How to Start an LLC in Idaho

L L C members happy after starting an L L C in Idaho

It’s easy to form an LLC in Idaho online yourself. Just follow these steps:

  1. Name Your LLC
  2. Choose a Registered Agent
  3. File the ID Certifcate of Organization
  4. Create an LLC Operating Agreement
  5. Get an EIN

Or, use a professional service:

four point eight out of five stars Northwest Registered Agent ($29 + State Filing Fee)

three point four out of five stars LegalZoom ($79 + State Filing Fee)

Starting an LLC in Idaho is Easy

You can form an Idaho LLC online by registering the Certificate of Organization with the Secretary of State. The cost to get an LLC in Idaho is $100 online or $120 by mail.

Follow our How to Start an LLC in Idaho guide below to get started.

Steps to form an L L C in Idaho

For more information on how to form an LLC in any state, visit our How to Start an LLC guide.

Step 1: Create A Name For Your Idaho LLC

Before you register your Idaho LLC, you'll need to come up with a name. Your business name needs to be catchy for branding purposes and legitimate for legal purposes.

We go into depth on this topic in our LLC naming guide. We’ll go over the basics below.

Naming Your LLC

First, brainstorm some possibilities. Use our LLC name generator to get the ideas flowing.

Next, make sure your name meets Idaho guidelines:

  • it contains the words limited liability company, limited company, LLC, or L.L.C.
  • it doesn't contain restricted words or phrases (these often include words like bank, attorney, and university) without approval
  • it's distinguishable from any other entity or trade name registered in Idaho
  • full list of Idaho naming guidelines

Next, do an Idaho LLC name search with the Secretary of State to find out if your name is available in Idaho.

If your business name is available and meets guidelines, you’ll be able to register it when you file your Certificate of Organization with the Secretary of State.

Is the URL available? Before you commit 100% to a name, check to see if there’s a good web domain available.

We recommend buying your domain right away because even if launching a business website isn’t on your radar right now, it will be soon.

Find a Domain Now

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Once you register a domain name for your LLC, consider setting up a business phone system to establish credibility and enhance your customer service. Nextiva provides a plethora of useful features and a quick, easy setup. Try Nextiva.

Using an Idaho Assumed Business Name (DBA)

An Idaho DBA (doing business as), also known as an assumed business name, is any registered name that a business operates under that isn't its legal business name. An assumed business name can be used by any type of business, including a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC).

Learn how to get a DBA in our Idaho DBA guide.

Step 2: Appoint An Idaho LLC Registered Agent

When you file your Certificate of Organization, you'll need to list a registered agent.

A registered agent's job is to accept legal documents like service of process and tax notices for your LLC. To learn more about Idaho Registered Agents, read our guide.

Your registered agent can be a person or a registered agent service. You can act as your own registered agent, but many business owners choose to use a registered agent service.

Here are a few things to think about before you decide to act as your own registered agent:

  • You’ll need to be available during normal (9 am - 5 pm) business hours at the address you provide
  • If you run your business from home, you’ll have to make your personal address public
  • You could be served with a lawsuit in front of your family or coworkers

Recommended: Northwest Registered Agent offers a free year of registered agent services when you form your LLC ($29 plus state fees).

Step 3: File A Certificate of Organization

It’s time to officially form your LLC by filing your Certificate of Organization with the Idaho Secretary of State.

You can file online with the Secretary of State or fill out a hard copy of the Idaho Certificate of Organization and mail it in or deliver it in person. The filing fee is $100 online or $120 by mail or in person. 

Recommended: Now is a good time to decide if your LLC will be member-managed vs manager-managed.

You'll need to know the following information to complete the form:

  1. Entity Name and Address
  2. Registered Agent Name and Registered Office Address
  3. Name and Address of at least one LLC governor

For more detailed help with completing the form, visit our Idaho Certificate of Organization guide.

Mail Your Certificate of Organization:

Send the form and payment (payable to the Secretary of State) to:

Office of the Secretary of State
450 N 4th Street
P.O. Box 83720
Boise ID 83720-0080

Submit In Person: 
Office of the Secretary of State
450 N 4th Street
Boise ID 83720-0080

How long does it take to get an Idaho LLC approved? LLC processing time is 7 to 10 days but may be expedited for an additional fee.

Step 4: Create An Idaho LLC Operating Agreement

Creating an Idaho LLC operating agreement is the only way to legally lock down your LLC’s management and ownership structure. Having an operating agreement in place will give you something to return to if a dispute or lawsuit arises. 

Even single-member LLCs benefit from having an operating agreement.

