Starting Your Business in Idaho | A Step-by-Step Guide

Start a Business in Idaho

If you want to start an LLC in Idaho, there are numerous factors to consider. Starting your own business is one of the most exciting and profitable things you can do in Idaho. But where do you start? Follow our comprehensive guide on How to Start a Business in Idaho. We will assist you in removing doubt from the process and investigate your success chances. It will begin with defining your business idea and progress to establishing, launching, and expanding your business. Webinarcare Editorial Team will help you every step of the way!

What Business to Start in Idaho?

If you’re looking to start a business in Idaho, consider starting a limited liability company (LLC). LLCs offer personal liability protection for their owners while also providing the flexibility of a partnership or sole proprietorship. Beyond that, here is the list of businesses to consider in Idaho.

  1. Real Estate
  2. Outdoor Recreation
  3. Agriculture and Food Production
  4. Advanced Manufacturing
  5. Vacation Rentals

Whatever business you choose to start, it’s important to conduct thorough market research and create a solid business plan before diving in. We reviewed some of the Best LLC Services and provided features as an add-on with their packages for you to check out.

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Starting a business can be a challenging but highly rewarding endeavor. By taking the time to research and plan, you can increase your chances of success. Whether you choose to form a corporation or start an LLC in Idaho, it’s important to surround yourself with a strong team that will guide you. Don’t let fear hold you back, take that first step towards turning your business dreams into a reality.


How to Start a Business in Idaho?

To form a business in Idaho, you must follow a few steps that include creating a business plan, choosing a business entity type, determining your business costs, naming your business, registering a business, and lastly, marketing your business.

Please continue reading to learn more about the overall procedure and what new small business owners should keep in mind as they complete each step.

Step 1: Creating a Business Plan

When developing a business plan, many factors should be considered during the decision-making process. Your business plan in Idaho serves as a road map for your company’s success.

A business plan should take into account the specific goals of your company. You should know the product or service you will provide in Idaho. A well-thought-out business plan is essential for determining how your company will make a profit. If the purpose of the business plan is ambiguous and unrelated to the service you provide, it will impact the business you are forming. Make sure your business goals are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound). Also, researching your competitors’ services will help you determine your strategy for your state business. Finally, you should consider your company’s funding.

With this article’s assistance, you can better comprehend your business’s essential components and success strategy. You can apply for Idaho Small Business Loans from banks and investor funding to help support your company in Idaho.

Once you have the entire plan in your hands, you can work on the legal framework of your company. Legally, you can form an LLC for your ideal business.

Step 2: Choose a Business Entity in Idaho

Selecting a business entity for your Idaho company. When starting your own business, you must choose a business structure. How well your personal assets are secured, how much tax you pay, and how much paperwork you have to deal with will all be significantly impacted by the type of corporate entity you choose. Consider setting up a corporation, LLC, LLP, or sole proprietorship as your business entity in Idaho.

Sole Proprietorships

Consider a sole proprietorship if you want to start a business in Idaho by yourself. A sole proprietorship is the simplest business structure in which a single individual owns and operates the entire business. The owner and the business are considered the same legal entity in a sole proprietorship. There is no legal distinction between the owner and the business, meaning that the owner has complete control over the business operations, profits, and losses.

Sole proprietorships are best suited for Idaho small businesses with low risks and for individuals who want to maintain complete control over their business without the complexities of establishing a separate legal entity.

Limited Liability Company

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a business structure that combines features of both partnerships and corporations, offering limited liability protection to its owners (called members) while allowing flexibility in management and taxation. An LLC is a separate legal entity from its owners, meaning the members are not personally liable for the business’s debts, obligations, or liabilities.

It is a popular choice for small to medium-sized businesses that want the liability protection of a corporation while maintaining management flexibility and simpler tax treatment. It’s essential to consult with a legal or financial professional to determine if an LLC is the best choice for your specific business situation.

Limited Liability Partnership

A limited liability partnership (LLP) is comparable to an LLC. However, it is usually used by licensed business professionals like attorneys or accountants. A partnership agreement is necessary for this kind of business entity. You can form an LLP in Idaho if you are planning to.


Forming a Corporation in Idaho reduces your personal liability for business debts as an LLC does. A corporation is a legal entity that is separate and distinct from its owners, known as shareholders. It is created under the laws of the state it is incorporated in and is considered a separate “person” under the law. The corporation can enter into contracts, own property, sue and be sued, and pay taxes separately from its owners.

A corporation can be taxed as an S-corporation (S-Corp) or a C-corporation (C-Corp). If a small corporation satisfies certain Internal Revenue Service (IRS) standards, then S-corporation status is available, providing pass-through taxation. However, most larger businesses and startups seeking venture financing are taxed as C-corps.

