Starting a Business in Downtown Eugene

Starting a business in Downtown Eugene can be an exciting endeavor. You will be joining the ranks of thousands of businesses that are working to provide a product or service to the local and/or global community. Before you get started, there are a few things you should consider.

Make a Plan

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Consider writing a business plan or writing out some of your goals and objectives. If you need help, Downtown Eugene has a local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to help. Head to the 2nd floor of the Downtown Lane Community College building to schedule a free appointment, or check out their website form more information.

If you are looking to start a business that makes a product or service that is scalable, you may want to consider heading over to RAIN Eugene to speak with their crew. They provide mentoring and assistance for new and existing businesses looking to scale.

Pick a place to work

“Location is the key to most businesses, and the entrepreneurs typically build their reputation at a particular spot.” – Phyllis Schlafly

Decide where you want to work and how you are delivering your services. If you want to keep costs down while you get started, find a great seat at a local coffee shop. If you want a place with a little more structure but want to be budget conscious, contact a local shared workspace like CodeChops or MindWorks. For those that need more room or a nice office, consider reaching out to local property managers or building owners.

Get some help

“We have to tell people who need help that it’s OK to ask for it.”- Macklemore

If you are looking to build a team of employees or need to find some people to be contractors, there are several places downtown to find some great talent. For tech industry contacts try: TAO, Eugene Tech or RAIN Eugene. Another great workforce resource is Lane Workforce Partnership.

Seek legal advice: Reach out to local downtown attorneys.

Seek finance & tax advice: Running your own business has certain financing and tax implications. Find a tax consultant.

Some other considerations

Depending on the type of business you are starting, you may need a license; in our community there are only a few businesses that need them. Check to see if you need a license on the City of Eugene website.

A Fictitious Business name: If you want to start a business and use a name different then your name, you’ll need to file a fictitious business name with the state. Check to see if the name is in use first!

Businesses have a place in our community. Consider engaging with the business community through the Eugene Chamber or through many other organizations that serve downtown like the Downtown Eugene Merchants or Downtown Eugene Inc.

The City of Eugene also has some recommendations for businesses starting in the city.

Final thoughts

If you are looking to start a business in Downtown Eugene, we have some great organizations and people that are here to help. Any of these organizations can help you get started, or connect you with more resources. If there is a specific question you have or need some clarification, please contact the Eugene Chamber for help.

We hope your new business will be successful and look forward to welcoming your business to the community!