Starting an LLC in Idaho is easy, just follow these simple steps:
To start an LLC in Idaho you will need to file the Certificate of Organization with the Secretary of State, which costs $100-$120. You can apply online, by mail, or in person. The Certificate of Organization is the legal document that officially creates your Idaho Limited Liability Company.
Follow our step-by-step guide below to start your Idaho LLC today and get your business up and running.
STEP 1: Name your Idaho LLC
Choosing a company name is the first and most important step in forming an LLC in Idaho. Be sure to choose a name that complies with Idaho LLC naming requirements and is easily searchable by potential clients.
1. Follow the naming guidelines:
- Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
- Your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
- Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your LLC.
2. Is the name available in Idaho? Make sure the name you want isn't already taken by doing a name search on the State of Idaho Website.
3. Is the URL available? We recommend that you check to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to make a business website today, you may want to buy the URL in order to prevent others from acquiring it.
After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free
FAQ: Naming an Idaho LLC
Do I need to get a DBA or Trade Name for my business?
Most LLCs do not need a DBA. 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
You are required to nominate an Idaho Registered Agent for your Idaho LLC.
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. Think of your registered agent as your business's point of contact with the state.
Who can be a Registered Agent? a Registered Agent must be a resident of Idaho or a corporation, such as a registered agent service, authorized to transact business in Idaho. You may elect an individual within the company including yourself.
Recommended: ZenBusiness provides the first year of registered agent service free with LLC formation ($39 + State Fees)
FAQ: Nominating a Registered Agent
Can I be my own registered agent?
Yes. You or anyone else in your company can serve as the registered agent for your Idaho LLC.
Read more about being your own registered agent.
Is a registered agent service worth it?
Using a professional Registered Agent service is an affordable way to manage government filings for your Idaho LLC. For most businesses, the advantages of using a professional service significantly outweigh the annual costs.
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.
Now is a good time to consider whether your Idaho LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed. We recommend learning more about member-managed vs manager-managed LLCs before you file.
If you’re expanding your existing LLC to the State of Idaho, you will need to form a Foreign LLC.
FAQ: Filing Idaho LLC Documents
What is the processing time to form my Idaho LLC?
7 to 10 days but may be expedited for an additional fee
What is the difference between a domestic Idaho LLC and foreign LLC?
An LLC is referred to as a "domestic LLC" when it conducts business in the state where it was formed. Normally when we refer to an LLC we are actually referring to a domestic LLC. A foreign LLC must be formed when an existing LLC wishes to expand its business to another state.
Read our What Is a Foreign LLC article to learn more.
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.
Recommended: Download a template or create a Free Operating Agreement using our tool.
FAQ: Creating an Idaho LLC Operating Agreement
Do I need to file my operating agreement with the state?
No. The operating agreement is an internal document that you should keep on file for future reference. However, many states do legally require LLCs to have an operating agreement in place.
STEP 5: Get an EIN for your Idaho LLC
What is an EIN? EIN stands for Employer Identification Number. EINs are a nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to help identify businesses for tax purposes. It is essentially a Social Security number for a business.
An EIN is sometimes referred to as a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN).
Why do I need an EIN? An EIN is required to:
- Open a business bank account
- File and manage Federal and State Taxes
- Hire employees
What if I already have an EIN for my sole proprietorship? The IRS requires that sole proprietorships get a new EIN when converting to an LLC.
Where do I get an EIN? You can get an EIN for free from the IRS. Getting an EIN is an easy process that can be done online or by mail.
FOR INTERNATIONAL EIN APPLICANTS: You do not need a SSN to get an EIN. For more information, read our How to Get an EIN as a Foreign Person guide.
FAQ: Getting an Idaho LLC EIN
How do I get an EIN if I don’t have a Social Security number?
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.
What tax structure should I choose for my Idaho LLC?
Do I need an EIN for my LLC?
All LLCs with employees, or any LLC with more than one member, must have an EIN. This is required by the IRS.
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.
Have a question? Leave a comment!
Ask us a question, tell us how we're doing, or share your experiences.
Join the conversation in our Comment Section.
Considering Using an LLC Formation Service?
We reviewed and ranked the top 5 LLC formation services.
Find out which is best for you.
Important Steps After Forming an LLC
Separate Your Personal and Business Assets
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your Idaho LLC is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing the corporate veil.
You can start protecting your LLC in Idaho with these steps:
1. Opening a business checking account:
- Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- Makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Need help finding your EIN for your bank application? Visit our EIN Lookup guide for help.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank, credit union, business-loan friendly banks, one with many brick-and-mortar locations, and more.
2. Getting a business credit card:
- Helps you separate personal and business expenses.
- Builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise capital (e.g., small business loans) later on.
Recommended: Learn more about the best small business credit cards.
For other important steps to protect your corporate veil, like properly signing legal documents and documenting company business, please read our corporate veil article.
Find a Business Accountant
One of the main reasons that LLC’s make great business structures is the benefits of pass-through taxation and the ability to write off business expenses. Having a business-savvy accountant to help you take advantage of these benefits can literally save you and your business thousands of dollars in taxes each year.
Along with the obvious benefit of massive tax savings, a business accountant can help you to:
- Track business expenses and reconcile your bank accounts
- Discover areas of unforeseen loss or extra profit in your business
- Run payroll for you and your employees
- Prepare and submit your quarterly tax filings
- Advise on advanced business strategies for even deeper tax savings
- Avoid costly errors and ensure your business stays on the good side of the IRS
Starting a relationship with a business accountant as soon as you form your LLC will ensure that you have the best advice from the very beginning. This will give you a head start when it comes to running your business and keeps your finances clean in the future.
Recommended: Get a free tax consultation and speak with a business accountant today.
Get Business Insurance for Your Idaho LLC
Business insurance helps you manage risks and focus on growing your business. The most common types of business insurance are:
- General Liability Insurance: A broad insurance policy that protects your business from lawsuits. Most small businesses get general liability insurance.
- Professional Liability Insurance: A business insurance for professional service providers (consultants, accountants, etc.) that covers claims of malpractice and other business errors.
- Workers' Compensation Insurance: A type of insurance that provides coverage for employees’ job-related illnesses, injuries, or deaths. In Idaho, businesses with one or more employees, including LLC members and corporate officers, are required by law to have workers' compensation insurance.
Find out how much it will cost to keep your business protected.Get Your Free Quote Today
Send Out a Press Release
Press releases are among the easiest and best ways to promote your business. They are also one of the most cost-effective strategies as they:
- Provides publicity
- Establish your brand presence on the web
- Improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO), driving more customers to your website
- Are a one-time cost in terms of effort and money
- Have long-lasting benefits
Recommended: TRUiC has negotiated a 25% discount for you on a service that will write and distribute press releases for you.
Join the Conversation
We are here to guide you through your entrepreneurial journey, and are always looking at your feedback. Share your experiences in our comment box, chat with other entrepreneurs, or simply let us know how we're doing.
Keep Your Company Compliant
Idaho LLC Business Permits and Licenses
To operate your LLC you must comply with federal, state, and local government regulations. For example, restaurants likely need health permits, building permits, signage permits, etc.
The details of business licenses and permits vary from state to state. Make sure you read carefully. Don't be surprised if there are short classes required as well.
Fees for business licenses and permits will vary depending on what sort of license you are seeking to obtain.
Find out how to obtain necessary licenses and permits for your business or have a professional service do it for you:
- Federal: Use the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guide.
- State: Use The State of Idaho's Official Website.
- Local: Contact your local county clerk and ask about local licenses and permits.
Recommended: If you are a first-time entrepreneur, consider having a professional service research your business’s licensing requirements. Our friends at Startup Savant have reviewed and ranked the top five license research services.
Idaho LLC Tax Filing Requirements
Depending on the nature of your business, you may be required to register for one or more forms of state tax.
Idaho Sales Tax
If you are selling a physical product, you’ll typically need to register for a seller's permit through the Idaho State Tax Commission website.
This certificate allows a business to collect sales tax on taxable sales.
Sales tax, also called "Sales and Use Tax," is a tax levied by states, counties, and municipalities on business transactions involving the exchange of certain taxable goods or services.
Read our Idaho sales tax guide to find out more.
Idaho Employer Taxes
If you have employees in Idaho, you will have to register for the Unemployment Insurance Tax through the Idaho Department of Labor. Employers will also need to sign up for the Employee Withholding Tax through the Idaho State Tax Commission on behalf of your employees.
Federal LLC Tax Requirements
Most LLCs will need to report their income to the IRS each year using:
- Form 1065 Partnership Return (most multi-member LLCs use this form)
- Form 1040 Schedule C (most single-member LLCs use this form)
How you pay yourself as an owner will also affect your federal taxes. Visit our guide to learn more about how to pay yourself from your LLC.
Read our LLC Tax Guide to learn more about federal income taxes for LLCs.
File Your Idaho LLC Annual Report
Idaho requires LLCs file an annual report with the Secretary of State. This can be done online.
File Your Annual Report
File Online with the State of Idaho
Due Date: Due at end of every month in which the company was formed in.
Late Filings: LLCs can be dissolved after 60 days for failure to file an annual report.
