How to Start an LLC in Idaho (Step-by-Step) 2024 Guide

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Starting an Idaho LLC, step-by-step

Starting an Idaho LLC costs $100. And it takes 7 days to get an LLC in Idaho.

How to start an LLCHere are the 5 steps to forming an LLC in Idaho:

  1. Choose an LLC Name
  2. Select a Registered Agent
  3. File a Certificate of Organization
  4. Create an Operating Agreement
  5. Get an EIN

If you want to form your LLC yourself, follow our free guide below.

If you want someone to take care of it for you, we recommend hiring Northwest Registered Agent

Need to save time? Hire a company to form your LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

(We recommend Northwest. We've reviewed all the top companies in the industry. And Northwest is our #1 pick for prices, customer support, and address privacy. Check out Northwest vs LegalZoom to learn more.)

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

It costs $100 to start an LLC in Idaho.

The $100 is to file the Certificate of Organization – the document that creates an LLC.

To learn more about LLC Costs, see LLC Costs in Idaho.

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

If you file your LLC by mail, it will be approved in 5-7 business days (plus mail time).

And if you file online, your LLC will be approved in 5-7 business days.

Please see How long does it take to get an LLC in Idaho to check for any delays.

Here are the steps to forming an LLC in Idaho

1. Search your LLC Name

LLC namesSearch your Idaho LLC Name to make sure it’s available in the state.

You need to do this because two businesses in the state can’t have the same name.

First, search your business name and compare it to existing businesses in Idaho. You can make sure the LLC Name you want is unique from existing businesses using the Idaho Secretary of State: Business Search.

Second, familiarize yourself with the naming rules in Idaho (so your Idaho LLC gets approved).

We’ll explain both in more detail here: Idaho LLC Name.

2. Choose an Idaho Registered Agent

The next step is to choose an Idaho Registered Agent.

Registered AgentAn Idaho Registered Agent is a person or company who accepts legal mail and state notices on behalf of your Idaho Limited Liability Company.

Who can be an LLC Registered Agent?

You have 3 options for who can be the Registered Agent:

  • You
  • A friend or family member
  • A Registered Agent Service

The Registered Agent for your LLC must have a physical street address in Idaho. PO Boxes aren’t allowed.

And the Registered Agent’s name and address will be listed on public records.

If you don’t have an address in Idaho, or you want more privacy, you can hire a Registered Agent Service for your LLC.

We recommend Northwest Registered Agent

Our favorite feature about Northwest is they’ll let you use their office address throughout your LLC filing. This way, you can keep your address off public records.

They’ll also scan any mail sent to your LLC and upload it to your online account.

Northwest has excellent customer service, and they’re who we trust to be our own Registered Agent.

Special offer: Hire Northwest to form your LLC ($39 + state fee), and you'll get a free year of Registered Agent service.

(Why is Northwest the best? Read our Northwest Registered Agent review)

3. File Idaho LLC Certificate of Organization

Articles of OrganizationTo start an LLC, you need to file the Idaho Certificate of Organization.

This gets filed with the Idaho Secretary of State.

The Idaho Certificate of Organization costs $100 if you file online.

This is a one-time fee to create your LLC.

If you want to file this yourself, see our step-by-step guide: Idaho Certificate of Organization.

Or, you can hire a company to do it for you.

Need to save time? Hire a company to form your LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

(Learn why Northwest is #1 in Northwest vs LegalZoom)

4. Create an Idaho LLC Operating Agreement

Operating AgreementAn Idaho LLC Operating Agreement serves as a “companion” document to the Certificate of Organization.

The Certificate of Organization creates your LLC, and the Operating Agreement shows who owns the LLC.

Additionally, some banks require an Operating Agreement when you open an LLC bank account.

And having an Operating Agreement will be very helpful if you ever end up in court. Reason being, it helps prove that your LLC is being run properly.

That’s why we recommend that all LLCs have an Operating Agreement – including Single-Member LLCs.

