Do you own a business operating in the state of Idaho? If so, you may need to acquire licenses and permits to ensure that your company operates in a compliant fashion.

But how do you determine which permits and licenses you need (if any), and where do you acquire them? In this guide to Idaho business licenses and permits, we’ll answer all the tough questions about this process.

Are There Federal Licenses That My Business Needs?

First off, let’s discuss the matter of federal licenses and permits. There are many business activities that are regulated by various federal agencies, from agriculture to transportation and logistics. We recommend taking a look at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s guide to federal licenses and permits to make sure you’ve got your bases covered.

In addition, most businesses should acquire a federal tax ID number, also known as an EIN (employer identification number). This is essentially a social security number for your business, and it enables you to hire employees, pay business taxes, open business bank accounts, and more. You can acquire an EIN from the IRS for free.

What State-Level Licenses and Permits Apply in Idaho?

There’s not a general business license that every Idaho business must obtain, however, there are a variety of licenses for specific locations and business activities that you may need to acquire.

Many licenses are managed at the local level, so you may need to contact your local county clerk for more information. However, you can learn about some tax and professional licensing requirements on the Idaho government website.

Occupational Licenses and Permits

Additionally, there are many occupational licenses and permits required by the state of Idaho. These can vary from Geologists to Midwives. Consult the Bureau of Occupational Licenses website to search for your specific profession and apply for the relevant permits.

Environmental Licenses and Permits

Finally, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality issues permits to regulate “emissions of air pollutants, reuse of recycled water, and treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous wastes.” Not every business will be required to obtain an environmental license, but you should check the DEQ website to see if your business needs to apply.

Which Tax Registrations are Required for Idaho Businesses?

In addition to occupational licenses and permits, there are a number of state-level tax registrations, which are based on the industry you operate in and which business structure your company uses.

Idaho LLCs are not required to pay state income taxes, though corporations are subject to the state income tax rate of 6.925%. Most businesses will need to register with the State Tax Commission in order to file their taxes.

Idaho also has laws regulating certain industries, and industry-specific tax requirements. These include requirements like the beer tax, fuel tax, mine license tax, travel & convention tax, and so on. You can learn more about these tax requirements and determine if they apply to your business by consulting the Business Basics Hub on the State Tax Commission website.

Are There Local Licenses, Permits, or Registrations in Idaho?

The answer to this question obviously depends on where in Idaho you’re operating your business, but there are indeed quite a few licenses, permits, and tax registrations required by Idaho localities.

Most local licenses are managed at the city level. Thankfully, many cities in Idaho provide business resource websites with information about their licensing requirements, including BoiseMeridianNampa, and Idaho Falls. However, if your business is located outside of a city, you can contact your local county clerk for more information.

If we were to break down the exact rules and regulations regarding permitting in every locality in the state of Idaho, this article would become excessively lengthy. With that in mind, we’ll simply say that every business owner should check with their local government to determine whether there are licenses, permits, or tax registrations required to operate in compliant fashion.

Can I Hire Someone to Research Licenses and Permits for My Business?

If this process sounds like a bit of a hassle, that’s because it certainly can be. If you would rather hire a reputable business services provider to handle this for you, that is always an option.

ZenBusiness can research the necessary licenses and permits for your company on the federal, state, county, and municipal levels. We’ll then send you the applications you need to acquire these permits and licenses, meaning all you need to do is fill them out and mail them in. Plus, if you need help with company formation, we can help with that filing as well.


There is no one-size-fits-all answer for the question of which licenses and permits your business might require to operate in the state of Idaho. Instead, it’s important that you know how to access the resources to determine which permits your company needs to operate in a compliant fashion.

We hope this article helped you to do just that, and we wish you good fortune in your business future!

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