Last Updated: June 7, 2024, 10:04 am by TRUiC Team

How to Start an LLC in Idaho (2024 Guide)

Wondering how to start an LLC in Idaho? We’ve got you covered.

To get started, you'll need to pick a suitable business name, choose a registered agent, and file your Certificate of Organization with the Idaho Secretary of State ($100- $120 processing fee). 

You can do this independently, consult with a business attorney for specialized legal guidance, or join the other 65% of our readers and hire a specialized Idaho LLC formation service (recommended).

four point eight out of five

Northwest ($29 + State Fees)

three point nine out of five

LegalZoom ($249 + State Fees)

Cost to Start an LLC in Idaho

How to Form an LLC in Idaho in 6 Steps

In order to form your LLC in Idaho, there are certain steps you’ll need to complete:

  1. Name Your Idaho LLC
  2. Choose a Registered Agent
  3. File the Certificate of Organization
  4. Create an Operating Agreement
  5. Get an EIN
  6. File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report

Step 1: Name Your Idaho LLC

Before you get started, you will need to pick a suitable name for your Idaho LLC. 

This will need to comply with all applicable naming requirements under Idaho law and be both succinct and memorable, as this will make it easily searchable by your potential clients.

1. Important Naming Guidelines for Idaho LLCs:

  • Your name must contain the phrase "limited liability company" or "limited company" or any accepted abbreviation of these terms, such as "L.L.C.," "LLC," "L.C.," or "LC."
  • If your LLC is a professional entity, its name may include the word "professional" before the word "limited" or the letter "P" before any acceptable abbreviations.
  • Your name must be distinguishable from any other business names registered or reserved with the Secretary of State. A difference in words that indicate entity type (e.g., Corp., Inc., etc.) does not make a name distinguishable.
  • Your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
  • To be able to use certain restricted words in your LLC’s name (e.g., “Bank,” “Attorney,” or “University”), you may need to obtain additional paperwork and hire a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer.

For a complete list of the naming rules present in this state, we recommend checking out the Idaho Statutes.

2. Is the name available in Idaho?

To check whether your desired name has already been taken by another business entity in Idaho, you can perform a name search on the State of Idaho’s website.

If you’re not going to start your LLC right away, it might be a good idea to consider reserving your name for up to four months ($20 processing fee).

For more information, you can have a look at our Idaho LLC Name Search guide.

3. Is the URL available? 

You should check online to see if your business name is available as a  web domain. Even if you don't plan to make a business website right away, this is an extremely important step as it will prevent others from acquiring it, potentially saving you both time and money in the long term.

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Once you have verified your name is available, you may now select a professional service to complete the LLC formation process for you.

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If you need additional information before getting started, you can have a look at our in-depth comparison of the Best LLC Services in 2024 instead.

FAQ: Naming an Idaho LLC

LLC is short for “limited liability company.” It is a simple business structure that offers more flexibility than a traditional corporation while still keeping your personal and business finances separate. Read our What is a Limited Liability Company guide for more information.

Or, watch our two-minute video: What is an LLC?

You must follow the Idaho LLC naming guidelines when choosing an LLC name:

  • Include the phrase "limited liability company" or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
  • Do not use words that could confuse your business with a government agency (FBI, State Department, CIA, etc.).
  • Receive the proper licensing when using the words such as lawyer or doctor.

If you are having trouble coming up with a name for your LLC use our LLC Name Generator. That will not only find a unique name for your business but an available URL to match.

Most LLCs in Idaho do not need a DBA (known as an assumed business name). The name of the LLC can serve as your company’s brand name and you can accept checks and other payments under that name as well. However, you may wish to register a DBA if you would like to conduct business under another name.

To learn more about DBAs in your state, read our How to File a DBA guide.

Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent in Idaho

After you find the right name for your LLC, you will need to nominate an Idaho registered agent. This is a necessary step in your Certificate of Organization (i.e., the document used to file and register your LLC with the Secretary of State).

What is a registered agent? A registered agent is an individual or business entity responsible for receiving important legal documents on behalf of your business. You can think of your registered agent as your business’s primary point of contact with the state.

Who can be a registered agent?  A registered agent must be a resident of Idaho or a business that is authorized to conduct business in the state. As a new LLC owner, you can elect to act as your own agent, use a registered agent service, or hire a business attorney.

