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How to Register an Assumed Business Name in Idaho


In Idaho, a business operating under a fictitious business name will need to register for an Assumed Business Name.  Learn more about what an Assumed Name is, who needs one and how to register.

What is an Assumed Name?

An Assumed Business Name (ABN), also known as “Doing Business As,” DBA, Assumed Name or Fictitious Name, is a name used by a business that is different from the legal name of the business.   

When a business wants to operate under a name other than its legal name, the state of Idaho, like most states, requires the company to register its business name.  The registration requirement was designed to protect consumers from business owners hiding anonymously behind the name of a business.

Related: How to start a business in Idaho

What is an Assumed Name good for?

An Assumed Name is required for many businesses to legally operate and provides information on the people operating a business.  In addition to the legal requirement, an Assumed Name offers other benefits such as proving the existence of a business, opening a bank account under a business name, registering a merchant account to accept credit cards, and others.

Who needs to register for an Idaho Assumed Name?

The requirements and need to register for an Assumed Name vary, depending on the type of business entity. 

Sole proprietorships and general partnerships are the most common entities to register for a DBA. 

A sole proprietor or partnership’s legal name can be the owner’s full first and last name, which can be used without registering.  For example, if John Smith starts a business repairing computers but doesn’t use a business name, he doesn’t have to register.  If John decides to name his business John’s Computer Repair, then he will need to register.

Corporations and Limited Liability Companies won’t typically register a fictitious name since a unique entity name is created during the formation process.  Some will file for a DBA if they have another business they want to operate under their corporate/LLC umbrella to keep the liability protection without having to form another entity.

Related: Difference between a sole proprietorship and Limited Liability Company (LLC)

How much does an Assumed Name cost in Idaho?

The cost to register for a Certificate of Assumed Business Name is $25.  


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How long does it take to get an Assumed Name?

The normal turnaround is 3-7 business days.

Idaho Assumed Business Name Registration Form

The form to register for the Certificate of Assumed Business Name is available from the Secretary of State’s website – https://sosbiz.idaho.gov/auth?from=/forms/new/287. The link takes you to the Secretary of State website, and you have to register for an account before filling out the form. 

A physical form is also available and can be picked up at the Secretary of State’s office, Department of Commerce, and many banks and law offices.

What are the steps to file an Assumed Business Name in Idaho?

Step 1 – Check Available Names

In Idaho, Assumed Names are registered by the Idaho Secretary of State – Commercial Division. In order to register a name, the name must be unique and not similar to other registered names. 

Learn more about using the business database search to find available business names in Idaho.

Step 2 – Fill out the Form

The form should only take a few minutes to fill out.  Information needed on the form includes:

  • Type of business
  • Proposed name
  • Name & address of owners

Step 3 – Submit the Form

Submit the form along with the filing fee.

Something to note is that ABN filings are a public record and searchable on the Secretary of State’s website.  This can be concerning for some people who may be starting their business on the side and not wanting their employer to know. 

Are there any words that can’t be used in an Assumed Name?

Assumed Names can’t be registered using words that are related to banking or engineering unless the business is licensed to provide those services.

Also, entity designators such as “corporation,” “Corp,” “incorporated,” “Inc.,” “LLC,” or “Limited Liability Company” can’t be used.

Can someone steal my business name?

While registering your Trade Name will keep someone else from registering the exact same name in Idaho, it does very little from someone else operating a business under that name in other states. If stopping others from using your business name is important, you can protect it through a trademark.

Learn more about trademarking a business name.

Related: What is the difference between a trademark, copyright, and patent?

Does a DBA need an EIN?

An EIN or Employer Identification Number is a unique nine-digit number that some businesses will register for through the Internal Revenue Department (IRS). An EIN is required for partnerships, corporations, multi-member LLCs, or any business that has employees.

Sole proprietorships and single-member LLCs without employees can use the owner’s social security number to identify the business.

There is no cost to get an EIN when registering directly from the IRS.

Related: How to register for an EIN in Idaho


If you have questions about the process, contact the:
Idaho Secretary of State’s Office – Commercial Division
450 N. 4th Street
Boise, ID 83702


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