- Step 1. Naming Your Idaho LLC
- Step 2. Choose a Registered Agent
- Step 3. File Your Articles of Organization
- Step 4. Create an Operating Agreement
- Step 5. Get an EIN/Tax ID Number
- Step 6. Keeping Your LLC Running
- Idaho LLC Resources
- Idaho LLC FAQs
Step 1. Naming Your Idaho LLC
One of the very first things to consider when creating your LLC is a name. What you select for your business should be unique and separate from any other LLCs in the state, in addition to following a few Idaho LLC naming rules.
Legally Required Designation
According to Idaho LLC regulations, your chosen LLC name is required to contain the phrase “limited liability company” or one of the following abbreviations:
- Limited Company
To ensure that the name you select for your LLC is completely unique, you can run a search of business names through the search tool on the Idaho Secretary of State’s website. If you find that your chosen name is available, you can file an Application for Reservation of Legal Entity Name.
This document reserves your desired LLC name for up to four months ahead of filing and can be submitted online or through the mail. There is a $20 filing fee if you choose to file online or a $40 fee for filing it through the mail (send the typed form to the address listed on the document).
Additionally, while you are looking for your LLC name, you may also want to perform a search of available domain names. Purchasing a domain name that matches your business ahead of time can save you stress when it comes time to set up your official business website.
When choosing an LLC name, keep in mind that you cannot include any words that confuse your business with a government entity. This includes words like “State Department,” “Treasury,” or “IRS.”
You should also be aware that using words such as “trust,” “attorney,” or “chiropractor” may require the presence of a properly licensed individual in your LLC and filing separate paperwork. Idaho does allow for the formation of professional LLCs, but only in certain professions. Keep in mind that there may be additional licensing and state requirements that you need to meet when forming a professional LLC. More information on state requirements can be found here.
Using an Assumed Name
LLCs operating in Idaho are permitted to use an assumed or DBA (doing business as) name for their business. This means you continue to use your legally registered LLC name on all official documents but use your assumed name when interacting with the public. This allows business owners to market their LLC a specific way or maintain an extra level of privacy with their business.
If you would like to use an assumed name for your LLC in Idaho, you need to register your chosen name with the Secretary of State’s office. You can do this by filing a Certificate of Assumed Business Name either online or through the mail. Filing online holds a $25 filing fee, and submitting your document through the mail will cost $45.
Step 2. Choose a Registered Agent
Any LLC that operates in Idaho is required to appoint a registered agent, also called an agent for service of process. Your LLC’s registered agent will be responsible for receiving all legal documents, government communications, and tax documents, essentially acting as a contact point between your business and state or federal agencies. They will also be the responsible party in the event of a lawsuit against your LLC.
You can appoint any Idaho resident or a business that is authorized to conduct operations in the state as your registered agent. As long as your appointee has a valid Idaho street address and is available during regular business hours, they are eligible to be your registered agent.
The Idaho Secretary of State provides a list of commercial registered agents that you may want to use here.
Step 3. File Your Articles of Organization
The last step in officially establishing your LLC in Idaho is to file a Certificate of Organization Limited Liability Company with the Secretary of State’s office. This document needs to contain essential information about your business for the state to keep on file, some of which you can preview below:
- Your LLC’s name
- Your LLC’s principal office address
- Your LLC’s registered agent name and address
- Your LLC’s mailing address
- The signature of your LLC’s organizer
- The name and address of one of your LLC’s managers or members (depends on whether your LLC is member-managed or manager-managed)
You can file your Certificate of Organization either online or through the mail. There is a $100 filing fee for online filing or a $120 fee for filing through the mail. You may also choose to pay an additional $40 for expedited filing or $100 for same-day processing.
If you want to file your Certificate of Organization online, you need to access the correct form through the Secretary of State’s online business filing portal here. Once you have selected the document, you will be asked to log in or create an account. After you have an account, follow the instructions to input your information and file the form online. Upon submittal, you will be asked to pay the $100 filing fee and any expedited service fee you wish to choose.
