Idaho nature view of mountains and a lake.

There are many steps you need to take when starting a business in Idaho. These steps will help you protect your business and yourself as it grows. These steps will help you start a Idaho business.

Step 1: Make a business plan

Are you ready to start your entrepreneurial journey? Before you start your journey down the startup path, it is important to first create a business plan. This plan will be required by lenders, investors, and grantors if you need financial assistance. This plan will serve as your guide when you are faced with difficult situations, so don’t skimp on it.

To write your business plan:

  1. Describe your Idaho business idea. What problem or need does it solve? This is the best way for you to begin your business plan.
  2. Market research: Market research will allow you to identify your strengths and weaknesses in order to distinguish yourself from competitors.
  3. Make a commitment to “SMART” goals (Specific, Measurable. Attainable. Realistic. Timely).
  4. Imagine what could go wrong. What if your supply chain gets disrupted? How can you continue to provide your product or service so that customers don’t lose it?
  5. Be specific about your ideal customer: Are they tourists? Residents? What about other businesses? What is their age? What age are they?
  6. Identify cost: You’ll need to consider both people and things, as well any business loans that you might have.
  7. Select a business location: If you plan to open a storefront, it is important that your business location be in a good location.
  8. Visualize growth: Describe now how your business might grow.

The State of Idaho’s Commerce Division hosts a wealth of information about starting a business, including more information on business plans.

2: Select a business structure

Idaho’s small businesses choose the right business structure for their industry, personal finances and the business opportunity.

You, the owner, must decide how to structure your business entity. There are many types of businesses available, each with its own pros and cons.

Sole Proprietorships

These unincorporated businesses are easy to start up and are available as sole proprietorships or GPs. While taxation is simple, sole proprietors and general practitioners are subject to personal liability in the event that something goes wrong.

One example is when someone sues the business and seeks the personal assets of the owner.


Corporations offer liability protection. If your business goes under, you can protect your home, bank accounts and other assets. C corporations have a less than ideal tax structure that taxes income at both the corporate and personal levels.

S corporations offer liability protection, but they are more difficult to qualify for.


An Idaho LLC can offer the best of both worlds. While LLCs are more complicated and require more setup fees than sole proprietorships, there are many benefits. An LLC legally separates your personal assets and the company. This is the biggest benefit. Are you ready to set up your Idaho LLC? Read about the top LLC services in Idaho.

It provides personal liability protection in the event that the business goes bankrupt or is sued. You will still be taxed only once on income in your personal tax return. This is just like a sole proprietorship.

With our business formation plan, we can help you file the paperwork necessary to create an LLC or corporation.

Start an LLC in Idaho


3. Determine your business’s costs

It is important to determine what financial resources you will need to launch and maintain your business. These costs can help you make your dream business a reality.

Startup costs

Typically, startup expenses are one-time costs. These expenses can be accounted for in the amount of money needed to get your company off the ground. You won’t likely get customers or sales right away.

This means that you will need to calculate how much it would cost for your company to run for six to twelve months. Your new company will have the financial freedom to succeed if you assume zero income for that period.

When forming an LLC or corporation, a registered agent needs to be appointed.

Forgoing costs

Listed below are some of the costs that you could include in your calculations:

  • Real estate or rent costs
  • Idaho registered agent
  • Equipment
  • If necessary, the cost of hiring employees
  • Marketing materials
  • Inventory
  • Office supplies
  • Registering your business costs
  • Taxes

4: Start a business

The most fun and creative part of starting a business is choosing the right Idaho business name. Many people choose names that are memorable and resonate with their customers. Some choose names that are meaningful to them. No matter what your choice, the name must be unique in Idaho.

Register a Business Name

Before you file your paperwork for business formation, it is a good idea to reserve your Idaho Secretary of State name. The cost of reserving your name online is $20

Register a domain name

It’s smart to have an online presence when choosing your business name. Your business name could be taken even if it is already in Idaho. It could be more difficult for you to go online if the domain name of another company is similar to yours.

