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The Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a popular business entity choice structure for many businesses starting in Idaho The LLC provides personal liability protection and has the potential to save money on taxes. With a little research, you can learn how to form an LLC in Idaho without an attorney.

Unlike a sole proprietorship or partnership where the small business owner can be held personally liable for lawsuits against the business, the LLC is a separate legal structure, protecting for the business owner’s personal assets.

Related: How Does an LLC Protect You?

Besides the liability protection, the Limited Liability Company provides several other benefits over the sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation because of the multiple tax options, ease of administration and management flexibility.

Forming an LLC in Idaho is something most people can do on their own, but it’s nice to have some support in case you have questions or get stuck.  IncFile and Inc Authority provide LLC formation guidance for only the cost of the state fees!

The LLC filing fee is $100 and approval for the LLC typically takes 1-2 weeks.

HOW TO FILE THE CERTIFICATE OF ORGANIZATION AND FORM AN IDAHO LLC

To get started, create a SOSBiz account with the Secretary of State.

Then select Start a Business

How to Form an LLC in Idaho

After that, select Certificate of Organization Limited Liability Company and then “File Online”

Idaho LLC Certificate of Organization

Step 1: Name the LLC

If you previously reserved a name you can select to proceed using that name in the LLC filing.  It isn’t required to have a name reserved before filing the LLC as that option will be available in the next screen.  If a name has been reserved, select “Yes”, otherwise select “No”.

Idaho LLC Reserved Name

If the name has not been reserved, enter the name you wish to use.  The name of the LLC also has to differ from other entity names registered with the Secretary of State.  You can check on available LLC names before filing.

The name of the LLC must include one of the following designators at the end of the business name:

  • Limited Liability Company
  • L.L.C.
  • LLC
  • L.C.

A comma may be used after the business name and before the designator.  “Cowboy Cleaners LLC” and “Cowboy Cleaners, LLC” are both acceptable.

Before finalizing a name, learn more about LLC Name Requirements in Idaho. You may also want to see if a domain name is also available to have a matching website address.

Enter the name you want to use and again to ensure it was entered correctly.

Register an LLC name in Idaho

 

Step 2: Entity Address

In this section, enter the street address, city and zip code of the initial principal office.  This address can be the physical address of the business, an address where business records are stored or the address of a registered address.  A PO Box may not be used.

Idaho LLC Principal Office Address

Step 3 Principal Office Mailing Address

If you want correspondence from the Secretary of State to be sent to a different address than the principal office, enter that address here.  A PO Box is acceptable.  If the address is the same as the principal office, select the copy button to automatically fill in the fields.

ID LLC Mailing Address

Step 4: Registered Agent

To have an LLC in Idaho, a Registered Agent must be identified.  The Registered Agent is either a resident of Idaho (select Noncommercial or Individual under Agent Type) or a registered agent service (select Commercial under Agent Type and search for the company).  The agent must have a physical address in the state to act as a point of contact to receive legal documents, tax notices, summons, subpoenas, etc on behalf of the LLC.

Even though the business owner can be the registered agent, their name and address become public record and with that comes a loss of privacy. This is more important for some entrepreneurs, especially when they are doing business from home.

Learn more about the requirements of a registered agent in Idaho.

Idaho LLC Registered Agent

 

Step 5: Governor Information

The Governor is either a member (owner) of a manager-managed or member-managed LLC.

  • Manager-Managed LLCs have managers hired by the members to run the LLC, similar to a CEO of a corporation.
  • Member-Managed LLCs have members (owners) that are active in the day-to-day operations of the business.

Most LLCs are member-managed.

At least one governor has to be listed.

Click on Add until all of the governors of the LLC are listed.

Idaho LLC Select Governor

 

Step 6: Confirm

Confirm that all of the information is correct.

Step 7: Declare and Sign

By signing, the organizer agrees that the information being entered is public information and will appear online, the organizer is authorized to sign on behalf of the LLC and is certifying the information in the Certification of Organization as it is entered.

Have only one of the organizer’s sign.  

Learn more about who can be an LLC Organizer.  

Step 8: Pay and File

Pay and file the Certificate of Organization.

In approximately 1-2 weeks, the LLC will be approved.

 

If you have questions, contact the Idaho Secretary of State:

Main Office
450 N. 4th Street
Boise, ID 83702

Phone – 208-334-2301
Email – business@sos.idaho.gov

Tasks After Forming Your LLC

Once the LLC has been formed, there are a few additional steps to take care of. Below is a list of the most common tasks.

Prepare an Operating Agreement

The operating agreement is a document that governs the framework of an LLC.  This document covers items like ownership rights, member responsibilities, how profits and losses are distributed and more.

Most states do not require an LLC to have an operating agreement but it is still worth considering. Without an operating agreement:

  • The LLC could be subject to generic state rules that may be detrimental in the event of a lawsuit
  • Member’s personal liability protection may be diminished
  • Members may not have a full understanding of their roles and responsibilities which could lead to costly disputes in the future

Related: Idaho operating agreement template

Obtain an EIN

The EIN or Employer Identification Number is a unique 9-digit number for a business. Similar to a social security number for an individual, the EIN identifies business entities for tax purposes.

The EIN will be needed in order to open a bank account, register for business licenses and permits, file tax returns, pay payroll taxes and more.

Related: How to Apply for an EIN

Open an LLC Bank Account

Opening a bank account for your LLC is important for liability protection as the account separates the business’s funds from the member’s personal funds.

Several documents will be needed to open a business bank account such as:

  • A banking resolution is a document that authorizes the members to open a business bank account on behalf of the LLC.
  • Copies of the original formation paperwork from the state showing the creation of the LLC.
  • Driver’s licenses of the members.
  • Depending on the age of the LLC, a Idaho Certificate of Good Standing may be needed to prove the LLC is active and in good standing with the state.

Related: How to Open a Business Bank Account for your LLC 

Apply for Business Licenses and Permits

Depending on what your business does and where it is located, there will likely be a variety of business licenses and permits to register for before starting. Some common registrations include:

  • Business License – Some cities require businesses to obtain licensing before they can start. In some cases, even home-based businesses must have licensing in order to legally operate.
  • Professional License – Certain services such as day cares, appraisers, salons and others must be licensed.
  • Seller’s Permit – In order to sell products and certain services, registration with the Idaho State Tax Commission.

Related: What Business Licenses are Needed in Idaho?

File Annual Reports

LLCs are required to file an annual report with the Idaho Secretary of State.  The annual report updates ownership information and other details.

Related: How to File a Idaho LLC Annual Report