Numerous state agencies and
free or low cost assistance to small businesses in Idaho. To learn more about a particular
agency or organization and its services, click on its
(Small Business Innovation Research)/STTR Grants:
Visit the Hot Topics section of this
site and look for "Grants"
Better Business Bureau
The Better Business
Bureau (BBB) provides the following services:
- Performs background checks on a business or a charity
- Investigates reports of problems with a
- Facilitates business-to-business dispute
- Reviews advertising, including
advertising directed toward children
- Informs the public about
business and consumer scams
To find the BBB office nearest you or to
file a complaint about a business
or charity, visit the national BBB website at
or visit your regional BBB website. Northern
Idaho is served by the Spokane BBB, http://spokane.bbb.org.
Southern Idaho from McCall south and east to the Wyoming
and Utah borders is served by the
To obtain information about a charity, visit
The Attorney General's office
advocates for consumer protection issues. Their website provides information on
business issues and on scams and schemes affecting
businesses and individuals in Idaho. Before you invest money in an
advertised or promoted business, check with the Attorney General to find
out if complaints have been filed against the business or its promoters.
The Consumer Protection Unit's website is
Landlord and Tenant Guidelines:
Those who rent property to the public (landlords) must
comply with the rules found at
Motor Vehicle Sales Advertising:
New and used automobile dealers must comply with the
truth in advertising rules found at
Information about the rights and responsibilities of
auto dealers under Idaho's "Lemon Law" are found at
Telemarketing: Telemarketers making calls to Idaho residents
must comply with Idaho telephone solicitation laws found at
Charitable organizations making telephone solicitation calls must comply with
the Idaho Charitable Solicitations Act found at
Tobacco: Businesses that manufacture, import or sell tobacco
or tobacco products, either wholesale or retail,
must comply with Idaho tobacco laws found at
To access consumer protection information
in Spanish, see
Department of Environmental Quality
The DEQ is responsible
for air, water, and land quality in Idaho and for
protecting Idahoans from adverse health issues
associated with pollution. The agency monitors air and
water quality, issues permits to limit emissions,
oversees drinking water quality, the disposal of
hazardous and solid wastes and other issues.
Small Business Environmental Assistance Program:
provides environmental compliance assistance to small businesses.
The program, Environmental Solutions, operates in
cooperation with the Idaho Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Boise
Environmental Solutions provides a
“one-stop shop” where small businesses can obtain free,
confidential environmental compliance
The program helps small
pollution prevention opportunities
and permitting requirements
with waste reduction planning
- Evaluating energy use and
recommending cost saving options
website is found at http://www.idahosbdc.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=content.solutions.
Visit the DEQ's website at http://www.deq.idaho.gov/.
To find a DEQ office near you, click on
the green "DEQ Regional Offices" button to the right.
Idaho Department of Commerce
Idaho Department of
Commerce advocates for Idaho businesses to help them expand and grow. The
agency offers a variety of services, many of which are described below.
Business Formation and Expansion: In addition to publishing the
a Business in Idaho" booklet, the
department provides the
- Gem Community Program:
provides training and technical assistance to help small rural communities
with economic and community development and job
- Idaho Procurement Technical Assistance Center (IPTAC):
helps Idaho businesses sell their products and
services to government agencies and large
corporations through an electronic bid matching
process. IPTAC conducts workshops on e-commerce, HUB
procurement, and selling to government agencies and large corporations.
