Think about your LLC a year from now: raking in profits and taking Idaho by storm. 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.
While you’re making plans and dreaming big, 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.
Quick Note: If you’d like to keep your costs of starting an LLC as simple and low as possible, consider hiring ZenBusiness – a reliable business formation service. To get a better idea of the value they offer and how it works, we compared them to the two most well known services:
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
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.
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 with the Secretary of State for $100. If you prefer paper forms, you can request one, but the fee will be $120, and for expedited processing, add another $20.
Business and Professional Licenses
Certain types of business 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 it’s own licensure requirements. Your LLC may need multiple licenses; it may need zero. Find out on the state’s Online Services page.
LLC Formation Service
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 LLC formation service. 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 ZenBusiness and Northwest) offer basic LLC formation service like Articles 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.
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 and on-time, 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 Registered Agent Services guide.
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 $500-2000.
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.
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.
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. 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.