Start an Idaho LLC

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Thinking about starting an LLC in Idaho? You’re probably eager to open up shop and start interacting with customers or clients. But before you can do that, you need to file paperwork for an Idaho LLC. And if you want to get the benefits of an LLC, such as separation of your personal assets from those of your business, you need to make sure all legal requirements are completed correctly. 

It’s easy to get consumed by the details, as the process may seem complicated at first. That’s why we’re here to walk you through the entire process of forming an Idaho limited liability company (LLC), step-by-step. Along the way, we’ll also show you how our services can help cut through the red tape so you can focus on running and growing your business.

How to Start an LLC in Idaho

Starting a Limited Liability Company in Idaho

In this guide, we lay out all the steps in an organized manner so that you can get the big picture of what you need to do and all of the relevant details. A clear understanding of Idaho’s LLC formation requirements will put you on the path to launching your new company. 

Learn how the right LLC Idaho partner can support you through this process and provide value to your company once it’s up and running. Once you form an Idaho LLC and all the paperwork is complete, you can focus on growing your company.

Let this guide simplify the Idaho LLC formation process for you so you can start running your business sooner.

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Forming an Idaho LLC

To form an LLC in Idaho, you must file your Certificate of Organization with the Idaho Secretary of State. This creates a public record of your company and allows the state to regulate and communicate with your business on important matters. 

Before you file the associated paperwork for starting an LLC in Idaho, you need to make some critical decisions. After filing the Certificate of Organization, there are additional steps you’ll need to take. This includes creating an Idaho LLC operating agreement, obtaining any necessary professional licenses, and setting up your business to file taxes at the federal, state, and local levels. 

We’ve put together a step-by-step guide to simplify the process of forming an LLC in Idaho.

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Step 1: Name your Idaho LLC

Choosing a name for your Idaho business is the first step in the LLC formation process. Your initial consideration when choosing a name for your Idaho LLC is that it is unique from other businesses in the state. Use our Idaho Business Entity Search page to learn how to do a name check to verify the business name you want is available and not already in use.

To comply with Idaho state law, your company’s name must end with the words “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company,” or the abbreviations “LC,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C.” Nothing in the LLC name can state or imply that it was formed for a purpose different from what is stated in the Certificate of Organization.

Reserve a business name for an LLC in Idaho

If you are not ready to file your Certificate of Organization, Idaho allows you to reserve a business name for four months for a fee. You may do this to make sure your chosen business name is still available in the Gem State. If you’d rather not deal with this process yourself, use our business name reservation service to handle it for you. As part of the service, we also check to see if your desired name is available for a Limited Liability Company. If filing your Certificate of Organization right away, you don’t need to file an Application for Reservation of Legal Entity Name. You can name your business when you file the Certificate of Organization. Although, you may want to reserve the name if you’re worried that someone will snag your business name.

When coming up with a business name, it’s wise to consider securing a matching domain name for your future website. We have a tool to help you do a preliminary domain name search. Our domain name registration service can help you secure the online name that will best serve your company.

File a DBA in Idaho

If you plan on doing business under a name other than your official business name, you can file a Certificate of Assumed Business Name (commonly referred to as a DBA or “Doing Business As” name) after you register your business with the state of Idaho. For example, this is helpful if you want to separate services under different titles or advertise under a name that doesn’t include the required “LLC” at the end. Although, there is a filing fee with this form. Any other associated fees are the same as they are with the name reservation form.

You may also use our quick and easy Idaho DBA service which can save you time, money, and potential headaches.

To make sure you’re entirely in the clear, visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office website. There, you can see whether your business name or logo has a federal trademark. Trademarks can also happen at the state level. To find out if your desired business name is already trademarked or to apply for a trademark of your own, go to the Idaho Secretary of State website page for trademarks.

Step 2: Appoint a registered agent in Idaho

The state of Idaho requires that an LLC have a registered agent for service of process. This means your Idaho LLC must have an entity that agrees to accept legal papers on your company’s behalf should it be sued.

An Idaho registered agent can be a person or a registered agent service. It’s a requirement that they have a physical address in Idaho and agree to receive and forward legal notices to you. The address of the Idaho registered agent cannot be a P.O. Box or anything similar. While you can be your own registered agent, this is generally not advised. It can create conflict or put you in the awkward position of receiving legal papers in front of customers.

Hire a registered agent service

It’s always a good option to look toward hiring an outside registered agent service like ours. Some benefits of a registered agent service include:

  • Ability to move your office location without having to update your registered agent address with the state.
  • Freedom to leave the office, as the Idaho registered agent must be present at the office during all normal business hours.

Step 3: File Idaho Certificate of Organization

To officially form your LLC in Idaho, complete and file the Certificate of Organization with the Idaho Secretary of State. Filing official government documents like this can be intimidating and complicated for many people, which is why we’re here. With our business formation plans, our professionals file for you to make sure it’s done quickly and is correct the first time. But, although we can handle this for you, we’ll show you how the process works below.

You can file the Certificate of Organization online or via paper; either method incurs a filing fee. To file online, you’ll need to create an Idaho SOSBiz account, which you can use to file many other forms.