Get Free Registered Agent Services

Form an LLC with Northwest Registered Agent to get one year of registered agent services free of charge.

FAQ: Nominating a Registered Agent

Yes. When it comes to choosing your LLC’s registered agent, you can either take on this role yourself, appoint another member of your LLC, work alongside a business attorney, or hire a professional registered agent service (recommended).

Read more about being your own registered agent.

Hiring a professional registered agent service is a budget-friendly way to take care of your LLC's government documents. In fact, many businesses find the advantages of this service greatly outweigh the annual cost associated with it. 

For more information, read our article on Idaho registered agents.

Step 3: File the Idaho LLC Certificate of Organization

To register your Idaho LLC, you will need to file the Certificate of Organization with the Secretary of State. This can be done online at the Idaho Secretary of State Online Business Services website, submitted by mail, or delivered in person.

Idaho LLC Formation Document

Before filing, make sure you have completed your Certificate of Organization correctly. You will need to have filled in the following sections:

  • The name of your LLC
  • The complete street and mailing address of your principal office
  • The name and complete street address of your registered agent
  • The name and address of at least one governor of your LLC
  • A mailing address for future correspondence (e.g., annual report notices, etc.)
  • The printed name and signature of the organizer(s)

File the Certificate of Organization

OPTION 1: File Online With the Idaho Secretary of State

File Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: File by Mail or In Person

Download Form

Filing Fee: $100 online, $120 by mail or in person

Mail to:
Office of the Secretary of State
450 N 4th Street
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0080

For help with completing the form, visit our Idaho Certificate of Organization guide.

Note: If you're expanding your existing business to the state of Idaho, you'll need to register as a foreign limited liability company (LLC).

FAQ: Filing Idaho LLC Documents

The Idaho Office of the Secretary of State will typically take between seven and 10 days to process your LLC’s Certificate of Organization, though expedited processing is available for an additional $40, and same-day service can be obtained for an extra $100.

An LLC is referred to as a "domestic LLC" when it conducts business in the state where it was formed. A foreign limited liability company must be formed when an existing LLC wishes to expand its business to another state.

You can find out more about the difference between these two entities in our What Is a Foreign LLC article.

The main cost associated with starting an LLC in Idaho is filing your Certificate of Organization, which costs $100 online and $120 by mail or in person. However, there are a number of other factors that can also influence the total cost of launching your Idaho LLC, such as whether you opt for expedited filing or reserve a name for your business.

For a more in-depth breakdown of these costs, be sure to check out our article on the cost to form an Idaho LLC.

Step 4: Create an Idaho LLC Operating Agreement

In Idaho, LLCs are not required to have an operating agreement, but it's a good practice to have one.

What is an operating agreement? An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC.

Why are operating agreements important? A comprehensive operating agreement ensures that all business owners are on the same page and reduces the risk of future conflict.

For more information on operating agreements, read our Idaho LLC operating agreement guide.

FAQ: Creating an Idaho LLC Operating Agreement

No. The operating agreement is an internal document that you should keep on file for future reference. However, many other states do legally require LLCs to have an operating agreement in place.

Step 5: Get an EIN for Your Idaho LLC

You can get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS website for free. It is used to identify a business entity and keep track of a business’s tax reporting. It is essentially a Social Security number (SSN) for the company.

Why do I need an EIN? An EIN number is required for the following:

  • To open a business bank account for the company
  • For federal and state tax purposes
  • To hire employees for the company

Where do I get an EIN? An EIN is obtained from the IRS (free of charge) by the business owner after forming the company. This can be done online or by mail.

FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS: You do not need an SSN to get an EIN. Learn more here.

Get an EIN

Option 1: Request an EIN from the IRS

Apply Online

- OR -

Option 2: Apply for an EIN by Mail or Fax

Download Form

Mail to:
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999

Fax: (855) 641-6935

Fee: Free

FAQ: Getting an EIN

A Social Security number is not required to get an EIN. You can simply fill out IRS Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. Then call the IRS at (267) 941-1099 to complete your application. Learn more here about applying as an international applicant.

All LLCs with employees, or any LLC with more than one member, must have an EIN. This is required by the IRS for each member-managed LLC and manager-managed LLC.

Learn why we recommend always getting an EIN and how to get one for free in our Do I Need an EIN for an LLC guide.

