How to Get a Business License in Idaho - How to Start my LLC

How to Get a Business License in Idaho

Written by:

Carolyn Young has over 25 years of experience in business in various roles, including bank management, marketing management, and business education.

Reviewed by: Sarah Ruddle

For over 15 years, Sarah Ruddle has been a noteworthy leader in the business and nonprofit world.

How to Get a Business License in Idaho

How to Get a Business License in Idaho

A crucial step in starting a limited liability company (LLC) in Idaho is acquiring all the licenses and permits required for your business. Depending on your industry and location, you may need them at the federal, state, and local levels. 

This is a must, as, without them, you could face major business penalties or even the closure of your business. Lucky for you, this guide lays out all you need to know to ensure full compliance in Idaho.

Which Department Issues Business Licenses and Permits?

In most states, many agencies and departments issue licenses and permits. In Idaho, professional licensing boards issue most licenses, along with the Idaho Tax Commission.

The Tax Commission issues sales tax permits; apply at the Idaho Business Registration website.

Check with your local governments about licenses and permits at the county and municipal levels. 

Federally, different departments oversee different industries. As a result, licenses and permits are generally industry-specific, except for health permits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). For example, if you run a farm, your business may need a U.S. Department of Agriculture license. 

You must register with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives if your business sells fireworks. Most industries, however, do not require licensing at the federal level. 

The Small Business Association (SBA) has put together a handy guide that details which licenses and permits are needed for various types of businesses. 

Common Business Licenses and Permits

Here are some standard licenses and permits you may need:

Federal Licenses

If a federal agency regulates your industry, you’ll need to be licensed by that agency. Federal agencies that may require you to be licensed include:

  • The Department of Agriculture
  • The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
  • Department of Transportation

State Licenses

Common licenses you may need at the state level:

  • Industry-specific licenses for certain professions and industries, such as construction, plumbing, electrical, childcare, food handling, liquor, architecture, and finance
  • Health licenses and permits
  • Doing business as (DBA) permits using a name other than your LLC.
  • Sales tax permit

Local Licenses

At the municipal or county level, you may need the following:

  • Building and zoning permits
  • Health licenses and permits
  • Fire permits
  • Sign permits

How to Obtain a Business License in Idaho

In Idaho, you’re not required to get a general business license. But:

  1. Unless you’re operating as a sole proprietorship or partnership, you’ll need to register your business entity with the state, usually as an LLC or a corporation. You can do so with the Secretary of State
  2. You’ll need to register for sales tax on the Idaho Business Registration website if you sell goods or services.
  3. Other licenses can be applied for with specific departments. For example, in Idaho, if you have a restaurant, you’ll need a food service license and apply with the Department of Health and Welfare
  4. Check with local governments for licenses and permits you may need locally. 

How Much Does a Business License Cost in Idaho?

License and permit fees vary. A sales tax permit, for instance, costs nothing in Idaho, while forming an LLC costs $100 if filed online and $120 if filed via mail. 

Do Licenses and Permits Have to Be Renewed?

Some licenses and permits need to be renewed annually. A sales tax permit in Idaho does not need to be renewed. However, food service licenses and permits need to be renewed annually. 

Check with issuing departments for renewal requirements for other licenses and permits.

In Closing

Obtaining licenses and permits is a critical step when starting an LLC in Idaho, so check with state and local government offices and fully comply with their requirements. If you operate without the proper licenses and permits, you could face steep fines or even the closure of your business. 

If you’re unsure of state or local regulations and need help, consult a business attorney, as proper licensing is an absolute must.