How to Start a Business in Idaho

Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
Business Formation Expert
Steve Goldstein runs LLCBuddy, helping entrepreneurs set up their LLCs easily. He offers clear guides, articles, and FAQs to simplify the process. His team keeps everything accurate and current, focusing on state rules, registered agents, and compliance. Steve’s passion for helping businesses grow makes LLCBuddy a go-to resource for starting and managing an LLC.

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Start a Business in Idaho

Starting your own business in Idaho is one of the most exciting and profitable things you can experience. But where do you begin? There are numerous strategies to establish a business, each with important factors to consider. If you wish to start a business in Idaho, there are many things that you should consider. Doing business in Idaho, popularly known as The Gem State, will give you many opportunities because of the current estimated population, which consists of 1,920,562. Considering the large numbers, you will cater to a lot of customers.

Follow our in-depth guide on how to start a business in Idaho. We will help you remove the doubt from the process and explore your chances of success. It will start from defining your business idea to establishing, launching, and expanding your business. And we will guide you every step of the way.

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 Idaho business costs, naming your business, registering a business, and lastly, marketing your Idaho business. Starting a business is not something you can do overnight. The processing, planning, and preparation take a lot of time. If you want to start a business in Idaho, you must have everything ready beforehand.

Continue reading to learn more about the procedure as a whole and what new small business owners should keep in mind as they carry out each phase.

Step 1: Create a Business Plan

The first thing you need to start your business is a solid plan. In creating a business plan, you should consider many things when you are in the decision-making phase. Your business plan in Idaho is a road map for your successful business.

A business plan should consider the detailed purpose of your business. You should know what product or service you will serve in Idaho. A purposeful business plan is important because that plays a key role in knowing how your business will make a profit. If the purpose of the business plan is vague and not aligned with what service you are giving, it will affect the business you are forming. Make sure to be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and in a certain timeframe) with your business goals. Also, researching your competitor’s service is a great deal to knowing what strategy you will form for your Idaho business. And lastly, you should include the funding of your business.

A business plan should be created before you start a business. Without it, you have nothing but a blank slate. This document will help you understand the key parts of your business and the plan for success. Regarding the potential funding for your business in Idaho, you can avail of business loans in bank and investor funding.

You can continue working on the legal structure of your business once you have the whole plan in your possession. You may create an LLC for your business legally. You can check other business guides shared by the LLCBuddy Editorial Team.

Step 2: Choose a Business Entity in Idaho

A business entity refers to a legal structure formed to conduct business activities. It is a separate and distinct organization recognized by the law, which possesses rights, responsibilities, and liabilities distinct from its owners or members. Choosing a business entity for your Idaho business is significant.

You must decide on a business entity structure while beginning your own business. The form of company entity you choose will significantly impact how well your personal assets are protected, how much tax you pay, and how much paperwork you have to deal with. You should consider forming a business entity in Idaho through having Sole Proprietorship, LLC, LLP, and Corporation.

Sole Proprietorships

A sole proprietorship is a simple and common type of business structure where an individual owns, operates, and manages the entire business. It is the easiest and least expensive form of business organization to establish and maintain. One of the most appealing aspects of a sole proprietorship is the owner’s direct control over all aspects of the business.

A key characteristic of a sole proprietorship is that the owner and the business are considered a single legal entity. This means that all profits, losses, assets, and liabilities are the owner’s personal responsibility. Although this can lead to increased risk exposure, it allows the owner to control their business operations completely.

Consider a sole proprietorship if you want to start a business in Idaho by yourself. For legal and tax reasons, the owner and the business are regarded as one and the same. The business owner takes on liability for the business. Therefore, the owner is liable for all business debts in the event that the company fails.

Limited Liability Company

A Limited Liability Company, also known as an LLC, is a business structure ideal for entrepreneurs and start-ups. It is perfect for start-ups and aspiring entrepreneurs since it has limited liability issues for a company. The Idaho LLC is mainly used for the legal structure of a business between two or more companies that share management and profits. It also protects its owners from liabilities, debts, and responsibilities that may cause them in the future.