To file your Certificate of Organization through the mail, you need to type your information into this form and print it off. Place the form into a secure envelope, along with a check made out to the Idaho Secretary of State for the $120 filing fee and any applicable expedited service fees. Then, send the sealed envelope to the address below.
Office of the Secretary of State
450 N 4th Street
PO Box 83720
Boise ID 83720-0080
Step 4. Create an Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is not required for LLCs in Idaho, but it can be highly advisable to create one for your business anyway. An effective operating agreement will set clear guidelines for how your LLC is managed, the rights that members or managers have, and what to do in the event that your LLC dissolves or experiences a lawsuit.
If you choose not to create an LLC operating agreement, Idaho LLC law will dictate how your LLC is to be managed in the event of dissolution, conflict, or lawsuit. This may not be in your best interest, so if you want to protect yourself and your assets, an operating agreement is a good idea.
Step 5. Get an EIN/Tax ID Number
After your LLC has been established in Idaho, you need to apply for a Tax ID number, also known as an EIN (Employer Identification Number), through the IRS. Any LLC that has more than one member — or for any single-member LLC that wants to hire employees or chooses to be taxed as a corporation — is required to apply for an EIN.
Your EIN will identify your business to the IRS on all tax documents and necessary government filings; the number acts much like a social security number for your LLC. If you want to hire employees, file federal taxes, open business bank or credit accounts or apply for business funding, you need an EIN.
It is free to apply for your EIN with the IRS, and you can file the application online or by mailing it in. Keep in mind that if you are a foreign filer or do not have a social security number, you need to file for your EIN through the mail.
The quickest and easiest way to apply for your EIN is online; you will receive your number once your application is completed. Visit the IRS website to apply for your EIN for free.
You need to fill out this form when applying for your LLC by mail. If you are a foreign filer or do not have a social security number, leave section 7b blank. Mail the completed form to the address below. You can follow up on any questions with the IRS at (267) 941-1099.
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Step 6. Keeping Your LLC Running
There are several important business tasks that you need to keep up with on a regular basis to ensure your LLC stays operating as smoothly as possible.
File Annual Reports
Every LLC that conducts business in Idaho must file an annual report with the Secretary of State’s office. This report is due each year by the end of the LLC’s anniversary establishment month and must be filed online; there is no filing fee for the report.
It is important to note that if you have not filed your report within 60 days after the due date (the end of your LLC’s establishment month), you risk being involuntarily dissolved by the state. If this happens, it will cost you $30 to file a reinstatement and have the Secretary of State place your business back into good standing.
Separate Your Business Finances
LLCs in Idaho are not required to open separate business bank accounts, but you may want to do so anyway. A business bank account can keep your LLC’s finances separate from any personal ones; this officially establishes the LLC as an independently operating business. This is something that will work to protect your assets in the case of a lawsuit against your business.
When establishing a business bank account, you most likely need to show essential internal LLC documents, such as your Articles of Organization, an operating agreement, or your business’s EIN. Make sure to compare all your options before making a choice on which bank account type to open as different banks will have varying minimum required balances or credit spending limits; you want to be certain that you select the best option for you and your LLC’s needs.
Keep Up With Federal and State Taxes
It is important that you keep up with both federal and state taxes while running your LLC in Idaho, as this will help you avoid any major tax penalties or fines.
Federal Tax Requirements
There are several different tax structures you can choose to use in your LLC that may meet different company needs; each tax structure comes with its own unique type of federal taxation. This article can help you gain an in-depth understanding of the differences between each type and help you decide which is best for you.
In general, most LLCs are taxed as sole proprietorships or partnerships. This means you are expected to file Schedule C along with your individual income tax return to declare any income that you receive through your LLC. When using this tax structure, you should keep in mind that you most likely need to pay self-employment tax (which has a rate of 15.3%), in addition to any income tax. You may also need to make quarterly estimated tax payments to avoid any IRS fines; the IRS website gives more details on this.
