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Idaho LLC Cost

You have big plans, but before your business can officially take off, you’ll need to make a bit of an investment.

And we’re not talking about renting office space or paying employees  before you sell a single product, there are startup costs associated with launching an LLC in Idaho.

Make sure that you consider all the possible costs associated with starting an LLC. To help you out, we’ve compiled the most common Idaho startup fees here.

Bare Minimum Cost to Start an LLC in Idaho

Optional: LLC Name Reservation Fee

    • $20 to file online, by mail, or in person (an additional $20 for expedited processing)

Optional: LLC Formation Service

    • $39 for an LLC service like ZenBusiness and $79 for LegalZoom

Required: Certificate of Organization Fee

    • $100 to file online and $120 to file a hard copy (an additional $20 for expedited processing)

Overall Idaho LLC Formation Costs

LLC Name Reservation Fee

It’s not mandatory to reserve a name before starting your business. Still, if your LLC isn’t quite ready but you have a great name in mind, a name reservation might serve you well. You can pay $20 to place a four-month hold on your name, during which no other company can use it. But if you’re ready to start your LLC right away, you can save $20 by going straight to the Certificate of Organization, which will officially register your name.

To clarify, most states don’t require name reservations, and they’re rarely necessary. If you’re concerned about someone else registering the name you want, you could opt to simply form your LLC instead of reserving the name.

 

Business Domain Name & Website

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Certificate of Organization Fee

This is the big one, the most important (and most expensive) form that you’ll file to start your Idaho LLC. In the eyes of the state, your business doesn’t exist until you’ve successfully filed a Certificate of Organization. Get your LLC on the map by filing an online form or paper form with the Secretary of State for $100. If you fill out a paper form instead of typing your information online, you’ll need to add $20.

The information you’ll need to file your Certificate of Organization includes your LLC’s official business name, your LLC’s principal address, the name and address of your registered agent, the name and address of at least one LLC member, a mailing address for annual report notices, the printed name and signature of your LLC organizer, your phone number, and your email address.

If you would rather get some help for this step, you’re in luck! There are plenty of reputable LLC formation services that will prepare and file your Certificate of Organization on your behalf. You have plenty of options for this service, but we prefer ZenBusiness. They offer great low rates and well-rounded services, and with our exclusive discount code, you can get 20% off!

 

Business and Professional Licenses

Certain types of businesses require licensure with Idaho before starting work in the state. For example, Idaho public accountants must obtain licensure from the state’s Accountancy Board. Plus, each city has its own licensure requirements. Your LLC may need multiple licenses; it may need zero. Find out on the state’s Online Services page.

What are some of the most commonly required business licenses for Idaho LLCs? If your business operates in a regulated industry, you will probably need some sort of professional license to operate in compliance with state law. On the municipal level, things like alarm permits, building permits, and zoning permits are all very common.

 

LLC Formation Website

Starting an LLC can be a complicated and time-consuming process. If you want to spend less time on paperwork and more time planning your business, you might opt for an Idaho LLC website. These services take care of the registration process for you, so you don’t have to spend the time on research, paperwork, and filings.

Most of these services (like LegalZoom and ZenBusiness) offer basic LLC formation service like Certificate of Organization filing, tax consultations, and phone/email support for a flat rate, with options to pay more for premium packages with premium services like Employer Identification Numbers, operating agreements, and expedited filing.

There are many different companies offering LLC formation services these days, and it can be tricky to tell which one is the right choice for your needs. We think ZenBusiness and IncFile are the two best LLC formation companies, and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend either of them to our families and friends.

 

Registered Agent Service

Appointing a registered agent is an important part of your LLC formation process. Your registered agent is responsible for handling sensitive legal and tax documents and keeping your business compliant with Idaho business law. In short, you need an agent you can trust.

While you can be the registered agent for your own LLC, this puts pressure on you to keep up with business filings and potential legal disputes. Sometimes it’s better to hand off that responsibility to a professional. A registered agent service ensures that your annual reports and other forms are filed efficiently, saving you from the penalties of delinquent filings and the stress of having to do it yourself.

Not all registered agent services are equal, so you’ll need to be careful in choosing one. Fortunately, we’ve done some research for you, and we recommend Northwest Registered Agent. In addition to registered agent services, Northwest also handles LLC formation — and they’ll include a registered agent free for one year when you form your business with them. We think they’re the most reliable choice, but if you’d like to evaluate all your options, check out our Best Services guide.

