Best Businesses to Start in Oregon

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Oregon is known for its pro-business climate. Even though the Beaver State is home to corporate conglomerates like Nike and Intel, 99% of Oregon’s companies are small businesses. Oregon offers governmental support for small businesses, incentive programs, a favorable tax system, and a highly-educated workforce. 

The startup business scene in Oregon is thriving, and you can be a part of it. With all the different business ideas out there, you’re probably wondering, What is the best business to start in Oregon? To answer this question, you need to consider your skillset and experience, as well as the hot industries in Oregon. 

The Most Profitable Small Business Ideas in Oregon

In Oregon, the dominant industries for small businesses are professional, scientific, and technical services. You can have a lucrative business in one of these fields, but there are more to consider. Let’s look at some good businesses to start in Oregon. 

Idea #1: Tourism

Tourists are major contributors to Oregon’s economy, particularly those who do outdoor recreational activities. Use your skills, such as hiking or camping, to create a service for tourists. If you own property in Oregon, you can even use your land as an attraction for visitors. 

Idea #2: Accommodations

Although Oregon is a hiker’s dream, not everyone visits to rough it in the wild. Consider renting out a room, house, or recreational vehicle (RV) for guests to stay. 

Idea #3: Agriculture

Oregon’s farms and ranches produce billions of dollars worth of agricultural products each year. You don’t need hundreds of acres to run a business in agriculture. If you’re located in a city, consider urban farming. There are over 100 farmers’ markets in Oregon, which means the demand for freshly grown and harvested food is there. 

Idea #4: Food Service

With access to high-quality food items, Oregon is a great place to run a food service business. Your business plan can be anything from opening a coffee shop to making homemade protein bars and selling them at a farmer’s market. You can even create an eCommerce business and sell your goods online. 

Idea #5: Professional Services

With all the small businesses in Oregon, there’s a need for professional services. All those businesses need help from accountants, lawyers, business consultants, digital marketers, etc. If you have a professional license, forming a Professional Limited Liability Company (PLLC) may be right for you. 

Idea #6: Technology Services 

Known as the Silicon Forest, technology has a large presence in Oregon. For tech-savvy entrepreneurs, Oregon (particularly Portland) is a great place to offer services in technology. 

Idea #7: Arts 

Oregon serves as the backdrop for hundreds of movies, commercials, and interactive games. Let this beautiful state be the landscape for your business. There are plenty of film and media incentives and grant programs for Oregon’s artists. 

Idea #8: Retail Sales

Oregon has no state sales tax, so retailers benefit from Oregon’s tax system. This is also a great option if you want to run a home-based business. 

Why These Are the Best Small Businesses to Start in Oregon

Oregon has the groundwork for what your small business needs. It offers natural resources for agriculture, tourism, and the arts but also has a strong presence of business and technology. State agencies provide resources and support for small businesses, and the tax system is favorable too. Compared to Oregon’s neighboring states, Washington and California, the operating costs in Oregon are much lower. 

Best Cities in Oregon for Starting a Business

Certain cities in Oregon are better than others for small businesses. Consider one of the following cities as the home of your business:

  • Portland
  • Salem
  • Eugene

The resources that these cities provide are what makes entrepreneurs flock to them. They offer things like access to capital, low operating costs, and training programs. 

Why Form Your Business with Us

Running a business is hard enough. Don’t waste precious time trying to figure out the administrative side of things. Let us handle that. The products and services we offer are meant to help small business owners. Whether you want to create a business plan or need help handling your finances, we’re here. With our Worry-Free Compliance Service, we can even help you stay in good standing with the state by reminding you of upcoming filing deadlines and reporting obligations. We want to see your business thrive, so check out what we have to offer. 

If you have a business idea down but need help formalizing your company, we’re here for you. We offer both an Oregon Limited Liability Company (LLC) Formation Service and a Corporation Formation Service. And if you’re not sure what entity type to choose, we have the information so you can Compare Different Business Structures. Let us help you start a business today!


  • The access to capital, government support, low operating costs, and business-friendly tax environment are just a few reasons why businesses thrive in Oregon.

  • Oregon business owners take advantage of the state and city resources available to them. Getting out there and testing new ideas, products, and services are also ways for business owners to grow their companies.

  • There are franchise opportunities available in Oregon, so start by researching the company that interests you.

  • The best business to start in Oregon is the one that suits you. Follow your passion and talents and get creative. Think about how you can offer your skills online.

  • You can start all kinds of businesses from home, like food preparation, online coaching, and retail sales. Just remember, depending on the type of home-based business you’re running, you may need special permitting from the city or county.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

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Written by Team ZenBusiness

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