Drafting Services 14
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 233
Dry Pasta Manufacturing 1
Drywall and Insulation Contractors 44
Educational Support Services 37
Electric Power Distribution 43
Electrical Contractors 151
Electronic Auctions 2
Electronic Computer Manufacturing 1
Electronic Connector Manufacturing 1
Electronic Shopping 51
Elementary and Secondary Schools 93
Emergency and Other Relief Services 14
Employment Placement Agencies 28
Engineering Services 264
Environmental Consulting Services 49
Exam Preparation and Tutoring 15
Exterminating and Pest Control Services 23
Facilities Support Services 8
Family Clothing Stores 83
Family Planning Centers 8
Farm Product Warehousing and Storage 3
Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers 10
Fertilizer (Mixing Only) Manufacturing 2
Fiber Optic Cable Manufacturing 1
Fine Arts Schools 48
Finfish Fishing 2
Finish Carpentry Contractors 106
Fish and Seafood Markets 6
Fish and Seafood Merchant Wholesalers 5
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 92
Flat Glass Manufacturing 2
Floor Covering Stores 48
Flooring Contractors 92
Florists 55
Flour Milling 1
Fluid Milk Manufacturing 4
Folding Paperboard Box Manufacturing 2
Food (Health) Supplement Stores 23
Food Product Machinery Manufacturing 1
Food Service Contractors 75
Footwear and Leather Goods Repair 4
Footwear Merchant Wholesalers 7
Formal Wear and Costume Rental 8
Fossil Fuel Electric Power Generation 1
Framing Contractors 70
Freight Transportation Arrangement 111
Fresh and Frozen Seafood Processing 2
Frozen Specialty Food Manufacturing 2
Fruit and Vegetable Canning 2
Fruit and Vegetable Markets 11
Full-Service Restaurants 941
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 28
Furniture Merchant Wholesalers 24
Furniture Stores 106
General Automotive Repair 265
General Freight Trucking, Local 62
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 10
General Rental Centers 14
General Warehousing and Storage 67
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 112
Glass and Glazing Contractors 18
Glass Container Manufacturing 1
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 12
Grantmaking Foundations 63
Graphic Design Services 153
Greeting Card Publishers 1
Gum and Wood Chemical Manufacturing 1
Hand and Edge Tool Manufacturing 2
Hardware Manufacturing 3
Hardware Merchant Wholesalers 39
Hardware Stores 34
Hazardous Waste Collection 1
Hazardous Waste Treatment and Disposal 3
Heating Oil Dealers 7
Heavy Duty Truck Manufacturing 3
Historical Sites 3
HMO Medical Centers 11
Hobby, Toy, and Game Stores 43
Home Centers 10
Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers 39
Home Health Care Services 37
Home Health Equipment Rental 6
Homes for the Elderly 123
Household Appliance Stores 26
Human Rights Organizations 24
Industrial Building Construction 2
Industrial Design Services 19
Industrial Gas Manufacturing 1
Industrial Launderers 15
Industrial Mold Manufacturing 5
Industrial Pattern Manufacturing 7
Industrial Sand Mining 1
Inland Water Freight Transportation 2
Inland Water Passenger Transportation 1
Institutional Furniture Manufacturing 5
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 503
Interior Design Services 74
Internet Publishing and Broadcasting 15
Internet Service Providers 22
Interurban and Rural Bus Transportation 2
Investigation Services 16
Investment Advice 76
Iron and Steel Forging 3
Iron and Steel Mills 3
Iron Foundries 3
Janitorial Services 224
Jewelry (except Costume) Manufacturing 15
Jewelry Stores 99
Junior Colleges 7
Kidney Dialysis Centers 8
Land Subdivision 49
Landscape Architectural Services 48
Landscaping Services 260
Language Schools 16
Lead Pencil and Art Good Manufacturing 1
Leather and Hide Tanning and Finishing 1
Lessors of Other Real Estate Property 30
Libraries and Archives 6
Limited-Service Restaurants 719
Limousine Service 11
Linen Supply 3
Livestock Merchant Wholesalers 1
Local Messengers and Local Delivery 36
Locksmiths 18
Logging 3
Luggage and Leather Goods Stores 8
Luggage Manufacturing 1
Machine Shops 66
Mail-Order Houses 38
Manifold Business Forms Printing 9
Manufactured (Mobile) Home Dealers 6
Marinas 16
Marine Cargo Handling 6
Marketing Consulting Services 97
Marking Device Manufacturing 3
Masonry Contractors 57
Materials Recovery Facilities 8
Mattress Manufacturing 1
Meat Markets 15
Meat Processed from Carcasses 4
Media Buying Agencies 3
Media Representatives 12
Medical Laboratories 18
Medicinal and Botanical Manufacturing 1
Men's Clothing Stores 20
Metal Can Manufacturing 1
Metal Heat Treating 4
Metal Household Furniture Manufacturing 2
Metal Stamping 6
Metal Tank (Heavy Gauge) Manufacturing 2
Metal Window and Door Manufacturing 3
Miscellaneous Intermediation 23
Mobile Food Services 12
Monetary Authorities-Central Bank 1
Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers 162
Motion Picture and Video Distribution 2
Motion Picture and Video Production 61
Motor Vehicle Body Manufacturing 2
Motor Vehicle Metal Stamping 2
Motor Vehicle Towing 20
Motorcycle Dealers 17
Museums 13
Musical Groups and Artists 28
Musical Instrument and Supplies Stores 24
Musical Instrument Manufacturing 6
Nail Salons 7
Natural Gas Distribution 3
Navigational Services to Shipping 7
New Car Dealers 69
New Housing Operative Builders 44
