OAR 160-010-0011
General Guidelines

This rule furnishes general guidelines to determine whether a proposed name is distinguishable on the active records of the Secretary of State Business Registry office. For the purposes of determining whether a name is available for registration, OAR 160-010-0010 (Definitions) through 160-010-0014 (Prohibitions) will be applied jointly.


The records consist of business, professional, cooperative and nonprofit corporations, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, limited partnerships, business trust names, reserved or registered names, and assumed business names.


Registration or filing of a name by the Secretary of State Business Registry office only advises the public that the name is registered to individuals or a particular entity. Registration or filing of a name does not grant exclusive rights or interests in that name. A name may be available for registration; however, someone else may hold a prior right to that name, or the name may be too similar to another, and may result in a case of legal action brought against the registrant for dilution or unfair competition of someone else’s business.


The Secretary of State’s role is ministerial. The Secretary of State does not have the power to determine or settle competing claims to a name under other statutes or under the common law. Unresolved disputes between parties regarding ownership rights to a business name should be directed to the appropriate court of jurisdiction.


Business entity, reserved, or registered names that become inactive through administrative or voluntary dissolution, cancellation, or failure to renew are not considered part of the active records, and inactive names will be considered available for purposes of registration.


Names submitted for registration must be comprised of the English letters “a” through “z,” and the Arabic and Roman numerals 0 through 9, in integers or spelled out.


The following special characters and punctuation marks will also be allowed in the name, however they will not, by themselves, make a name distinguishable:


Special Characters — asterisk (*); “at” sign (@); backslash (\); left brace ( { ); right brace ( } ); caret (^); dollar sign ($); “equal to” sign (=); “greater than” sign (>); “less than” sign (


Punctuation Marks — apostrophe ( ‘ ); left bracket ([ ); right bracket( ]); colon (:); comma (,); dash or hyphen (-); exclamation point (!); left parenthesis (( ); right parenthesis ( ) ); period (.); question mark (? ); single quote mark (“ ); double quote mark ( “ ” ); semicolon (;); and slash ( / ).
Last Updated

Jun. 8, 2021

Rule 160-010-0011’s source at or​.us