What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in Idaho?

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Starting a business in Idaho will mean potentially registering with a number of federal, state and local agencies.  Let’s take a look at common licenses and permits a business will register for in Idaho.

Business License – There is no general state of Idaho business license, however many cities require businesses to be licensed in order to operate. Rules for business registration vary depending on location and what the business does.  Below are a few cities that have licensing requirements. 

Boise – Only certain types of businesses in Boise are licensed such as restaurants, childcare facilities, massage establishments and others. 

Nampa The City of Nampa licenses a few types of businesses such as alarm installers, amusement businesses, businesses selling alcohol and others.

Idaho Falls – Business serving alcohol, care for children, sell second hand goods and others need to register with the City of Idaho falls.

Employer Identification Number (EIN) – Many businesses will register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for an EIN or Employer Identification Number.  The EIN is the business equivalent for a Social Security Number for an individual.  Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships and Sole Proprietorships with employees will all need to register for one. Sole Proprietorships without employees can use the owner’s Social Security Number. 

There is no cost for an EIN and it only takes a few minutes to get.

Learn how to apply for an EIN.

Idaho Seller’s Permit – Idaho requires retailers doing business in Idaho to get a seller’s permit and collect sales tax on the sale of goods they ship or deliver to customers in Idaho. All retailers doing business in Idaho must file regular Idaho sales tax returns to pay the tax they collect.

Generally speaking, physical products sold at retail are taxable within Idaho, while services are generally not taxable.

To register for the Seller’s Permit, you will need to file Form IBR-1, “Business Registration Form” with the Idaho State Tax Commission.  Learn more about registering for an Idaho Seller’s Permit.

Resale Certificate – Businesses purchasing merchandise to resell will usually want to obtain an Idaho Resale Certificate in order to not pay sales tax for merchandise that is being resold to customers.

Professional License – A variety of professions in the state are regulated and need to be registered before offering certain services.  A few common professions that require licensing in Idaho include; appraisers, collection agents, therapists, driving instructors, outfitters and many more.   Additional information, fees and licensing requirements for professions are available from the State of Idaho.

In addition to professional licensing, there are a few other types of businesses that need licensing in Idaho, including food establishments, daycares and many others

Assumed Business Name Registration – While not a business license, it’s common for Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships operating under a name that is different from the full name of the owner(s) to register for an Assumed Business Name (also known as a Doing Business As or DBA) with the Secretary of State.

These are a few of the most common business licenses, but there are way too many licenses and permits in Idaho for us to keep track of. Before starting your business, check with the City Hall, County Clerk, Chamber of Commerce and/or Economic Developer in your area to get more information regarding business licensing.  Additionally, there are companies like IncFile or CorpNet that can do the research to ensure you have the proper federal, state and local licenses.