News Dealers and Newsstands 3
News Syndicates 3
Newspaper Publishers 29
Nonclay Refractory Manufacturing 1
Nonresidential Property Managers 37
Nursing Care Facilities 44
Office Administrative Services 68
Office Equipment Merchant Wholesalers 26
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 36
Offices of Bank Holding Companies 3
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 274
Offices of Chiropractors 180
Offices of Dentists 497
Offices of Lawyers 870
Offices of Optometrists 62
Offices of Other Holding Companies 25
Offices of Podiatrists 22
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 91
One-Hour Photofinishing 6
Open-End Investment Funds 2
Ophthalmic Goods Manufacturing 4
Ophthalmic Goods Merchant Wholesalers 2
Optical Goods Stores 52
Outdoor Power Equipment Stores 4
Outerwear Knitting Mills 1
Packaging and Labeling Services 7
Packaging Machinery Manufacturing 2
Packing and Crating 4
Paint and Coating Manufacturing 7
Paint and Wallpaper Stores 28
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 186
Paper Industry Machinery Manufacturing 4
Parking Lots and Garages 201
Passenger Car Rental 41
Payroll Services 21
Periodical Publishers 41
Perishable Prepared Food Manufacturing 9
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores 41
Pet Care (except Veterinary) Services 49
Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals 11
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 77
Photography Studios, Portrait 51
Pipeline Transportation of Crude Oil 3
Plate Work Manufacturing 3
Political Organizations 27
Portfolio Management 73
Power-Driven Handtool Manufacturing 2
Precision Turned Product Manufacturing 7
Prepress Services 10
Primary Aluminum Production 1
Printing Ink Manufacturing 10
Private Mail Centers 30
Professional Employer Organizations 17
Professional Organizations 30
Public Relations Agencies 56
Pulp Mills 1
Quick Printing 41
Racetracks 1
Radio Networks 1
Radio Stations 22
Railroad Rolling Stock Manufacturing 1
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 4
Real Estate Credit 101
Real Estate Investment Trusts 13
Record Production 2
Recreational Goods Rental 6
Recreational Vehicle Dealers 9
Refrigerated Warehousing and Storage 4
Reinsurance Carriers 1
Remediation Services 13
Repossession Services 3
Residential Property Managers 184
Residential Remodelers 293
Retail Bakeries 27
Reupholstery and Furniture Repair 28
Roofing Contractors 61
Rooming and Boarding Houses 2
Sales Financing 20
Sanitary Paper Product Manufacturing 1
Satellite Telecommunications 1
Savings Institutions 42
Saw Blade and Handsaw Manufacturing 4
Sawmills 3
Scheduled Freight Air Transportation 3
Scheduled Passenger Air Transportation 18
Schiffli Machine Embroidery 1
School and Employee Bus Transportation 3
Securities Brokerage 127
Security Guards and Patrol Services 39
Semiconductor Machinery Manufacturing 2
Septic Tank and Related Services 3
Sewage Treatment Facilities 1
Sheet Metal Work Manufacturing 19
Ship Building and Repairing 6
Shoe Stores 85
Siding Contractors 36
Sign Manufacturing 40
Site Preparation Contractors 58
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 291
Soap and Other Detergent Manufacturing 6
Soft Drink Manufacturing 3
Software Publishers 85
Software Reproducing 3
Solid Waste Collection 37
Solid Waste Landfill 5
Sound Recording Studios 10
Special Needs Transportation 19
Specialty Canning 2
Spice and Extract Manufacturing 1
Sporting Goods Stores 95
Sports and Recreation Instruction 50
Sports Teams and Clubs 4
Spring (Heavy Gauge) Manufacturing 1
Spring (Light Gauge) Manufacturing 2
Steel Foundries (except Investment) 2
Steel Investment Foundries 1
Storage Battery Manufacturing 1
Support Activities for Forestry 7
Synthetic Rubber Manufacturing 1
Tax Preparation Services 88
Taxi Service 5
Telecommunications Resellers 6
Telemarketing Bureaus 16
Telephone Answering Services 14
Telephone Apparatus Manufacturing 1
Television Broadcasting 5
Temporary Help Services 122
Temporary Shelters 21
Testing Laboratories 28
Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters 17
Tile and Terrazzo Contractors 71
Timber Tract Operations 3
Tire and Tube Merchant Wholesalers 10
Tire Dealers 53
Tire Retreading 5
Title Abstract and Settlement Offices 5
Tobacco Stores 25
Toilet Preparation Manufacturing 4
Tour Operators 8
Tradebinding and Related Work 21
Translation and Interpretation Services 13
Travel Agencies 89
Travel Trailer and Camper Manufacturing 3
Truck Trailer Manufacturing 3
Truss Manufacturing 1
Underwear and Nightwear Knitting Mills 1
Used Car Dealers 85
Used Household and Office Goods Moving 30
Used Merchandise Stores 109
Vending Machine Operators 20
Veterinary Services 94
Video Tape and Disc Rental 74
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 51
Voluntary Health Organizations 29
Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters 20
Web Search Portals 4
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 298
Window Treatment Stores 5
Wineries 6
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 100
Women's Clothing Stores 113
Women's Handbag and Purse Manufacturing 1
Wood Container and Pallet Manufacturing 4
Wood Office Furniture Manufacturing 1
Wood Window and Door Manufacturing 4
Yarn Spinning Mills 2
Zoos and Botanical Gardens 4

