Nonemployer businesses come in a few flavors. Most are individual proprietorships, which account for 86 percent of nonemployers in both Oregon and the nation. In Oregon, individual proprietorships number close to 226,000. A much smaller number of Oregon nonemployers have organized their business ventures as partnerships. Oregon had almost 25,000 such businesses in 2012. Finally, the smallest number of nonemployers are classified as corporations, with 11,000 establishments meeting that definition.
The number of Oregon nonemployer establishments dipped from 2007 to 2008, at the very beginning of the Great Recession, but then climbed slowly back to about the same level in 2012 as the peak in 2007. It's possible that as people lost wage and salary jobs heading into the recession, some of them decided to start businesses. When those businesses earned $1,000 or more in receipts, they were added to the roles of Oregon nonemployer establishments.
For more information on nonemployers in Oregon, including nonemployers by industry and location, check out Employment Economist Jessica Nelson's article: Oregon Nonemployers: Businesses With No Paid Employees.