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Idaho Corporation Service We’re Just Not Annoying®

How to Start a Corporation in Idaho

To start an Idaho corporation, you must file Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State and pay a $100 filing fee. While this filing creates your business, it’s really just the first step to launching your Idaho corporation. The complete steps to incorporating in the Gem State are as follows:

  1. File Idaho Articles of Incorporation
  2. Pay the Idaho Secretary of State Office $100
  3. Wait to receive your approved Articles
  4. Get a federal tax ID (EIN) for the corporation
  5. Create Idaho corporate bylaws
  6. Take these documents to the bank and get an Idaho corporate bank account
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Idaho Articles of Incorporation free download. The state has moved to an online system but will still accept the old paper form (although they charge you an extra $20 fee).

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How to File Idaho Articles of Incorporation

To form an Idaho corporation, you file the Articles of Incorporation in the following steps:
Step 1 Choose a name for your new corporation
Step 2 Choose when you’d like your corporation to start
Step 3 Decide how many shares to authorize
Step 4 Decide what address you’d like to list publicly
Step 5 Decide if you want to hire a registered agent service to minimize public disclosures
Step 6 Choose an incorporator to sign and submit your Articles
Step 7 File online and pay with a credit card or print out your completed application and mail to the Office of the Secretary of State at 450 N 4th St, PO Box 83720, Boise ID 83720 with a check or money order

How Long Does it Take to Start an Idaho Corporation?


Standard Processing: 3-8 Days

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 in 3-8 days. 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.

What is the Cost of an Idaho Corporation?

The filing fee is $100. If you pay with a credit or debit card, there is also a $1 convenience fee. 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.

Hire Northwest to form your Idaho corporation and your total, out-the-door cost is $326. This includes filing fees, a full year of registered agent service and all the business forms you need to open a corporate bank account.

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.

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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.

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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%.

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Is a Registered Agent Required for an Idaho Corporation?

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.

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Idaho Corporation Versus Idaho LLC:

Costs are pretty similar for both Idaho corporations and LLCs. For instance, both entities pay $100 to form, and both file free Annual Reports. Even taxes can be similar, depending on tax election. For instance, both corporations and LLCs can choose to be taxed as S corporations, which would make their tax obligations the same.

While there aren’t significant cost advantages, there are differences in how corporations and LLCs operate. Corporations are common choices for large or complex businesses (or those that hope to scale quickly). Why? Their formal internal structure makes it easy to manage lots of people and parts. Corporations have also been around a long time. This not only means they’re more familiar—they also have a long legal history. This can be useful to help guide your corporation’s business decisions in an often confusing legal world. LLCs, on the other hand, are popular for small businesses because they don’t have all the formal requirements of a corporation. This can make an LLC easier to understand and operate, particularly for new business owners. Interested in an LLC? Here’s information on starting an Idaho LLC.

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Do I Need a Tax ID Number (EIN) for an Idaho Corporation?

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.

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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.

Does an Idaho Corporation Need Bylaws?

Absolutely. Bylaws are where you iron out the details for how your Idaho corporation will actually operate. 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.

Essentially, your bylaws are critical and deserve careful consideration. 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.

Idaho Corporation Articles of Incorporation Requirements

Corporation Name

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.

Business Type

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.”

Effective Date

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.

Mailing Address

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.

Registered Agent

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.

Idaho Incorporator

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.

Corporate Compliance
by Local Corporate Guides®