To choose the right business structure in Idaho, consider personal liability protection, taxation, management flexibility, administrative requirements, and setup costs. Consult a legal or financial professional to help you make the best decision.

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Step 3: Determine your Idaho Business Cost

In Idaho, you should determine the cost of your business. You should consider paying the Certificate of Organization fee, business licenses fee, office supplies and equipment, payroll, rent, utilities, transportation, and taxes.

Usually, filing an initial Idaho Certificate of Organization fee costs $100, while the LLC annual fee costs $0 in Idaho. In terms of filing Idaho Articles of Incorporation, the costs usually range up to $120 for filing in-person and by mail.

If forming an LLC is your ideal business, consider knowing the LLC Cost in Idaho.

Step 4: Name your Business in Idaho

Naming your business doesn’t take a lot of time. With the help of Idaho Business Name Search, you can acquire a name for your business. If you form an LLC in Idaho, you must follow the below rules while naming your business-

  • The name should not be confused with a government entity.
  • The name should be unique.
  • The name should be available to use.
  • Any other business does not use the name.
  • The new name must include “LLC” if it is a limited liability company.

In Idaho, if you do not wish to file your business right away but want to hold the name that you have decided on, then you can reserve your business name. You must file a name reservation application in the Idaho Secretary of State to keep the name.

If the business name is available, you may choose to reserve it for a specific period of 4 months. The online name reservation fee is $20 and the mail name reservation fee is $20. If your business plans to operate under a name other than its legal name, you may also need to register a fictitious or “doing business as” (DBA) name.

The DBA filing can be done in three methods, online, by mail, and in person filing, which you can file in Idaho Secretary of State. You can check out how to file a DBA in Idaho for clearer understanding.

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Step 5: Register Idaho Business

To register a business in Idaho, you need to file it with the Idaho Secretary of State. Before that, you must have a Idaho Registered Agent for your business. The Registered Agent is a person who is responsible for receiving important legal documents on your behalf.

You can serve as your own Registered Agent, or you can appoint a friend or family member, or you can check the Best Registered Agent Services in Idaho.

Apply For Certificate of Organization

After you have a Registered Agent, you need to file the Idaho Certificate of Organization, if you want to have an LLC structure, or you need to file the Idaho Articles of Incorporation if you want to have a Corporation.

Request For an EIN

In addition to the paperwork, your Registered Agent should apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) in Idaho. An EIN will serve as the tax ID for your professional corporation. EIN can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is a 9-digit number similar to Social Security Number. EIN, however, is distinct from SSN. It is only used for business-related activities, particularly for submitting general taxes. The form must be completed and uploaded to the IRS website. You can obtain the EIN for free from the IRS.

The application of an EIN in Idaho can be through the following:

  • Apply Online- The online EIN application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN.
  • Apply by Fax- Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number), after ensuring that Form SS-4 contains all of the required information.
  • Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is four weeks.
  • Apply by Telephone (for International Applicants)– International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.

After you have your EIN number, you can benefit in several ways. It will give your LLC the absolute advantage necessary to operate at full capacity without encountering legal or judicial issues.

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Step 6: Apply for Business License and Permit

Business licenses and operating permits are necessary to run any business in Idaho. Before launching your new business, request any required business license or permission. Most Idaho businesses need licenses or permits to operate. Federal, state, and local governments may all require businesses to have licenses and permits. The business license fee depends on the type of license you are applying for. It can start from $25 till going up to $100+. However, in Idaho, the business license fee ranges from $50 – $300.

Step 7: Obtain a Bank Account

Your business dealings in Idaho might be simpler with a US business bank account because it boosts your company’s legitimacy and liquidity. Opening a separate bank account for your Idaho business is essential for maintaining a clear separation between your personal and business finances.

You can check out the Best Banks in Idaho, which offers the best fees, services, and convenience for your business needs.

Step 8: Market your Business in Idaho

Now that your Idaho business is registered, you can market it with an ideal marketing plan. An ideal marketing plan can help a start-up business to become known. Making a comprehensive social media network like META, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube falls within this category. While creating an SEO campaign for your company website, you may also look at specialized communities on Facebook and LinkedIn.