Your operating agreement should outline the following:

  • Each member’s responsibilities
  • How new members will be admitted
  • How existing members may transfer or terminate their membership
  • How profits and dividends will be distributed

You can add as many provisions as you want, as long as they don't conflict with Idaho law. Take a look at our What is an Operating Agreement guide to learn more.

Download a template or create a custom Free Operating Agreement using our tool.

Step 5: Get an EIN

The Employer Identification Number (EIN), Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), or Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN), is essentially a Social Security number (SSN) for your company. State and federal agencies use this number to track your business activity.

Your EIN will come in handy when it’s time to:

  • Open a business bank account
  • File Federal and State taxes
  • Hire employees

We think the best way to get an EIN for your Idaho LLC is by using the free online application on the IRS website. We prefer this method because it's the most efficient, but you can apply by phone, fax, or mail. You can read through our How to Get an EIN guide to find out how.

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Steps After Forming an LLC in Idaho

After forming your Idaho LLC, it's important to:

Open A Business Bank Account

A business bank account helps separate personal expenses and company expenses, which is required to maintain your Idaho LLC's corporate veil. A corporate veil protects your personal assets from creditors in potential lawsuits against your LLC or Business.

Learn more by reading this guide to Banking for Entrepreneurs. For a multi-member LLC, you'll also want to set up capital accounts for LLC members. We also recommend checking out our review of the best business bank accounts.

Get A Business Credit Card

A business credit card will help separate personal and business expenses while building your company's credit history. A strong credit history will be useful for raising capital in the form of venture capital, angel investment, or small business loans.

Set Up Business Accounting

Hiring a business accountant is one of the best ways to ensure you’re taking advantage of LLC tax benefits; possibly saving you and your business thousands of dollars per year.

When forming an LLC in Idaho, it’s a good idea to start a relationship with a business accountant as soon as you start your business to help set your company up for success.

Get Business Insurance

Business insurance helps manage risk. The most common forms of business insurance are general liability, professional liability, and workers' compensation.

Find out the real cost of getting insurance for your business. Get a free quote or call 855-965-3168.

Keep Your Company Compliant

Research Idaho Business Licenses and Permits

To operate an LLC in Idaho, you will need to comply with federal, state, and local government regulations such as health permits, building permits, and signage permits. 

Business licensing and permit requirements vary from state to state. To get started, visit our How to Get a Business License in Idaho guide. To help facilitate this process, you can also utilize a business license service.

File Your Idaho LLC Annual Report

Your Idaho LLC must complete and submit an annual report each year to the Secretary of State. This can only be filed online, and there is no filing fee.

Understand Idaho State Tax Requirements

Idaho businesses selling a physical product are generally required to register for a seller’s permit with the Idaho State Tax Commission. Visit our Idaho Sales Tax guide to learn more about seller’s permits and Idaho sales tax.

Additionally, all Idaho LLCs with employees must register for both unemployment insurance tax through the Idaho Department of Labor website and employee withholding tax through the Idaho State Tax Commission website.

Understand Your Idaho LLC’s Federal Tax Requirements

Most Idaho LLCs will need to report their income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) each year using Form 1065 Partnership Return (multi-member LLCs) or Form 1040 Schedule C (single-member LLCs).

How you pay yourself will affect your federal taxes. Visit our guide to learn more about how to pay yourself from your LLC.

Know Your Idaho LLC’s Federal Tax Election Options

Pass-through taxation entails a business’s profits passing through to the LLC member’s individual tax returns. Like a sole proprietorship, an LLC is taxed as a pass-through entity, also known as a disregarded entity. 

Once this process is completed and after any tax-deductible expenses are taken out, the LLC members pay self-employment taxes and income tax on their portion of the business income. 

Alternatively, Idaho LLCs can choose to elect to be taxed as an S corporation (S corp) or C corporation (C corp). If S corporation tax status is elected, LLC members can be taxed as employees of the business, potentially reducing tax burden.

More LLC Resources

  • Idaho Foreign LLCs: Forming a foreign LLC allows your company to operate as one entity in multiple states. Download the Idaho foreign LLC form to get started.
  • Idaho Certificate of Good Standing: A certificate of good standing verifies that your LLC was legally formed. To order, follow our Idaho certificate of good standing guide.
  • Dissolving an Idaho LLC: If you are ready to dissolve your LLC, follow the steps in our Idaho LLC Dissolution Guide.
  • LLC Legal Forms: TRUiC offers a number of free LLC legal forms including operating agreements, LLC resolutions, and hiring documents.

Need Help Forming an LLC?

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