If you want, you can choose to have your LLC taxed as a corporation, like an S Corporation or a C Corporation. You need to fill out IRS Form 8832 and IRS Form 2553 to declare this. After these forms have been processed, your LLC will be treated as a corporation and expected to file a separate corporate tax return with the IRS.
Idaho Business Taxes
Idaho does impose a general business tax on LLCs in the state, but the amount you are liable to pay depends on the individual tax classification of your business. If your LLC is taxed as a sole-proprietorship or partnership, you likely need to pay at least $10 minimum in annual taxes, and members of your LLC may also be required to report their business income on their individual state tax returns.
LLCs that are taxed as either S or C corporations need to file a separate state corporate tax return. There is also a minimum tax for LLCs treated as corporations, which is currently calculated at a flat rate of 7.4 percent, plus an additional $10 fee.
For more information on Idaho state business taxes, you can check out the business tax guidance information on the Idaho State Tax Commission’s website.
Sales and Use Taxes
Any LLC that sells goods or services can be liable to pay sales and use taxes to the state. This tax is handled by the Idaho State Tax Commissions. Information, including on how to calculate and pay this tax, can be found here.
State Employer Taxes
If your Idaho LLC will hire employees, you need to pay both withholding and unemployment insurance taxes. The Idaho State Tax Commission handles withholding taxes (more information can be found here) and unemployment insurance taxes can be registered for and paid through the Idaho Department of Labor.
Acquire Necessary Permits and Licenses
There is no general business permit or license requirement in Idaho, but your LLC may be required to acquire certain permits or licenses on a local level. You can check with the County Clerk’s Office in the area that your LLC will be operating for more information on this.
If you will be running a professional LLC or offering some type of professional service through your business, you may also have to obtain certain state licenses. You can find out more information on business licensing on the Idaho government website here.
Additionally, you may also need to obtain specific permits and licenses for your LLC on a federal level. Again, this depends on the type of business you run and the professional services you offer. For help determining if you need to meet additional federal licensure requirements, you can use the directory on the US Small Business Administration’s website.
Idaho LLC Resources
The following collection of resources can help guide you through every step in the Idaho LLC establishment process.
- Available LLC name search
- Reserve an LLC name
- Available domain name search
- Register an Assumed Name
- Certificate of Organization Limited Liability Company
- Idaho online business filings
- Idaho business forms
- IRS EIN application
- Annual Report online filing
- Idaho business tax information
- Idaho State Tax Commission
- Idaho Department of Labor
- Idaho business licensing information
- S. Small Business Administration
Idaho LLC FAQs
The list of frequently asked questions below can help clarify any questions you have about starting your LLC in Idaho.
In Idaho, it will cost you $100 to file your Certificate of Organization online or $120 to file it by mail. You may also need to pay $20 to reserve an LLC name online ahead of time, or $25 to register a DBA name online for your business. Additionally, you may want to opt for expedited processing on your Certificate of Organization which can cost $40 or $100, depending on the service speed.
The cheapest way to start your LLC in Idaho is to file your Certificate of Organization online without first reserving an LLC name, registering an assumed name for your business, or paying for an expedited service fee. Doing it this way only costs $100 to get your LLC set up in the state.
How much your Idaho LLC pays in taxes depends on the individual taxation structure that you have set up for your business. In addition to federal taxes, you likely need to pay state business taxes, sales and use taxes, or state employer taxes.
Make sure to meet with a financial advisor or tax professional if you have any confusion or concerns regarding your LLC’s overall tax burden.
In Idaho, every LLC is required to file a state report annually. The report is due by the end of the LLC’s anniversary establishment month each year and must be filed online. There is no filing fee associated with this form.
If you are finished conducting business under your LLC, you need to file a Statement of Dissolution with the Secretary of State’s office. There is no fee for this form when it is filed online, or you can pay a $20 fee if filing through the mail.
Additionally, you need to consult any operating agreement or internal documentation that you have to proceed down the agreed-upon terms and wrap up any loose ends with your business.