What is the cost of registering a business in Idaho?
The fee for registering new businesses in Idaho is $100.
What is the taxation structure for small businesses in Idaho?
Idaho has a flat tax rate of 6% on corporate profits for small businesses.
How do I register my business in Idaho?
You can register your business in Idaho by applying online through the Secretary of State’s website.
Is there any aid available for small businesses in Idaho?
Yes, there are several state and federal programs that provide aid and assistance to small businesses in Idaho.
Can I obtain financing for my business from a state program in Idaho?
Yes, Idaho has several state loan programs available for small businesses.
Are there any fees associated with obtaining a business license in Idaho?
Yes, there is a fee of $75 for obtaining a business license in Idaho.
Can I operate my business from home in Idaho?
Yes, as long as you comply with local zoning and business location requirements, you can operate your business from home in Idaho.
Do I need to register my business with the local county or city in Idaho?
Depending on your industry and location, you may need to obtain additional licenses and permits from your local city or county governing boards.
What are the minimum requirements for starting a home-based business in Idaho?
You must register your business with the Secretary of State’s office and adhere to local zoning and building requirements.
How long does it take to register a business in Idaho?
It typically takes one to two weeks to register a business in Idaho if you apply online.
Do I need to pay sales and use tax in Idaho on my products or services?
Yes, you are required to pay sales and use tax on your products and services unless your business is located on tribal lands.
How do I apply for a sales tax license in Idaho?
You can apply for a sales and use tax permit online or by mail through the Idaho State Tax Commission.
What is the business name availability search fee in Idaho?
There is no fee associated with conducting a business name availability search in Idaho.
Can I change my business name in Idaho after registration?
Yes, you can change your business name in Idaho after registration by filing a name change amendment.
Are there any special regulations for minority-owned businesses in Idaho?
No, there are no special regulations for minority-owned businesses in Idaho, but they may be eligible for special loans and programs.
What are the zoning regulations for small businesses in Idaho?
Zoning regulations vary by location in Idaho, so it’s best to research local zoning requirements before starting your business.
What is the process for obtaining a state EIN in Idaho?
Apply online for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS.
Are there any state tax benefits or credits available for small businesses in Idaho?
Yes, Idaho does offer tax credits and exemptions to small businesses.
Are there any resources available to help me write a business plan in Idaho?
Yes, there are several business plan writing resources in Idaho, including the Idaho Small Business Development Center.
Can I register and conduct business in Idaho if I’m not a resident of the state?
Yes, you can register and do business in Idaho even if you’re not a resident of the state.
Can I choose any type of business entity to form in Idaho?
Yes, Idaho allows for various types of business entities, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies.
What are the waiting times for obtaining a business license in Idaho?
Processing times for business license applications in Idaho vary depending on the type of license, but it typically takes two to four weeks.
Do I need to obtain a building permit to start a business in Idaho?
Depending on the nature of your business and location, you may need to obtain additional building permits to operate in Idaho.
Can I access economic development resources for my business in Idaho?
Yes, the Idaho Department of Commerce provides various support and resources for businesses operating in the state.
What is the average turnaround time for approving a business license in Idaho?
Processing times for business licenses in Idaho can take as little as 24 hours, or as long as several weeks depending on the type of license and application complexity.
Can I apply online for a business license in Idaho?
Yes, most business licenses can be applied for online through the Idaho Secretary of State’s website.
What is the role of the Idaho Small Business Development Center?
The Idaho Small Business Development Center provides resources and assistance to entrepreneurs and small business owners in the state.
What are the basic legal requirements to start a business in Idaho?
A state business license and local business permits are required in Idaho.
What types of businesses are popular in Idaho?
Small businesses like restaurants, outdoor activities, and service-related companies are popular in Idaho.
Can I form a limited liability company (LLC) in Idaho?
Yes, you can form an LLC in Idaho.
Do I need a business plan to start a company in Idaho?
Having a business plan can potentially help you secure funding and manage your business, but it is not required by law in Idaho.
Can I register my business online in Idaho?
Yes, you can register your business online through the Idaho Secretary of State’s website.
What taxes do I need to pay as a business owner in Idaho?
Business owners in Idaho are required to pay a corporate income tax, a sales tax, and potentially other taxes based on the type of business.
Do I need a business license to operate in Boise, Idaho?
Yes, you must obtain a business license in order to operate in Boise, Idaho.
Where can I get resources to start a business in Idaho?
You can visit organizations like the Idaho SBDC and US Small Business Administration office for resources and support.
Can I operate a business out of my home in Idaho?
Yes, as long as you comply with any zoning, safety, or insurance requirements set by local authorities.
How can I find out if a business name is available in Idaho?
You can check the Idaho Secretary of State’s website to see if a business name is available.
What is the minimum wage in Idaho?
The minimum wage in Idaho is $7.25/hr as of 2021.
Can I deduct my business expenses on my Idaho tax return?
Yes, you can deduct your business expenses on your Idaho tax return.
How do I register for sales tax in Idaho?
You can register for sales tax in Idaho through the Idaho State Tax Commission.
What is the process for obtaining a tax ID number in Idaho?
You can obtain a tax ID number in Idaho through the IRS website or by filing a Form SS-4.
What is the process for hiring employees in Idaho?
To hire employees in Idaho, you will need to register with the Idaho Department of Labor and comply with all relevant state and federal employment laws.
How can I protect my intellectual property in Idaho?
You can register your intellectual property through the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Do I need business insurance in Idaho?
Business insurance is not required by law, but it is recommended to protect your company assets and mitigate risk.
How can I get financing for my Idaho business?
You can find financing options through banks, credit unions, venture capital firms, and the Small Business Administration.
How do I terminate or dissolve my Idaho business?
You can dissolve your Idaho business by filing a Certificate of Dissolution and closing all related accounts.
What are the annual reporting requirements for an Idaho business?
Idaho businesses must file an annual report and pay an annual fee to the Secretary of State.
Can I use a DBA name in Idaho?
Yes, you can use a DBA name in Idaho.
What employment regulations must Idaho employers follow?
Idaho employers must comply with federal and state employment regulations like minimum wage, overtime pay, and anti-discrimination laws.
Can I get a refund on my Idaho business license?
Refunds for Idaho business licenses may be available if requested within 60 days of issuance.
How can I locate business incentives in Idaho?
You can check the Idaho Commerce website for business incentives and assistance programs.
What environmental regulations apply to Idaho businesses?
Idaho businesses must comply with federal and state environmental regulations like air quality standards and hazardous waste management.
How can I dissolve a corporation in Idaho?
To dissolve a corporation in Idaho, follow the steps outlined in the Certificate of Dissolution form and file it with the Secretary of State.

