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Office of Management & Finance

Revenue Bureau

Phone: 503-823-5157

Arts Tax: 503-865-4278

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

More Contact Info

English Tax Info Sheet

 License & Tax Division Header

CITY OF PORTLAND BUSINESS LICENSE TAX

WHO IS REQUIRED TO REGISTER?  Everyone starting a business in the City of Portland is required to register within 60 days.

HOW MUCH IS THE TAX? The tax is 2.2% of the net business income.  An additional surcharge was in effect from 2002-2004, 2006-2007.  Apportionment is allowed for business activity performed outside the City.  THE MINIMUM ANNUAL TAX IS $100.

ARE THERE ANY EXEMPTIONS? All businesses are required to register and file an annual return.  Some businesses may be exempt from paying the tax:

  1. Businesses grossing less than $50,000 per year from all sources before expenses.
  2. Businesses whose only activity is regulated by the State Insurance Division.

Exempt businesses are still required to register.  An annual exemption request must be filed with attached verification even if no payment is required.

ISN’T THIS JUST A BUSINESS TAX? Yes.  The business license tax replaces all general business taxes in Portland.  It is purely a revenue business license tax.  Unlike most city business taxes, Portland’s tax is based on net income (after expenses), not on gross receipts.

HOW DO I GET NOTIFICATION OF COMPLIANCE? The Revenue Bureau no longer mails Certificates of Compliance.  Businesses may verify compliance and print their Certificate of Compliance by visiting www.pdxbl.org and clicking one of these key links:

The Revenue Bureau recommends that businesses retain a copy of their annual tax report for filing verification. Businesses are still required to submit an annual tax filing to the Revenue Bureau to remain in compliance with the City’s Business License Tax Law.

WILL I RECEIVE CONFIRMATION IMMEDIATELY AFTER REGISTERING?  If you need immediate evidence that you are in compliance, apply online at www.pdxbl.org.  You will be provided an account number and printable confirmation.

MULTNOMAH COUNTY BUSINESS INCOME TAX (MCBIT)

WHAT IS MCBIT? Multnomah County replaced its business license with a business income tax in 1976.  This business income tax is assessed on all “persons” doing business in Multnomah County. 

Please note:  This is not the temporary Personal Income Tax (ITAX) – 2003-2005.

WHO HAS TO PAY MCBIT? Everyone doing business in Multnomah County except:

  1. Businesses grossing less than $50,000 per year from all sources before expenses.
  2. Businesses whose only activity is regulated by the State Insurance Division.
  3. Individuals whose only business activity is ownership of less than 10 residential units.  (A duplex = two units).  One or more sales constitute “other business activity”.

Exempt businesses are still required to register.  An annual exemption request must be filed with attached verification even if no payment is required.

HOW/WHEN DO I PAY THE TAX? Generally, you must file and pay the tax within three and one-half months following the end of your taxable year.  However, you may request an extension of up to six months to file your return.  This extension is granted when accompanied by an estimated tax payment.

HOW MUCH IS THE TAX? The tax is 1.45% of the net business income.  Apportionment may be allowed for business activity performed outside the County.  THE MINIMUM ANNUAL TAX IS $100.

WHAT IF I HAVE NOT PAID THE TAX?  If you have not filed & paid the tax for past years while doing business in Multnomah County, you must file returns for these past years.  Presumptive taxes will be assessed on each past due tax return.  Contact the Revenue Bureau for Information and forms.

The City of Portland Revenue Bureau / License & Tax Division administers both programs.  Questions and correspondence should be addressed to the Revenue Bureau @ 111 SW Columbia Street, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97201-5840, (503) 823-5157.  Visit online at www.pdxbl.org.
 
The commonly used numbers below are for reference only.  Regulations vary for each business, so not all requirements are listed.

HOME OCCUPATION PERMITS:  A business operating from a residence within the Portland City limits may require a permit from the Bureau of Development Services at (503) 823-7306 or download the handout. A business operating from a residence in unincorporated Multnomah County may require a permit from Multnomah County Planning & Development, (503) 988-3043. 