 

Attorney Fees

If you have questions or concerns about the LLC formation process or if it’s the best business structure for you, sometimes it’s best not to take chances and consult an attorney. They’re not cheap, but they can provide essential business advice, professional filing assistance, and peace of mind.

Some attorneys offer free consultations (usually 30-60 minutes) but will charge by the hour after that. On average, business attorneys charge between $150-350 per hour. Some will offer a flat rate for setting up an LLC, which can range from $500-2,000.

Cost variations depend on the experience and location of the lawyer, and there’s a whole ocean of lawyers out there, so choosing one can seem overwhelming. With so many options, how can you be sure you’re hiring the right person? Sites like Avvo offer free databases of lawyers, so you can search by rate, area of expertise, location, and more. Research Idaho business attorneys there.

If you don’t want to go digging for your own attorney, we compiled the following list of highly rated business lawyers in Idaho. All of these attorneys are primarily focused on the business world, they all receive five-star ratings from clients, and they all have excellent Avvo ratings.

 

Foreign Qualification Fee

This only applies if your LLC was formed in another state and is now expanding into Idaho. Foreign LLCs don’t have to file a Certificate of Organization. Instead, they file a “Foreign Registration Statement.”

All foreign business entities are required to foreign qualify in Idaho, or they could incur some pretty severe penalties. Before transacting business in Idaho, file your “Foreign Registration Statement” online (hard copies are available by request). The filing fee is $100 for online submissions and $120 for paper ones. Like the Certificate of Organization, this is a one-time filing, so once it’s accepted you can move on and you won’t have to worry about it again.

 

LLC Annual Fees

As an Idaho LLC, you will need to file an annual report with the Secretary of State each year. The good news? It’s free! You’ll need to file by the end of your LLC’s anniversary month, but you won’t have to pay. File online, or you can request a hard copy.

The information required to file your annual report includes your LLC’s name, your LLC’s principal business address, the name and address of your registered agent, the name and address of at least one LLC member, your title, your signature, and the date.

For more info on annual reports for Idaho LLCs, check out our full article on this topic!

 

Taxes

Idaho makes annual fees and taxes easy on its LLCs. It doesn’t require an annual report fee, and it doesn’t impose a “franchise” or “privilege” tax on businesses. However, you may have to pay sales and use taxes if your LLC sells merchandise, or unemployment insurance taxes if your LLC hires employees.

The federal government classifies LLCs as “pass-through” entities by default, meaning that the business itself doesn’t file a tax return — only its individual members do. But you have the option to have your LLC taxed like a corporation, and if you’ve taken this route, the company will be subject to the 6.925% corporate income tax.

What if I Don’t Pay?

Looking at all these fees, you might be thinking: how can I pay less? While you might be tempted to look for loopholes or find a way around them, this could cause you bigger problems in the future.

For example, if you fail to file your annual report, there won’t be a late fee, but if it’s more than 60 days overdue, your LLC will be administratively dissolved. The same goes for registered agent updates — if you fail to notify the state or go 60 days without an agent, you risk dissolution. The Secretary of State sends a notice of dissolution to any business with outstanding filings or fees, and if they aren’t reconciled within 60 days, the LLC is dissolved.

An LLC that has been dissolved can no longer transact business in the state, nor can they obtain a Certificate of Existence, which is necessary to foreign qualify in other states, apply for business loans, renew professional licenses, and more.

Planning Your Expenses

By now, your budget spreadsheet might be looking a little crowded, but have no fear! Most of these are one-time fees that you won’t have to worry about again. Plus, with all these on the books, there won’t be any surprise costs when you register an LLC in Idaho.

Soon, you’ll have these fees behind you and you’ll be forging ahead, growing your business and earning profits. As you do, make sure to keep up with the few recurring fees — like annual reports and registered agent updates — so your business doesn’t fall out of good standing.

