Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Office of Management & Finance

Revenue Bureau

Revenue is being re-organized under the Bureau of Revenue and Financial Services.

Phone: 503-823-5157

Arts Tax: 503-865-4278

111 SW Columbia St, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97201

More Contact Info

Business Lookup Help

How to use Business Lookup

Disclaimer

Wildcards

How to Locate a Business by Business Name

How to Locate a Business by Location

What Does "No Businesses Found Matching Search Criteria" Mean?

What Does "Unable to Confirm Compliance" Mean?

How to find a Business Account Number

Who Is Required to Register their Business?

Who Qualifies for an Exemption? 

City Employees

How to Use Business Lookup 

Business Lookup was designed with ease-of-use in mind. Business Lookup only requires a valid business name or street address. Simply enter the criteria into the business name or address field and press Search.
Business Lookup will return to you a listing of candidates that match your search criteria. You can browse the list and select the candidate of interest. If only one business matches the criteria you entered, Business Lookup will skip this step and will take you directly to the business information. If you choose the wrong business and wish to return to the list, click the Back button on your browser.
Business Lookup provides you with easy access to a variety of information on businesses operating in the City of Portland and Multnomah County, including:

  • The names the business operates under
  • The locations on file for the business
  • The status of the business in the City of Portland Business License Tax program

Top

Disclaimer

It is important to note that the Bureau's database is only as good as the information given to the Bureau by the business. There are many reasons why you may not be able to find a business. If you need help, please contact the Bureau directly at 503-865-2475. Alternatively, you may wish to also search the Oregon Secretary of State Business Registry for similar information.

Top

Wildcards

If you're unsure of the exact criteria you may search using a "wildcard" (a symbol that stands for one or more characters). Business Lookup uses the percent sign (%) as the wildcard symbol. A wildcard can be used anywhere in the business name. To make searches easier, Business Lookup automatically adds a wildcard to the end of any business name you enter.

Top

How to Locate a Business by Business Name

Enter a valid business name and press Search.

  • Names of people are usually listed with the last name followed by a comma and then the first name. If you cannot find the name, try using the first initial instead of the full first name. Example: DOE, J
  • Partnerships often list the names of multiple partners. The order of the names and whether or not first names are included depends on how the name appears on the business application. You may need to use wildcards to help with your search. Examples: DOE, SMITH & HANCOCK or JOHN DOE, ADAM SMITH & JOHN HANCOCK
  • There shouldn't be spaces between the letters of an abbreviated corporate name. Example: IBM
  • There are spaces between the letters of an abbreviated corporate name if there is an ampersand in the name. Example: X Y & Z
  • Don't include INC or CORP at the end of a business name.
  • In general, use ampersand (&) instead of spelling out "and" (although there are exceptions).

Top

How to Locate a Business by Location

Enter an address and press Search. You do not need to enter the suite number or street type (ST, AV, CT, etc.). Business Lookup will do a phonetic match on the street name.

Top

What Does "No Businesses Found Matching Search Criteria" Mean?

If Business Lookup is unable to find a matching business in the Bureau's database, it will display the message alerting you to the fact. This does not necessarily mean that the business is in fact not in the Bureau's database. There are a number of potential reasons why Business Lookup may not find a match based on your search. For example,

  • you may have misspelled the business name and/or location or it may be misspelled in the Bureau's database;
  • the business may have changed its name and/or location but failed to give this updated information to the Bureau for input into its database;
  • the business may be listed in the Bureau's database under its official corporate name and not its more commonly known name, or vice versa;
  • you may be searching for an individual's name when in fact the business is not a sole proprietorship;
    a sole proprietorship may be listed under the spouse's name;
  • the business may be listed in the Bureau's database under its primary location and the secondary location you are searching for may not be on file;
  • the business may be listed in the Bureau's database under a variation of the name you provided.

You may need to use a wildcard to broaden your search. You do not need to reset the screen before performing a different search. You may simply edit the existing business name or address (or type in new criteria altogether) and then click the search button to continue.

Top

What Does "Unable to Confirm Compliance" Mean?

