Idaho Official Government Website

Register a Business

Registering a Business in Idaho

Follow these steps to establish your business in Idaho. All businesses, including home based ones, need to register their name and entity type with the Idaho Secretary of State before engaging in business.  The exception is sole proprietors who use their full name (first and last unless a common name, then include the middle initial) as part of the business name. Those who use only their first or last name must register.

Step 1: Choose Your Business Legal Structure

You may want to consult with an attorney before choosing a legal structure (LLC, corporation, partnership, etc.), 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 tax reporting dates and methods, so the assistance of an accountant may also be needed.

More Info on Business Legal Structures

Step 2: Register Your Business Name and Entity

After you choose your legal structure, you need to register it with both the state and the federal government. 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 as a part of the entity registration. Sole proprietorships and partnerships file an Assumed Business Name, also called a DBA. The Secretary of State’s website includes a tutorial on how to register your business online.

Business registrations are public records. Information included on the registration form, including your name and address, will be available to the public. You must be 18 years old to register a business.

FinCEN: Effective January 1, 2024 new businesses have 90 days in which to register with FinCEN, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The purpose of registration is to determine the ultimate owner and financial beneficiary of the business. There is a hefty penalty, imposed daily, for failure to register. Existing businesses must register by January 1, 2025.

Idaho Secretary of State More Info on Assumed Business Names FinCEN

Step 3: Register With State Agencies

If the business will have employees, makes retail sales or provides lodging, it also registers with the Idaho State Tax Commission, Idaho Industrial Commission, and Idaho Department of Labor by filing Form IBRS. This form should be completed after registering the business name and legal structure with the Secretary of State. If you will not have employees, make retail sales or are not engaged in the lodging industry, do not complete this form.

Out-of-state employers: If you are an out-of-state employer with one or more employees living or working in Idaho full time, part-time or seasonally, contact us for direction on how to proceed. What you will need to do depends on what your employee/employees will be doing. Please indicate what they will be doing.


Optional Step 4: Apply For a Business License

Idaho does not have a state business license. Rather, business licenses are issued by local city clerk’s offices and many cities do not require them.  Contact your city clerk’s office to find out if you need a business license or a home occupation permit. Check here for a list of city clerk’s offices in Idaho.

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