Oregon Small Business Development Center: Training and Specialized Services 

Have you ever wondered how you can leverage the Oregon SBDC Network and our services to help launch and grow your small business? Whether you’re located in an urban center or rural Oregon, our 20 regional Centers and Global Trade Center assist entrepreneurs and small business owners throughout the state in all aspects of business. 

Each Center is backed by our statewide network of support to help you find the right solutions and strategies for the success of your business. Our services include:

  • Training
  • No-cost advising
  • Small Business Management Program
  • Succession planning
  • Capital access
  • Market research
  • Cybersecurity
  • Global Trade Center
  • Innovation

Training

Small business owners can take advantage of the array of in-person and online classes offered through the Oregon SBDC Network. Some of our most popular topics include how to start a business, QuickBooks essentials, marketing for your small business, Construction Contractor Board (CCB) test preparation, and much more. 

To browse classes near you, first find your Center.

No-Cost Advising

Each of our 20 regional Centers provides no-cost, confidential advising for small business owners at any stage of business. Whether you’re seeking some guidance on writing a business plan, analyzing your business’s financials, or growing your team of employees, our knowledgeable business advisers can provide expert advice and connect you to valuable resources.

Advising requires filling out our online intake form and, at some Centers, attending a free introductory workshop to see if advising is right for you.

Small Business Management (SBM) Program

The Oregon SBDC’s SBM Program has one goal: to make you and your business more successful! Grow your business through this unique training program, which combines one-on-one coaching from an experienced adviser with classroom learning and business networking with other entrepreneurs.

The result is a customized plan to help you streamline each aspect of your business, financials and human resources and financials to digital and traditional marketing. 

The program typically starts in the fall with classes following the host college’s schedule.

Succession Planning

When you own a business with employees, personnel changes are inevitable. Having a plan for that inevitability is a critical aspect of your business!

At the Oregon SBDC Network, our experienced advisers help small business owners with succession planning, which keeps your business moving forward even as changes occur. 

From assessing your current workforce and identifying your top performers to strategizing on how to preserve institutional knowledge when key employees leave, we can support you to create a succession plan that fits the unique needs of your business. 

Capital Access

Small businesses often struggle with access to funding and finding the right financing to meet their needs. If you need support as you seek funding for your business, the Oregon SBDC Network’s Capital Access Team (CAT) is here to help!

CAT’s highly specialized advisers provide expert advising, training, and support for small business owners seeking funding. All advising is confidential, and the CAT team works collaboratively with a local SBDC business adviser to help clients work toward their goal.

Market Research

Is your business ready for growth and job creation? Better information leads to better decisions at this critical point in your business. The Oregon SBDC Network’s Market Research Institute provides customized, data-based research reports and market intelligence for established businesses that anticipate growth. 

Reports encompass a wide range of topics and databases centered on your needs and goals that can help your business:

  • Identify opportunities
  • Better understand the competitive landscape
  • Refine business plans

Clients should connect with their business adviser to see if leveraging the Market Research Institute is the right next step for their growth.

Cybersecurity

Cybercrime poses an increasing threat in our interconnected world, yet many organizations do not have a comprehensive cybersecurity plan in place. The Oregon SBDC Network’s Cybersecurity program, located at the Mt. Hood SBDC, offers educational awareness, workshops, training, and no-cost advising for businesses to address their cybersecurity needs.

Through collaborative partnerships, the Mt. Hood SBDC cybersecurity program brings world-class expert presenters in the field of cybersecurity and cyber intelligence for events, training sessions, and webinars.

Click here to see upcoming events. 

Global Trade Center

The Oregon SBDC’s Global Trade Center, hosted at Portland Community College, has been supporting entrepreneurs in taking their businesses global since 2017.

As the only center in Oregon specialized in international trade, the Global Trade Center serves as a statewide resource, combining one-on-one, no-cost trade advising with programs taught by business experts.

If you’re interested in expanding your customer base to international markets or importing products from your global supply chain, the Global Trade Center can help at no cost to you.

Innovation

The Oregon SBDC Network is proud to partner with organizations across the state that help us in our mission to build Oregon’s best businesses.