- Financial Incentives: also called tax
credits or tax incentives, available for a
number of business activities. For information,
- Rural and Community Development Program: See http://commerce.idaho.gov/communities/
- Economic Indicators Data: uses
U.S. Census Bureau data to provide information on
counties and communities in Idaho, including
employment data and information useful to businesses
planning to relocate to or in Idaho -http://commerce.idaho.gov/business/census-data-on-idaho.aspx
- Division of Tourism:
helps expand Idaho's tourism and recreation industry
by marketing Idaho travel opportunities nationally
and internationally and assisting communities in
promoting tourism -
- Division of International Business:
assists Idaho businesses in exporting goods and
services, helps develop access to new markets,
organizes trade missions, offers export/import
counseling and increases international
awareness and acceptance of Idaho products and
- U.S. Export Assistance Center of Idaho:
a local branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce's
export division. The agency provides hands-on help
to small and medium-sized businesses to develop their
export potential. See
- Idaho Film Bureau:
provides information and resources for those
planning to make a commercial film in Idaho - http://www.filmidaho.org/
- Commercial Innovation Division:
provides marketing assistance to support
Idaho's high tech industry in getting their products
to market - http://commerce.idaho.gov/technology/
For more information, visit the
department's website at http://commerce.idaho.gov.
Idaho Department of Labor
The Idaho Department of
Labor supports employers and workers by providing the
Consulting/Counseling: IDOL offers a wide variety of consulting and
counseling services to the business community, from electronic job
listings, recruiting, screening, and referring, to customized business
account services. For details on consulting and counseling services, contact your local
DOL office. For a list of offices, visit http://labor.idaho.gov/DNN/AboutUs/OfficeDirectory/tabid/640/Default.aspx.
Research: IDOL provides Labor Market
Information (LMI) to help businesses recruit and retain a qualified
workforce and make business decisions to enhance competitiveness in
today's changing economy.
Market Analysts maintain information on the state's regional
economies and answer questions by phone and e-mail and through publications and
presentations. Regional Labor Market Analysts are located
in DOL offices in Coeur d' Alene, Lewiston, Meridian, Twin Falls,
Pocatello, and Idaho Falls. State Labor Market Analysts are
located in the Boise Central Office.
labor market information can be found in the Idaho Labor Market
Information System at
The system can also be accessed at regional
Workforce Development Training
Fund (WDTF): The objective of the Workforce Development
Training Fund is to provide job skill training for new employees of
companies expanding in Idaho, and to improve the skills of current workers who are at risk of being permanently laid off.
Business Services: Department
offices located throughout the state offer
a wide variety of business services, including:
||Recruitment and Referral:
|| Electronic Job
Screening, and Referring
||Labor Market Information Services
(see the information above)
Business Service Center:
Idaho DOL is an employment resource for both employers
and workers. Employers can interview prospective
employees in one of the Department's interview
facilities. Computers, copiers, and fax machines are
available for employment-related activities. The
Department offers computer skill testing of job
applicants. Employers can also use the Department's
generic job application to get a first look
Current wage data, demographic information, basic economic data, and
tax information, including tax credits for hiring workers, and additional information
is available to employers.
Job training Resources: Employers may qualify to take advantage of the
Workforce Development Training Fund (WDTF). For information on
eligibility, contact your nearest
Unemployment Insurance: Unemployment insurance (actually a
tax) is a critical economic and business tool that helps stabilize the economy
and retain a local workforce. For information on unemployment
insurance, visit the Taxes section
of this Web site.
Business Registration - IBR-1: Businesses having employees and/or making
retail sales must complete this application to apply for Idaho
withholding and unemployment insurance accounts and
establish sales and use tax accounts. This joint application, provided by Idaho Department of Labor, Idaho State
Tax Commission and Idaho Industrial Commission, uses the
information to determine reporting requirements for
various taxes and insurance programs in Idaho, including
unemployment insurance and workers' compensation
IBR-1, called Idaho Business
Registration System, may be completed and submitted
https://www2.labor.idaho.gov/ibrs/ibr.aspx. If you do not have employees or plan to make retail
sales, do not complete this form.
Note: Submitting this form does NOT register
your business name or entity type nor is it a business
license. You must first
register your name and entity type with the
of State's office before completing this form. Business
licenses are obtained from your local city clerk's
New Hire Reporting: Employers must report new employees within 20 days of
hiring. Returning employees who have been rehired after
an absence of
12 months or more must also be reported. For
employees must close unemployment withholding accounts and any
other accounts when they close their business.
