Numerous state and federal agencies and organizations offer free or low cost assistance to small businesses in Idaho. To learn more about a particular agency or organization and its services, click on a topic below.
Agriculture and Land Use
Business Formation and Expansion
Business Plans – Writing
Business Name or Entity Change
Demographic and Economic Data
Environmental Regulations/Pollution Prevention
Finance and Accounting
Marketing & Promotion
Rural Business Development and Assistance
Scams and Schemes - see Helpful Links
Training (Business Skills Development)
Travel and Tourism
Note: Registering only a business name does NOT create a legal business entity (a sole proprietorship is not a legal entity) and it is NOT a business license. Business licenses are issued by local city or county clerk's offices, not by the state. Filing a business name does not offer protection from liability.
Filing an Assumed Business Name (Doing Business As)
Business names and legal entity forms are registered with the Idaho Secretary of State's office. By completing a legal entity form (Articles of Incorporation, Limited Liability Company Certificate of Organization, Partnership Agreement, etc.), both the business name AND legal structure are registered (assuming the name is available for registration in Idaho). If the business will be a sole proprietorship, only the business name is registered; no additional forms are needed. The name and entity type should be registered before you begin conducting business. For information on choosing a legal entity type, see Legal Structure.
Be aware that business name and entity filings are public records. Any information included on the registration form will be available to the public, including your home address if your business is home-based.
Note: Before 1998, business names were registered with county recorder's offices. If you own or purchase a business that was originally registered with your county, be certain it has been re-registered with the Idaho Secretary of State's Office.
If you change the name of your business or sell or close the business, the Secretary of State's office should be contacted and possibly other agencies as well. For information, see Cancelling or Changing a Business Name.
Name Search: Before registering a business name, a search can be completed to determine whether another business operating in Idaho is currently using the same name or a similar one. Only sole proprietorships can register a name currently being used by another business. Corporations and LLCs must choose a unique name.
Hiring or working with employees or independent contractors? Find links to important resources below.
Child Support Payroll Deductions
Criminal Record/Convicted Felon – Hiring - see Background Checks above
Disabled Employees – Hiring or Accommodating
Employee or Independent Contractor
Employer Identification Number
Employer Tax Incentives/Tax Credits
E-verify (Alien Verification Initiative)
Family and Medical Leave Act
Farm/Agricultural/Migrant Workers/Farm Labor Contractors
Foreign Labor Certification
Health Plans and Benefits
Idaho Labor Laws
Insurance – Workers’ Compensation
Legal Right to Work in the U.S./Employment Eligibility Verification
Licenses – Professional
Military Service – Employer Responsibilities
New Hire Reporting
Rehabilitation of Injured Workers
Social Security/Medicare Withholding
Substance Abuse in the Workplace - see the FAQs page and look for Employer Issues
Taxes (withholding & reporting requirements)
Unemployment Insurance Tax – Federal and State
Veterans – Hiring
Wage and Payment Practices
The forms listed below are the most frequently requested. If you know the agency that administers the form you need and the agency is listed below, click on the link to its website. If the agency is not listed below, you may find it on another page on this site. Check the Menus to find information and forms related to specific business topics and agencies or complete a search using the Business Wizard. If you have visited the Business Wizard and looked at relevant pages on this site and still cannot find the form you are seeking, send us an e-mail. We will attempt to locate it.
ID Secretary of State - Business Entity and DBA Registration
City Clerk's Office - Business Licenses/Occupancy Permits
Bureau of Citizenship & Immigration - Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9)
Idaho Department of Labor
Idaho Division of Building Safety - forms
Idaho Industrial Commission - forms
Idaho Outfitters & Guides Licensing Board - forms
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality - Permits and Forms
Idaho State Police
Idaho Transportation Department
ID Department of Insurance - Forms
Professional Licensing Boards
Some of the forms referenced on this page and in the Business Wizard are PDF files and require Adobe Acrobat software to access them. The software is free.
All businesses need insurance, but how much and what type depends on your business activities. Many types of insurance are available; some are required by law and others are optional. Unless otherwise noted, most insurance can be obtained from an insurance company specializing in business insurance.
For information about a specific type of insurance, choose from the following:Required Insurance:Optional Insurance:
- Business Liability
- Business Interruption
- Business Identity Theft Insurance
- Business Theft Insurance
- Completed Operations(Errors and Omissions)
- Contents Insurance
- Director's & Officer's Liability Insurance
- Employment Practices Liability Insurance
- General Liability
- Home Office
- Product Liability
- Professional Liability
- Property Insurance
- Umbrella (Supplemental Liability)
Prospective business owners register their businesses in at least two, and possibly three ways. Both a legal structure (business entity form) and a name(DBA) must be registered. You may want to consult with an attorney before choosing a legal structure, particularly if more than one person will own the business. (The information on this site does not replace legal advice provided by an attorney.) The legal entity form affects the taxes paid and when and how they are reported, so the assistance of an accountant may be needed as well.
