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Starting a Business in Idaho

A complete step-by-step guide to start your business and get on the fast track to financial success.

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    Doing Business In Idaho

    Idaho Business facts:

    Value added by manufacturing exceeds the contributions of agriculture to the economy. Most of it is related to the processing of foods and forest and mining products, however, indicating how dependent the economy remains on primary products. Other industries include the manufacture of electronics and industrial machinery, food processing, and printing and publishing. 

    Today, the largest industry in Idaho is the science and technology sector. It accounts for over 25% of the state’s total revenue and over 70% of the state’s exports. Idaho‘s industrial economy is growing, with high-tech products leading the way. Idaho is an important agricultural state, producing nearly one-third of the potatoes grown in the United States. 

    Major companies

    Idaho is home to large companies such as: Albertsons, Micron Technology, State of Idaho, St. Luke’s Health, WinCo Foods, Lamb Weston, Boise Cascade, Employers Resource, University of Idaho, Magic Valley Regional Medical

    Small business and Startup environment

    Idaho has 131,663 small businesses, according to the most current federal data available. 

    Of those 131,663 small businesses in Idaho, 42,384 have employees. The remaining 89,279 are Idaho small businesses that have no employees.

    Startup Grind Boise kicked off its presence in Idaho by bringing in Scott Kupor from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.  Startup Grind Boise continues to share its access to top global CEOs and Venture Capitalists including Summit Partners, Techstars Ventures, Allegis Capital, and more. Videos of these discussion are available to public by visiting https://www.startupgrind.com/boise/. Bridging the entrepreneurial ecosystem in over 200 communities around the world in 75 different countries, Startup Grind is the largest global independent startup body. 

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    STEPS TO STARTING A BUSINESS IN Idaho

    Business Structure

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    Business Name

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    Business Registration

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    EIN Tax Number

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    Bank Account

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    Licenses & Permits

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    Branding & Marketing

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    Resources

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    Step 1: Choose A Business Structure

    The most common business structures are sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and a few different types of corporations—the standard corporation (often called a C corporation or “C corp”), the small business corporation (often called an S corporation or “S corp”), and the benefit corporation (often called a B corporation or “B corp”).

    The most common business structures are:

    Step 2: Choose The Right Business Name

    Choosing a business name is important, you want to make it easier for your customers to remember it, here are some tips:

    1. Avoid hard-to-spell names.
    2. Don’t pick a name that could be limiting as your business grows.
    3. Conduct a thorough Internet search.
    4. Search and purchase a domain name.
    5. Use a name that conveys some meaning.
    6. Conduct a trademark search.

    Step 3: Register Your Business

    Depending on the business structure you chose you will need to register your business.

    For Idaho DBA (Doing Business As) go to:

    DBA

    For Corporations go to:

    Corporations

    For LLC’s go to:

    Department of corporations

    Step 4: Obtain an EIN Tax Number

    With limited exceptions, most businesses require an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Tax ID Number. An EIN is used to identify a business in its federal tax filings. Without an EIN, you can’t hire employees or open a business bank account.

    Click Here to Apply for EIN number online

    Step 5: Open A Bank Account

    – Open a business bank account:

    • Separates your personal assets from your company’s assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
    • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

    – Get a business credit card:

    • Helps you separate personal and business expenses.
    • Builds your company’s credit history, which can be useful to raise capital later on.

    Step 6: Licenses & Permits

    Now that you’ve registered your business name you need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).

    Here are some links for Idaho Businesses:

    Selling products? Check Idaho Resale Permit

    Business Licensing for the State of Idaho

    Step 7: Branding & Marketing

    Your brand is the image customers have of your business, so it’s important to determine who is your audience and what is the message that you want to project. That way, your company’s image will be what you intend it to be. It should be strategic and intentional.

    Step 8: Establish a Web Presence

    Creating an optimized website helps you to gain important visibility for the right terms. A website is a powerful sales tool and one that allows you to address your customers’ concerns, give them the information they need to make a decision and create compelling calls to action.

    In addition to a website, you should also consider other avenues for promoting your business online:

    Join Local Networks

    Startup Idaho 

    Idaho Commerce 

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