How To Start an Idaho LLC

Andrew C. McGuire

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Before we get started on our adventure in starting your Idaho Limited Liability Company, we need to talk about your cheat code. Rather than going down all the steps I outline below, you can just go straight to ZenBusiness and they will get all of this taken care of for you and include the first year of the registered agent service with it. Go check them out to get started.

I also like to make sure you’re aware of what Idaho is known for and think about making one of these business ideas your own if you haven’t already.

  1. Start a Potato Farming Business
  2. Start a Fishing Business
  3. Start a Hiking and Biking Touring Business
  4. Start an Outdoor Touring Business

If you have thought about these and are ready to get started, the first thing you’re going to need to do is come up with a business name.

Name Your Idaho LLC

There are going to be Idaho LLC naming guidelines you’ll need to follow which are:

  • Your LLC name must contain the phrase “Limited Liability Company” or “L.L.C.”
  • Your LLC name can not be misleading.
  • Your LLC name can not be too similar to an existing business in Idaho.
  • To reserve your business name, you’ll file a Name Reservation with the Secretary of State which is $20.
  • If you want to do this on your own, you can head over to the Secretary of State website and reserve your name there. If you’d rather let Northwest Registered Agent take care of the name reservation for you, they will do it when you sign up with them.

I also recommend that you keep your Limited Liability Company name as short as possible that is available. You’re going to need to check with the Idaho Secretary of State’s office to determine if the name is available but you can do that through their business name search portal here:

If your name is available, you’ll need to grab it and make sure you can also get the digital version of it too. I discuss with people that the digital version of your business is just as, if not as important, as your mailing address location.

Get a Website Domain for Your Idaho Limited Liability Company

There a variety of ways of doing this but I highly recommend you take a look at using GoDaddy to help you get your domain and they have an amazing website builder you can use too. Get your domain and the ‘.com’ if you can along with using their website builder service too.

Once you’ve gotten your digital website setup for your business and you’re following the process to get your business name setup, we can move into making sure you have your Idaho registered agent setup the right way too.

Choose your registered agent

A registered agent is someone who receives official legal and tax documents on behalf of your LLC. The agent must have a physical address (PO Boxes are not allowed) in Idaho and be available during normal business hours to sign for any delivered correspondence.

While you can act as your own registered agent, I recommend using a professional service like Northwest Registered Agent who is going to include their first year of a Idaho Registered Agent for you as part of the LLC formation service.

The registered agent rules you’ll need to follow are

  • The registered agent must have a physical street address in Idaho.
  • The registered agent can be an individual or business.
  • The registered agent must be available during normal business hours to sign for any delivered correspondence.

There are going to be law firms that offer a registered agent for to use but you’ll need to make sure that professional service is something you want to sign on for. There are going to be organizations that conduct business in Idaho you’ll need to vet and determine if you want to partner with them but they typically are a great way for you to get started.

If you’re wondering about your business entity and if you’ve followed the Idaho LLC formation process the right way, you really should make sure you’re working with a professional service or finding a local law firm to help you that has experience with forming LLCs in Idaho.

Prepare and File Articles of Organization

The first step in forming your LLC is to file the Articles of Organization with the Idaho Secretary of State. The filing fee is $100.

While you can do this on your own, I recommend using a professional service like Northwest Registered Agent who will include this as part of their LLC formation service for you and will take care of it for you.

You’ll need to make sure the Articles of Organization are filled out correctly which includes

  • The name and address of the LLC
  • The LLC’s purpose
  • The name and address of the LLC’s registered agent
  • Whether the LLC will be managed by members or managers
  • The effective date of the Articles of Organization
  • The signatures of the incorporators

You can find more information on what needs to be included in the Articles of Organization here:

Once you’ve filed the Articles of Organization, you’ll need to make sure you’re also filing the correct forms with the IRS and getting your business license as well as making sure your business complies with all local ordinances.

Create an operating agreement

This is my favorite part about helping you as a business owner, single member LLC, foreign LLC, sole proprietorship or just an individual or business entity. Operating agreements are one of the most important legal documents in my opinion because it helps you really clarify what personal assets (if any) you’ve put into the business up front.

If there are multiple LLC members and you’re working to build a real business, you’re going to need an LLC operating agreement.

A Idaho LLC operating agreement should contain

  • the LLC name and address
  • the names of the members
  • how the LLC will be managed
  • the percent ownership of each member
  • voting rights of each member
  • contributions and capital accounts of each member
  • distributions
  • dissolution procedures

While you’re not required to have an LLC operating agreement in Idaho, I highly recommend it. This is one of the key documents that will help you sleep at night knowing your personal assets are protected from any business liabilities. If you’re planning to take on business debts, business funding or start taking in business income you’re going to want to have this built up front.