When you get an EIN, you will be informed of the different tax classification options that are available. Most LLCs elect the default tax status.

However, some LLCs can reduce their federal tax obligation by choosing the S corporation (S corp) status. To learn more, read our LLC vs. S Corp guide.

Step 6: File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report

Beginning January 2024, LLC owners will need to file a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Report with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Existing LLCs can file their report any time between January 1, 2024, and January 1, 2025, while new LLCs will need to file their report within 90 days of formation

This contains similar information to that of your Certificate of Organization, such as your LLC name and member information, and can be filed online for free. Failure to file an accurate report on time can result in a $500 per day fine.

Note: There are certain filing exemptions, such as for large companies (i.e., more than 20 full-time employees), tax-exempt entities, and publicly traded companies. 

Considering Using an LLC Formation Service?

We reviewed and ranked the top LLC formation services. Find out which is best for you.


Maintain Your Idaho LLC

After you’ve successfully formed your LLC, there are a couple of steps you’ll need to periodically take in order to maintain it, including:

  • Filing an annual report
  • Sorting out your taxes

File the Annual Report

If you have an LLC registered in Idaho, you will be required to file an annual report with the Idaho Secretary of State, which is meant to ensure that the state’s records on your LLC remain up-to-date while you operate. 

To ensure compliance, you’ll need to file this report every year by the end of your LLC's anniversary month, which is the month it was initially approved by the state. For example, if your LLC was registered on March 20, 2023, your annual report will be due by March 31 of every year. 

You can file your annual report online through the SOSBiz website, where you can also find more information and guidance on how to complete the form. There is no fee for filing the annual report, but keep in mind that you will need an account on SOSBiz that is linked to your LLC to get started. 

Note: If you don’t file your annual report within 60 days of the due date, your LLC will lose its good standing status with the state and eventually will be administratively dissolved. 

Sort Out Your Taxes

Regardless of where your LLC is registered, you will be required to pay certain federal taxes. This includes corporation and employer taxes (for LLCs filing as a C corporation) and federal income tax and self-employment taxes (for LLCs taxed as pass-through entities).

In addition, there are a number of different taxes you’ll be required to pay at a local and state level, which can vary depending on the nature of your business.

Below are some of the most common taxes in Idaho:

Income Taxes

Your Idaho LLC is liable to pay income tax at a state level in addition to its federal income tax obligations. The two main types of state income tax to be aware of in Idaho are:

  • Personal Income Tax: LLCs taxed as pass-through entities must pay state income taxes at a rate that varies between 1% and 6%. While this tax will be paid at an individual level by your members, your LLC will still need to file Form 40 in order to report its state income.
  • Corporate Income Tax: Any LLCs taxed as a C corp will instead need to pay the Idaho corporate income tax, which is imposed at a flat rate of 6% on a business entity’s total income. In this case, Form 41 is used to report your LLC’s earnings to the state.

While you can choose to file your state income tax returns by mail using the paper forms linked above, it’s often quicker and more straightforward to file electronically using an E-Filer approved by the Idaho State Tax Commission.

Sales and Use Taxes

In Idaho, businesses selling tangible goods and certain taxable services must pay a base state sales tax rate of 6.00% plus an additional local sales tax rate that can reach up to a maximum of 3%. You can file your sales tax return by mail using the customized Form 850, which you’ll be sent close to the due date, or online using the Idaho Taxpayer Access Point (TAP) system if you already have an account.

Your schedule for filing sales and use tax varies based on how much you sell. While most retailers must file returns on a monthly basis, you’ll need to pay on a quarterly basis if you owe less than $750 per quarter or semi-annually/annually if you’ve only made a few sales. 

Returns are due by January 20th for annual filers, within 20 days of the end of the quarter for quarterly filers, and by the 20th of each month for monthly filers. It’s worth noting that you’ll be required to file a return even if you don’t make any sales – if you report “$0” sales for 12 months in a row, your sales permit will be canceled.

Note: For your business to be able to collect any sales and use taxes on the sales it makes in Idaho, you’ll typically need to register for a seller's permit through the Idaho Business Registration System (IBRS).

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Steps After LLC Formation

After forming your LLC, you will need to get a business bank account and website, sort all required business licenses, and get business insurance, among other things. 

Visit our After Forming an LLC guide to learn more.

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