Contact your nearest
Labor office for assistance.
Business Name Change:
If you change the name of your
business and you have an unemployment withholding
account, you will need to contact DOL to be certain your
payments are correctly attributed to your business.
Idaho Department of
Labor's web page is found at http://labor.idaho.gov.
Idaho Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture oversees Idaho's agricultural and
livestock industries. Many ag-related businesses are inspected and/or
licensed by the Department, including:
The Department also manages programs to
control noxious weeds and invasive insects and monitors
Idaho's Agricultural Water Quality Program. See
for water quality information.
- nurseries (plants)
- livestock auction sales
- fish farms (aquaculture)
- bee keepers (commercial)
- pesticide applicators
- organic farmers
- organic fertilizer manufacturers
- farmer's markets and other seasonal
Marketing and Promotion: The Department
offers marketing assistance to farmers, ranchers, and
other agriculture-related businesses,
including those interested in starting a farmers' market
or holding seasonal festivals and events involving food
or animals, such as corn mazes and pumpkin patches. For
information, visit http://www.agri.idaho.gov/Categories/Marketing/indexMarketing.php.
A list of farmer's markets in Idaho is found at
International Business: For information
on international trade offices and exporting
agricultural products, visit http://www.agri.idaho.gov/Categories/Marketing/tradeoffices.php.
Financial Resources: The Department of
Agriculture offers several financial incentives to
assist Idaho farmers and ranchers. For information,
Weights and Measures: The Department of
Agriculture oversees the Bureau of Weights and Measures,
which inspects and certifies weighing and metering
devices, such as scales and fuel pumps. The Bureau inspects
packaged products to ensure that net contents meet
labeled weight, volume or count. They also monitor
octane labeling of fuel products. Businesses and
individuals who repair or maintain weighing and metering
devices are licensed by the Bureau. For information, visit
Specialty Foods Businesses: If you
are planning to start a food-related business, you will find a
useful publication at http://www.agri.idaho.gov/Categories/Marketing/Documents/specialtyfoodbook.pdf
Department's website is
Idaho Division of Vocational
provides services to employees and business owners who have become disabled
because of an accident or illness. The agency also works with
those who receive Social Security Disability Insurance to prepare them to
enter or re-enter the work force. For information about training programs
and to find out if you or your employees qualify for assistance, visit http://www.vr.idaho.gov.
To find a Vocational Rehabilitation
office in your area visit
Industrial Commission Rehabilitation Division
The Idaho Industrial Commission
oversees Idaho's worker's compensation laws. IIC also offers
rehabilitation services to help employers handle human and economic
costs of industrial accidents. Rehabilitation helps employers control
time loss and workers' compensation costs, while preparing injured
workers to return to work.
When a referral is received from an employer, insurance
carrier, attorney, or injured worker, the
Commission's rehabilitation staff will work with all
parties to return the worker to as close
to his/her pre-injury status as possible.
For more information
about rehabilitation services, contact your nearest IIC
office, or visit the IIC's website at http://www.iic.idaho.gov/.
For information about workers' compensation
insurance, visit the Insurance
section of this website.
Idaho OnePlan provides a one-stop location where farmers, ranchers, and
rural business owners can obtain information on local, state, and
federal laws and regulations affecting agricultural businesses. Much
information is available for those interested in organic/sustainable
farming. Information on Best Management Practices is also available on their
website at http://www.oneplan.org
Safety and Health Consultation Program
located at Boise State University, offers confidential, no cost consulting to Idaho employers to help
businesses comply with OSHA requirements and create a safe workplace for
employers and employees. Among the
services offered are:
or specific on-site safety and health surveys
publications and materials
resource training library
sampling and analysis
with personal protection equipment
and health recognition and exemption
information, visit the
Program's website at
or call (208)426-3283. To request a confidential
consultation, fill out the form found at
Idaho Secretary of State
Business Formation: When you start a business
in Idaho, you must register the business name and the business entity type (partnership, corporation, LLC, etc.) with the Secretary of State's
Office before you begin transacting business. For
information on choosing the right business entity form
for your business, visit the Legal Structure and DBAs
section of this website or visit http://www.sos.idaho.gov/corp/typecorp.htm.
