Idaho Incorporation Services
To start a corporation in Idaho, you must file Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State. You can file the document online or by mail. The Articles of Incorporation cost $100 to file. Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Idaho corporation. However, to actually ready the corporation to do business, you must complete several additional steps.
Starting an Idaho Corporation Guide:
Idaho Corporation Filing Options
Skip the state fees! Get an Idaho corporation and the best of our services today. Includes EIN, hassle-free maintenance, business address & mail forwarding, Privacy by Default®, local Corporate Guide® service, and everything you need to operate at full capacity.
Do It Yourself
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Idaho Articles of Incorporation Requirements
To form an Idaho corporation, you must complete and file the Articles of Incorporation with the Idaho Secretary of State. See the document below and click on any number to see what information is required in the corresponding section. The requirements below include notes for online filing as well. Again, Idaho has moved to online filings but will accept the old paper form for an additional $20 fee.
Your name must include “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” or an abbreviation like “Corp” or “Inc.” Tip: Name reservations aren’t required, but if you have one, you’ll be able to select your reserved name from the drop down.
If your corporation is a benefit corporation (formed for educational or charitable purposes), an insurance company or a trust, you’ll have to select this designation in your Articles. These types of businesses have additional regulations to follow. Tip: Most corporations are just regular corporations and select “None.”
Want your Idaho corporation to begin upon filing? Choose the first option on the online form. Prefer to push off your start date a bit (maybe to line up with the beginning of the next tax period)? Enter an effective date up to 90 days in the future. Tip: Most corporations begin upon filing.
List the number of shares you’d like to create. You must list at least one.
List the address where you’d like to receive mail from the state (besides legal notifications—those go to your registered agent). Tip: Keep it simple with one address for all your mail and notifications. Hire Northwest as your registered agent, and you can use our address as your mailing address.
Agents must either be Idaho residents or businesses registered with the Secretary of State. You can choose either a commercial agent (like Northwest) or a noncommercial agent (like yourself). After choosing your agent type, you can either search for your agent’s name or add a new agent to the system. If you add a new agent, note that the address must be a physical street address in Idaho. Tip: We recommend Northwest for expert registered agent service.
Your incorporator is the person authorized to submit your Articles of Incorporation. Incorporators must include their name, address and signature (electronic signature if submitting online). Incorporators don’t have to be directors, officers or anyone in your Idaho corporation. Tip: We’ll be your incorporator when you hire Northwest.
You can enter the names and addresses of your Idaho corporation’s directors, but this is optional.
How much does it cost to start an Idaho corporation?
The fee is $100 to submit your Articles of Incorporation online, and you can also pay an additional $20 for expedited processing. If you pay with a credit or debit card, there is also a $1 convenience fee. Note that, as of November 2018, if you submit Articles with a paper form that was not completed through Idaho’s online portal (SOSBiz), you’ll incur an extra $20 fee, so it pays to submit online!
Hire Northwest to form your Idaho corporation and your total, out-the-door cost is $326 for 8-day online filing and $366 for 1-day expedited online filing. Both options include a full year of registered agent service and all the business forms you need to open a corporate bank account.
How long does it take to start an Idaho corporation?
In October 2018, the Idaho Secretary of State made some major updates to their business filing processes. Most notably, the state switched to an all-online system. Online filings are typically processed within 8 business days unless you pay extra for the 1-day expedited filing option. Need to pay by check or money order? Complete your application online and then print and mail it. Note that this will add a few extra days to the filing time, and the state will charge an additional $20 fee to file Articles of Organization submitted by mail.
If you hire Northwest to start your corporation, we file online and typically have your Idaho corporation formed within 8 business days. You can also pay an additional $20 expedite fee for 1-day online filing.
Does an Idaho corporation need a registered agent?
Yes, Idaho Statute §30-21-404 requires corporations to designate an Idaho registered agent to accept legal notices. Your agent can be a business or an individual Idaho resident, such as yourself or someone in your corporation. The position can come with its fair share of annoyances though—particularly when you’re already busy running your corporation. You have to list the address where your agent will be available in your Articles of Incorporation—a permanent public document. If you plan to use a personal address or office, your privacy could take a substantial hit. Also, being regularly available at a single address can be next to impossible when you have meetings to attend and errands to run.