The status field shows whether the business is registered with the City of Portland Business License Tax program. In some cases it may show that we are unable to confirm compliance at this time. Please note that this does not necessarily mean that the business is out of compliance. There are a number of potential reasons why the Bureau may be unable to confirm compliance based on your search. For example,

  • the business may have recently submitted filings or it may have recently made payments that have not yet been entered into the database;
  • there may be an error on the account that prevents the Bureau from being able to confirm compliance at this time;
  • the business may be in compliance under a different name or entity type;
  • you may be viewing the wrong business. Many businesses have similar names, and as businesses move they do not always tell the Bureau;
  • you may be viewing a closed account. The business may have updated information under a different name.

Top

How to find a Business Account Number

Once you have located a business and you are viewing its details, you may choose to show the business account number.  Enter the business' tax ID number (social security number or FEIN) into the box provided and click "Show Account Number."  If the correct tax ID number is entered, the business account number will display under the account status.

Top

Who Is Required to Register their Business?

Everyone doing business in the City of Portland and Multnomah County is required to register their business. This includes businesses located outside of Portland that come into the City to deliver goods or conduct business. For example, a plumber based in Clackamas who works on clogged pipes in Portland must register with the City of Portland Business License Tax program.

Anyone engaged in any of the following activities is presumed to be doing business in the City of Portland:

  • Providing a service to customers within the City
  • Delivering products into the City
  • Selling products in the City
  • Having employees in the City
  • Advertising in the City
  • Operating from a location within the City

All businesses are required to register within 60 days of starting a business in the City of Portland (online, or using a PDF form to mail or fax). No payment is due with the registration form. Businesses that qualify for an exemption don't have to pay business license taxes, however those businesses are not exempt from registering or annual reporting requirements. Exemption forms are available in the Forms Library.

Top

Who Qualifies for an Exemption?

Exemptions: City of Portland Business License Tax 

  • Businesses grossing less than $50,000 per year from all sources before expenses. (For 1993 - 1998, exemption level = $15,000. For 1999 - 2006, exemption level = $25,000.)
  • Sole Proprietors filing a federal form 1040 should note "all sources" includes but is not limited to all schedule C's (including that of a spouse, even if located outside the City and/or County), all schedule E income (including incomes earned outside of the City and/or County), and all schedule D income derived from gains from property sales. "All sources" does not include wages.  
  • Insurance agents, agencies and other representatives as such. Note: "Representatives" means persons selling insurance or transacting insurance as a representative or agent of an insurance company. Such persons must be licensed and regulated by the State of Oregon Insurance Division. Please be aware that "domestic" insurance companies are not exempt.

Exempt businesses still must register (online, or using a PDF form to mail or fax) within 60 days of starting a business. Additionally, they must send a request for exemption (and give supporting IRS tax pages) on an annual basis after the close of their tax year. Exemption forms are available in the Forms Library.

Exemptions: Multnomah County Business Income Tax 

  • Businesses grossing less than $50,000 per year from all sources before expenses. (For 1993 – 1998, exemption level = $15,000. For 1999 – 2007, exemption level = $25,000.)
  • Sole Proprietors filing a federal form 1040 should note "all sources" includes but is not limited to all schedule C's (including that of a spouse, even if located outside the City and/or County), all schedule E income (including incomes earned outside of the City and/or County), and all schedule D income derived from gains from property sales. "All sources" does not include wages.  
  • Insurance agents, agencies and other representatives as such. Note: "Representatives" means persons selling insurance or transacting insurance as a representative or agent of an insurance company. Such persons must be licensed and regulated by the State of Oregon Insurance Division. Please be aware that "domestic" insurance companies are not exempt.
  • Individuals whose only business activity is ownership of less than 10 residential rental units. No exemption is available if any other business activity occurs (including sale of residential property). Note: An individual is a natural person or a joint taxfiler. Partnerships, corporations and all entities other than individuals may not look to this exemption.  

Top 

City Employees

There is a separate tutorial available to city employees who are logged in to PortlandOnline and searching for business information. When you go to Business Lookup you will see a link labelled "business lookup tutorial" with special instructions for City employees.

Top