Business names are registered with the Idaho Secretary of State's office before engaging in business activities. If the business will be an LLC or corporation, the name is registered when the entity registration form is filed. Sole proprietorships and partnerships file an Assumed Business Name, also called a DBA. Be aware that business registrations are public records. Any information included on the registration form, including your name and address, will be available for public view.
If the business will have employees or make retail sales, it must also register with the State Tax Commission, Idaho Industrial Commission, and Idaho Department of Labor by filing Form IBR-1. You must do this in addition to registering the business name and legal structure.
Choosing a Legal Structure
- Sole Proprietorship
- Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
- Limited Partnership
- S Corporation
- C Corporation
- Non-Profit Corporation
- Unincorporated Non-profit Association
- Professional Service Corporation
- Limited Liability Company (LLC)
- Professional Limited Liability Company (PLLC)
- Registering a Foreign Corporation or LLC in Idaho
Changing registered information
Information on industry-specific and occupation-specific licenses, permits, and regulations can be found by searching the Business Wizard. After answering a few questions, you will receive a customized checklist of agencies to contact with links to their websites.
City and County Business Licenses: In addition to the state and federal licensing requirements found in the Business Wizard, your business may be regulated by city and/or county regulations specific to your location. Contact your local City or County Clerk or Recorder's office to find out if you need a local business license or other permits.
Alcoholic Beverage Licensing: See the Assistance Resources section of this site.
We do our best to keep this site current when the federal government, Idaho legislature, city councils, and county commissioners add or change licensing requirements. However, WE MAKE NO GUARANTEE THAT THE LICENSING REQUIREMENTS SHOWN ON THIS SITE ARE COMPLETE.
If your business, profession, product, or service is not listed in the Business Wizard, you can verify whether your business is subject to special licensing requirements by contacting your city or county clerk's office, your attorney, or your CPA. If you have exhausted these resources and still haven't found the information you need, you may also Contact Us to research your licensing requirements. All businesses must register a name and entity type. Only business activities requiring additional industry-specific licenses or permits are listed in the Business Wizard.
If you know of a licensing requirement that is not listed or one that needs to be updated, please e-mail us.
Below are the most common taxes a small business or business owner may be required to pay listed by the agencies that assess and collect them. Your business may be eligible for a tax credit or incentive for certain business activities. Agencies offering tax credits are also listed below.
Americans with Disabilities Act
Idaho Department of Commerce
Idaho Department of Insurance
- Hospital and Professional Service Corporation Tax
- Insurance Premium Tax
- Title Insurance Companies - Premium Tax
Idaho Department of Labor
Idaho Industrial Commission
- Workers Compensation Premium Tax - Paid by insurance companies offering workers comp insurance
- Self-insured Employer Premium Tax - Paid by companies that self-insure workers comp coverage (only available to very large corporations)
Idaho State Tax Commission
- Amusement Device and Vending Machine Annual Decal Fee
- Auditorium Districts Local Sales Tax
- Controlled Substance Stamp Tax
- Changing information or Cancelling permit accounts
- Fiduciary Tax
- Gasoline and Fuels Taxes
- License Tax on Electricity (Kilowatt Hour Tax)
- Mine License Tax
- Oil and Gas Production Tax
- Operating Property Tax - public utilities, railroads
- Prepaid Wireless 911 Service Fee
- Travel and Convention Hotel/Motel Tax
- Vacation Rentals/AirBnB Lodging Tax
- Multi-State Uniform Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate - Accepted in 38 states
- Sales and Use Tax (resellers permit)
- Temporary Sales Tax Permit
- Sales tax - contractors who improve real property
- Sales tax - temporary events, Event Promoters
- Sales tax - recreation and admission fees
- Sales tax - on-line sellers
- Sales tax - yard sales, garage/rummage sales
- Local Option city sales tax - collected in 13 cities
- Use tax
Fuel Tax (a form of Excise tax)
Hobby BusinessMedicare Tax (FICA)
Outsourced Payroll and Tax Reporting
Social Security Tax (FICA)
Tax Payer Identification Number (EIN)
Unemployment Tax - Federal
Property Tax (real estate and personal property)