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If you are getting started and not sure where to begin, review the list of everyday things that new Idaho businesses need. 

Idaho Home-based Businesses

A home occupation may require a special use permit from the Planning and Zoning Commission. 

State and Federal Requirements

  • Registering a business entity – You will need to select the best Idaho business entity for your industry, tax planning goals, limited liability, and potential investors. 
  • Alcohol sales – Beer and wine licenses or liquor licenses from the State of Idaho Alcohol Beverage Control Department are required before obtaining a city or county alcohol license. 
  • Business name registration – Any person or persons doing business in Idaho under a business name must register with the Secretary of State.
  • Federal employers tax ID number – Every person without a previous tax number who pays wages to one or more employees or is required to file any federal reports must apply for a tax identification number.
  • State business license – All Idaho businesses in Idaho state must have a business license to operate legally. 
  • Occupational licensing – A state business license may be required for some professionals or facilities such as certified public accountants, doctors, contractors, or salons. 
  • Resellers permit – This is for Idaho businesses that will need to buy supplies wholesale. Idaho’s reseller permit will need to be presented for the wholesale company to wave sales taxes. 
  • Sales tax permit – This permit will allow you to collect taxes from your customers and then pay the state. 

Starting a New business in Idaho

What you Need to Operate Legally

When starting a new business in Idaho, you must have several documents in order to operate legally. Many of these forms will also be required to open an Idaho business bank account. Firstly, you will need to select a business entity structure. The most common is an Idaho LLC, Idaho S-Corporation, and an Idaho C-Corporation. If you would like to run it as a sole proprietor, you will still need to register a “doing business as” name, also known as a DBA.

Have the following information available to file your business in Idaho:

  • Business name
  • Ownership information
  • Social Security numbers or EINs of all owners, partners, and/or officers.
  • Physical and mailing addresses of the Idaho business
  • Information on your expected employees.
  • Type of business.
  • Any licenses or additional registration you may need to operate legally.

Buying an Idaho business without verifying that the business is up to date on its taxes increases your risk of a surprise tax liability. Request a Successors’ Liability clearance letter to confirm whether the company has a sales/use tax debt for which you could be liable.

As the new owner, you should also apply for new Idaho tax permits for the business (sales, withholding, cigarette, liquor, etc.).