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Legal Structure

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 also be needed.

Business names and entity types 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 

The following legal structures (business entity types) are recognized in Idaho. For information, click on the name. To find a comparison chart of the attributes of each business type, click here: Business Entities comparison. If a married couple plans to start a business together, see Married Couples in Business on the IRS website before choosing an entity type.

Changing or cancelling registered information 

The Secretary of State’s office must be informed when registered information changes. Corporations and LLCs must file annual reports. For information on these topics, click the links below:

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