Idaho has options for expediting your filing for an additional fee. If you’re in a hurry to form your LLC and don’t want to jump through the hoops of the state’s expedited filing processes, we can handle it for you with our faster filing speeds service.

Mail paper forms to the Idaho Secretary of State

Paper forms are mailed to the Office of the Secretary of State and must include payment in the form of a check. You can make checks out to the Idaho Secretary of State.

For those who choose to mail their Certificate of Organization, send all paperwork to:

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

Online payment can be made with all major credit and debit cards for a small transaction fee.

Certificate of Organization requirements

To complete the paperwork, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  1. The name of your LLC
  2. The street and mailing address of your LLC’s principal office
  3. The name and address of the company’s registered agent
  4. The name and address of at least one LLC member or appointed manager responsible for managing the company (note that the form refers to such a person as a “governor”)
  5. The mailing address where you would like to receive annual report notices
  6. Contact information (phone number and email) where you can be reached

View step-by-step directions on how to to file your Idaho Articles of Organization.

Digitally store your Idaho LLC paperwork

If you have us handle filing your Articles of Organization, once the state approves your LLC, your paperwork will be available from your ZenBusiness dashboard, where you can keep it and other important paperwork digitally organized.

Once you get your physical paperwork back from the state approving your new LLC, you’ll want to keep it in a safe location along with your other important documents. These documents can include your LLC operating agreement, member certificates, contracts, compliance checklists, transfer ledger, etc. We offer a customized business kit to help you keep these important documents organized and looking professional.

Step 4: Create an operating agreement

An operating agreement is a document that spells out the day-to-day operations and details of your business. It covers things like who owns what percentage of the business, how profits are distributed, and how decisions are made.

Creating an LLC operating agreement helps set the ground rules between you and your partners before the business takes off. It helps you avoid disagreements and make clear decisions.

Benefits of an operating agreement

While operating agreements are not a legal requirement for LLCs in Idaho, it’s strongly recommended. The benefits include:

  • Protection of personal assets: By spelling out which assets and affairs are tied to the business and not, you add another layer of legal protection between what happens to your business and what happens to you personally.
  • Clearly defined rules: In the absence of an operating agreement, there are default rules set by the state of Idaho for how things work in an LLC. If you want to avoid the default and make it clear how your company should run, use an operating agreement.
  • Assign ownership: The agreement can clearly spell out what percentage of the company each member owns. This includes how much capital they contributed and how any expenses and profits should be shared. This will help avoid any disagreements with your partners down the road.
  • Succession and dissolution: The agreement can include explicit details about who gets your share of the business if something happens. It can also include how things will be divided up if the business dissolves.
  • Business funding: Sometimes, to get business loans or lines of credit, banks will want to see an operating agreement to make sure you’ve given your business serious thought.
  • Mindset: Creating an operating agreement gets you in the right mindset to start a business. It forces you to think about different scenarios and plan accordingly.

Use an operating agreement template

An operating agreement is a legally binding document in the state of Idaho. This means it should be drafted carefully. Unsure how to create one for your LLC? We offer a customizable Idaho operating agreement template to help you start. In terms of peace of mind alone, it’s a prudent investment.

Once you’ve finalized your operating agreement and it’s time for all members to sign, you should have the signatures notarized. This secures the legal foundation of the agreement. However, you do not need to file the finalized agreement with the Idaho Secretary of State or any other entity. You just need to keep it in a secure location with any other business-related documents.

Step 5: Apply for an EIN

You will need an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Employer Identification Number (EIN), also referred to as a Tax ID Number or Federal Tax Identification Number, if you have more than one LLC member, have employees, or meet certain other criteria.

You can get your Idaho LLC’s EIN through the Internal Revenue Service website, by mail, or by fax. If you’re not fond of dealing with that particular government agency, we can get it for you. Our EIN service is quick and eliminates the hassle.

Open a business bank account for your Idaho LLC

Once you’ve secured an Employer Identification Number, you’ll be able to open a business bank account. Having separate accounts for your business and your personal banking is critical for sorting out your finances at tax time. It also helps you avoid commingling funds. Commingling funds can not only make your taxes more difficult, but it could also be used against you if someone takes you to court to challenge whether you and your LLC are truly separate entities.

We offer a discounted bank account for your new business. This allows for unlimited transactions, online banking, a debit card, and more. When you want to authorize others in your organization to use the business bank account, we offer a banking resolution template to simplify the process.

For further help managing your new business’s finances, try ZenBusiness Money. It can help you create invoices, receive payments, transfer money, and manage clients all in one place.

Register with the Idaho State Tax Commission

Your company may need to register with the Idaho State Tax Commission. Whether your company needs to follow this step will depend on the exact taxes it will be collecting and/or has been collecting from the state and whether you have employees.

Visit the Idaho State Tax Commission Business Basics Hub webpage for information on how to register your business to pay taxes. It also explains what types of taxes you may need to pay to remain in good standing.

The Idaho Business Registration System website will assist you in registering with the Department of Labor, Tax Commission, and Industrial Commission to ensure you are set up for any sales or use tax, income tax withholding, unemployment insurance, and more.

Idaho LLC FAQs

  • Before starting the dissolution process, the members of an LLC should vote to dissolve it. For the subsequent steps please refer to our Idaho business dissolution guide.

  • Idaho Business Resources

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