Step 1) Pick a Unique Name for Your Idaho Corporation

Choose a Business NameAside from the standard naming convention requirement that your Idaho business name should be distinctive from any existing business entity legally listed in the Secretary of State’s database, there are also a few additional requirements specified by the state that you must adhere to.

Any of the following words should be included when in the Corporation’s name: ‘Corporation’, ‘Company’, ‘Incorporated’, or ‘Limited’. Any of the abbreviations will also do. Should ‘Company’ or its abbreviation be used, the word ‘and’ or any of its representing symbols may not precede it.

As soon as a Corporation name has been coined, check if it is still valid using the Idaho business name search tool found in the Secretary of State’s website. A Reservation of Legal Entity Name can be made for up to four months in case the name is still available. A filing fee of $20 should be paid along with the reservation form.


Step 2) Process the Articles of Incorporation

Register an LLCYou are legally incorporating in Idaho when you formally file the Articles of Incorporation. Filing a Corporation in Idaho is done at the Secretary of State’s Office.

The form requires you to input the necessary information about your Corporation. After filling out the form, you can then submit this through mail to the address specified.

Filing fee: $100 for typewritten form; $120 for handwritten form


Step 3) Find an Idaho Registered Agent

Choose a Registered AgentAn Idaho Corporation must have a Registered Agent in Idaho. The role that an Idaho Registered Agent plays in your Corporation’s day-to-day operations is crucial, so it is important to choose the right professional for this position.

As part of the state’s requirements, a Registered Agent can be a qualified person or a domestic or foreign entity that is duly registered to operate his business in the state. A physical address in Idaho should be provided once the Agent consents to represent your business.

That said, you can hire a Registered Agent service and pay up to $160/year, or get an Idaho Registered Agent free of charge when you form your Corporation with IncFile – which is $100 less than other online incorporation services.


Step 4) Start a Corporate Records Book

File Annual Reports & Publication RequirementsA Corporate Records Book may not be a mandatory requirement of the state, but it is an important binder that keeps all your legal documents and paperwork organized and safely stored.

Corporation papers such as your Idaho Corporation registration documents, copy of the Articles of Incorporation, business licenses, permits, and tax forms can be stored in this binder. You can buy a Corporate Records Book at the local office supply chain or alternatively, have it delivered right at your doorstep via Amazon.


Step 5) Elect Initial Directors for Your Idaho Corporation

Choose the Initial DirectorsAn initial number of directors is required when starting your Idaho Corporation. As the owner it is your sole responsibility to elect the directors while forming a Corporation in Idaho.

An Incorporator’s Statement containing the names and addresses of the directors should be filled out and stored in the Corporate Records Book.


Step 6) Have the First Meeting with the Initial Directors

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of DirectorsWhen starting an Idaho Corporation, an initial meeting with your directors should be scheduled to resolve the following agenda:

Note: For the application of S Corporation status, this should also be discussed during the meeting. The minutes of this initial meeting should be signed by those who attended the meeting.


Step 7) Pay Attention to Your Idaho Business Tax Requirements and Corporate Licensing Obligations

Business LicensesFollow the steps below to take care of your requirements for Idaho business taxes:

  1. Process your free Employer Identification Number (EIN) at the IRS website.
  2. Be in the know about all your business tax requirements as part of your Idaho Corporation maintenance. Refer to our Idaho Tax Guide for more information.
  3. This last step is only applicable if you are filing for an S Corporation status. A Form 2553 Election should be submitted.

In addition to your business taxes, Idaho business licenses should also be completed to become a legal fully operable business entity. Our Idaho Business Licenses and Regulations Guide will give you insights on how to complete all the requirements.


Step 8) Open a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountWhile starting and running a business in Idaho, keeping your business and personal finances separate is important. The most effective way to do this is to open a business checking account.

A separate bank account will keep all your finances separate, which makes tax time much easier to manage. For a quick look at some of our favorite places to bank, see this review.


To-Do After Starting an Idaho Corporation

Now that you have followed the steps above, you are officially an Idaho Corporation. Other than those 8 steps that are based on state guidelines, here are a few additional steps based on best practices for starting a successful Corporation. Not required, but highly recommended.

1) Create a Funding-Ready Business Plan

Write a Business PlanAs a startup entrepreneur, getting the right funding for your business can be a determining factor to the success or failure of your venture. In order to obtain the appropriate funding, you can write a business plan that clearly communicates your business.

Start with the resources below to write a business plan in half the time.

Quick Links to Write a Business Plan


2) Build a Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteAs you start a Corporation in Idaho it’s important to have a website. This will give you a solid online presence and credibility aspect. Thankfully, there are free tools like WordPress for the non-tech savvy entrepreneurs like myself.

No need to hire a professional designer. Learn how to get started through this simple step-by-step guide.


3) Submit an Annual Report for Your Idaho Corporation

Create an Operating AgreementAn Idaho Corporation Annual Report is a requirement when starting an Idaho Corporation. Details of the Annual Report, its requirements, and the annual due date will be mailed by the Secretary of State to your Registered Agent.

There is no filing fee necessary for this state form.

Note that this guide is an informational guide and should not be used for any legal purposes. For the specifics on how to form a Corporation in Idaho or starting a business, refer to the expertise of your lawyer.

Need Help Forming Your Corporation?

Have a reliable incorporation service like IncFile or LegalZoom do the work for you. Just answer a few questions about your business and they’ll take care of the paperwork.

Although both offer virtually the same service, IncFile is $100 less and our top pick. Enjoy!

Visit IncFile Or Visit LegalZoom