Start A Business

If you are interested in starting, expanding, or moving your business to or in Estacada, contact the Economic Development Manager. Full contact info in the left sidebar of this page.

Below are the basic steps involved with starting a business. Some of these steps may not apply if you are expanding or moving your business.

Ask questions; get grounded.

  • Is my business idea a profitable opportunity, or just a fun idea?
  • Does my business solve a problem or fulfill unmet demand?
  • Do my skills and experience lend themselves to my new venture?
  • Do I have the time and energy to get a business up and running?
  • Who can mentor me through this process?
  • What is my tolerance for risk?
  • How long can I go without pay while the business is getting started?

Plan & Source Capital (aka $$$)

  • Develop an “elevator pitch” and a business plan
    • Need help with your business plan? Contact the Small Business Development Center at Clackamas Community College. They offer FREE business counseling.
    • Business plans help you and others to forecast if you have the potential to run a financially successful business.
  • Determine what your cash and non-liquid assets are, which you will use to start you business and qualify for a loan, if needed.
  • Use your business plan to source additional capital, if needed. Local banks and credit unions are a great place to start as they have an emphasis on local small business lending. Larger national banks may or may not have more difficult lending requirements but should also be considered, especially if you already have a long-standing banking relationship with them. Any bank, no matter the size, will want to see your business plan.
    • Thanks to recent legislation, it is now legal to “crowdfund” a business via local Oregon investors. This can be a great option for some, but not for all. Please contact the City’s Economic Development Manager for more information.

Make it Official

Determine where you will do business

  • Will you work from home?
  • Do you need office space in order to be productive?
  • Do you need a storefront?
  • If you will need space outside your home, talk to the City’s Economic Development Manager and a good real estate broker, if need be. City staff has a good handle on which buildings are available, and which may suit your business needs best. A good real estate broker can help you negotiate fair and reasonable lease or purchase terms on your new location.
  • The City also has several grants available to new owners or tenants who want to improve or modify downtown buildings. Be sure to take advantage of those programs, if possible.

Get Ready to Open!

  • If you are doing any construction in your new place of business, please obtain the proper permits.
  • A few tips:
    • When construction is complete, post your certificate of occupancy and licenses.
    • Keep your business skills sharp. Take advantage of SBDC courses and programs.
    • Stay engaged with your customer marketing strategy.
    • Refer to and update your business plan as needed.

Is this intimidating? Remember, you are not alone. Contact the City’s economic development manager and/or the SBDC early-on. They can help you each step of the way.

Start a Business Business Licensing Business Resources