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Idaho LLC Simple Start Guide

Idaho LLC Simple Start Guide

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Idaho LLC Simple Start Guide

There are so many things to do and steps to take, starting a small business doesn’t always feel small. One of these initial steps is setting up a business structure, so if you’re looking for some help in starting an Idaho 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.

Related: Guide to starting a business in Idaho

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Steps To Form An Idaho LLC

Step 1: Choose an LLC Name

The first step in forming an Idaho Limited Liability Company is to make sure the name you want is available.  In Idaho, LLC names have to be different from the other entities registered in the state.  The Idaho Secretary of State has a handy online name database so you can do an Idaho LLC name search to make sure your name is available.

The name of the LLC must include one of the following designators (words or abbreviations) at the end of the business name:

  • Limited Liability Company
  • Limited Company
  • L.L.C.
  • L.C.
  • LLC

A comma may be used after the business name and before the designator.  “Boise Blends LLC” and “Boise Blends, 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 with the Idaho Secretary of State for up to four months by filing the Reservation of Legal Entity Name form.

Step 2: Appoint an Idaho Registered Agent

In Idaho, every LLC will need to designate a registered agent. A registered agent is simply an individual or company with a Idaho street address who will be responsible for any legal correspondence. This commonly includes the receipt of legal documents, such as lawsuit notifications, on behalf of the business.

While many LLC owners opt to fulfill this role themselves, some owners choose to hire registered agent services like Northwest Registered Agent. Utilizing a registered agent service ensures that your LLC adheres to state requirements while offering an added layer of convenience and confidentiality since the owner’s personal address isn’t disclosed in public records.

Related: What is an Idaho registered agent?

Step 3: File the Idaho LLC Certificate of Organization

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.

Related: How to fill out the Idaho LLC Certificate of Organization

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.

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.

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: While there is no statewide business license, some cities require businesses to obtain licensing before they can start.
  • Professional license: The state of Idaho requires certain types of businesses, such as daycares, appraisers, salons, and others, to be licensed.
  • Seller’s permit: To sell products and certain services, a business will need to register for a seller’s permit from 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 Annual Report

File the Beneficial Owner Information Report

Beginning in 2024, any individual who owns at least 25% or has “substantial control” of an LLC or corporation in Idaho or any other state must file the Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) form with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). BOI reports are filed electronically through FinCEN’s website.

Idaho LLC FAQs

How much does an Idaho LLC cost?

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

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

Yes – Every year, an Idaho LLC annual report will need to be filed.

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

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

Is an LLC the best choice for me?

When deciding on a business structure in Idaho, the common choices are the LLC, sole proprietorship, general partnership, and corporation.

An LLC stands out for blending personal asset protection with operational flexibility. It shields personal assets from business liabilities, offering peace of mind that personal finances are safer than those of a sole proprietorship or general partnership. Furthermore, LLCs in Idaho enjoy tax flexibility, allowing owners to choose the most advantageous tax treatment for their situation.

The downside to the LLC versus the sole proprietorship or partnership is they are more expensive to register with the state.

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.

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?


  • Greg Bouhl

    With over two decades as an entrepreneur, educator, and business advisor, Greg Bouhl has worked with over 2,000 entrepreneurs to help them start and grow their businesses. Fed up with clients finding and acting on inaccurate and outdated information online, Greg launched StartUp101.com to be a trusted resource for people starting a business.

Idaho LLC Simple Start Guide

Idaho LLC Simple Start Guide

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