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Whether you’re researching the availability of a business name or checking the status of a business entity, find the information you need from the Idaho Secretary of State’s website.
The Secretary of State Business Entity Database provides information for not only corporations and LLCs registered in Idaho but also sole proprietorships and general partnerships.
There is no fee to search the database.
What information can be looked up?
The database search can find several pieces of information about the business. Some of the highlights include:
- Filing Type – Corporation, Limited Liability Company. Etc.
- Status – Active-Existing means the business is in good standing with the Secretary of State and all reports and filing fees are up to date
- Term of Duration – The business entity intends to operate indefinitely
- Principal Address – This can be either the physical address of the business or an address where business records are stored
- Registered Agent’s information – A Registered Agent is the singular point of contact for the entity should a legal or tax notice need to be sent to the business. This is often one of the owners and if their home address is used, that address becomes public information. Many people find this concerning and use a Registered Agent service like Northwest Registered Agent or IncFile so their home address isn’t listed.
- Initial Filing Date – Date the entity was filed with the Secretary of State
How to do an Idaho Business Name Search
Visit the Idaho Secretary of State website.
1.Enter the name you would like to use in the “Business Search ” field. In this example, we will look up “Lawn & Order” to see if it is available to register.
2.Searching the registered names, we get a list of all the businesses with the words “Lawn & Order”. In order to register a business name with the Secretary of State, the name has to be unique from other corporation or LLC names. Assumed names do not have the same requirement.
To find more information about each of the registered business names, click on the business name. In this example, we will look up “Lawn & Order LLC”.
3.Clicking on the link for “Lawn & Order LLC” brings a detailed report. In addition to the information, below, you can also click on the “View History” button and see an image of the original Certificate of Organization.
5.To see an example search for a name that isn’t being used, we can search for “Cowboy Cleaners”. This search brings no results. While final approval is still with the Secretary of State, it is likely available to register.
These are the basics of searching for a business name in Idaho. Even when the name of the business you want is available, the Secretary of State will make a final determination at the time of filing to ensure the name you picked isn’t too similar to other registered names.
How do I form an LLC?
Before starting your business and forming an LLC, be sure to do the business entity search first to make sure the name is available to use. Once you know the LLC name is available, learn how to form an Idaho LLC by reading our step-by-step guide on filing the Certificate of Organization.
While not required in Idaho, an Operating Agreement, which are the rules for how the LLC operates, may be a document worth considering especially for multi-member LLCs.
After forming a Limited Liability Company, be sure to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This is a “social security number” for the business. There is no cost to get one through the IRS.
After forming the LLC, Idaho business licenses and permits may still be necessary.