To start a business in Idaho, you need to file LLC formation paperwork and select a registered agent. If you’re new to the business world, that sentence probably didn’t make a lot of sense. What’s LLC formation paperwork? What’s a registered agent?
To help answer these two questions, along with many others, we’ve created a guide to help new entrepreneurs in Idaho.
We’ll discuss how to set up an LLC, file the correct documents with the state, and find a trustworthy registered agent. A registered agent is someone who will accept important documents on the company’s behalf, either by mail or in-person.
To better understand the steps involved, let’s look at how to form an LLC in Idaho.
How is an LLC formed in Idaho?
Starting a business is exciting, but it comes with some challenges. The State of Idaho requires all businesses to file a Certificate of Organization, which are the legal documents that establish the business in the state.
To get started, here are some steps to follow to file the Certificate of Organization and get an LLC up and running:
1. Name the company
The first thing an owner must list on the official paperwork is the company’s name. For some entrepreneurs, picking a name is a time-consuming process. As you think of potential names, run your ideas through a name search on the Idaho Secretary of State website.
All company names in the state of Idaho must be unique, which means the name you’ve selected can’t already be in use.
It’s also a good idea to look into domain names. Ideally, the name selected is available in Idaho and the matching URL is available for the company website.
It’s not uncommon to hit roadblocks during this stage. The name could already be used by another company or the domain name could be gone, but it’s important to work through these issues before attempting to file LLC formation documents.
In addition, the state has a few rules when it comes to naming a company. These rules are standard in most states. They include:
- The name must include “LLC” or “Limited Liability Company” in the title.
- The name can’t be confused for any government agency.
- Certain names, like any company claiming to be an academy or a bank, for example, will require additional follow-up from the state.
2. Pick a registered agent
To file a Certificate of Organization, every business owner needs to list a registered agent. A registered agent is a person or company that accepts mail or in-person document deliveries on behalf of your company. These documents might include tax notices or service of process papers that are served during a lawsuit.
A registered agent should be trustworthy and aware of their role. In other words, an owner shouldn’t select an employee as a registered agent without telling that person. A registered agent must be willing to accept this position and be able to reach the owner quickly when important documents arrive.
3. File the Certificate of Organization with the state
Entrepreneurs can find the Certificate of Organization on the Idaho Secretary of State website and can submit the form online, by mail, or in person.
The Certificate of Organization will ask for the company name and address, the name and address of the registered agent, and the LLC organizer’s signature. (An LLC organizer is usually the business owner, but it can be anyone associated with the company).
To file the documents online, there’s a fee of $100. To file the documents via mail, there’s a fee of $120.
4. Create a company operating agreement
With LLC formation documents filed, it’s time to create an operating agreement. An operating agreement isn’t required by the state, but it’s a valuable asset to have. An operating agreement is a binding contract that explains how the company will run. It provides a look at who the investors are, contributions made, how decisions are made, and how profits and losses are distributed.
Creating an operating agreement before a company officially opens is ideal as it avoids problems in the future.
5. Obtain an EIN
To start operating an Idaho business, you’ll need an EIN or an employer identification number. An EIN is issued by the IRS and serves as an identification number for the business, much like your social security number serves as your personal identification number.
A business owner can obtain an EIN in a matter of minutes on the IRS website. The number is instantly provided at the end of the session.
6. File an annual report
All LLCs doing business in the state of Idaho must file an annual report. The secretary of state will send reminders to businesses to file this report, which should be submitted by the end of the company’s anniversary month.
Unlike other states, Idaho doesn’t charge a fee to file an annual report. Other states charge between $50-150 to file this yearly document.
What is an Idaho registered agent?
An Idaho registered agent is a person or company that’s willing and able to accept important documents on behalf of your company. The registered agent could receive tax notices or paperwork that’s filed in the event your company is sued.
Do I really need a registered agent in Idaho?
Yes. The State of Idaho requires all LLCs to list a registered agent on the LLC formation documents.
Can I be my own registered agent in Idaho?
Yes. Many business owners serve as their own registered agent. However, it’s not the only option. A registered agent can be a friend or another employee from the company. A registered agent can also be a professional service known as a registered agent service.
Who can be a registered agent in Idaho?
In Idaho, a registered agent can be any person who lives in the state or a company that’s authorized to do business in the state. The person or company must have a physical street address in Idaho and must be available during regular business hours to accept documents as needed.
Why would a company choose to work with a registered agent service?
While entrepreneurs can serve as their own registered agent, there are certain benefits to working with a service. Paying a company to accept documents on behalf of your business comes with some perks, which include:
- Convenience. A registered agent service is convenient for many business owners. Having another company collect important documents gives the owner the ability to travel and take vacations without worrying about being at work to accept documents on the off chance they’re delivered.
- Peace of mind. With a registered agent in charge, business owners know that nothing gets missed. If documents come in, the company will notify the owner through a secure portal. Some companies will even contact multiple people if that’s your preference.
- Privacy. All of the documents that registered agents receive are private and should be kept confidential. For that reason, some owners hire a service to add an extra layer of protection.
List of Idaho registered agent services
Idaho has dozens of registered agent services available, but here are a few options to provide an idea of services and prices:
- Incfile.com: Incfile.com can help entrepreneurs file their LLC formation paperwork and serve as the company’s registered agent. The online company offers a host of beneficial business services that includes filing reports and other necessary documents with the state. The first year is free. After that, it’s $119 a year.
- Northwest Registered Agent: For $125 a year, Northwest Registered Agent offers an online portal, real-time updates when mail is received, and pricing that remains the same each year. The company offers its services in several states and has years of experience in the field. Additional business services are also offered.
- Swyft Filings: Swyft Filings offers registered agent services that start at $149 a year. Users get an online dashboard, report and filing reminders, and secure document storage for this fee. In addition, the company has a buffet of other business services available when you have a need.
How much does a registered agent service cost in Idaho?
The cost of a registered agent service ranges from $50 a year to $250 a year. The price all depends on what kind of service is selected and what kind of features are offered.
Simple services like mail forwarding usually cost $50 or less a year. For more advanced services with mail forwarding, online accounts, and reminders regarding annual reports, expect the cost to climb up between $100-250 annually.
How does an owner select a registered agent in Idaho?
To select a registered agent in Idaho, the business owner or LLC organizer lists the person or company name on the Certificate of Organization. The address of the agent is also required.
Can a company change its registered agent?
Yes. You can change your registered agent at any time. There are several reasons to make a change. For instance, the registered agent may be taking a job at another company or maybe the owner wants to hire a registered agent service. Whatever the reason, there’s a Statement of Change of Registered Agent form on the secretary of state’s website. Fill out the form and mail it in to make the change.
Unlike other states, Idaho doesn’t charge a fee to file this paperwork.
What’s a statutory agent?
The name for a registered agent varies by state. Most states use a registered agent, but other states say statutory agent or service of a process agent. All of the titles mean the same thing; they’re a point of contact for a company.
What’s a commercial registered agent?
If you’re asked whether your registered agent is commercial or non-commercial, the answer is based on whether or not the service is paid for. If an owner selects a registered agent service (and pays for their services) it’s called a commercial registered agent. Select non-commercial agent for all other options.