Furthermore, an Operating Agreement is an “internal document“. Meaning, you don’t need to file it with the state or the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). Just keep a copy with your business records.

You can download a free template below.

Then, learn how to fill it out by watching our step-by-step Idaho Operating Agreement video.

Download a free LLC Operating Agreement:
Member-managed: Google DocWordPDF
Manager-managed: Google DocWord

(What's better? See Member-managed vs Manager-managed LLC)

5. Get an EIN for your LLC

The next step is to get an Idaho EIN Number from the IRS for your LLC.

Note: An EIN Number is also called a Federal Tax ID Number or Federal Employer Identification Number.

EIN Number for an LLCAn EIN Number is used to:

  • identify your LLC for tax purposes
  • open a business bank account
  • apply for business licenses and permits
How much does an EIN cost?

Getting an EIN Number from the IRS is completely free.

How long does it take to get an EIN?

If you apply online, it takes 15 minutes.

If you apply by mail or fax, it can take 1-3 months.

How can I get an EIN?

US Citizens/US Residents: If you have an SSN or ITIN, you can apply for an EIN online. Follow these instructions: Apply for an EIN online.

Non-US Residents: You can’t get an EIN online, but you can still get one by fax or by mail. Follow these instructions: How to get an EIN without an SSN or ITIN.

What do I do after my LLC is approved?

After your Idaho LLC is approved, there are some additional steps.

Open an LLC business bank account

You’ll want to open a business bank account for your LLC.

This makes accounting and record-keeping much easier for your business finances.

Having a separate business bank account also maintains your personal liability protection. This is because it keeps your business finances separate from your personal finances.

Get Idaho business licenses and permits

Business LicenseGood news, Idaho doesn’t have a state general business license.

However, depending on where your LLC is located, you may need a local business license or permit.

For example, if you want to start a daycare, you may need a business license from the city or county.

You can learn more on our Idaho Business License page.

File your Idaho LLC Annual Report

LLC Annual ReportAll Idaho LLCs must file an Annual Report every year.

The Annual Report keeps your LLC in good standing with the state.

How much does an Idaho LLC Annual Report cost?

It costs $0 (free) to file your Annual Report.

When is the Annual Report due?

Your Annual Report is due by the last day of your LLC’s anniversary month.

For example, if your LLC was approved on March 15, your Annual Report is due by March 31.

When is my first Annual Report due?

Your first Annual Report is due the year after your LLC was approved.

For example, if your LLC was approved on March 15, 2024, your first Annual Report is due by March 31, 2025.

How do I file my LLC Annual Report?

You can file your LLC’s Annual Report online or by mail. We recommend the online filing because it’s easier to complete.

Follow our step-by-step guide here: Idaho LLC Annual Report.

File and pay taxes

LLCs don’t pay federal taxes. Instead, the LLC Members pay the taxes for the LLC.

Said another way, the owners pay taxes for the LLC as a part of their personal tax return.

How will my LLC be taxed?

By default, an Idaho LLC is taxed by the IRS based on the number of owners your LLC has:

  • A Single-Member LLC is taxed like a Sole Proprietorship.
  • A Multi-Member LLC is taxed like a Partnership.

Alternatively, you can ask the IRS to tax your LLC like a C-Corporation or S-Corporation.

Married Couples: Instead of having your LLC taxed as a Partnership, married couples can elect to be taxed as a Single-Member LLC (aka Qualified Joint Venture). This is allowed in Idaho because Idaho is a community property state.

Besides federal taxes, there are also state and local income taxes – and sales tax. Learn more in Idaho LLC Taxes.

How to Start an LLC in Idaho FAQs

Can I start an LLC online in Idaho?

Yes, you can file your LLC online in Idaho. The Certificate of Organization filing fee is $100.

When you start your LLC online, it will be approved in 5-7 business days.

What are the benefits of an LLC?

