If you want to realize your business or entrepreneurial dreams in Idaho, you are in good company. According to statistics, there are over 169,000 small businesses in Idaho, representing 99.2% of all businesses in Idaho. This makes Idaho a perfect location to start an LLC.
Choose a Name for Your Idaho LLC
Choosing a name is the first step in forming your Idaho LLC. You should ensure that your chosen name is memorable, relevant to your business and easy to pronounce.
It must also comply with the set of general rules that govern any LLC name in the United States:
- It must be a unique name
- It shouldn’t be confused with another business
- It must have “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C” or “LLC” in its name
Check the name availability in Idaho
Ensure that your chosen LLC name is not already taken by another company. You can do this by doing an LLC name search in Idaho.
Check URL availability
Even if you don’t have plans to make a business website, we recommend doing a check to be sure that your LLC name is available as a web domain. This is vital as you may need to purchase the URL to prevent others from getting it.
Once you have chosen a name for your LLC, you can choose a professional LLC service to complete the process of forming an LLC.
Hire a Registered Agent
The Idaho Secretary of State requires that all Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) appoint or hire a registered agent.
An Idaho registered agent is a person or business entity appointed to receive legal documents, tax forms, compliance documents, government correspondence, and any other documents on your LLC’s behalf. In Idaho, a registered agent can be another business member, a family member, a friend, or a hired registered agent service. It can even be you.
To act as a registered agent in Idaho, an entity or person must:
- Have an Idaho physical street address (a P.O Box won’t be sufficient)
- Be available during all usual business/working hours to accept official documents.
When hiring a registered agent service in Idaho, you should choose someone who understands the importance of being diligent about legal processes and staying compliant.
Here are our top three picks for the registered agent service providers in Idaho:
Northwest Registered Agent – $125/year
Northwest is our favorite registered agent in Idaho, with state-specific (Idaho) business knowledge and excellent customer support. You will get an individual to receive and scan your legal and state mail. You will also get full access to corporate professionals in Idaho.
You can get more full-featured registered agent services with Northwest’s premium package. These services include the following;
- Scanning of local documents on the same day
- Privacy protection by default
- Notifications when it is time to file annual reports with the Idaho state
- Lifelong support from Corporate Guides
- Free scanning and forwarding of up to five legal or non-state documents.
Northwest services begin at $125 per year.
ZenBusiness – $199/year
ZenBusiness is a trusted LLC formation company with two options for forming your LLC that also provide registred agent services; a basic service for $199 per year and a complete service for $349 per year.
Both plans include the following registered agent services;
- Customer support
- Online document access
- Legal and state document scanning
The Complete Plan will include the following additional services;
- Two free amendments plus extra filings
- Notifications and alerts of filing your annual report (upcoming compliance events)
- Good standing guarantee
- Worry-Free Compliance for the first year
You don’t need to use the company’s LLC formation service, however. ZenBusiness provides registered agent services for $199 annually, separately. You will get a free year of registered agent features if you use ZenBusiness to form your LLC, however.
Therefore, if you want a relatively cheaper registered agent service provider than Northwest and require only basic registered agent services, ZenBusiness is a perfect choice.
Incfile – $119/year
The registered agent services offered by Incfile include the following;
- Online dashboard
- SMS and email alerts for received documents
- Scanning and forwarding of legal and state documents.
While Incfile’s registered agent services are reliable and of good quality, Northwest offers more with Corporate Guides and compliance notifications for only $6 more annually.
Register Your Business
To register your business in Idaho, you must file an Article of Organization, also known as the Idaho Certificate of Organization. This essential Idaho Certificate of Organization is a legal document required to officially register and legitimize your new business with the Secretary of State.
It costs $100 online and $120 by mail to file your business registration certificate in Idaho.
The Idaho Article of Organization requires the following information. Once submitted, this information becomes public:
- The business address
- The complete LLC name
- The duration of the LLC (if not perpetual)
- The address and name of your registered agent
- Your signature
The simplest method to file an Article of Organization in Idaho is online via the Idaho SOSBiz portal. You will require a credit card that you will use to complete your purchase, an active email address, and create an account using your business’ name.
If you do not want to file via the online system, you can apply in person or via email. However, this option will require you to download and accurately fill out the Idaho Certificate of Organization Form. Next, mail or send the filled form and a money order or check for the $100-$1200 fee to the following address:
Office of the Secretary of State
450 N 4th St.
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0080
Create an Operating Agreement
An Operating Agreement is an internal document that legally outlines how your LLC will be run.
When creating an Idaho LLC Operating Agreement, you are not required by the state to create a comprehensive operating agreement. However, we strongly recommend creating one because it will make everything a lot easier to manage in the future — especially if you are working with a partner.
