Before applying for a business license in Idaho, you will want to have your business name and legal structure established. This way, you won’t have to worry about revising your business license in the future.
Register your business in Idaho
All Idaho businesses must register their business name and legal structure with the Office of the Idaho Secretary of State before doing business in the state. Sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies (LLCs) are all required to register with the state.
If you are registering a sole proprietorship, all you need to do is file your alleged business name with the office of the Secretary of State. This form costs $25 to file online. Partnerships will need to file the same form, along with a Declaration of Partnership Authority, which costs $100 to file online.
If you are registering an LLC or a corporation, you do not need to file an assumed business name. The business name used on the articles of incorporation of the certificate of organization will be recorded. The Idaho Secretary of State charges $100 to file the certificate of organization online and $120 to file it by mail.
You should research available business names (not used by another business) in Idaho to ensure that you can use the desired business name. It’s worth taking the time to make sure your business name is different and not trademarked by other businesses operating in Idaho. You can also file the Legal Entity Name Reservation Request with the Idaho Secretary of State for only $20. ($40 if filing a paper form) and reserve your name for four months.
Complete the IBR-1
If your business has employees or does retail sales, you will also need to complete the IBR-1.—Idaho’s business registration app. There is no cost to complete this document, and if you submit your application online, you will receive the permit within ten days. Mailed applications can take up to four weeks to arrive. To complete it correctly, you will need the following:
- Business Entity Classification (Business Type)
- Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- All social security numbers of directors and owners
- Company legal name
- Officer/Ownership Titles and Ownership Percentages
- Home addresses and telephone numbers of all officers and owners
- Date and state of incorporation
- All previous withholding, sale, use, workers’ compensation, or unemployment insurance numbers in Idaho
- Name and telephone number of the workers’ compensation insurance agent
- Worker’s Compensation Insurance Policy Information (if available)
- Date employees/officers began working in Idaho
- Amount of wages paid or to be paid each quarter
Application Information can also be viewed online at the Idaho State Government Enterprises website.
Contact the City Clerk’s Office and other relevant agencies
Once you have filed the proper paperwork to register your business in Idaho and obtained the Idaho Vendor Permit, you should get to work obtaining your business license.
Depending on where your business is located and the industry you operate in, you may need to obtain local, state, and federal business licenses. The best way to determine which licenses you will need is to use the trade wizard and contact your city clerk’s office. You should also know enough about the Idaho regulations in your area before starting your business.
Massage therapists, barbers, CPAs, doctors, electricians, contractors, therapists, liquor companies, chiropractors, radio station operators, dentists, physiotherapists—and many other professions—will need to obtain a combination of a professional license, local business license, state business license, and federal business license.
Professional licenses, such as that required for dentistry, have strict requirements which may include education, experience and passing a state certification exam. Local, state, and federal business licenses and permits aren’t as strict in their requirements, but they may require you to complete federal background checks, inspections, and fingerprinting.
In Idaho, you can apply for business and professional licenses online, although you may have to complete some requirements in person. The same rule applies to business licenses and permits at the federal level. If you have all the necessary documents for your application, you can usually get your license in 30 days.
You can find application materials on the website of the relevant Idaho regulatory board, your city or county clerk’s website, and the websites of other state and federal agencies. and license commissions who oversee your industry.