One of those partners is VertueLab, a valued partner in innovation. Oregon SBCDs partner with VertueLab to help tech companies in Oregon navigate and apply for grants through federal funding opportunities.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) are competitive federal grant programs that award funding to small businesses to engage in research and development with the potential to commercialize new technologies.

To be eligible, companies must have the following qualifications:

  • Ideas and concepts that address the needs identified in at least one SBIR/STTR solicitation
  • The skills and experience to fulfill SBIR/STTR solicitation requirements
  • Plans and capacities to commercialize technologies resulting from SBIR/STTR awards

If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner excited about making a difference in tackling climate change and competing for an SBIR or STTR grant, you can connect with your regional SBDC for more information.

Ready to Get Started?

Oregon’s small businesses are as unique as our state. Whether you’re preparing to launch a business or planning to exit one, the advice and tools needed to be successful starts with connecting with your closest Center.

Here’s Your Business Tax Preparation Checklist

Everything You Need to Know to Maximize Business Tax Deductions

Business tax preparation can seem daunting, especially for small-business owners filing for the first time. To ensure that you’re ready when tax time comes, start early! Follow this checklist to prepare for your small-business taxes and know how to maximize your business tax deductions.

If you need further guidance on current and future business tax preparation, check out the Oregon Small Business Development Center’s resources at the end of this guide.

Business Tax Preparation Checklist

Know the types of taxes applicable to your business.
Choose the forms you’ll need.
Collect the necessary financial documents.
Understand tax deductions and tax credits.
Get your 1099s in order by collecting W-9s now.
Look at I-9s for expiring documents and request new ones at least two months in advance—plus, be sure to sign the renewal section.
Request new W-4s (state and federal) from employees.
Review your loan, credit card, and accounts payable balances, and check that they match the balance sheet.
Review your profit and loss and consider tax-saving strategies.
Check in with your tax preparer, or select a tax preparer accountant now.
Request a tax-filing extension well before your filing deadline.

Know the Types of Taxes Applicable to Your Business

There are various types of taxes that Oregon small-business owners are required to pay to the IRS and state tax authorities. The six main types of taxes your business may be responsible for include:

  1. Income tax: Taxes paid on the profits of the business (individual/self-employment and corporate). The Corporate Activity Tax (CAT) applies to businesses that earn $750,000 in gross income or more in a year.
  2. Estimated taxes: Quarterly tax payments, if you are a sole proprietor/sole member limited liability company (LLC) filing a Schedule C, Schedule E, Schedule F, or Form 1065 as a partnership/ multi-member LLC partnership return for your business. If you are a Sub S, be sure to consult your tax professional for your specific election and filing requirements.
  3. Self-employment tax: Social Security and Medicare for self-employed earnings.
  4. Employment taxes: Social Security, Medicare, federal and state unemployment taxes, and Workers’ Benefit Fund (Forms 941, 940/ Form OQ, Oregon Schedule B, Form 132, Form QA).
  5. Business personal property taxes: Filed by each individual, partnership, firm, or corporation, this tax varies based on your locality. Taxable property includes items such as machinery, equipment, and furniture used previously or presently in a business.
  6. Excise tax: Depending on your business structure, you may be assessed an excise tax. Corporate excise taxes are typically imposed only on a small business set up as a C corporation or LLC that elects to be treated as a corporation; this is an additional tax charged on goods and services. For S corporations and LLCs, a minimum excise tax is typically assessed, and the business owner pays personal income tax on the income that passes through from the business. Also, if employees work in the TriMet or Lane Transit Districts, an excise tax will be due.

Be sure to consult with your tax preparer to ensure that you meet all your tax obligations.

Choose the Forms You’ll Need

Once you understand the types of business taxes that are assessed, it’s time to choose the forms you’ll need.

The most common tax forms small businesses need include:

  • Schedule C: For sole proprietors and sole-member LLC owners, this form is attached to your personal income tax return.
  • Schedule E: Used by landlords and property owners to report business income and expenses on their properties.
    Schedule F: Used by farmers/ranchers and others with agricultural businesses.
  • 1099-MISC: Used to report other income or rent paid to a landlord.
  • 1099-NEC: Used to report payments to individuals and businesses for amounts equal to or more than $600 in the year (services and goods).
  • Form 1120: Used to report income from a C corporation.
  • Form 1120S: Used for companies with S corporation status, this form should be filed separately from your personal income tax return.
  • Schedule K-1: Prepared for each individual partner in a partnership, to be included with their personal tax return.