Key Steps for Starting an Idaho LLC

  1. The first step to forming an Idaho LLC is to come up with a good name for your business. You’ll want to make sure the name you want is still available and hasn’t already been claimed by another business, so you’ll need to search the state’s business database to verify its availability.
  2. Next, you’ll need to choose your registered agent. While you can legally serve as your own registered agent in Idaho, this role can actually be more of a hassle than you might expect. That’s why we always recommend hiring a reputable registered agent service that can handle the responsibility of this position on your behalf.
  3. The third step involves the preparation and filing of your Certificate of Organization. You’ll need to fill out the paperwork and pay a $100 fee. Once the state processes this document, your LLC will be officially open for business!
  4. That’s not the end of the road for the startup process though, as you’ll also need to create an operating agreement for your LLC. There is no legal requirement for Idaho LLCs to have written operating agreements, but it’s still an extremely important element of any LLC. The operating agreement is an internal document that outlines how your LLC will operate, and there are several aspects of this document that can prevent messy ownership disputes down the line.
  5. You will also need to acquire a federal tax ID number (also known as an EIN, or employer identification number). This is essentially a Social Security number for your business, as it is a nine-digit code used to file taxes, hire employees, open business banking accounts, and more.
  6. Next, you’ll need to register for any relevant taxes with the Idaho State Tax Commission, and also obtain all licenses and permits that apply to your business type. Keep in mind that, depending on the nature of your business, you might require licenses from the federal, state, county, and municipal governments.

Once you’ve finished all of these steps, you’re ready to operate a compliant business entity with the state of Idaho!

Key Steps for Maintaining an Idaho LLC

After you’ve completed all of the items in the previous section, you’ll need to focus on maintaining your LLC. The first step in this process is to open a business bank account. This will help you keep your business and personal expenses entirely separate, and it will also help immensely with your accounting and taxation responsibilities.

You should also keep detailed records of every financial transaction that takes place with your LLC. This means maintaining a file of invoices for every purchase and sale you make, along with information regarding your employees or contractors and the work they perform for your business.

As we already mentioned, annual reports are a key component of LLC maintenance in this state, and there are harsh financial penalties for delinquent reports. Additionally, you might want to hold an annual meeting to discuss goals and priorities for your LLC, although this is an optional step.

The Top 3 Idaho LLC Services

If you want to hire a reputable LLC formation service to handle the heavy lifting on your behalf, these are the three companies we trust and rely on the most.

  • ZenBusiness ($39) – ZenBusiness offers a well-rounded LLC formation package at a great low rate. Their standard LLC package includes a full year of registered agent service, an accounting assessment, and a customizable operating agreement. ZenBusiness also receives stellar customer feedback.
  • IncFile (FREE) – That’s not a typo! IncFile really does form LLCs for free. Even better, they include 12 months of registered agent service in their free package. IncFile has a ton of experience and more than 500,000 satisfied customers, so they’re always a reliable choice.
  • Northwest Registered Agent ($225) – Northwest offers a bit more of a premium service, but if you have the money, we think it’s worth it. Like ZenBusiness and IncFile, Northwest also includes a year of registered agent service with the purchase of any LLC formation package. They also offer the best customer support in this industry, with knowledgeable representatives who are familiar with the details of business formation processes in every state.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before we wrap things up, let’s take a look at some of the most common questions we hear from readers regarding the LLC formation process in Idaho.

What are the state business tax rates in Idaho?

If your LLC is taxed like a sole proprietorship or general partnership, you’ll need to pay taxes on your business income at the state’s personal income tax rates (between 1.125% and 6.925%, depending on your income level). If your LLC is taxed like a corporation, you’re required to pay Idaho’s 6.925% corporate income tax on your business revenue.

How quickly does Idaho process LLC formations?

The Secretary of State should be able to process your LLC’s formation within 7-10 business days. If you’re in a hurry, you can pay a $20 expediting fee to shorten your turnaround time to roughly eight working hours.

How many small businesses are there in Idaho today?

The state of Idaho is home to nearly 170,000 small businesses. Entrepreneurs of all backgrounds and business types find that Idaho is a great place to own and operate a small business.

What are the top small business resources and websites in Idaho?

The Idaho chapter of the Small Business Development Center is a great place to start, as they offer a wide variety of tools and resources for Idaho LLCs. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Boise District Office is another valuable resource, and the state’s small business resource page also has plenty of good info.

Should I form my LLC in Idaho, or choose a state like Delaware or Wyoming?

Some people like to form their LLCs in states with favorable legal settings. For instance, Delaware is often seen as the most business-friendly state, as it has an entire court system that’s dedicated solely to business matters. As for Wyoming, this state has some of the most generous anonymity laws for LLC ownership.

However, for most people, your best option is to simply form your business in your home state. Forming in a different state can be a tremendous hassle, and it can add some unnecessary complexity to tax issues as well.