How to Start a Business in Idaho:
Registering a business in Idaho is a very simple process. Business owners will need to choose a legal structure and a business name before filing the appropriate articles. They can then file for all the necessary state taxes on a single platform. Idaho does not require all businesses to have a general business license; business owners can find out what licenses and permits they need from the Business Wizard platform.
Form your business.
Review Idaho formation options.
Idaho offers four ways of forming your business. Review these closely and pick the one that fits your business best.
Name your business.
The business name should reflect your business brand and capture your spirit. Make a list of the names you like and perform a Google search to find any conflicts with other Idaho business names.
If you need help finding a business name, be sure to check out NameSnack's free business name generator.
Do a trademark search to ensure the business name you chose has not already been trademarked. You can perform the trademark search at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the Trademark Electronic Search System. These databases have a comprehensive list of business names that are registered together with their classification.
Check the Idaho Secretary of State website to ensure your business name is not the same or similar to another corporation registered in Idaho.
If your business name is available you can then register it on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website.
Once you have found a suitable name make sure to register the matching web domain and social media handles should you wish to market your business online.
Sole proprietorships and partnerships must also file an Assumed Business Name by downloading and completing the required form. You can find instructions for completing and mailing the form to the Secretary of State on the last page of the download. A filing fee of $45.00 must be enclosed with your completed form.
Assumed Business Name certificates can also be filed online for $25.00 by clicking on the appropriate form here and creating a New SOSBiz! account.
Get an Employer Identification Number.
Nearly all businesses will need to register for federal taxes by applying for an Employer Identification Number.
Register your business in Idaho.
LLCs, corporations, and partnerships must register their business with the Idaho Secretary of State's office. While the business names for LLCs and corporations will be registered as part of the entity registration, partnerships must file a BDA in addition to their entity registration.
The Idaho Business Wizard is a free service offered to anyone seeking to start a small business in Idaho and is maintained by the Idaho Small Business Development Center. You can use the Idaho Business Wizard to guide you along your journey of starting a business in Idaho.
Download the relevant form here.
Complete the form according to the instructions on the second page of the download. All forms must be typed out then printed.
Enclose the appropriate fee. You can find the amount at the top of the first page and at the bottom of the second page of the downloaded application form.
Mail or deliver the printed form and the fee to the Secretary of State's office.
You may also choose to register your business entity online here. Click on the required form and then click on "File Online." You will first need to create a New SOSBiz! account before completing your online registration.
Obtain the necessary permits and licenses.
The state of Idaho does not require all businesses to have a business license. Typically, it is professional businesses, such as doctors and accountants, that will need a state business or professional license. You can use the Idaho Business Wizard to check if your business requires any licenses or permits.
Some cities in Idaho require businesses to have a city business license. You will need to check if you require one with your city clerk’s office. If your business is located outside the city you will need to check with the county clerk’s office.
To check which licenses and permits your business will need, go to business.idaho.gov and click on the blue "Business Wizard" button.
Answer the four questions about your business, confirm your answers, and click "Go."
The Business Wizard will generate a list of all the licenses and permits that you will require for your business along with links to the relevant forms or publications.
Register your business for taxes.
Register for state taxes.
Businesses that sell goods and/or have employees must register for certain state taxes. This can be done through the Idaho State Tax Commission's website.
On the State Tax Commission webpage, click on the Idaho Business Registration (IBR) application link.
Carefully read through the given information, then click on "I am ready to register my new business."
Make sure that you have all the information you need, then click on "I have the required information and am ready to proceed."
Create a new account and complete your registration.
Through this process, you can also register for sales and use tax, employer withholding tax, unemployment insurance tax, and workers' compensation.
Register for sales and use tax.
If you are selling any products and/or offering specific types of services, you will require an Idaho Sales and Use tax permit from the Idaho State Tax Commission. You will have the option to register for a sales and use tax when filling out your IBR application, as shown above.
Read through Idaho's different tax types on the State Tax Commission website for more information.
Report all new hires.
All newly hired and rehired employees must be reported to the Idaho Department of Labor within 20 days of the date of hire.
Send an email to email@example.com to request a login password for the New Hire Directory and report your new hires online.
Alternatively, download the New Hire Hire Reporting form and mail or fax the completed form to the New Hire Reporting division of the Idaho Department of Labor.
You can find the Department of Labor's address and fax number on their webpage.
Register for workers' compensation and unemployment insurance.
When filling out the IBR application form, you can register with the Idaho State Tax Commission, Idaho Department of Labor, and Idaho Industrial Commission simultaneously.
The Idaho Industrial Commission administers the Workers’ Compensation Act. It requires any employer in Idaho to provide workers’ compensation coverage to employees working in Idaho. These employees can either be full-time, part-time, seasonal, or occasional unless specifically exempt by law.
The Idaho unemployment insurance program is designed to provide temporary economic benefits to eligible workers.
Health insurance isn’t a requirement for small businesses in Idaho.
Put up the required posters.
If you employ workers, you will need to display mandatory state and federal notices and posters. You can download all the required posters for free from the Department of Labor.
Idaho Business Types:
1. Sole proprietorship.
Sole proprietorships are simple business structures and usually involve one individual who is solely responsible for the enterprise and subject to unlimited personal liability for any business debts. Sole proprietorships are created by an individual operating a business under their own name or by filing an Assumed Business Name.
