Step 1) Verify & Secure Brand Name
To secure and register your brand name it must be unique, not too similar to another registered name in Idaho, and shouldn’t contain any restricted wording. To check, conduct a Business Entity Search through the state and if there are potential trademark issues conduct another using the TESS System through the U.S. Patent Office.
Keep in mind your brand name should contain the words ‘Corporation,’ ‘Company,’ ‘Incorporated,’ or ‘Limited.” Abbreviations for these words are acceptable. If needed, a Reservation of Legal Entity Name can be filed to reserve an available name for 120 days.
Filing Fee: $20
Quick Note: Before you commit 100% to a name, you may also want to check that there’s a decent URL available for your business. Use WEEBLY to search your options. If there’s a quality domain name for purchase, we advise buying it right away. Even if launching a business website isn’t on your radar right now, it’s going to be soon, and you might as well nail down a domain name that’ll make it easy for customers to find you!
Step 2) Appoint An Idaho Registered Agent
An Idaho Registered Agent receives and helps to handle/process all official documents like state filings, tax forms, legal notices, and so forth. Along with being an agent you can trust to be timely, here are the other qualifications:
- (1) a duly registered individual/business entity in the state of Idaho;
- (2) a physical address within the state must be provided;
- (3) should consent to accepting all legal documents from the state on behalf of your business.
That said, you can hire an outside service and pay up to $160/yr or get a qualified agent free of charge when you incorporate with IncFile.
Step 3) Process Articles Of Incorporation
To make your corporation official, you'll need to file Articles of Incorporation with the secretary of state's office. It's a declarative document for the public record that discloses some of the basics of your brand including name, address, registered agent info, number of shares, incorporator info and so on.
That being the case, make sure not to file this until you and your team agree you're ready to make the corporation official, something that should have been discussed with your board.
Filing fee: $100 typewritten; $120 handwritten
Step 4) Start A Corporate Records Book
Think of this as the hard copy record book where all critical corporate documents are kept like the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, meeting minutes, stock certificate ledger, stock certificates, stock certificate stubs, stock transfer documents, etc. It’s the ultimate company binder! They’re very common and while not necessary, having one is highly recommended for all serious business entities.
Step 5) Elect Initial Director, Meet, Discuss Bylaws
Appoint at least 1 director to oversee the corporation until the first shareholder meeting where new directors will be voted in. Prepare an “Incorporator Statement” with complete names/addresses of directors and keep it in your records book. Topics should include:
Step 6) Open A Business Bank Account
Hopefully during your foundational stage you and your directors set aside time to really understand how important this decisions is, namely where your corporation will bank. How familiar are you with business banking on the corporate level? Are you already aware of the many business services, varying fee structures, and incentives?
Don’t take this lightly. There are plenty of large and small local, state, and national banks as well as credit unions to choose from. Don’t just assume the mainstream banks are the best because they’re the biggest.
Step 7) Handle Taxation & Licensing/Permits
To ensure that you will not face penalties, fines, and fees when operating a business, you need to completely fulfill your business taxes and licenses obligations to the state. To get started, see the resources below:
- Get your free EIN, or Employer Identification Number, quickly through the IRS website.
- Bookmark the Boise Small Business Administration office and Idaho.gov’s Business Services.
- To form an S-Corp, submit Form 2553 with the IRS and be sure all board of directors have signed it.
- Consider professional business license service that takes care of the legwork for you.