You will need to register an DBA if you plan on doing business under a different company name than your legal business name.

5: Register your Idaho company and open financial accounts

To find out which regulations are applicable to your Idaho business, use’s Business Wizard before you register it with the Idaho Secretary Of State. ZenBusiness can help you form your business quickly and in a way that suits your needs.

Apply for an Employer Identification Number

You will need an EIN from the IRS if you are starting an LLC/corporation. This is your federal tax ID and it will be used to hire employees.

Business insurance

Once that’s done you can open a bank account to start looking into the types of insurance you might need.

6: Promote your Idaho business

You’re now legally allowed to do business in Idaho. Now you need to help your customers find and contact you. To increase your sales, you must create a marketing plan that is specific to your target customers. You can create web content, improve your search engine optimization (SEO), and find the right print ads to distribute to potential customers.

Social Media

Businesses will need to have a strong social media presence, such as on Facebook or LinkedIn. This will not only improve your SEO but also help you build a network of potential customers. You can do market research to determine what is best for your business and then make a plan.

Additional Resources

Learn more about the Idaho Small Business Development Center’s marketing tools and your local network.

Idaho Business Openings: Benefits

Idaho is a great state to open a business because of its favorable regulatory environment, low tax rates, and strong economic outlook. Businesses have access to a variety of tax credits for purchasing equipment and hiring employees.

These are just a few of the many reasons Idaho, and Boise specifically, is a great place to start a company.

Idaho also has low startup cost. Idaho has a low minimum wage that businesses can pay to employees and a low median rent rate for residents. It is easy to start your business. Idaho is an easy state to verify all legal requirements for your business.

Start a legal business entity in Idaho

  • Idaho Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Idaho Professional Limited Liability Company
  • Idaho Corporation
  • Idaho Nonprofit Corporation

Idaho has many examples of good businesses to start

Idaho has the ability to export goods and services to the Pacific Northwest as well as the Mountain West. Idaho’s central location and natural resources are two of the reasons Idaho businesses do well. Here are some good examples of Idaho businesses you can start.

  • Health at home
  • Employment agency or staffing
  • Trucking/transporting farmed goods
  • IT and back office services
  • Financial services
  • Farming
  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Retail stores
  • E-commerce
  • Quarrying or mining
  • Services in the food industry

Consider businesses that are in line with your strengths to maximize your chances of success. To see which companies are located in each industry, you can visit the Idaho profile of the Small Business Administration.

Bottom line

If you know how to get your business off the ground, Idaho is a great place to start a new business. You need to choose the right type of business for you and plan how you can be successful. This checklist will help you get started in Idaho and avoid costly mistakes.

Idaho makes it easy to start and operate a business. Idaho exempts more than 90% of businesses from personal property taxes. It also has the lowest corporate taxes. There are many steps you can take to ensure your business grows.

Idaho Business FAQs

  1. What is the cost of starting a business in IdahoThe cost to start a business in Idaho depends on the industry and business type. You can however register your Idaho LLC online for the $100 state filing fee.
  2. What license do I need to operate a business in Idaho?Idaho does not require a business license. You may need to be licensed depending on the product you are selling and whether you hire employees.
  3. Where is the best place to start a business?Your industry and your customers will determine which city is right for you. Boise, Idaho Falls and Coeur d’Alene, a northern getaway spot, are great places to start.
author avatar
Brian Wilson Writer and Editor
Brian Wilson is the content manager and founder of LLC Radar. Brian grew up in North Texas, just outside of Dallas, and has a bachelor's degree in business from Southern Methodist University. Since graduating from SMU, Brian has gained over 10 years of experience in business writing for several online publications. Brian resides in Plano, Texas and he can be reached by email: Phone: 972-776-4050
  Information provided on this website is for general information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to offer legal advice specific to your business needs. If you need legal advice, you should consult with an attorney. Rankings and reviews are the personal opinions of the authors and/or editors. For questions, while starting a business, we recommend consulting with an attorney or accountant.