For instance, an Operating Agreement sets out the responsibilities and rights of the managers and members. This is essential as it ensures all members, owners, and managers are on the same page regarding how the LLC will be managed/operated, thus reducing any future conflicts.
Obtain all Licenses and Permits
Depending on your Idaho LLC’s business activities and location, you will also be required to apply for an Idaho business permit and license.
You may want to check with Business.Idaho.gov: Licensing and Permits (an official Idaho business website) to learn more about the Idaho business licensing requirements.
You can also check Idaho.gov: Online Services Professional License (the official State of Idaho website) to review professional license requirements.
Regarding any Idaho municipal or local permits and/or licenses, you will be required to reach out to your local municipality administrators (town, city, county, etc.) and inquire about them.
Acquire Federal and State Tax IDs
Once your business is up and running, you will be required to pay taxes — and you’ll need to acquire an Idaho federal and state tax ID to do so. The federal and state tax ID is also known as the Employer Identification Number (EIN).
This number (ID) acts as a social security number (SSN) for your business. This allows you to keep the business’s liabilities, profits, and debts separate from your personal account.
You can acquire an Idaho federal and state tax ID (EIN) by applying for it via the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website. You will not be charged anything to obtain federal and state tax ID (EIN) in Idaho.
Open Business Bank and Credit Accounts
It is essential to open a business bank and credit account after you have formed your Idaho LLC.
This is because LLCs have limited liability protection. For instance, LLCs are considered by the state to be separate business entities with separate liabilities from the individuals who own them. Keeping business and personal finances separate is the only way to keep that limited liability.
To open an Idaho business bank and credit account, you need to take the following documents to the bank:
- The LLC’s operating agreement
- A copy of the Idaho LLC Certificate of Organization
- An LLC Resolution to Open a Bank Account if your LLC has more than one member
- The LLC’s EIN
Some recommended business banks in the state include:
Purchase Idaho Business Insurance
Once your Idaho business is up and running, having the right insurance coverage in place is crucial. Some policies will be required by the landlords, while others will be required by the Idaho state if you have employees. Other insurance policies are optional.
The most common Idaho business insurance policies you can consider purchasing include the following;
- General liability insurance: This policy is often required to rent warehouse or office space. It provides coverage against property damage, personal injury, or bodily injury.
- Workers’ compensation insurance: If your business has one or more employees, Idaho requires you to have a workers’ compensation policy. It covers your employees from on-the-job illnesses and injuries.
- Professional liability insurance: This policy is common in the “professional” field, where you offer advice and services to consumers or other businesses. It protects you against negligent or inaccurate work.
Get competitive quotes for all your business insurance needs by using a comparison site like Insureon.
Buy an LLC Formation Package to Speed Up the Process
For a minimal cost and to speed up the process of forming an LLC in Idaho, buying an online LLC formation package is a perfect choice. Offering a vast range of pricing plans, online LLC services, such as Northwest registered agent, ZenBusiness, LegalZoom, Incfile, etc., will allow you to customize the LLC formation process.
You can also choose from different features, which include the following:
- Registered agent services
- Tax advising and preparation
- Federal and state tax ID (EIN) application assistance
- Dashboard to view and store all relevant documents
- Live expert assistance
Some services even offer a money-back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied with the experience or your filing is not accepted by the state.
This customizable experience offers features for all stages of the LLC formation process and beyond. Even businesses on a budget will find the convenience of using an online service outweighs the associated cost.
FAQs About Forming an LLC in Idaho
How Long Will It Take to Form My Idaho LLC?
Forming your LLC in Idaho takes around 7-10 business days. It can take less than that if you hire a professional LLC service.
How Much Does It Cost to Set Up an LLC in Idaho?
The Idaho application fee for filing a document for setting up your business (Certificate of Organization) is $100
However, you can spend more if you want expedited processing, register an assumed name, or reserve a business name. Moreover, using a commercial registered agent or an LLC formation service will add an additional $20-$300 to your total Idaho LLC set-up cost.
Can I Act as my Own Registered Agent in Idaho?
You can appoint yourself as your own registered agent for your LLC. However, this is not always the best option. As a registered agent, you will always need to be available during usual business/working hours and have a presence in the state.
Can I Form a Single-Member LLC in Idaho?
You can form an Idaho single-member LLC using the steps discussed above. However, single-member LLCs in Idaho have extra flexibility when it comes to paying federal income tax (filing tax returns).
There has never been a better time to start forming an LLC in Idaho. Of course, you can form one on your own by following the steps discussed in this article. However, you may want to save time and ensure the process is done efficiently by hiring a top LLC formation service, such as ZenBusiness. The choice is yours!