Starting a business in Idaho requires some thought as to the type of structure the business will form under.Many business owners choose to either incorporate  or create a Limited Liability Company or LLC.  Creating a Limited Liability Company makes sense when one wants the simplicity of a sole proprietorship with the protections of a corporation. Here’s how to get started.

GETTING STARTED

Decide on the company’s name and select a registered/ statutory agent before filing for the LLC. This will establish the company’s brand and will also determine who will handle the correspondence between the company and the state. Then, the Articles of Organization will have to be filed along with the appropriate fee.

Naming the LLC

  • Choose a name that is not already in use in Idaho. The company’s name should be evocative of the product or service it provides. Choose a name that also has an available domain name because it will be helpful in establishing the company’s brand.

Naming Guidelines in  Idaho

Naming guidelines include:

  • Any name chosen must contain the words “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C.”
  • The name must not be registered by another company in Idaho.
  • Do not use restricted words such as “Bank,” and/ or licensed titles, unless the business qualifies. Regardless, it will require additional paperwork.
  • Do not use prohibited words, such as those used by state or federal agencies.

Is the Name for the LLC Available in Idaho? (How To Search)

  • Is the name is available in Idaho?  The prospective owner can search at ID Name Search and enter the name.  If no name appears in the search, it may be available.

Is the domain name available?

  • Reserve the domain name of the business. Most registrars can search for names and offer alternatives if the name is taken. There are many different suffixes to choose from and one should choose the name and suffix that fits the LLC.

Select a Registered/ Statutory Agent

  • The next step is selecting a registered/ statutory agent.

What is a Registered Agent?

  • A registered/statutory agent is a person who receives official correspondence from the State of Idaho. They must have a registered street address so the State of Idaho can send official information to the LLC.

Who can be a Registered Agent in Idaho?

  • Only a resident of the State of Idaho or a corporation authorized to operate in the State of Idaho can be a registered agent.

File Articles of Organization

  • The Articles of Organization are called the Certificate of Organization for Domestic LLC in Idaho. File the Certificate of Organization for Domestic LLC, which requires filling out a form and paying a fee.

Link to Download

Fee

  • $100 USD.

Create Operating Agreement

  • The State of Idaho does not require the creation of an operating agreement to register an LLC.

RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS

Getting Your EIN

  • An EIN is an employee identification number, issued by the Internal Revenue service. Sometimes it is also called a Federal Tax Identification Number. It’s a unique number issued to each business. You’ll need an EIN to open a business bank account; file Federal and State Taxes; and hire employees.
  • Before you get your EIN make sure your new business has been properly formed before applying and be wary of paid sites. EINs are free direct from the IRS.
  • The easiest way is to apply online for an EIN. Note, the IRS website has office hours, and is only available Monday through Friday, 7am to 10pm. Yes, we also agree this is one of the most ridiculous things we’ve ever seen. You can call 1-800-829-4933, between 7am to 7pm of your time zone, Monday to Friday. Snail mail: You can download the form and mail it in.

Keeping Business and Personal Accounts Separate

  • Get a business bank account for your business. This will help you protect your personal assets from potential creditors and lawsuits, and will also make life a lot easier come tax time. 
  • Get a business credit or debit card. This will help you keep your expenses separate and easier to track.

Accounting

  • No matter what business you run, accounting software and processes is a must for any small business. If you have an accountant, ask them which software they work with and recommend. A good accounting system is necessary to track income and expenses, so you can easily see if you’re making money and make filing income taxes so much easier.
  • Always try and find something that will: sync with all of your bank and credit card accounts automatically – not just downloads, but auto sync; auto-match vendors, customers and other accounts; and let you accept credit cards and ACH drafts with ease. This can be applied for online, as can unemployment

Selling Stuff?

  • File for a sales tax license if the LLC is a retailer in Idaho. Businesses selling taxable goods or services need to register at  ID Sales Tax.
  • Businesses must register for applicable federal, state and local permits at ID Permits. If there are employees, the company must register for withholding tax at ID Withholding and unemployment insurance tax at ID Unemployment Insurance.

Insurance

  • The business must register for workers compensation insurance if there are any employees. Worker’s Compensation Insurance is at ID Workers Comp.

KEEPING YOUR LLC COMPLIANT

  • Business owners must keep their LLC compliant and in good standing with the State of Idaho. Each year, businesses are required to file an annual report to maintain in good standing.  The business can obtain a Certificate of Good Standing online at: ID Certificate

Annual Report

  • Every year, the business must file an annual report with the Idaho Secretary of State to maintain in good standing.

Cost

  • There is no cost to file an annual report in Idaho.

Links

Deadlines

  • Business owners need to file the annual report by June 30th each year.

FILING A FOREIGN LLC IN IDAHO

  • Filing a Foreign LLC will enable foreign businesses to do business in Idaho.  For more information see ID Foreign LLC . The cost of filing for a foreign LLC is $100 USD.

ABOUT HOW TO START AN LLC

I'm an entrepreneur myself. When talking to others who want to start their own business, they often get wrapped up in the nitty gritty of paperwork and forming the company. They forget that what really matters is customers, sales, and profit. That's why I created How to Start an LLC.org: a simple resource and guide so you can spend less time on forming your company, and more time on building it.

My lawyers want me to remind you that I'm not a lawyer and that I'm completely unqualified to offer legal advice. This site is meant to serve as a reference for you on your journey. If you have questions or concerns, please contact a qualified lawyer (or accountant) to help you. Also, as a general rule, never take random legal advice on the internet.