LLCs offer pass-through taxation, meaning that the profits and losses flow through to the members’ personal tax returns, avoiding double taxation that corporations may experience. Additionally, LLCs have fewer formal requirements and administrative burdens compared to corporations. Read Idaho classification of LLC tax to get more information about tax.

Another advantage of an LLC is the flexibility in the management structure. Members can choose to manage the company themselves or appoint managers to oversee the business operations. This allows for customization based on the unique needs and preferences of the owners.

Limited Liability Partnership

Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) are a unique business structure combining partnerships and corporations’ elements. An LLP offers limited liability protection to its partners, meaning that each partner is only responsible for their actions and debts rather than jointly and severally liable for the entire partnership’s obligations.

This structure is particularly popular among professional service providers such as lawyers, accountants, and architects, as it allows them to maintain the collaborative nature of a partnership while enjoying the liability protection typically associated with corporations.

In an LLP, each partner’s income is subject to self-employment taxes, and the profits and losses are passed through to the partners’ personal income tax returns, similar to a general partnership. This pass-through taxation avoids the double taxation issue faced by some corporations.


Forming a Idaho corporation reduces your personal liability for business debts as an LLC does. 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.

Step 3: Determine your Idaho Business Costs

In Idaho, you should determine the business costs that you will form. You should consider paying the Certificate of Organization fee for LLCs, Articles of Incorporation fees for corporations, business licenses fee, office supplies and equipment, payroll, office rent, utilities, transportation, and taxes.

Usually, filing an initial Idaho Certificate of Organization fee costs $120 (by mail and $100 online), while the annual fee costs $0 in Idaho. Read about the overall cost of LLC registration in Idaho cost to know more about Idaho LLC cost. If you wish to know more about how much it costs to form an LLC, you should look up and be guided by the LLC formation costs. For a corporation, you must pay the $120 for filing in-person and by mail. Besides, you need to pay taxes as a corporation.

Step 4: Name Your Business in Idaho

Naming your business doesn’t take a lot of time. With the help of Idaho LLC 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 for 4 months. You must file a name reservation application in the Idaho Secretary of State to keep the name. There is a complete guide on LLC name guidelines for you to have a proper LLC business name.

Step 5: Register Your Business in Idaho

In order 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.

Get the Idaho Registered Agent

You must get your Idaho Registered Agent before you file your business. The person should be eligible to conduct business in Idaho. Also, they must be aged above 18 years. You can be your own registered agent. However, that will not be a wise decision. Appointing a professional will be much more beneficial for your business than doing it on your own.

Apply For Idaho Formation Document

After you have a Registered Agent, you need to file the Idaho formation document. If you are filing an LLC in Idaho, you must file the Certificate of Organization and if you want to have a corporation structure, you need to file the Idaho Articles of Incorporation.

Request For an EIN

In addition to the paperwork, you should apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). 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 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 4 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 a number of ways. It will give your LLC the final advantage necessary to operate at full capacity without encountering legal or judicial issues.

Step 6: Apply for Business License and Permit

Obtaining a business license and operating permit is necessary to run any business in Idaho. Before launching your new business, you should 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. You must contact Idaho Secretary of State for more details.

Step 7: Get 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. Most banks demand an EIN to create a business bank account for firms other than sole proprietorships. Also, keeping separate finances helps you avoid combining personal and professional finances.

Step 8: Market your Business in Idaho

Now that your Idaho business is already 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.

Important Information

Do you need to have Business Insurance?

Your company needs insurance even if it’s a home-based business or you don’t have employees. Depending on your business planning and the risks you face, you may require different types of insurance. As your business expands, you might require more than one type of insurance. If you have employees, you are typically legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. You must contact Idaho Department of Insurance to ensure what type of insurance is required for your business.