Avoid Automatic Dissolution
LLCs may face fines and even automatic dissolution when they miss one or more state filings. When this happens, LLC owners risk loss of limited liability protection. A quality registered agent service can help prevent this outcome by notifying you of upcoming filing deadlines and by submitting reports on your behalf.
Recommended: ZenBusiness offers a reliable registered agent service and excellent customer support.
Hiring Employees in Idaho
If you plan to hire employees, stay compliant with the law by following these steps:
- Verify that new employees are able to work in the US
- Report employees as "new hires" to the State
- Provide workers' compensation insurance for employees
- Withhold employee taxes
- Print workplace compliance posters and place them in visible areas of your workspace
Find out more information on the Idaho Department of Labor website.
Recommended: Check out our Hiring for your Small Business Guide for resources like sample job descriptions, payroll service reviews, and more.
FAQ: Hiring Employees in Idaho
What is the minimum wage in Idaho?
The minimum wage in Idaho is $7.25 per hour.
How often do I need to pay employees?
Idaho requires wages to be paid at least once per month on a payday set by the employer.
Get Help Starting a Business in Idaho
We understand that creating an LLC and getting your business up and running comes with many challenges. To help you succeed, we compiled the best local resources in every major metro area in Idaho. You can get free assistance in the following areas:
Small Business Resources
Women in Business Tools and Resources
If you have a woman-owned business, many resources are available to help you concentrate on your business’s growth:
- Funding - (ie. grants, investors, loans)
- Events - (ie. conferences, meetups)
- Guides - (ie. business formation, personal growth)
- Support - (ie. advice, communities, business strategies)
Our information and tools will provide educational sources, allow you to connect with other women entrepreneurs, and help you manage your business with ease.
Free LLC Legal Forms
TRUiC offers a number of free LLC legal forms to help with creating documents like:
- Operating agreements
- LLC resolutions
- Hiring documents, including:
- Employment contracts
- Independent contractor service agreements (ICSA)
- Non-disclosure agreements (NDA)
All you’ll need to do to download the forms is sign up for the TRUiC Business Center, which is also free, forever.
How to Make a Website
Check out our how to build a website guide to learn how creating a website isn’t as difficult as it might seem. With the right tools, a good guide, and a bit of patience, you can learn how to make a website for your business in no time.
Recommended: Read our review to find the best website builder for small business.
How to Build Business Credit
Learning how to build business credit can help you get credit cards and other business funding options in your business's name (instead of yours), with better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.
TRUiC’s Small Business Tools
TRUiC believes business tools should be free and useful. Our tools help solve business challenges, from finding an idea for your business, to creating a business plan, writing an operating agreement for your LLC, and more.
Check out TRUiC’s small business tools:
TRUiC has created video guides to support and reinforce our on-page guides. These videos help to visualize the ideas and lessons that you need to know to create and run a successful business.
Check out our growing library of small business videos on the TRUiC YouTube channel.
More Idaho LLC Information
Register as a Foreign LLC in Idaho
Forming a foreign LLC allows your company to operate as one entity in multiple states. If you have an existing LLC and want to do business in Idaho, you will need to register as a foreign LLC. This can be done by mail.
Register as a Foreign LLC in Idaho
File by Mail with the Idaho Secretary of State
Fee: $100 if typed onto form, $120 if filled out by hand. (Nonrefundable)
Office of the Secretary of State
450 N 4th street
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720
How to Obtain a Certificate of Good Standing in Idaho
A Certificate of Good Standing, known in Idaho as a Certificate of Existence, verifies that your LLC was legally formed and has been properly maintained. Several instances where you might need to get one include:
- Seeking funding from banks or other lenders
- Forming your business as a foreign LLC in another state
- Obtaining or renewing specific business licenses or permits
You can order an Idaho LLC Certificate of Existence online.
ORDER A CERTIFICATE OF EXISTENCE
Request a Certificate Online from the Idaho Secretary of State
Fee: $11.50 for Online Certificate, $12.00 for Official Certificate (Nonrefundable)
How to Dissolve an LLC in Idaho
If at any point in the future you no longer wish to conduct business with your LLC, it is important to officially dissolve it. Failure to do so in a timely fashion can result in tax liabilities and penalties, or even legal trouble. To dissolve your LLC, there are two broad steps:
- Close your business tax accounts
- File the Idaho Articles of Dissolution
When you are ready to dissolve your LLC, follow the steps in our Idaho LLC Dissolution Guide.
LLC: An LLC is a US business structure that offers the personal liability protection of a corporation with the pass-through taxation of a sole proprietorship or partnership.
DBA: A DBA, or doing business as name, is any name a business operates under that isn't its legal name.
Partnership: A partnership is an informal business structure owned by more than one individual that doesn't provide personal liability protection.