A better option? Hire Northwest Registered Agent. Our address will go on your Articles of Incorporation so you can better maintain your privacy. We’ll also accept, scan and send you any legal notifications the same day. We’re in the business of being available so that you can be free to take that business trip—or just go bike the Green Belt—while we take care of all your registered agent needs.
Create Bylaws for Your Idaho Corporation
Do I need bylaws?
Absolutely. Bylaws are where you iron out the details for how your Idaho corporation will actually operate.
Why are corporate bylaws important?
The people in your corporation—directors, officers, shareholders—have different powers. Your bylaws determine the scope of their authority and outline all the procedures for making corporate decisions and changes. For example, your bylaws say who is on the board of directors, how long they get to stay there, and how board members are replaced. They state how many board members are needed to vote on a resolution. Your bylaws list your officers and say who is authorized to act on behalf of the corporation in different situations. Your bylaws list the voting rights attached to different classes or series of shares. Because all of these decisions have such a major impact on your business, your bylaws are the single most important internal document of your Idaho corporation.
Do I have to write bylaws?
Not from scratch. At Northwest, we’re here to help you get started on the right foot. When you hire us to form your Idaho corporation, we give you free corporate bylaws. We give you other free forms as well, such as resolutions and record-keeping templates. Take a look at the free corporate forms we provide to help corporations form and maintain their businesses.
Get an EIN for Your Idaho Corporation
Do I have to get a tax ID number (EIN)?
Yes, corporations must obtain an EIN for their federal tax filings. Your EIN will be useful in plenty of other situations too, from opening a corporate bank account to applying for local licenses and permits. You can fill out the IRS’s application yourself for no fee. Better yet, skip this extra application and hire Northwest to get your EIN for you—just add on EIN service during checkout when you sign up for our Idaho incorporation services.
Open a Bank Account for Your Idaho Corporation
To open a corporate bank account, you will need to bring the following to the bank:
- A copy of the Idaho corporation’s Articles of Incorporation
- The Idaho corporation’s bylaws
- The Idaho corporation’s EIN
If your bylaws don’t specifically assign the power to open a bank account, you may also want to bring a corporate resolution to open a bank account that states that the person going to the bank is authorized by the business to open the account in the name of the corporation.
We recommend calling your bank ahead of time before going in and asking what their requirements are. Most banks don’t open corporate accounts nearly as frequently as personal accounts, so some bankers may be unfamiliar with their own bank’s requirements. As frustrating as that may be for you, calling ahead will help save you from being super annoyed when you walk into the bank.
Obtain a Business License
Does an Idaho corporation need a business license?
There isn’t a general, statewide business license in Idaho. However, cities and counties may have their own licensing requirements. For instance, businesses in Caldwell require a business permit, and businesses in Post Falls need a business license.
File Idaho Corporation Reports
What is an Idaho Annual Report?
Your Idaho Annual Report is an online form you file each year to update your corporation’s ownership and contact information. The report must be submitted to the Secretary of State by the end of your registration month, starting the year after you form. There’s no filing fee to submit your report, but if you fail to file within 60 days of the due date, the state can dissolve your business.
Worried you’ll forget? When you hire Northwest as your registered agent, we’ll send you reminder notifications to help ensure you stay in compliance. Or, for total peace of mind, you can even hire us to submit your Idaho Annual Report for you.
How much does a corporation in Idaho cost each year?
Idaho doesn’t have any annual state fees. Corporations must, however, file a free Idaho Annual Report each year.
Pay Corporate Taxes
What are the taxes for an Idaho corporation?
Idaho’s corporate net income tax rate is a flat 6.925%. There’s a minimum tax of $20.
The state sales tax is 6%. While cities are permitted to tack on their own local sales taxes, most major cities (including Boise, Nampa, Meridian, Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Caldwell and Coeur d’Alene) don’t currently include additional sales taxes, meaning customers pay just 6% at the counter. For the whole state, the average total sales tax rate is 6.037%.