How to start a business in Idaho

10 Simple Steps

STEP 1: TRULY PLAN YOUR BUSINESS IDEA

Write a Business PlanIf you don’t “believe” in planning, then good luck and you can move on to step 2. However, if you recognize the incredible value in professional business planning then this is your first step. Take this as seriously as Idahoans take Boise State. Your plan will become invaluable in a large variety of ways, especially when you reach steps 7, 8 and 9.

Take Action: Seize upon our 100% free Business Planning Course designed to get you from A-to-Z as pleasantly as possible. Plus, we provide access to tons of other great tools along the way.

STEP 2: CHOOSE BIZ-STRUCTURE & INCORPORATE

How to Choose a Business StructureThe next step is to decide which business entity is right for you and then register it with the state. Regardless of the type, once incorporated you and your brand will be protected and gain a variety of tax breaks. Most importantly, your personal assets (house, personal bank account, etc) will be protected.

Most entrepreneurs form an LLC because it has all the benefits of a Corporation without the disadvantages like double taxation, board of directors or corporate officers. However if you’re trying to take your company public or raise substantial outside capital, you should probably form a Corporation.

Take Action: Decide which business structure is right for you. After that, have one of these two reliable services form it for you: IncFile ($49 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee).

STEP 3: SYNC WITH THE IDAHO TAX CODE

Small Business TaxesDepending on your specific legal structure and the type of business you’re in, there are a number of variables here. For example, you may need to register with other states, local agencies, state-level departments like the Department of Labor, etc. This is where you’ll really want to do some research and be 100% sure you’re compliant as an Idaho startup.

Take Action: Start with the Idaho State Tax Commission’s Businesses section on Idaho.gov. They’ve got links to all the information you’ll need including access to online services and an explanation of their system.

STEP 4: OBTAIN PROPER LICENSING/PERMITS

Business LicensesThe regulatory environment in Idaho is increasingly startup-friendly and not near as complex and mind-blowing as other parts of the nation. For some, a simple business license will do, for other startups there could be a fair amount which is why it’s such a good idea to work with a lawyer or filing service through this part of the process.

  1. For DYI’ers give the Idaho Regulatory Requirements Wizard a try. For application instructions, bookmark the Idaho Business Registration Information
  2. If you need help getting everything together, this Business License Package is very helpful. They determine everything required on Federal, State, County and Municipal levels, get the forms, and provide step-by-step filing instructions.

STEP 5: CREATE A DEDICATED BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT

Best Business Bank AccountYou want your financials to sing like wood and strings in the hand of an expert fiddler, right? Great, half the job is separating them from any and all personal accounts, streamlining/monitoring with good software, and centralizing in a good banking institution.

Take Action

STEP 6: PICK A STELLAR IDAHO LOCATION

How to Choose a Business LocationIdaho is a central northwest location with doorways to WA, OR, NV, MT, WY and Utah! But, in the beginning the most important thing to consider is which location has the most assets and will make managing the business easier? There’s far too many variables to consider to just throw a dart at a map of the region. Be strategic.

Take Action: We know picking a spot can be tough if it doesn’t somehow happen naturally through your personal/professional networks. If you’d like to brush up on everything that goes into making this decision, refer to our friendly guide on How to Choose the Perfect Location.

STEP 7: FINANCE/BOOTSTRAP YOUR PLATFORM

How to Finance a BusinessYour business is going to need capital once it reaches a certain level of success. Thanks to modern-tech you have more access to more resources than any other human being at any other point in history. Idaho has every option there is – CrowdFunders, social/conventional lenders, startup networks, grants and county/state-level programs, etc.

Take Action: The email course we mentioned in Step 1 really comes in handy here because planning and finances go together like white water and huckleberries. You can also browse our guide on How to Finance a Business to start generating ideas.

STEP 8: DESIGN & PUBLISH A BUSINESS WEBSITE

Build a Business WebsiteGetting a great domain and setting up your digital shop/agency site doesn’t have to feel like peeling a mountain of potatoes anymore. There are platforms now who’ve made the process of building a website much quicker and more affordable.

Take Action: If you could use some help in this department the first step is finding the right platform, which thankfully there are a handful that make your life much easier. Head on over to this easy Business Website Builder Guide to get a head start.

STEP 9: MARKET YOUR BUSINESS

Social Media ChannelLet’s be frank with one another, there are no rules in marketing anymore. Well, there are laws, but in terms of methodologies it’s all a roll of the dice. Idaho is a friendly place with astounding demographics and networks so the most important thing you can do is get out there and learn more about your customers!

Take Action: Before heading online to reach out to strangers in rather impersonal ways, be sure to look at your current personal and professional networks.

STEP 10: CONTINUE LEARNING & STAY INSPIRED

Sign Up For Entrepreneur InterviewsAt this point you’re the proud owner of an Idaho startup, well done! Now you got to keep on your toes, because the journey’s just begun. Please keep Startup Savant in mind, in your professional Rolodex of reliable sources of valuable information from fellow change-makers and savvy tools.

Take Action: Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to tap into our daily feed filled with tips, lessons, and inspiring stories directly from entrepreneurs like you.

Idaho Startup Toolkit

Out of all the resources available to help you start a business in Idaho, here are the two we believe in most. With an incorporation service and business plan software, you'll take the first steps toward bringing your idea to life and having a solid plan behind it.

Incorporation services register your business with the state and handle all paperwork. For as low as $49, they'll bring your business to life by registering your LLC or Corporation in record time.

See The Top 7 Options
And

One of the most important aspects of starting a business can also be the most tedious: the business plan. A business plan software will walk you through the entire process in half the time.

See The Top 7 Options