How to Start an LLC in Idaho: Ultimate Guide (2024)

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    For small businesses, the LLC business structure is among the most effective options available. However, starting an LLC in Idaho may also be overwhelming at times. The extensive range of choices available may make you uncertain about where to begin. 

    This article will put you through the process of starting an LLC in Idaho. It will walk you through the 7 essential steps required to establish your own LLC and provide you with relevant information to enable you to make informed decisions at every stage of the process. 

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    Pros and Cons of Starting LLC in Idaho

    LLCs, just like any other business structure, come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages that are crucial for business owners to weigh before choosing one. Let’s examine the benefits and drawbacks of LLCs in Idaho, and so that you can know whether this business entity is appropriate for your specific requirements.


    Here are the benefits of LLC in Idaho

    Limited Liability Protection

    Forming an LLC in Idaho provides business owners with limited liability protection, which is a primary reason why many entrepreneurs and business owners prefer this business structure. When an LLC has limited liability protection, its members’ personal liability is restricted to their investment in the company, and they cannot be held accountable for any financial obligations or legal problems of the LLC. 

    This offers a level of security that is not available in sole proprietorships or partnerships, making LLCs an attractive choice for businesses that are exposed to various financial and legal risks. In the event of the LLC being sued or going bankrupt, the members’ personal assets cannot be seized to cover the company’s debts.

    Allows Business Owners to Take More Risks

    Limited liability protection also empowers business owners to take more calculated risks and pursue growth opportunities without fearing the loss of their personal assets. For instance, if an LLC in Idaho defaults on a loan, the lender can only collect from the company’s assets and not the members’ personal assets. 

    This protection encourages business owners to invest more in their businesses, innovate, and pursue new opportunities, leading to increased economic growth in the state. 

    Pass-Through Taxation

    In the case of an LLC, any profits and losses are transferred to the personal tax returns of its members, thereby exempting the LLC from paying federal income taxes. This taxation system, known as pass-through, presents a notable benefit for small businesses since it enables them to steer clear of the dual taxation that corporations are liable for.

    Pass-through taxation simplifies the tax filing process for LLCs as they only need to file an information return with the IRS, reducing the time and cost associated with tax compliance. Additionally, this structure offers flexibility to LLC members, as they can allocate profits and losses among themselves based on their ownership percentage in the LLC. Read more about LLC taxes here.

    Flexibility in Management

    LLCs in Idaho provide a flexible management structure, allowing business owners to choose between managing the company themselves or hiring professional managers to oversee operations. The degree of flexibility provided ensures that entrepreneurs can arrange their management team in a manner that corresponds with their objectives and needs.

    Furthermore, the operating agreement of an LLC in Idaho can be customized to meet the specific needs of the business owners, providing even more flexibility. This means that the LLC can be tailored to fit the unique management and operational requirements of the business, including profit and loss allocation, decision-making processes, and management responsibilities.

    Easy Formation

    Forming and maintaining an LLC in Idaho is a hassle-free process that can be completed by business owners without professional assistance. Starting an LLC in Idaho is a straightforward process that involves filing the Articles of Organization with the Idaho Secretary of State and paying the requisite fees. This simplified procedure allows entrepreneurs to initiate their businesses promptly.

    Furthermore, LLCs in Idaho are simple to maintain. The LLC is obligated to submit annual reports to the Secretary of State, which only entail fundamental details about the company, including the name and address of the registered agent. 

    These reports can be completed online, saving business owners time and effort. By simplifying the process, entrepreneurs can concentrate on expanding their businesses instead of getting bogged down with administrative responsibilities.


    Creating an LLC in Idaho can improve the credibility of a business, especially when opening a business bank account. In contrast to sole proprietorships or partnerships, LLCs are viewed as more credible and reliable, which can lead to increased prospects. For example, some good LLC banks offer partnerships, financing, and business expansion.


    Additional Cost

    Although forming an LLC in Idaho is typically cost-effective, there are additional expenses associated with it that may not exist in other business structures. Filing fees and annual report fees are examples of these costs. These expenses can accumulate over time and may become a financial burden for some small businesses.