Idaho offers three basic partnership options: general, limited, and limited liability. General partnerships are one of Idaho's simplest business structures where all partnerships work towards the common goal of making and sharing profits. The owners are usually only taxed once and must file a Statement of Partnership Authority.
Limited partnerships usually involve one or more general partners and one or more limited partners. The limited partners are not normally subject to personal liability for the business. Limited partnerships must file a Certificate of Limited Partnership.
All the partners in a limited liability partnership hold personal liability protection and are taxed like general partnerships. The owners must file a Statement of Qualification of Limited Liability Partnership.
Corporations are standalone entities that provide the owners with personal liability protection. Corporations are usually not the best option for a startup as they require shareholders, a board of directors, annual shareholder meetings, a large amount of documentation, and double taxation. Corporations must file Articles of Incorporation.
4. Limited Liability Company (LLC).
LLCs are a hybrid form of partnership that allows the owners to benefit from both the corporation and partnership structure of a business. For tax purposes, LLCs may be disregarded, taxed like a partnership, or taxed like a corporation.
LLCs are regulated by Idaho state laws and must be registered by filing the Articles of Organization with the Idaho Secretary of State. LLCs in Idaho cost $100 to file.
Idaho Formation and Registration Fees:
LLC Articles of Organization
Professional LLC Articles of Organization
Articles of Incorporation (For Profit)
Articles of Incorporation (Nonprofit)
Statement of Partnership Authority (General Partnership)
Statement of Limited Partnership
Statement of Qualification of Limited Liability Partnership
Certificate of Assumed Business Name
How much does it cost to register a business in Idaho?
The filing fee for registering a business name in Idaho is $25.00, registering an LLC or a corporation costs $100.00, and registering a partnership costs $100.00 plus the $25.00 DBA fee.
What permits do I need when starting a business in Idaho?
Most businesses do not need a state business license to operate in Idaho but may need city or county licenses and permits, as well as professional licenses. You can use the Idaho Business Wizard to check if your business requires any licenses or permits.
Is Idaho a good place to start a business?
Idaho is a good place to start a business as the state has one of the most accessible financing environments in the country. It also offers low rental costs on office spaces, straightforward online resources, and simple licensing regulations.
How do I get an Idaho business license?
Idaho does not require businesses to have a business license. Use the Idaho Business Wizard to check if your business requires any licenses or permits. Certain cities in Idaho require businesses to have a city business license. Check if you require one in your city clerk’s office.
How do I form an LLC in Idaho?
- Name your LLC.
- Find a registered agent.
- File the Certificate of Formation.
- Form an operating agreement.
- Get an EIN.
How much does an LLC cost in Idaho?
Filing a Certificate of Organization in Idaho will cost you $100.00 if you file online, $125.00 if you mail your registration form.
How long does it take to start an LLC in Idaho?
It can take between 7 and 10 calendar days for your LLC to be approved in Idaho.
How do I register a business in Idaho?
How do I register a business name in Idaho?
How do I get a contractor's license in Idaho?
- Register with the Idaho Contractors Board.
- Obtain a contractor registration number.
- Obtain licensing with the Idaho Division of Building Safety (for public works projects).
- Submit the Application for Contractor Registration by mail to the Idaho Contractors Board.
- Attach proof of liability insurance along with the application fee.
How do I incorporate in Idaho?
- Select your Idaho corporation filing option.
- Submit the Idaho Articles of Incorporation.
- Make Idaho corporate bylaws.
- Obtain a Federal EIN from the IRS.
- Open a corporate bank account.
- Get any required business licenses.
- File the Idaho Corporation Annual Report.
- Pay taxes on the corporation’s income.
How much does it cost to start a business in Idaho?
The Idaho LLC articles of incorporation cost $100.00 while an Idaho Corporation costs anywhere from $30.00 to $100.00. Partnerships will cost around $125.00 to register.
How do I start a business in Idaho with no money?
- Get creative to discover funding sources.
- Look for business, even if you don't get paid for it.
- Use your current resources in different ways.
- Get a loan or a line of credit.
- Locate an accelerator if you can hit the market swiftly.
- Crowdfund and allow the public to invest a small percentage of money.
- Use a business incubator to provide funding designed for a startup company.
Do I need workers' compensation for my new business in Idaho?
Any employer in Idaho is compelled to provide workers’ compensation coverage to all types of employees unless an employee’s status is specifically exempt by law.
Does my business in Idaho need to contribute to health insurance?
Health insurance isn’t a requirement for small businesses in Idaho.
Where can I find Articles of Organization for an LLC in Idaho?
You can find an online submission form for your Certificate of Organization on Idaho's Secretary of State website.
What are the requirements for starting a business in Idaho?
When starting a business in Idaho, you can use the Business Wizard to see exactly what you need to do and which forms you need to file for your particular business type.
How do I start a small business in Idaho?
How do I get an Idaho Secretary of State business license?
The state of Idaho does not require all businesses to have a business license. Typically, it is the professional businesses, such as doctors and accountants, that will need a state business or professional license. You can use the Idaho Business Wizard to check if your business requires any licenses or permits.