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Why You Should Start Business in Idaho

One of the key reasons why you should consider starting a business in Idaho is the state’s favorable tax structure. With no inventory tax, no sales tax on equipment purchases, and low property taxes, Idaho offers significant savings for businesses looking to establish roots. This allows business owners to reinvest more of their profits back into their companies, facilitating growth and long-term success.

In addition to its advantageous tax structure, Idaho also boasts a business-friendly regulatory environment. The state regularly ranks high in national surveys for its ease of doing business, thanks to streamlined processes and a responsive government. Whether you’re a small business owner or a large corporation, Idaho provides a supportive ecosystem that allows businesses to thrive and grow.

Furthermore, Idaho’s strategic location makes it an ideal base for any business looking to expand its reach. With access to major transportation routes and nearby top markets like Seattle, Portland, and Salt Lake City, Idaho offers unparalleled opportunities for businesses to tap into new markets and distribution channels.

Aside from its business-friendly environment, Idaho also offers a highly skilled and educated workforce. The state’s universities and technical colleges produce a steady stream of talent in fields ranging from agriculture and technology to healthcare and manufacturing. If you’re looking to recruit top talent for your business, Idaho has a deep pool of qualified professionals ready to contribute to your company’s success.

Moreover, Idaho’s strong sense of community and support for local businesses make it an attractive place to start and grow a business. Small towns like Boise, Coeur d’Alene, and Idaho Falls offer the perfect blend of urban amenities and small-town charm, creating a vibrant and welcoming environment for entrepreneurs. Local business organizations, chambers of commerce, and economic development agencies provide valuable resources and networking opportunities for business owners looking to connect with like-minded individuals and establish a presence in the community.

Finally, Idaho’s quality of life is second to none. With its breathtaking natural beauty, outdoor recreational opportunities, and low cost of living, Idaho offers a sought-after lifestyle that attracts residents from across the country. Whether you enjoy hiking, skiing, fishing, or simply soaking in the stunning vistas, Idaho provides a high quality of life that can enhance your personal and professional well-being.

In conclusion, if you’re looking to start a business, Idaho offers a winning combination of advantages that make it a top destination for entrepreneurs. From its favorable tax structure and business-friendly regulatory environment to its strategic location and highly educated workforce, Idaho provides the tools and resources necessary for business success. Consider launching your next venture in the Gem State and experience firsthand why Idaho is the perfect place to start and grow a business.


Starting a business in Idaho has unique advantages and challenges since it offers a large and diverse market, access to skilled talent, and numerous networking opportunities, making it an attractive location for entrepreneurs. However, business owners must also contend with a high cost of living, intense competition, and potentially complex regulations.

Ultimately, whether starting a business in Idaho is the right decision depends on the entrepreneur’s specific needs, goals, and industry. It is crucial to conduct thorough research and consider factors such as taxes, regulations, workforce availability, and target market when choosing a location for a new business. By carefully weighing the pros and cons, entrepreneurs can make informed decisions and set themselves up for success in the competitive Idaho business landscape.

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