Once you’ve setup your Idaho LLC operating agreement, you’ll want to make sure you go get an EIN so you can setup a business bank account which you’ll need next.

Get an Employee Identification Number

This is a required step if you’re thinking about running a real business. If you’re a manager managed LLC or a Member Managed LLC, you’re still going to need an EIN. There is no getting around this – go get one.

An Employer Identification Number will allow you to

  • open a business checking account
  • set up payroll
  • file your taxes
  • build business credit Without it, you’ll have a harder time separating your personal and business finances which is one of the key benefits of starting an LLC in the first place.

Fortunately, this process is free and relatively simple. You can apply for one on the IRS website at:

I would also recommend that you use this to start thinking about federal taxes, state taxes, whether to collect sales tax and anything else that you feel like is related to taxes and your business.

Once you’ve gotten your EIN and you’re ready to go – you can head on over to to get your business bank account setup.

Open A Business Bank Account

This is one of the most important things to do when you’re starting a business. You need to make sure that you keep your personal and business finances completely separate.

It becomes real once you have a business bank account setup in your LLC name and you’re starting to see money coming in.

It’s important to have a street and mailing address that you’re going to use for your business structure and identity. It’s time to get your LLC bank account organized so you can make sure as an LLC member that you’re assumed business name is something that will start to track against your Idaho LLC’s EIN.

If you do this and you’ve followed what the Idaho Secretary of State’s office and the Internal Revenue Service say about using your EIN – you are ready to move onto the next step which is making sure you’re covered with business insurance.

Get Small Business Insurance

I recommend heading over to Commercial Insurance who can help you get quotes and figure out what specifically you’re going to need for your business.

There are many types of business insurance you can consider including

  • Product liability insurance
  • Professional liability insurance
  • General business liability insurance
  • Workers’ compensation insurance
  • Business interruption insurance
  • Commercial property insurance
  • Data Breach and cyber security insurance

Depending on the type of business you have, the products or services you offer, your business location, the number of employees you have and other factors, you’ll want to make sure you’re adequately covered.

You don’t need to go overboard, but you should make sure you’re not underinsured either. The best way to do this is to speak with a licensed insurance agent in your state who specializes in small business insurance.

Get an Idaho Business License

The final things you need to do to get your LLC up and running in Idaho are to make sure you’re registered with the local government where your business is located and that you have any necessary business licenses or permits.

If you’re selling physical products, you’ll need to register for a sales tax permit. If you’re providing any professional services, you may need to get a professional license from the state or local government.

The best way to find out what licenses and permits you need is to contact your local Chamber of Commerce or Small Business Development Center. They can help you figure out what’s required for your specific business.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll need to make sure you’re filing the annual report for your business too.

File an Annual Report

Every LLC in Idaho is required to file an annual report with the Secretary of State’s office. The report is due on the anniversary of your LLC’s formation date and it must be filed online. The filing fee is $20.

You’ll need to provide your LLC’s name, mailing address, registered agent’s name and address, and the names and addresses of all the LLC’s members. You’ll also need to include a brief description of your business activities.

If you don’t file the annual report, your LLC will be automatically dissolved. So make sure you set a reminder on your calendar so you don’t forget.

Now that you know how to start an Idaho LLC and you’ve got your business name, registered agent, operating agreement and are ready to go with your website and EIN …. what else do you need?! Taxes … yeah – taxes.

Pay Annual Taxes

Your LLC will need to pay annual taxes to the state of Idaho. The tax is $20 and it’s due on the anniversary of your LLC’s formation date.

To pay the tax, you’ll need to fill out the Business Entity Tax Return form and submit it online with a credit or debit card. You can also mail in a check or money order.

Be sure to keep track of this date and pay the tax on time, otherwise you’ll be subject to late fees and penalties.

And that’s it! You’ve now started your own LLC in Idaho. Congrats!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Go talk to a lawyer if you need specific advice on any of the topics above.


How much does it cost to start an LLC in Idaho?

The filing fee for starting an LLC in Idaho is $100. You’ll also need to pay an annual tax of $20.

Do I need a business license to start an LLC in Idaho?

It depends on the type of business you’re starting and what products or services you provide. Go talk to your local city and county for more details.

Do I need a registered agent service?

Yes, all LLCs in Idaho must have a registered agent.

How long does it take to start an LLC in Idaho?

If you file your Articles of Organization online, it will only take a few minutes for the state to process your paperwork. If you mail in your paperwork, it will take a few weeks for the state to get back to you.

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