Setting up an LLC in Idaho offers your business protections that you wouldn't otherwise have as a sole proprietor. But before you set one up, you need to understand if it's a viable business structure for you and your business.

Benefits of Forming an LLC in Idaho

The act of forming an LLC is easy and affordable, and recommended for those who want to take their business out of the sole proprietorship status but aren't ready to form a corporation. The business structure of an LLC is flexible, has tax efficiencies, and gives limited liability protection to its members. The members of the LLC can include individuals, existing corporations, other LLCs, and foreign entities. And there is no limit to the amount of members that can be included in an LLC.

An LLC is a legal structure that you can use to protect your personal assets in the event your business is the subject of a lawsuit. You can use the LLC to run your business and hold assets. 

How to Form an Idaho LLC

Start by choosing a name for your company. Once you have chosen your name, you need to check the Idaho LLC database to find out if the name is in use or not. You want to find out if the name you want is in use or not in order to avoid a lawsuit for infringement. In order to find out if the name is in use, you can search the Idaho Secretary of State LLC database online. Once you determine your name is available, you don't have to reserve it prior to filing unless you want to. In the event you want to reserve your name, you can submit a name reservation application to the Idaho Secretary of State. The name that you want to reserve is held for four months.

When you decide to register your name, you must include the designations of:

  • LLC
  • L.L.C.
  • L.C.
  • Limited Company
  • Limited Liability Company

Always keep in mind that the C in LLC stands for Company and not Corporation. An LLC is not a corporation and you cannot use the words:

  • Incorporated
  • Corporation
  • Corp
  • Inc

The reason for this is because LLCs have a different structure and are distinct from other types of business entities

Finding a Registered Agent

An LLC in Idaho requires a registered agent that acts as the person who receives service of process along with tax documents, legal notices, and other related official notices for the business. The registered agent you select must have an address in the state of Idaho. Your registered agent can't use any of the following for an address:

  • P.O. Box
  • Personal mailbox
  • Commercial mail receiving agency
  • The UPS Store
  • PostalAnnex+ 
  • Mailboxes Etc.
  • Pak-n-Ship

If the state finds you are using any of the above for the address of your registered agent, the state will administratively dissolve your LLC.

Filing a Certificate of Organization

You may want to consult a lawyer for help when you're filling out your Certificate of Organization. That way you can make sure no mistakes are made and that you're including additional clauses that are relevant and helpful for your company. 

When you file your LLC, you have to submit a Certificate of Organization. It has to contain:

  • Name of the LLC
  • Mailing address of the main office
  • Mailing address of your registered agent
  • Name and address of a minimum of one manager
  • Signature of a manager or authorized person

You can file the form online by mail, and the filing fee has to accompany either method of submission. 

When you submit your Certificate of Organization, you pay $100 if the form is typewritten or $120 if filled out by hand. The state requires all submissions to have duplicate copies. It takes anywhere between three to five business days to process the forms. If you need the forms processed sooner, you can select expedited processing which speeds the approval process to eight hours instead of days. Fees apply for expedited processing. Check with the Secretary of State for current fees for this service.

Maintaining an LLC After Approval

An annual report is required by the state for all LLCs. You can file the report online. 

If you need help with setting up an LLC in Idaho, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.