If you are unsure which tax forms you need, be sure to consult with your tax preparer.

Collect the Necessary Financial Documents

Among the most important steps of business tax preparation is collecting pertinent financial information for your taxes. Having the following essential documents readily available will help to make filing your taxes less time-consuming:

General information:

  • Federal tax ID number, also known as an EIN
  • Business Registry Number for Oregon
  • Social Security number
  • NAICS Code for your business
  • Previous year’s tax return

Business documentation:

  • Income statement (be sure to provide information either as cash-based or accrual)
  • Balance sheet (be sure to provide information either as cash-based or accrual)
  • Transactional supporting documents, such as bank and credit card statements, invoices received and paid, and bank deposit slips
  • Accounting documents
  • Asset purchase information, including the sale of facilities, vehicles, equipment, and stock or inventory
  • Sale of assets (provide the date of sale and net book value to determine gain or loss)
  • Depreciation schedule of assets
  • Mileage log for each vehicle
  • A statement on capitalization criteria for assets
  • Information on any fringe benefits paid to employees

Employment and vendor tax documentation:

  • Employee forms: W-9, I-9, W-2
  • Subcontractor forms: 1099, 1099-MISC, 1099-NEC
  • Payroll documents

Home office documentation:

For business owners who use part of their home for business purposes, expenses may be deductible for the business use of your home. Document the square footage of your home office and the total square footage of your home, as well as how much you paid for mortgage interest or rent; utilities; homeowners or renters insurance; property taxes; repairs to the home; and any separate phone line you maintain. Also, if you use the internet and/or cable, such as for watching YouTube videos or to communicate with customers, include this with your home office documentation.

Understand Tax Deductions and Tax Credits

As a small-business owner, you have access to advantageous tax deductions and tax credits to reduce how much you owe, but you will need to prove that you qualify for them.

A tax deduction reduces a business’s taxable income, while a tax credit reduces the business’s tax bill.

Some of the deductions that small-business owners may qualify for include:

  • Supplies
  • Professional fees, such as attorneys, accountants, and bookkeepers
  • Operational costs, such as rent and utilities
  • Home office expenses (not deducted directly on the P&L; done on your tax return only)
  • Marketing costs to promote your business
  • Entertainment and travel expenses
  • Mileage
  • Healthcare and employee benefit expenses
  • Company vehicle insurance
  • Asset depreciation
  • Loan amortization of points
  • Goodwill deduction, if you purchased the business
  • Employee salaries and benefits
  • Training and education expenses
  • Qualified business income (QBI) deduction, up to 20% reduction in net income

Tax credits are awarded to businesses that engage in a particular type of business action that is helpful to the economy or society. Some common small-business tax credits include:

  • Small-business health insurance premiums, for businesses with fewer than 25 employees
  • Employer credit for Paid Family and Medical Leave
  • Investment credit for qualifying environmental and energy projects
  • Disabled access credit, for expenses to make your business more accessible to those with disabilities
  • Work Opportunity Tax Credit, applying to businesses that hire employees from underserved populations, such as veterans, ex-felons, or recipients of family assistance or food stamps, among others
  • Alternative motor vehicle credit, for electric and hybrid vehicles used for business purposes
  • Information on all grants, PPPs and other incentives provided during COVID

Get Your 1099s in Order

You may have incoming or outgoing 1099 forms for your business, and it’s a good idea to get these in order in advance.

If your small business works with independent contractors, you must file Form 1099-NEC for each non-employee whom you have paid at least $600 for services performed. If the independent contractor also provided supplies/materials/goods to your business, those are included on the 1099-NEC. In cases where the amount you paid is below $600, you will not need to file a form. Be sure to collect a new W-9 from each independent contractor annually, as their business information may have changed.

If you are a service-based small business that has received payments, you will have incoming 1099s. If you are expecting a Form 1099 and have not received one, be sure to include this in the gross income of your tax return. If the information on the Form 1099 is incorrect, be sure to contact the payer to get it corrected, and if you are unable to do so, attach an explanation to your tax return.