What is the most profitable type of business?

The most profitable type of business will vary depending on a number of factors, including your industry, location, target market, and business strategy. However, some companies, such as those that provide expensive products and other services, tend to be more profitable than others. If you’re unsure about the kind of business to launch, think about your abilities and interests and the demands of your target market to guide your decision on an effective business.


How do I start a business in Idaho?
To start a business in Idaho, you’ll need to register your business name, obtain a business license and a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN), and select a legal structure for your business.
Does Idaho require a business license?
Yes, Idaho requires that most businesses in the state obtain a business license.
How do I register a business name in Idaho?
You can register a business name in Idaho by filing a “Doing Business As” or DBA form with the Secretary of State.
What are the legal structures for businesses in Idaho?
The most common business structures in Idaho are Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation, and Limited Liability Company (LLC).
How much does it cost to start a business in Idaho?
The cost to start a business in Idaho can vary depending on the type of business, the legal structure chosen, and any permits or licenses required.
How do I obtain a federal EIN for my business in Idaho?
You can obtain a federal EIN for your business in Idaho by submitting an IRS Form SS-4.
What type of taxes do I need to pay for my business in Idaho?
Depending on the type of business you have, you may be required to pay federal, state, and local taxes.
Are there any resources available to help me start a business in Idaho?
Yes, there are many resources available to help you start a business in Idaho. The Idaho Small Business Development Center and the Idaho Department of Commerce offer assistance with business planning, financing, and other resources.
What is the process for registering a trademark in Idaho?
You can register a trademark in Idaho by filing an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
What are the requirements for registering a corporation in Idaho?
To register a corporation in Idaho, you’ll need to file articles of incorporation with the Idaho Secretary of State and obtain a certificate of registration.
Is there an annual filing requirement for businesses in Idaho?
Yes, businesses in Idaho are required to file an annual report with the Idaho Secretary of State.
Are there any local or city licenses required for businesses in Idaho?
Yes, businesses in Idaho may need to obtain local or city licenses depending on their type of business and the city or county where it is located.
Do I need to obtain a sales tax permit for my business in Idaho?
Yes, businesses in Idaho that sell taxable items or services are required to obtain a sales tax permit from the Idaho State Tax Commission.
What is the minimum wage in Idaho?
The minimum wage in Idaho is $7.25 per hour, but some cities and counties have their own minimum wage requirements.
Are there any labor laws I should be aware of in Idaho?
Yes, all businesses in Idaho must comply with the federal and state labor laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Idaho Minimum Wage Law.
What are the labor law requirements for employers in Idaho?
Employers in Idaho must provide their employees with a safe workplace, pay the minimum wage, and provide certain benefits, including overtime pay, vacation time, and health insurance.
Are there any health and safety requirements for businesses in Idaho?
Yes, businesses in Idaho must comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements.
Are there any environmental regulations I should be aware of in Idaho?
Yes, businesses in Idaho must comply with the federal and state environmental regulations, including the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Idaho Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.
Are there any zoning requirements for businesses in Idaho?
Yes, businesses in Idaho may need to obtain a zoning permit from the local government before they can operate in certain areas.
Are there any tax incentives available to businesses in Idaho?
Yes, businesses in Idaho may be eligible for various tax incentives, including the Idaho Investment Tax Credit and the Idaho Sales Tax Exemption Certificate.
What is the Idaho Corporate Income Tax rate?
The Idaho Corporate Income Tax rate is 6.925%.
Is there a state business tax in Idaho?
Yes, businesses in Idaho may be subject to the Idaho Business Income Tax.
Is there an annual filing requirement for LLCs in Idaho?
Yes, LLCs in Idaho must file an annual report with the Idaho Secretary of State.
What are the requirements for forming a limited liability company in Idaho?
To form an LLC in Idaho, you must file articles of organization with the Idaho Secretary of State and obtain a certificate of organization.
Are there any requirements for filing a partnership in Idaho?
Yes, partnerships in Idaho must file a partnership certificate with the Idaho Secretary of State.
Are there any special requirements for foreign businesses operating in Idaho?
Yes, foreign businesses operating in Idaho must file a certificate of authority with the Idaho Secretary of State.
What resources are available to start a business in Idaho?
The Idaho Department of Commerce offers a variety of resources and assistance to help entrepreneurs and businesses start and grow in Idaho, including business planning, guidance and technical assistance, loan programs, and other resources.
What is the process for starting a business in Idaho?
To start a business in Idaho, you will need to complete the business registration process, obtain the necessary licenses and permits, and register for taxes.
What types of businesses can I start in Idaho?
You can start any type of legal business in Idaho, from sole proprietorships and limited liability companies to corporations and partnerships.
What taxes do I need to pay when starting a business in Idaho?
Depending on the type of business you are starting, you may need to register for taxes such as income, sales, and employer taxes.
Is there any help available to startup a business in Idaho?
Yes, the Idaho Department of Commerce provides a variety of resources and assistance to help entrepreneurs and businesses start and grow in Idaho, including business planning, guidance and technical assistance, loan programs, and other resources.
What types of financing are available for starting a business in Idaho?
There are a variety of financing options available for businesses in Idaho, including traditional loans, grants, and venture capital.
How long does it take to start a business in Idaho?
The length of time it takes to start a business in Idaho will vary depending on the type of business you are starting and the complexity of the business. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

