Step 1) Verify & Secure Your LLC 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.
Keep in mind your LLC name should contain the words ‘Limited Liability Company’ or ‘Limited Company’. Abbreviations for these words like ‘L.C.’ or ‘L.L.C’ are also acceptable. If needed, a Reservation of Legal Entity Name can be filed to reserve an available name for 120 days.
Filing Fee: $20
Remember, this isn’t optional in Idaho-- it’s mandatory.
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) Choose A 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 accept all legal documents from the state on behalf of your business.
That said, you can hire an outside service/individual and pay up to $160 a year or get an Idaho Registered Agent free when you start an LLC through a filing service like IncFile.
Step 3) File Certification Of Organization
To become a legal business entity, or 'make it official,' you must file an LLC Certification of Organization with the Secretary of State. It's a declarative statement for the public record that discloses some of the basics of your company, so don't file until ready!
Download the form, read it very carefully, properly fill it out then submit. As soon as you file your Certificate of Organization, you must wait for a week to ten days to have it returned to you for your records.
Filing Fee: $100
Step 4) Get An EIN
An EIN, or Employer Identification Number, is a 9-series number used by the IRS and other relevant federal/state agencies to monitor your activities as a legal business entity. Similar to social security numbers for individuals but this allows your business to open bank accounts, hire employees, etc.
You can quickly get yours free of charge through the IRS Website.
Step 5) Open A Business Bank Account
The two critical reasons to open a unique business bank account are first, the many perks/incentives/kickbacks banks and lending institutions are offering these days. There’s a decent amount so be sure and shop around with local, state and national banks and credit unions if you aren’t familiar.
The second has to do with making your finances easier by syncing the single account with a small business accounting software, and adding a huge layer of protection by being separated from any other business/personal accounts.
Step 6) Draft An Operating Agreement
No, you do not have to have this document by law. But, we along with any decent business consultant will tell you to have one even if you’re an entrepreneur because Idaho's default rules take over if one isn’t in place. It also provides your LLC status with some protection, and lays out on paper managerial/ownership financial duties, rights, and responsibilities along with basic rules of operation. Pretty important, right?
To get started, consider check out our list of Operating Agreement templates which you can customize yourself online.
Step 7) Handle Business Taxes & Licensing
Very few people enjoy this red-tape-filled step but once you get it done and over with you can officially celebrate. Thankfully the regulatory environment in the great state of Idaho isn't as bad as say, New York or Chicago's.
To get started bookmark the Boise district office of the Small Business Administration, and Idaho.gov’s Business Services page because they’re likely going to be go-to sources for a variety of things along the way. If you need help with this step, consider leveraging professional Business License Research packages that can quickly source all needed forms for you.
Need Help Forming an LLC?
If you'd like help forming an Idaho LLC, feel free to read our reviews of the two most popular services available.