    Limited Lifespan

    One disadvantage of forming an LLC in Idaho is its limited lifespan. If a member dies, withdraws, or declares bankruptcy, the LLC will dissolve unless the operating agreement specifies otherwise. This can be a disadvantage for business owners looking for long-term stability for their company, particularly those who want to pass on their business to future generations or sell it to potential investors.

    7 Steps on How to Start LLC in Idaho

    Here are seven detailed steps on how to open LLC in Idaho:

    1. Hire a Registered Agent

    Your LLC’s successful registration in Idaho depends on obtaining a registered agent who will receive important legal documents on your behalf. It is mandatory for this agent to be a resident of Idaho, at least 18 years old, and have a physical address within the state, regardless of whether it is an individual or a business entity.

    If you cannot act as your own registered agent, you can opt to engage a company that is registered with the Secretary of State’s office. The expense of employing a registered agent company may vary from $35 to $300 per annum.

    2. Check the Availability of Your Business Name

    To ensure a smooth LLC filing process, it is important to verify the availability of your desired business name in Idaho before submitting the paperwork. By conducting a swift search on the Secretary of State’s website, one can verify if a particular name is available.

    It is important to keep in mind that the name of the company must contain the phrase “limited liability company” or “limited company,” or their shortened forms “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” or “L.C.”

    If you’re not immediately forming your LLC, you can reserve the name for up to four months by submitting a Reservation of Legal Entity Name form. There is a $20 fee for online filings and an additional $20 fee for manual submissions.

    If you prefer not to file online, you may send your paperwork via mail to the Secretary of State’s office located at 450 N. 4th Street, P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0080. Alternatively, you have the option of submitting your forms in person at the office.

    3. Expedition and Additional Fees

    When submitting LLC documents in Idaho by mail or in person, a $20 manual handling fee is usually applicable. Additionally, there are expedited processing fees of $40 and a $100 fee for same-day filing service. These fees and options can impact the cost and processing time of your Idaho LLC formation.

    To avoid the $20 manual fee, it’s advisable to file your LLC documents online.

    4. Submit a Certificate of Organization for Idaho LLC

    In Idaho, registering a domestic LLC requires filling out the Certificate of Organization paperwork and paying the mandatory $100 fee. Foreign entities interested in conducting business in Idaho will be required to pay the same fee as domestic entities, but they must submit a Foreign Registration Statement form instead. Furthermore, foreign LLCs must present a Certificate of Good Standing or Existence, which cannot be older than 90 days from the date when the registration statement is finalized.

    The typical processing time for LLC registration is seven to ten days. Nevertheless, it is possible to accelerate the process by paying extra charges to have your paperwork processed within eight hours.

    5. Write an Operating Agreement for Your LLC

    An LLC operating agreement acts as an essential guide for running your LLC operations. Though it may not be legally mandatory, it is often necessary for establishing the legitimacy of an LLC. The operating agreement outlines important details.

    This may include various aspects such as the voting power of proprietors, financial rights and obligations, protocols for managing outgoing owners, and even the day-to-day operations of the enterprise.

    6. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

    The government requires most businesses to obtain an EIN for tracking purposes, but single-member LLCs without employees have the option to use a Social Security number instead. Obtaining an EIN, even if not mandatory, may be advantageous for heightened security and personal privacy.

    These numbers are also referred to as Federal Employer Identification Numbers (FEINs) or Federal Tax Identification Numbers (FTINs) and can be acquired at no cost through the IRS website.

    7. Submit an Annual Report

    In Idaho, LLCs must submit an annual report each year to maintain their good standing with the state. Although there is no fee for this requirement, it is mandatory. These reports can be submitted online through the state’s SOSBiz portal, and they must be submitted on the anniversary of the LLC’s formation.

    FAQ on Starting LLC (Frequently Asked Questions)


    To establish an LLC in Idaho, it is necessary to undertake critical measures such as choosing a distinct business name, submitting Articles of Organization, acquiring licenses and permits, obtaining an EIN, drafting an operating agreement, enrolling for taxes, and designating a registered agent.

    Following these steps enables entrepreneurs to create their businesses as LLCs in Idaho, which provides several advantages.