Also Read

Why Start Business Idaho is So Important

One of the reasons why starting a business in Idaho is so important is because it provides individuals with the ability to create their own path to success. Instead of relying on traditional employment opportunities, starting a business allows individuals to take their passion and turn it into a viable means of income. This not only benefits the individual by providing a sense of independence and self-reliance, but it also contributes to the overall economic growth of the state.

Moreover, starting a business in Idaho has the potential to create jobs and stimulate economic development in local communities. Small businesses are the backbone of the economy, and by starting a business in Idaho, individuals have the opportunity to contribute to job creation and economic stability. This is particularly important in rural areas of the state, where employment opportunities may be limited and the local economy may be struggling. By starting a business, individuals can help breathe new life into their community and create a more vibrant and sustainable future for all residents.

In addition to economic benefits, starting a business in Idaho also encourages innovation and creativity. Entrepreneurs are constantly looking for new ways to solve old problems and improve existing products and services. By starting a business in Idaho, individuals have the opportunity to think outside the box, challenge the status quo, and bring fresh ideas to the marketplace. This not only creates healthy competition among businesses, but it also benefits consumers by providing them with a wider range of choices and better quality products and services.

Starting a business in Idaho is also important for building a sense of community and fostering collaboration among individuals and businesses. When individuals start their own businesses, they often rely on the support and expertise of others to help them succeed. This sense of collaboration and partnership not only benefits the individual entrepreneur but also strengthens the fabric of the community as a whole. By working together, businesses can share resources, knowledge, and networks, which can lead to greater success and mutual benefit for all parties involved.

Ultimately, starting a business in Idaho is important because it empowers individuals to take control of their own destiny and create a better future for themselves and their community. Whether it’s creating jobs, stimulating economic growth, promoting innovation, or fostering collaboration, starting a business in Idaho has the potential to have a lasting and positive impact on the state and its residents. So if you have a dream or a passion you’ve been itching to pursue, now is the time to start your own business in Idaho and make a difference in the world around you.

Why Idaho Property Management Business is So Important

One of the main reasons why property management business is essential in Idaho is the expertise and professional knowledge that property managers bring to the table. Property managers have a deep understanding of local real estate laws, regulations, and market trends, which allows them to provide valuable guidance and support to property owners. They can help property owners make informed decisions about rental pricing, property maintenance, and tenant selection, which can ultimately lead to higher property values and increased rental income.