Look at I-9s for Expiring Documents

Form I-9 verifies the identity and employment authorization for new employees who have been hired to work in the United States (citizens and non-citizens). Employers are expected to reverify should an employee’s employment authorization documentation expire.

If you have any questions about completing and managing Form I-9, be sure to speak with your tax preparer and/or payroll provider.

Request New W-4s from Employees

Form W-4 is used to withhold income tax from employees’ pay. Employers should ensure that they have new W-4s for:

  • New employees
  • Employees who had a change in their personal or financial situation
  • Employees who are claiming exemption from withholding

Employers are encouraged to remind employees to submit a new W-4 form if their withholding allowances have changed or will change next year.

Review Balances, and Check That They Match the Balance Sheet

When recording loan balances, small-business owners should record payments to their loan principal and interest separately, as only payments on the loan interest are tax-deductible.

Verify that credit card purchases have been entered, and reconcile the credit card at year-end.

Accounts and trade payables need to be verified to ensure that balances that show due for unpaid taxes, vendor invoices, and trade invoices match the detail in the accounts payable.

As part of your business tax preparation, it’s important to review your loan, credit card, and vendor statements with your bookkeeper at the end of the year to ensure that the loan balances on your balance sheet are accurate and match the balances on your statements.

Plan to take this as part of your paperwork for your tax preparer.

Review Your Profit and Loss, and Consider Tax-Saving Strategies

Your profit and loss (P&L) statement, also called the income statement, summarizes your revenue and expenses throughout the year. Your P&L will include much of the information you’ll need during your business tax preparation.

As you review your P&L statement, you may be able to lower your total taxes by considering strategies such as:

  • Updating the corporate structure of your business
  • Establishing a retirement plan
  • Claiming first-year bonus depreciation (a tax break for assets purchased)
  • Deferring or accelerating income depending on your tax situation (for those who use pass-through entities)

Be sure to run both the balance sheet and P&L, or income statement as it is known on most software packages, using the same method—cash or accrual.

Remember to consult your tax preparer to be proactive with your tax planning and see if you qualify for potential savings.

Check In with Your Tax Preparer

In addition to providing you with information and advice on key tax decisions, having a professional prepare your tax forms can ease the pain of tax season, and in many cases the deductions and recommendations they make can save their fee and more!

A tax professional will help ensure that your business taxes are filed correctly and that you are maximizing any deductions or credits available to your small business.

To avoid needing multiple appointments with your tax preparer, ask for a client organizer or guidance on what to prepare in advance of your appointment.

If you haven’t yet hired a tax professional, here are some tips to help you find the right tax preparer:

  • Consider requiring a CPA, law license, or Enrolled Agent designation. It is relatively easy to obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), which is required of all paid tax preparers, so credentials that require varying amounts of study and ongoing education can help in finding the right person to help with your taxes.
  • Check their qualifications using the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications.
  • Check their history through the Better Business Bureau.
  • Ask to e-file. E-filing is required for those who prepare more than 10 returns. If your tax preparer does not offer e-filing, it may indicate that they do not do a lot of tax preparation.

Request a Tax-Filing Extension if Necessary

If you’ve already begun to think about business tax preparation, you’re likely ahead of the game, but there are times when an extension may be necessary.

If you don’t think you’ll be able to file your taxes by the deadline, it’s possible to request an extension from the IRS, which will give you until the fall to file your tax return.

It’s important to note that, even if the filing deadline is extended, you must pay your taxes by the original deadline to ensure that you don’t get penalized.

Business Tax Preparation at the Oregon SBDC

The Oregon Small Business Development Center Network is committed to building Oregon’s best businesses. Our 19 centers assist small businesses throughout Oregon with advising, classes, and access to the resources they need to be successful, including business tax preparation. Each center is backed by our statewide network of support, helping small businesses access the right assistance wherever they are in Oregon.

A few of our services that help small-business owners with business tax preparation include:

Oregon’s small businesses are as unique as our state, and our knowledgeable team of advisers can help you with any challenges you face while preparing for tax season. If you have any questions about preparing for your business taxes, connect with your local SBDC at OregonSBDC.org.