BUILDING PERMITS AND CHANGE OF USE:  A new business may require a building permit from the Bureau of Development Services at (503) 823-7300.  A new business in unincorporated Multnomah County may require zoning approval from Multnomah County Planning & Development (503) 988-3043.

ZONING REQUIREMENTS:  To determine if you are in the Portland City limits, contact the Permit Center at (503) 823-7310, online at www.portlandmaps.com or Multnomah County Planning & Development at (503) 988-3043.

CITY/COUNTY BOUNDARIES:  To determine if you are in the Portland City limits, contact the Permit Center at (503) 823-7310, online at www.portlandmaps.com or Multnomah County Planning & Development at (503) 988-3043.

CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS BOARD: Contractors need to register with the State of Oregon at (503) 378-4621 or www.ccb.state.or.us/.  Contractors and Landscapers working in the Portland Metro area can get a Metro “Passport” license.  Contact Metro at (503) 797-1620, 600 NE Grand, Portland, OR, 97232.  Contractors working in Portland must still register for the City of Portland Business License Tax.

LANDSCAPE  CONTRACTORS  BOARD: Landscapers are required to be licensed with the State of Oregon; yard maintenance workers are unregulated by the State.  Contact the LCB at (503) 378-5909 or online at www.lcb.state.or.us

OREGON SECRETARY OF STATE: All businesses operating in the State of Oregon are required to register with the Oregon Secretary of State with the exception of Sole Proprietors operating under their own name.  Register online, check name availability and get referrals at www.filinginoregon.com or call (503) 986-2200.

SCORE: Volunteer counselors provide free and confidential one-on-one business consulting.
www.scorepdx.org
601 SW 2nd Ave, Suite 950
Portland, OR  97204
(503) 326-5211

PCC SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER: The CLIMB Small Business Development Center is funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department and hosted by Portland Community College.  www.pcc.edu/business/small-business-development/
2025 Lloyd Center Mall
Portland, OR  97232
(503) 978-5080

SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION:  Provides information packets and seminars on building a new business:
601 SW 2nd Ave, Suite 920
Portland, OR  97204-3192
(503) 326-2682

VENDING CART ON PRIVATE PROPERTY:
Bureau of Development Services
1900 SW 4th #5000 (4th and Harrison)
Portland, OR  97201
(503) 823-7300

VENDING CART IN A CITY PARK:
Portland Parks & Recreation Customer Service
1120 SW 5th Ave #1302 (Portland Building)
Portland, OR  97204
(503) 823-2525

VENDING CART ON A PUBLIC SIDEWALK:
Portland Bureau of Transportation
1120 SW 5th Ave #800 (Portland Building)
Portland, OR  97204
(503) 823-7002

RESTAURANTS/FOOD SALES (PERMANENT AND TEMPORARY): Permanent and temporary food-service operations require an inspection and license from Multnomah County Environmental Health (503) 988-3400. If any heat-generating device is used for food preparation, call the Fire Marshall at (503) 823-3700.

DOWNTOWN BUSINESS PROPERTY MANAGEMENT LICENSE PROGRAM:  Business Property Management activities as outlined in Section 6.06 of the City Code require payment of this license fee.  Contact the Administrator of this program at (503) 865-2857.

GENERAL INFORMATION NUMBERS:
City/County Information Line  (503) 823-4000
Development Services Center  (503) 823-7300 (Zoning, Building Permits, Signs)
MultCo Assessment & Taxation (503) 988-3326
Motor Vehicle/Rental/Excise Tax (503) 988-3440
Obtain FEIN#    (800) 829-4933
State Tax / TriMet Tax   (503) 378-4988
Oregon State Police   (503) 378-3720
Film/Video Permit (Shelley Midthun) (503) 823-4039

CONTACT THE REVENUE BUREAU FOR THE FOLLOWING PERMITS, LICENSES AND TAXES:
Amusement Device and Secondhand Dealer Permits, Pay & Park (U-PARK) issues:  (503) 865-2488
Taxicab, Permits & Issues  (503) 865-2484
Towing Issues & Complaints  (503) 865-2489
Business License Tax   (503) 823-5157

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