Closing a Business or Changing the Name: If you close or sell a business or change
the name, you must file notice with the Secretary of
State's Office using the form "Cancellation or Amendment of
Certificate of Assumed Business Name." If you are a
corporation, use the "Articles of
Amendment" or "Articles of Dissolution"
form. Information about closing your business or
changing the name and links to the needed forms can be
found on the Legal Structure and
DBAs section of this website.
Changing the Address or Registered Agent: To
change the address of the business, file the form found
If your business moves, it is your responsibility to
inform the Secretary of State; annual report forms (corporations
and LLCs) cannot be forwarded by the Post Office. If you fail to
receive and return your annual report form by the due
business will be administratively dissolved, often
without your knowledge. Reinstating the business will
require time and money.
To change the registered agent for a corporation
or LLC (the
person authorized to represent the business), use the
form found at http://www.sos.idaho.gov/CORP/chgregagent.htm
The Secretary of State also licenses notaries,
registers trade marks (Idaho only), registers lobbyists,
and maintains a file of UCC/liens. For information
about these activities, visit the
Agencies section of this website.
Small Business Development Center
"Serving Idaho's most
valuable natural resource - the entrepreneur"
Through its six regional offices the Idaho SBDC offers a wide variety of services to
small businesses, including:
Start-up Guide: To help with start-up questions, check out the
Business Start-Up Guide at
The guide will enable you to better understand the
rewards of starting a business and help you decide if entrepreneurship is really for
Business Formation and
No-cost confidential consulting is available to clients planning to start or expand a
business. Consultants will answer
questions, discuss ideas, initiate market research, solve problems, and provide
guidance on a one-to-one basis on virtually any aspect of business
management. Contact your nearest
SBDC office to make an appointment.
Business and Marketing Plans:
SBDC consultants offer guidance in developing business and marketing plans. They
also coordinate the NxLeveL®
entrepreneurial training program, a 10-or-12-week program for
existing businesses or for individuals planning to start a
business. In the class, business owners either write a complete business plan
for their existing business or develop a feasibility study for their proposed
classes are now available on-line. For information, visit
SBDC consultants can assist in preparing for the closing or sale of your business. The consultant will work with you,
your accountant, and your
attorney to be certain all issues are covered, the necessary
agencies are notified, and required forms are filed.
Solutions: The Idaho SBDC in cooperation with the
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality offers
assistance with environmental issues and compliance. For information, visit
Research analysts perform in-depth market research using secondary
sources such as local, regional, and national libraries, telephone and
e-mail interviews, the Internet, and business databases to complete
reports useful for business and marketing plans and decision making.
Your counselor can initiate research for you.
Training: Each of Idaho's
six SBDC offices offers training classes in a variety of
topics. To find classes in your area,
To find a regional office in your area,
State Tax Commission
Idaho State Tax Commission oversees the collection of income, sales,
withholding, and other taxes in Idaho. The STC offers on-line services, including E-file,
E-learn, E-pay and Keep Me Updated at
Starting a Business:
Contact the Tax Commission to obtain sales tax permits
and to establish employee withholding accounts. The
Commission offers free monthly Right Track classes at
their Boise and Coeur d'Alene offices. The class teaches businesses how to
keep accurate records with minimum effort, how to
correctly fill out withholding and sales tax returns and
more. For information, see
Closing a Business:
When you close a business, you must cancel your state
tax permits, close your withholding account, and you may need to file a final tax return.
Name Change: If you change the name of your
business, you need to inform the Tax Commission to be
certain your withholding and/or sales tax payments are
correctly attributed to your business.
Training: The Tax Commission offers monthly
Right Track training sessions for new
businesses to teach proper methods for reporting
withholding and sales tax. See the information above
under Starting a Business.