The first benefit of an LLC is protecting your personal assets. Meaning, if your business is sued, your personal assets – like your home, cars, and bank accounts – are protected.

This protection applies to all LLC owners (called LLC Members). It doesn’t matter if you have a Single-Member LLC or Multi-Member LLC. All of the LLC owners are protected from the business debts and liabilities.

This type of protection wouldn’t apply if you operate as a Sole Proprietorship or Partnership. With these types of informal business structures, the owners aren’t protected in the event of a lawsuit. For that reason, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are a much more popular business structure.

Another benefit is LLC pass-through taxation. This means the LLC itself doesn’t pay federal income taxes. Instead, the profits “pass through” to the LLC Members. And the Members pay the taxes on their personal tax return.

And Idaho state income taxes are very similar, since the state honors the federal tax treatment of your LLC.

To learn more, please see How are LLCs taxed.

Is Idaho a good state to start an LLC?

Whether Idaho is a good state to start an LLC depends on where you live – and where you’re doing business.

Meaning, if you live in or do business in Idaho, then you should start your LLC in Idaho. While many websites talk about tax rates and advantages of certain states, none of that applies if it’s not the state where you live and do business.

For example, if you form an LLC in Wyoming, but live in and conduct business in Idaho, you’ll also need to register your Wyoming LLC in Idaho (and pay extra fees). And you’ll end up paying Idaho taxes anyway. This ends up leading to more costs and more headaches with no advantages.

In summary, if you live in and conduct business in Idaho, then yes, Idaho is a good state to start a business. If you don’t live in and do business in Idaho, then no, Idaho isn’t a good state to start a business.

Real estate exception: If you’re purchasing real estate outside of Idaho, you should form your LLC in the state where the property is located.

For more information, please see Best State to Form an LLC.

Idaho State Agencies

Idaho Secretary of State
Website: Idaho Secretary of State
Phone: 208-334-2301
Hours: Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm, Mountain Time

Idaho State Tax Commission
Website: Idaho State Tax Commission
Phone: 208-334-7660 or 800-972-7660
Hours: Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm, Mountain Time

Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz is the leading expert on LLC education, and has been teaching for 15 years. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
 
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

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5 comments on “Idaho LLC”

Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.

  1. I am not sure what to put down for Line #2 on the Idaho Certificate of Organization form. It asks for the complete street and mailing address of the principal office. Our LLC is being formed to own and manage a farm in Idaho that my siblings and I recently inherited. It is leased to a local farmer. We don’t have an office in Idaho and none of us live there either. Can we use the registered agent address for this Line #2? The next line (#3) on the form asks for the name and complete street address of the registered agent. I am assuming that we will fill in the registered agents address for Line #5 as well. It asks for Mailing address for future correspondence (annual report notices). Can we use the registered agent address for Line 2 in addition to Line 3 and 5? Thanks!

    • Hi Cynthia, as to whether or not you can use your Commercial Registered Agent’s address in #2 (and #3 and #5), you’ll need to contact the Registered Agent company and check. Some allow this and some don’t (I know that Northwest Registered Agent does allows this).

      If they don’t allow it, you can enter an address located in any state for #2 and #5, but not #3. #3 must be an Idaho Registered Agent address which must be located in Idaho. Hope that helps.

      • Thanks so much, Matt. That is very helpful! I have been learning so much from your website. I was feeling pretty confident that I could follow the steps you have outlined and do the filing to form our LLC ourselves either on the Secretary of State website or with Northwest Registered Agent. However, one of my siblings is adamant that we retain an attorney to make sure everything is set up properly because none of us have any business experience and she is afraid we will make mistakes. I do think we might need help writing the operating agreement, but thanks to your clear explanations the rest seems dead easy. Our family relationship is most important and we are resolved to give and take as needed to make things work. Thanks again.

        • Hi Cynthia, you’re very welcome. There’s nothing wrong with hiring an attorney to form your Idaho LLC and draft your Operating Agreement. I hope things went over well!

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