Step 1) Pick a Name for Your Idaho Non-Profit

Choose a Business NameAs part of the requirements when forming a Non-Profit in Idaho, you are to pick a name for your Non-Profit. This Idaho Non-Profit name should adhere to the criteria of naming businesses set forth by the state.

These criteria are the following: (1) it should contain any of the following words or its exact abbreviation: ‘company’, ‘corporation’, ‘incorporated’, or ‘limited’. (2) If the word ‘company’ or its corresponding abbreviation is used in the name, the word cannot be preceded with ‘and’. (3) The business name should be unique from any other business entity registered in the state, whether it’s a Limited Liability Company, a Corporation, Limited Partnership, etc.

For validation if the name selected is still available, you can use the state’s business search tool. When it’s available, you can apply for a reservation of name so that the name selected cannot be used by any other entity while your reservation is in effect.


Step 2) Elect Officers and A Board of Directors for Your Idaho Non-Profit

Choose the Initial DirectorsFor regular organizations who are starting an Idaho Non-Profit, a minimum number of three directors are required.

For religious Non-Profits, a minimum of only one director is required. It is up to the owner/s of the Non-Profit to elect the Idaho Non-Profit officers and directors. Alternatively, the officers can be decided upon during the first board meeting.


Step 3) Choose an Idaho Registered Agent for Your Non-Profit

Choose a Registered AgentWhen you start a Non-Profit in Idaho, part of the information required in the Articles of Organization form is an Idaho Registered Agent. When you hire a Registered in Idaho, you must also adhere to state requirements to ensure your compliance.

The Registered Agent can either be a qualified professional or a legally registered business entity in the state. The Agent must provide a physical address in the state as part of the requisite as well.

Most importantly, this Agent should be present at all times during business hours in the address provided to receive legal paperwork from the state.

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 incorporate your Non-Profit with IncFile.


Step 4) Process and File Your Non-Profit Articles of Organization

Register an LLCYour Non-Profit Organization is legally formed when you submit a Non-Profit Articles of Organization form to the Secretary of State of Idaho.

Aside from the standard information required from the owners of the Non-Profit, you must also include a number of statements required by the Internal Revenue Service to enjoy the 501(c)(3) tax exemption status.

Before filing the form, the following statements should be included: (1) statement of Non-Profit Purpose meeting IRS-mandated conditions; (2) explicit statement that your Non-Profit is never to engage in any illegal activity, be it political or legislative by nature; and (3) a statement of asset provisions upon Non-Profit dissolution, assigning your assets to another 501(c)(3) organization.


Step 5) Have a First Meeting with the Elected Directors

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of DirectorsBefore the organization starts its operations, an initial meeting should be organized to discuss the following agenda and to come up with decisions on the following aspects of your Non-Profit:

A minutes of the meeting should be made of the meeting to be signed by all attendees.


Step 6) Keep a Corporate Records Binder for Corporate Documents

File Annual Reports & Publication RequirementsA Corporate Records Book is considered as the official record keeping binder for your Non-Profit. Regardless that it is not a state-mandated requirement, keeping one will help keep your business documents organized.

Documents such as your Idaho Non-Profit registration form, business tax paperwork, permits and licenses, etc. are stored in this book. A Corporate Records Book can be purchased at the office supply chain in your area or you can order through Amazon for direct delivery.


Step 7) Process for an EIN for Your Idaho Non-Profit

Get an EIN for Your LLCAn Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a requirement for any type of business, even for a Non-Profit organization.

Your Idaho Non-Profit EIN can be processed for free through the IRS. Note that almost all kinds of transactions you conduct in your Non-Profit will involve your EIN so it is impossible to operate a business legally without this requirement.


Step 8) Open a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountAs you start Idaho Non-Profit, it is very important to keep your personal and business finances separate by opening a business bank account. This keeps your personal liability at a minimum and everything separate in the eyes of the law.

There are many options including Chase and Bank of America, so do your research to find out which is right for your Idaho Non-Profit. Check out this review for our favorite options.


Step 9) Request for Federal and State Tax Exemptions

Small Business TaxesThere are a number of steps to undertake to be exempt from Idaho Non-Profit tax registration requirements. Although you will still be registering for Non-Profit taxes, you are exempt from majority of these. Follow the steps to be exempt from federal and state taxes.

1) Request for Federal Tax Exemptions through Form 1023

To obtain a 501(c)(3) status and enjoy federal tax exemption, you are to file Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, to the IRS.

As this form is lengthy and requires numerous information about your Non-Profit Organization, make sure to carefully fill out the form and double check it before submitting your application.

For Non-Profit Organizations with less than $250,000 assets and net total annual receipts of less than $50,000, Form 1023-EZ, Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, can be used provided that the above requirements are met.

2) Request for Idaho Tax Exemptions

As soon as you have filed for Form 1023 or 1023-EZ tax exemption from the IRS, you will also be automatically exempt from paying Idaho’s income tax. However, there are still other forms of taxes in the state, so you should look up if you are exempt for this in Idaho’s State Tax Commission website.

3) Additional Report and Registration Requirements

If you are conducting solicitation or funding-raising activities within the state of Idaho, you do not necessarily have to file for registration requirements. However, if you are doing the aforementioned activities outside of the state of Idaho, you might have to adhere to state-specific requirements in relation to that.


Step 10) Handle Your Idaho Business Licenses & Regulations

Business LicensesAside from Idaho business taxes, another important requirement to take care of when starting a business is the filing of business licenses. Complying with business licenses and regulations are important for your business to legally operate.

Recommended Resource: Visit to learn more or have professionals handle all the research for you through this reliable service.


To-Do After Starting an

Idaho Non-Profit

Now that you have followed the steps above, you are an official Non-Profit organization in the state of Idaho. Other than those 10 steps that are based on state guidelines, here are 2 additional steps based on best practices for starting a successful organization. Not required, but highly recommended.

1) Ready Your Idaho Non-Profit for Success

Write a Business PlanWrite a strong business plan, not just because it comes highly recommended by business experts, but because it is the one solid solution to paving the path to a thriving organization.

It safeguards your business from possible organization mistakes, raise the necessary resources to get started, and most importantly, give you a firm control on how you run your Non-Profit. To write a concise business plan, you can refer to the two resources below to get started.

Writing a Business Plan Quick-Links


2) Build a Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteAs you start a Non-Profit 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.

Please note that this guide is not legal instruction or assume that it is. You should to talk to your lawyer in detailed matters of starting a Non-Profit organization in Idaho (or starting a new business) as this guide is only for informational purposes.

Need Help Forming Your Organization?

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