Internal Revenue Service
The IRS collects taxes owed to the Federal
government, including personal income taxes, corporate and business
income taxes, Federal withholding and Social Security and Medicare taxes. To learn more about the taxes
your small business might be
required to pay and to locate forms and publications, visit the small
business and self-employed section of the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/index.html.
The site contains much information for small business
owners and for those engaged in agricultural activities.
Information is also available by calling the Business
and Specialty Tax Help Line at 1-800-829-4933.
Starting a Business: Find
tax information for new businesses at http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=99336,00.html,
including information about record keeping and tax
can find information at
Closing a Business: If you plan to
close your business, the IRS website contains helpful
information on topics such as terminating employee
retirement plans, closing because of bankruptcy, selling
a business, final reporting of income and expenses,
final employee withholding reports, and other topics.
A check list of activities to be completed when
closing a business is found at http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=98703,00.html.
If you are closing the business by filing bankruptcy,
Bankruptcy Tax Guide.
You will also need to close your Idaho state tax
accounts and file any necessary final state tax reports.
of Business Name or Entity Type: If you change
the name of your business or the entity type (such as
from an LLC to a corporation), you need to notify the
IRS because your tax reporting date and the forms you
use may change. You also need to be certain payments are
correctly attributed to your business. If you change the
entity type, you may also need to obtain a new Employer
Identification Number (EIN).
Tax Identification Number
(EIN): If you have employees or do work for
corporations or the government, you will need to obtain
an Employer Identification Number, also known as a tax
ID number. For Information, visit the
Taxes section of this website.
Tax Statistics: Find statistics based on
individual, business, and non-profit tax reporting,
including income information, at http://www.irs.gov/taxstats/index.html
The Small Business Administration
(SBA) offers programs to help you start, build, and grow your small
business. Contact the SBA offices in Boise or Spokane to learn about
available resources (many are free). You can attend workshops on
starting a business, selling to the government, and applying for an
SBA-guaranteed bank loan,
or receive counseling from experts in business management. To reach the Boise office
call (208) 334-9004, extension 333; the Spokane
office at (509)
visit the SBA's website at http://www.sba.gov.
Loan Guarantee Program: The SBA guarantees several types of bank
loans (it does not issue loans) to qualified businesses. For information, contact your
banker, or visit
to find out if you qualify for a loan. To find a bank in
your area offering SBA loans, do a search of the Resource
Wizard on this site or use the search tool found at
Contractor Certification: The SBA offers
assistance in preparing your business to sell your products or
services to federal
agencies. For information, visit
Buying a Business: Find tips
for purchasing an existing
If you are considering purchasing a franchise, visit
Business Plan Writing: Find assistance
writing a business plan at
Closing or Selling a Business: If you are planning to
close or sell your business, an SBA or SCORE counselor
can help you through the process. Contact them at
the telephone numbers listed above. Information on
developing an exit strategy, liquidating assets,
transferring ownership, closing
due to bankruptcy, and
other issues associated with closing or selling a business can be found at http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/starting-managing-business/managing-business/getting-out.
Prime Loan Program: The SBA
in cooperation with the Idaho State Treasurer and the
Idaho banking community offers the Idaho "Prime Loan" Program. Qualified small businesses may be able to apply for
funding through the program. For information,
The Service Corps of Retired Executives is
sponsored by the SBA. SCORE is a national volunteer
organization of current and former business owners,
managers, and executives who donate their time and
expertise to counsel existing businesses and start-ups
on how to start, grow, or improve their businesses.
SCORE counselors can also help you close your business.
Counseling services are free.
SCORE offers low-cost pre-business workshops addressing
topics such as assessing entrepreneurial potential,
developing a start-up checklist, selecting a legal
entity form, creating a business plan, and securing
funding. Workshops are also offered to help existing
businesses review their distribution channels, determine expansion opportunities, modify products, and meet other
business challenges and goals.
