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Obtaining A Business License In Idaho

If you are interested in launching a small business enterprise in Idaho, it may be necessary to secure at least one state permit, license, or registration in order to begin. The following information is designed to help guide you through the process and to provide some useful resources to get things underway.


Idaho Business License


Information For Idaho Small Businesses

The website for the state of Idaho ( offers a full section of information specific to businesses. This encompasses topics such as intiating a business, moving to Idaho, and operating a business enterprise once it is properly registered. There is also a trove of information detailing how best to create business plans, structure the entity, secure capital, and more.

For additional guidance on how to launch and build a business in the state, look no further than the Idaho Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The organization’s website goes into detail about things such as business planning, marketing, obtaining financing, and the like. The group also provides information on services and training opportunities, and it is part of a larger, nationwide network of entities focused on facilitating small business growth.

The federal Small Business Administration (SBA) maintains a local office right in Boise, and the location’s website provides a wealth of information regarding resources, upcoming events, news, and legislative updates relevant to those starting or running small businesses. The SBA website also offers a Resource Guide for Small Businesses that is specific to Idaho, and this can be downloaded directly by any interested party.

Obtaining Required Licenses

Though it is true that not all business enterprises in Idaho will need a license, there are many such entities that are required or advised to do so. Some of the permits and licenses are of a regulatory nature, and these can be issued by a number of different agencies within the state or federal government. For instance, the Department of Agriculture handles permitting for farm-related businesses, and the state Department of Environmental Quality oversees permits for businesses likely to have an environmental impact of some sort. The good news is that the Idaho state government’s own website has developed a Regulatory Requirements Wizard tool that helps business owners determine what permits and licenses are required.

On top of state requirements, there are some business licenses that must come from local governmental bodies. The specific rules are determined by the municipal or county governments with jurisdiction over the specific business. It should be noted that Idaho Falls and Boise have business licensing rules of their own. To gain a full understanding of what is necessary in a given locality, business owners can consult the relevant county and city websites.

Records Filing Requirements

In addition to securing legally required permits or licenses for a given business, there are certain entity structures (corporations and LLCs, for instance) that must file certain records with the state. Key organizational documents may need to be submitted to the Idaho Secretary of State, so it is important to verify the rules by reviewing the Business Entities pages on the Secretary of State’s own website.

Secure And Maintain Professional Licenses

There are numerous occupations and professions in which members are required to secure and maintain a license. The state’s website provies detailed information about regulated professionals and licensing rules for each. Information and links to the individual regulatory boards for each such profession and occupation can also be found there.

Registration Of Assumed Name For Business

It is common for many small business entities to operate under a name that is different from that of their owners. Rather, they select a name that will serve as the official moniker of the enterprise. In some cases, LLCs and corporations may first complete their required state registration paperwork under one name, and later opt to run the business under a different name.

The alternative name used by a business may be referred to as an assumed name, a trade name, a fictitious name, or a “DBA.” The State of Idaho typically requires businesses wishing to use an assumed business name to register that name with the Secretary of State. To learn more about how this is done, take a look at the FAQ on the Assumed Business Names section of the Secretary of State website.

Registering Trademarks And Service Marks

When a business plans to use a service mark, trademark, or trade name, it is important to make sure that it is distinguishable from those of competitors. Marks of this nature can be subject to registration with the state, but it should be noted that this is different from federal registration, which may also be necessary. Learn more about this topic by visiting the Secretary of State’s website and navigating to the Trademarks and Service Marks page.

Additional Resources