Company Formation in Portland, Oregon

It's essential that your business is formed as a legal entity that is separate from its owners. Doing so will shield you from personal liability for business debts and obligations.

The entity you form can be a traditional C-corporation, a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or an S-corporation.

Incorporation is a very popular way to form a business. A key decision is whether to form and S-Corp or a C-Corp, and you also must decide in which state you will incorporate. Just because you are starting a business in Oregon, you don't necessarily have to incorporate in Oregon. In fact, you are allowed to incorporate in any state you would like to. However, if you do incorporate in another state, you'll have to register as a foreign corporation in your home state.

There's a lot to know about forming a company. We recommend you read some of the educational articles about company formation that are availabe on our site, such as Where to Incorporate. You may also want to seek the advice of an lawyer. Finally, if you are starting a business in Portland, Oregon, our information on Incorporating in Oregon may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in Oregon.

Promoting Your New Company

Whether your goal is to attract Portland customers or you plan on selling elsewhere, having an excellent marketing plan is fundamental to your business achieving its goals.

You can learn plenty about marketing on our site. Local Search is a good read to get your marketing creativity flowing. That's just one of the many useful articles we have on Marketing a Small Business.

Selling Tips

Being able to sell is critical to your business success. Whether you are focused on selling local customers in Portland or are selling to customers throughout Oregon, the United States or even the world, you have to be able to sell.

So what does it take to bring in more prospects and close more business? The good news is we can help you to make selling a big competitve advantage for your new firm.

Closing Sales offers some helpful tips on how to sell. It's one of several good articles on our site regarding Entrepreneurial Selling.

Advancing Your Entrepreneurial Skills

Good business owners know that they need to continually improve.

Given that you are starting a business in Portland, Oregon, you will want to take advantage of the many programs available at nearby Oregon universities, colleges and community colleges. It's also worthwhile to see if there are any Portland networking organizations.

Portland Entrepreneur Interviews

Here, we'll keep a running list of interviews we've had with Portland entrepreneurs.

Moving Forward

You have a dream -- starting a business in Portland. To achieve your dream, you have to persevere, even when the odds are against you.

From this point on, you control your own destiny.

This site is all about helping entrepreneurs in Portland and elsewhere to achieve real success. We believe entrepreneurship is an amazing engine for job creation in Portland, neighborhood development and overall economic health.

More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Portland, Oregon

Here are more links that we believe will help you be successful in starting a business in Portland.



Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs

Buying a Business

Writing a Business Plan

Raising Money


Small Business Marketing

Advertising Advice

Public Relations -

Customer Service Tips

Entrepreneurial Selling

Workplace Safety