16 Fascinating Oregon Small Business Statistics


Oregon is one of the most geographically diverse states in the US. Its landscape is marked with high deserts, shrublands, volcanic mountains, evergreen forests, and large bodies of water. Due to this idyllic scenery, the state’s economy has been dependent for a long time on activities like agriculture, fishing, tourism, and hydroelectric power. 

The tide is changing, however, and more people have been investing in professional and technical services in large cities across the state, especially in Portland, where the population is much larger and more diverse and the transport system much better than in rural Oregon.

Most of these investments take the form of start-ups and small businesses (SMBs). Oregon might not be as popular a place for businesses as its neighbors California and Washington, but the state government offers good incentives to SMBs to help boost their growth.

Here is a list of statistics on small businesses in the state of Oregon:

  • Oregon is home to 387,819 small businesses, 99.4% of all businesses in the state.
  • Small firms employ approximately 871,241, which is 54.6% of the entire state workforce.
  • Out of a minority population of 344,000, only 42,869 are self-employed. 
  • By the end of February 2021, the Secretary of State’s office had recorded a 20% increase in the number of new business applications for limited liability companies (LLCs) compared with the same time the previous year.
  • There is a strong local support for small businesses—consumers like getting acquainted with business owners because it makes them feel welcome in their locality.
  • The accommodation and food services sectors employ a total of 132,202 people. That’s 72.4% of the total private workforce.
  • SMBs in the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industries have the smallest share of the private workforce, with a cumulative 835 employees.
  • There are 5,231 small business exporters in Oregon who are responsible for 24% of Oregon’s $21.3 billion worth of revenue in total exports.
  • Oregon State law requires that every new Oregon LLC designates an Oregon registered agent that will be available during regular business hours at a physical address within the state.
  • Oregon’s corporate income tax is based on a tier system. Corporations pay 6.6% tax on incomes below $10,000,000 while those who make more than this figure have a 7.6% tax rate.
  • Corporations without an income or that have net losses are still liable for taxation from $150 for sales below $500,000 to $100,000 for sales above $100 million.
  • There are 61,352 SMBs in the professional, scientific, and technical services sectors. Of them, 10,814 are businesses with less than 20 employees, while 11,633 have 499 less than 20 employees.
  • According to a survey by Built Oregon in March 2020, 52% of small business owners said their primary concern is making payroll, while 58% said their primary concern is employee welfare.
  • By the last quarter of 2018, there were 3,358 new start-ups that generated approximately 10,502 new jobs.
  • Unemployment has fallen to a low of 4.5%. This shows that there is a hunger for employees among SMBs statewide. However, the demand is so high that small business owners often fail to find the right talent.


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