You are here

Start or Grow Your Business

Open for Business

The City of West Linn is proud to support local businesses. The City's Economic Development department assists existing, expanding and new businesses by providing a forum for idea exchange and networking, updates and information from the department, individual assistance, and referrals to useful resources.  West Linn's economic development partners at Clackamas County have compiled an impressive set of business resources that we are happy to share.

Explore the page below to find a valuable federal resource, along with the County's Tools for Business Success site and step-by-step guide to starting a business. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.


The U.S. Small Business Association, in partnership with Business USA, has created an online Learning Center to assist small business owners with tools, training and support. Click below to visit.

Small Business Learning Center  


Click below for Clackamas County's tool, which offers local, state, federal, and best-of-the-web resources to start and grow your business.

Clackamas County: Tools for Business Success


Hear from top online entrepreneurs in a 2012 video series about building your own business.

Advice and Steps to Starting up a Small Business

Read and explore below to find Clackamas County's information about starting a new business, including topics like regulations, licenses, IRS information, taxes and networking groups.

Starting a New Business



Step One: Research
General Information:

  • provides resources to help high-tech startups get launched, funded, and grow into successful companies.
  • The Oregon Economic and Community Development Department’s (OECDD) website has a lot of useful information. OECDD is part of our state government. This website has a lot of information on how to start a small business.
  • The Oregon Small Business Development Center has many tips on starting a small business. It is part of the US Small Business Administration.
  • Business.USA.Gov is a newly launched federal government web site that provides business owners with a one-stop resource that searches the federal government agencies that regulate or serve businesses for compliance information or resources.
  • Clackamas County Assessment & Taxation provide answers to many of the frequently asked questions about Business Personal Property Tax.

Minority Status: The following website is intended to support minority owned businesses.

  • The Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs is an association that is a partnership between ethnic minorities, entrepreneurs, education, government and established corporate businesses to promote and develop entrepreneurship and economic development for ethnic minorities in the State of Oregon.

Step Two: Business Licenses

  • If you intend to operate a business inside the West Linn city limits, you will need a West Linn Business License.


  • You will not need a County business license, as Clackamas County does not have business licenses.
  • Clackamas County may require a Home Occupation Permit for businesses located in unincorporated areas. Details can be found in the Home Occupation Zoning Ordinance.
  • Planning has also created a brochure with all the necessary information on Home Occupation Permits. If, after checking to see if you need a Home Occupation Zoning Permit, you find you need one, you can download the Permit Application (PDF) to fill out and submit.


  • Register your business with the State of Oregon.
  • To find out if there are licenses required by the state of Oregon, go to Oregon Business Licenses and follow the easy instructions to find out which additional permits you might need.
  • In addition, the Business Referral Wizard will help you determine which licenses and permits might apply to you.

Step Three: IRS

Step Four: Networking

One of the ways to contribute to the economic health of our community is to participate in activities that are tied to creating a healthy economy. The following are some organizations in which you can participate.

Other Steps

  • File a Personal Property report on or before March 1. Call (503) 655-8671 for more information. File with the Clackamas County Tax Assessor at 150 Beavercreek Road, Oregon City, Oregon 97045.
  • Plan for the Tri-Met Self Employment Tax: (503) 378-4988. Submit forms with Federal/State Income tax returns. Mail to Oregon Department of Revenue, P.O. Box 14780-0, Salem, Oregon. Not applicable in Molalla, Wilsonville, or unincorporated areas outside the Tri-Met Service District boundary.
  • A future business owner recommended this article for tax-related questions about starting a business: Turbo Tax Article


  • Comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Call Northwest Disability & Business Technical Assistance Center 1-800-949-4232 or Office of ADA, Civil Rights Division 1-800-514-0301 for information on whether your business needs to make special accommodations to the public or your employees.
  • Secure Workers Compensation Insurance: Contact the Department of Consumer & Business Services, Workers Compensation Division at (503) 945-7888, 21 Labor and Industries Building, 350 Winter Street NE, Salem, Oregon 97310.
  • Check with the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (OSHA) (503) 378-5910 at their Portland (Field Office to find out which regulations affect your type of business.
  • Contact the Bureau of Labor and Industries at (503) 731-4073 for information on wage and hour laws, parental leave, civil rights laws and apprenticeship programs. Contact the Bureau of Labor and industries 800 NE Oregon Room 32, Portland, Oregon 97232.

Clackamas County Export Initiative

The production of exported goods and services creates jobs both directly and indirectly in the supply chain. Clackamas County is actively engaged in the recently launched Metro Export Initiative (MEI), an export strategy developed by the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program as part of the Greater Portland Export Plan. Click below to download more information about the initiative.