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How To Start An LLC In Idaho

How To Start An LLC In Idaho

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How To Start An LLC In Idaho

Starting a business can be overwhelming. There are so many things to do and so many decisions to make. If you’re looking for some help in starting an LLC for your business, you’ve come to the right place.

Here, I’ll provide information on how to start an LLC in Idaho by walking you through the process step-by-step and providing some helpful resources along the way.


What is an LLC?

The Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a popular business structure that provides personal liability protection and has the potential to save money on taxes.

Unlike a sole proprietorship or partnership, where the small business owner can be held personally liable for lawsuits against the business, the LLC is a separate legal structure that protects the business owner’s personal assets, should the business get sued.

Besides the liability protection, the Limited Liability Company provides several other benefits over the sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation because of the multiple tax options, ease of administration, and management flexibility.

Related: Guide to starting a business in Idaho

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Steps to Form an Idaho LLC

While it can be intimidating to form an LLC for the first time, with a little research and patience, you can learn how to form an LLC in Idaho without an attorney.

To file the Idaho Certificate of Organization, you will need to register for a SOSBiz account and submit the completed form to the Idaho Secretary of State.

Once there, click on the link for the Certificate of Organization under Domestic Limited Liability Companies and create an account.

Step 1: Pick an Idaho LLC Name

Idaho LLC Name

In this section, you will first have to pick between the type of business entity being formed. The choices are a Limited Liability Company or a Professional Limited Liability Company (PLLC). The LLC is the most common type of LLC as it can be for any business other than those the state requires licensing from before being able to provide services.

A few common professions that require licensing in Idaho include; appraisers, collection agents, therapists, driving instructors, outfitters, and many more. Additional information, fees, and licensing requirements for professions are available from the State of Idaho.

Related: What is a PLLC?

Next, you are asked if you had a previously reserved business name. This isn’t a requirement, however, if you already have a name that was reserved with the Idaho Secretary of State, select yes and enter it.

Last you will need to enter the name you want for the LLC. There are restrictions on the actual name as each LLC has to be distinguishable from other entity names in the state of Idaho.
Before filing, you can check LLC name availability in Idaho on the state of Idaho’s business entity database.

The name of the LLC must include one of the following words or abbreviations at the end of the business name:
– Limited Liability Company
– Limited Company
– L.L.C.
– L.C.

A comma may be used after the business name and before the designator.  “Cowboy Cleaners LLC” and “Cowboy Cleaners, LLC” are both acceptable.

An entity name may also not contain language falsely stating or implying government affiliation or stating or implying that the entity is organized for a purpose other than that permitted by this act.

If there is a name you want to use but are not ready to form the LLC, the name can be reserved.  A name can be reserved for up to four months by filing the Reservation of Legal Entity Name can be filed with the Secretary of State.

You may also want to see if a domain name is also available to have a matching website address. 

Step 2: Enter the Address for the Principal Place of Business

Idaho LLC Principal Office Address

In this section, enter the street address, city, state, zip code, and country of the business’s initial principal office.  This address can be the address of the business, or it can be the address where the business records are kept.  You may not use a PO Box for the principal place of business.

If you want correspondence from the Secretary of State to be sent to a different address than the principal office, enter that address in section 3.

A PO Box is acceptable. If the address is the same as the principal office, select the copy button to fill in the fields automatically.

Step 3: Appoint an Idaho Registered Agent

Idaho LLC Registered Agent

One requirement to have an LLC in Idaho is to appoint an Idaho registered agent. The registered agent is a party that is physically located in the state of Idaho that will receive important notices and service of process (which means to accept papers that start a lawsuit) on behalf of the LLC.

The Registered Agent can either be a resident of Idaho (at least 18 years of age) or a commercial registered agent service.  The Registered Agent must be available during normal business hours at a designated physical street address in the state to act as a point of contact to receive legal documents, tax notices, summons, subpoenas, etc. (service of process) on behalf of the LLC.

Any individual meeting the requirements can be the agent; however, the agent’s name and address become public record, and with that comes a loss of privacy. This is more important for some entrepreneurs, especially when doing business from home or still employed.  Hiring a commercial Registered Agent service like Northwest Registered Agent will help keep the owner’s names from being publicly listed.

Related: Should you be the registered agent?

Step 4: Include the LLC’s Governors

Idaho LLC Select Governor

The Governor refers to a member of the LLC. Enter the name and address of at least one of the governors.

Step 5: Confirm the Information

Confirm the information provided in the Certificate of Organization is correct.

Step 6: Sign & File the Idaho LLC Certificate of Organization

The organizer (this can be the owner or an authorized representative of the LLC) will need to confirm the information included in the Certificate of Organization is correct and sign the document, along with sending the state filing fee.

If you have questions, contact the office of the Idaho Secretary of State:
Main Office
450 N. 4th Street
Boise, ID 83702
Phone – 208-334-2301
Email – business@sos.idaho.gov

Turnaround Time:
Online – 7-10 business days
By mail – 2-3 weeks

If you are worried about making a mistake when forming your LLC, or just don't want to deal with filling out state paperwork, an LLC formation service will help guide you through the process. My top recommended services include:

  • Zenbusiness - best guided process (starting at $0 plus state fees)
  • Incfile - most additional business services (starting at $0 plus state fees)
  • Northwest - best personal privacy protections and fewest upsells ($39 plus state fees)

What To Do After Starting An Idaho LLC

Once the LLC has been formed, there are a few additional steps to take care of. Below is a list of the most common tasks.