Having a property management business looking after your property can also save you a considerable amount of time and effort. Property managers take on the day-to-day responsibilities of managing a property, such as screening tenants, collecting rent, responding to maintenance requests, and handling legal issues. This allows property owners to focus on other aspects of their lives or businesses, knowing that their property is in capable hands.

Property managers also play a crucial role in promoting healthy relationships between property owners and tenants. By acting as a buffer between the two parties, property managers can help resolve conflicts and ensure that everyone’s needs are being met. They can also enforce lease agreements and ensure that tenants are adhering to the rules set out by the property owner, which helps to maintain a peaceful and harmonious living environment.

Furthermore, property managers are also responsible for maintaining the physical condition of a property. From conducting regular inspections to coordinating repairs and maintenance work, property managers ensure that a property is kept in good condition and that any issues are addressed promptly. This is not only beneficial for property owners but also for tenants, who rely on property managers to ensure that their living spaces are safe, clean, and well-maintained.

In addition to these practical benefits, property management business also plays a broader role in supporting the local economy and community. By investing in and managing properties, property managers help to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, and contribute to the overall prosperity of a neighborhood or community. They also play a role in providing affordable housing options for residents, which is crucial for promoting inclusivity and diversity within a community.

Overall, the property management business in Idaho is instrumental in fostering a healthy and thriving real estate market. Property managers bring expertise, efficiency, and professionalism to the table, which benefits property owners, tenants, and the wider community. By working with a reputable property management company, property owners can rest assured that their investments are in good hands, while tenants can enjoy a high-quality living experience. Ultimately, property management is a key aspect of maintaining and enhancing the value of properties in Idaho and ensuring that they remain desirable and profitable assets for years to come.

Why Open a Bakery in Idaho

One of the key reasons why starting a business in Idaho is so important is the state’s dynamic and growing economy. In recent years, Idaho has emerged as one of the fastest-growing states in the country, with a strong job market and a burgeoning tech industry. This means that there are ample opportunities for new businesses to thrive and succeed in Idaho’s competitive marketplace.

Furthermore, Idaho offers a business-friendly environment that is conducive to startup success. The state is known for its low tax rates, minimal regulations, and supportive government programs that help businesses get off the ground. In addition, Idaho’s strategic location in the heart of the Pacific Northwest makes it a prime location for companies looking to expand and reach new markets.

Another key advantage of starting a business in Idaho is the supportive community that exists within the state. From local chambers of commerce to networking events and mentorship programs, Idaho offers a wealth of resources for startups looking to connect with other entrepreneurs and experts in their industry. This sense of community and collaborative spirit can be invaluable for businesses just starting out, providing them with the support and guidance they need to navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship.

In addition to these practical advantages, starting a business in Idaho is also important for the broader economy of the state. Small businesses are the backbone of Idaho’s economy, driving job creation, innovation, and economic growth. By launching a business in Idaho, entrepreneurs can make a valuable contribution to the state’s economy and help create a more vibrant and diverse business landscape for future generations.

Overall, the decision to start a business in Idaho is an important one that can have far-reaching benefits for both entrepreneurs and the state as a whole. With its strong economy, business-friendly environment, and supportive community, Idaho is the ideal place for startups to take root and grow. By seizing the opportunities that Idaho has to offer, aspiring entrepreneurs can set themselves up for success and contribute to the continued growth and prosperity of the state.


In conclusion, embarking on the entrepreneurial journey of starting a business in Idaho, also known as The Gem State, requires thorough research, planning, and dedication. Understanding the local business landscape, choosing the right structure, and complying with all regulatory requirements are essential steps to ensuring your venture’s success. This article has provided valuable insights and guidance for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to seize the opportunities present in Idaho’s dynamic economy. By leveraging available resources and approaching the process with diligence and determination, you can lay the foundation for a thriving and prosperous business in Idaho.

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