Why You Should Start Your Business in Portland, Oregon

28 March 2023

Author, Aaron Mead

Portland, Oregon is an incredibly exciting place to move and start a business. Just outside of the bustling downtown, it's easy to find yourself exploring amid lush green parks, sipping local craft beers and noshing on experimental cuisine - all while enjoying one of America's most vibrant and eclectic cities. Not only that, but Portland also has some of the most affordable real estate in the country for startups looking for their space.

In addition, Oregon is one of only five states with no personal or corporate income tax - which can help ease some financial burdens off those entrepreneurs starting their own business. Want to learn more? Here are a few reasons from the Bottom Line Strategy Group why Portland is the perfect spot for your business to find success:

Portland Housing and Cost of Living are Affordable

Portland isn’t the cheapest place to live, but it has a balance of financial benefits that make it decently affordable all around. The cost of living varies depending on the neighborhood you want to live in, which makes housing estimates challenging. For instance, you can find that three bedroom homes can go for as little as $350,000 and as high as $770,000, so it’s important to do your research on neighborhoods before embarking on your house hunt.

However, utilities and health costs are lower than the national average here. And groceries are right on point, which helps to balance out the affordability of Portland life. Additionally, the town offers a number of free or low-cost recreation options, such as hiking trails, lakes, and parks. Lastly, Portland is a safe community with a low crime rate.

Support and Resources for Small Businesses

Once you’ve found a great place to settle, you can focus on getting to know the business community. In Portland, there are resources available to small business owners that can help you get started. These resources are essential for entrepreneurs who want to thrive and maintain success.

For starters, the Portland Alliance can provide you with information about local businesses and connect you with other local business leaders. The Alliance also hosts regular networking events, which is a great way to meet other business owners and get advice. The State of Oregon also offers a variety of grants and loans to help small business owners get on their feet.

It’s also a great idea to work with a local business for your marketing and promotion needs because they are intimately familiar with the city’s population. The Bottom Line Strategy Group is a great choice if you’re looking for help with marketing, SEO, CRM automation, or user experience.

Enjoy the Weirdness of Portland

Portland, Oregon, is bursting with interesting and unique activities! Perhaps that’s why it's unofficial mantra is “Keep Portland weird.” With its riverside trails, iconic parks, and craft breweries from every corner of the city, you're sure to find plenty of things to do in Portland. From visiting Forest Park for a hike with stunning views or going shopping for locally made items at the Saturday Market, you can experience the city’s vibrant culture in all its forms.

For a taste of something different, rent a bike and explore some of the more off-the-beaten-path attractions like Powell's City of Books - the world's largest independent bookstore. Or take a stroll through the historic Chinese Garden and take in the beauty that Portland has to offer. No matter what activity you choose, there's never a dull moment on a visit to this vibrant Pacific Northwest city!

Find Highly Educated Local Talent

Portland not only has a great cultural atmosphere, but many of the locals are well educated, too. Recent census data showed that 44% of residents 25 and older had at least a bachelor's degree, which is 16% higher than the national average. Perhaps this number is connected to the variety of colleges and universities in the state. Regardless of the reason, you’ll have a large number of skilled professionals to choose from when you’re ready to do your hiring.

Whether you’re looking for interns or experienced employees who can help you build your dream business, you’ll have no trouble finding them. You may even want to connect with a local college to set up an internship program. Here are a few colleges consider:

  • University of Portland
  • Portland State University
  • Reed College

Start Your Oregon-Based Business the Right Way

Once you’ve settled into Portland and have a business plan written out, it’s time to think about the details of starting your business, which include registering, obtaining an Employer Identification Number and sales tax license, and applying for local licenses, which will vary depending on the type of business you’re starting. You’ll also want to consider the type of business structure you’ll require, such as a limited liability company. Although there are several options, setting up an LLC in Oregon will help protect your assets and provide tax advantages at the same time.

Become an Oregonian

Starting a business in Portland is a great move for those looking for a responsible cost of living, a diverse culture, beautiful landscaping, and a supportive community. By doing some research ahead of time, you can make the move with your family and set up shop in a way that makes everyone happy.