Prepare an Idaho LLC Operating Agreement

The operating agreement is a document that governs the framework and operating procedures of an LLC.  This document covers items like ownership rights, LLC member responsibilities, how profits and losses are distributed, and more.

Most states do not require an LLC to have an operating agreement, but it is still worth considering. Without an operating agreement:

  • The LLC could be subject to generic state rules that may be detrimental in the event of a lawsuit.
  • Member’s personal liability protection may be diminished.
  • Members may not fully understand their roles and responsibilities, which could lead to costly disputes in the future.

Related: How to create an Idaho operating agreement

Obtain an EIN

If the LLC will hire employees or is owned by more than one member, an EIN is required. 

The EIN or Employer Identification Number (also referred to as a Federal Employer Identification Number, FEIN, or Federal Tax ID Number) is a unique 9-digit tax identification number assigned to a business by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Similar to a social security number for an individual, the EIN identifies business entities for tax purposes. The EIN will be needed to hire employees, open a bank account, build business credit, register for business licenses and permits, file federal and state taxes, and more.

If an Employer Identification Number isn’t required, the LLC can either use the owner’s social security number or register for an EIN. 

How much does it cost to get an EIN number in Idaho?

There is no cost for the EIN when registering through the IRS. The number is available immediately when applying through the IRS website; however, you can also register by phone, fax, or mailing IRS Form SS-4.

Related: How to Apply for an EIN

Open an LLC Bank Account

Opening a bank account for your LLC is important for liability protection as the account separates the business’s funds from the member’s personal funds.

Several documents will be needed to open a business bank account, such as:

  • A banking resolution is a document that authorizes the members to open a business bank account on behalf of the LLC.
  • Copies of the original Idaho LLC formation paperwork from the state showing the creation of the LLC.
  • Driver’s licenses of the members.
  • In some cases, an Idaho Certificate of Existence may be needed to prove the LLC is active and in good standing with the state.

Related: How to Open a Business Bank Account for your LLC

Apply for Business Licenses and Permits

Depending on what your business does and where it is located, there will likely be various business licenses, and permits may be needed for starting your business. Some common registrations include:

  • Business License – Some cities require businesses to obtain licensing before they can start.
  • Professional License – Certain services such as daycares, appraisers, salons, and others must be licensed.
  • Seller’s Permit – To sell products and certain services, registration with the Idaho State Tax Commission.

Related: What Business Licenses are Needed in Idaho?

File the Idaho LLC Annual Report

LLCs are required to file an annual report with the Idaho Secretary of State.  The annual report updates ownership information and other details.

Related: How to File an Idaho LLC Annual Report

Idaho LLC FAQs

How much does it cost to start an LLC in Idaho?

The state filing fee to form an LLC in Idaho is $100.

Do you have to renew your LLC every year in Idaho?

The fee to renew an LLCs in Idaho is $0, but an Annual Report will still need to be filed.

How long does it take for an LLC to be approved in Idaho?

It normally takes 7-10 business days for an LLC to be approved in Idaho when filing online, or 2-3 weeks if filing by mail. Expedited processing is available for an additional fee.

What are the requirements of an Idaho registered agent?

Idaho registered agents must be an adult or company registered with the state and will be available during normal business hours at an address that is listed with the Secretary of State.

Anyone can act as a registered agent, provided they are at least 18 years old, reside in the state, and are generally available to receive documents during normal business hours.

Related: What are the requirements of an Idaho registered agent?

Can you use a PO Box for your LLC in Idaho?

A PO Box can only be used as a mailing address for the LLC. A physical street address in Idaho must be used for the Principal Place of Business and Registered Agent.

If you have an Idaho LLC, is a business license required?

It’s sometimes thought that the LLC and business license are the same in Idaho, but they aren’t. An LLC is referred to as a business entity, which is how the business is organized to conduct business. A business license is an approval from a government entity to legally operate.

Related: What business licenses are needed in Idaho?

What is a governor of an LLC in Idaho?

Governor refers to either a manager of a Manager-Managed LLC or a member of a Member-Managed LLC. 

What is a Foreign Limited Liability Company?

An Idaho foreign LLC is an LLC that was formed in another state but wants to physically operate in Idaho. Physically operating means having a presence, such as having an office or hiring an employee.

To obtain authorization to operate in Idaho, a Foreign Registration Statement will need to be filed with the Secretary of State.

Related: What is a foreign LLC?

Is an LLC the same as a corporation?

The LLC is one of four main types of business entities. You can learn more about each here:
What is a sole proprietorship?
What is a general partnership?
How to form an Idaho corporation

Should I use an LLC formation service or do it myself?
Following our guide, most people will be able to form an LLC on their own, however, LLC formation services like Incfile, ZenBusiness, and Northwest help take the pressure off and guarantee it's done right!

How To Start An LLC In Idaho

How To Start An LLC In Idaho

Greg Bouhl

Greg Bouhl

Welcome! My name is Greg Bouhl, and I am a serial entrepreneur, educator, business advisor, and investor.

StartingYourBusiness.com is here because of the many clients I worked with who made decisions based on inaccurate and outdated information.

Starting a business is hard, but here you will find the practical tools, resources, and insider tips to help you successfully start a business.

If there is a question about starting a business or help finding a resource, I'm here to help!

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