SCORE offices are located in Boise, Idaho Falls, and
telephone number for the Boise SCORE office is (208)334-1696 ext. 337.
Their website is
http://treasurevalley.score.org or visit the national
website at http://www.score.org.
Idaho Falls SCORE office is located at the Idaho Innovation Center, 2300 N. Yellowstone Highway, Ste.
100B, phone number (208)523-1022, or visit their website at http://www.scoreideast.org/.
Businesses in north Idaho are served by the
Spokane SCORE office. Their phone number is
(509)353-2821and their website is http://www.scorespokane.org/.
Idaho Transportation Department
The ID Transportation Department offers services to
Idaho drivers, auto dealers, truckers, pilots and boat dealers and owners. They also oversee activities
occurring on or near Idaho highways.
Driver and Motor Carrier Services:
Department's website at
for driver and motor carrier information. For commercial trucking
Dealerships: For information on establishing a
new or used
auto dealership, see
ITD's aeronautical division oversees aviation activities in Idaho,
including registering pilots and aircraft and overseeing flight instructor training.
Dealers selling aircraft in Idaho must register with ITD. For
information, visit the Division of Aeronautics at http://www.itd.idaho.gov/aero/.
ITD titles all boats that are being financed and those
made in 2000 or later that are over 12 feet and/or have
a permanent form of propulsion attached (some exemptions
apply). ITD also licenses boat
dealers. For information, see
Businesses and organizations
wanting to erect an outdoor sign along a highway must secure authorization from ITD.
For information, visit http://www.itd.idaho.gov/row/new/workfiles/outdoorad/outdoor_advertising.html.
To erect signs on city streets or on buildings facing city streets,
contact your local city clerk's
The Idaho Transportation Department DBE Supportive
Services Program: The Disadvantaged Business
Enterprise (DBE) Supportive Services Program assists
disadvantaged business owners in developing and promoting their
businesses in the transportation construction industry. The
program was created by the U.S. Department of Transportation and is
administered by the Idaho Transportation Department, with funding and
oversight from the Federal Highway Administration. For more
or call DBE Supportive Services at (208)334-4442.
Idaho Department of Administration
This agency handles purchasing for state agencies.
Businesses interested in selling or contracting with state
agencies can register on-line to access current bid opportunities. For information, visit http://adm.idaho.gov/purchasing/.
In order to bid on state contracts, businesses must
first register with Sicomm Net by filling out the form at http://www.sicomm.net/.
There is no charge to register.
For information on contracting with the
state of Idaho, check the "Vendor's Guide to doing
Business with the State of Idaho" found at
The Division of Public Works oversees facilities
management statewide, including issuing bids for construction,
renovation, and maintenance of state owned and leased buildings. For
Frequent training sessions are offered for businesses
interested in doing business with the State. For information, visit
The TECenter, located at Boise State University's West
Campus in Nampa, offers technical assistance and counseling to technology
start-ups and early-stage technology companies, including assistance
with the preparation of SBIR and STTR grant applications. Incubator
space is available for qualifying companies. For information, visit
manufacturers, food processers and other businesses
improve and streamline their processes to be more
competitive. Inventors can receive assistance in product
design and prototype development, as well as other
services. TechHelp's website is
U.S. Census Bureau
The U.S. Census Bureau
located at http://www.census.gov,
contains much useful information for market research
and/or writing a business plan. Information is available
about people, households, business and industry. Demographic
and geographic maps are also available.
Business Center, a division of the Small Business
Administration, offers free counseling services,
assistance with business plan preparation, and training
seminars for women in southwestern Idaho and eastern
Oregon who are starting or growing a business. For
information or to make an appointment, visit their
Your local city clerk's
office regulates business activities occurring within the
city limits, including the following:
cities license some or all business activities occurring
within the city limits. You may also
need to obtain a conditional use permit if your business
activity varies from standard zoning requirements for your
specific location. You may need an occupancy permit when you
open the business.
Closing a business:
If you were required to
obtain a city or county business license or a conditional
use permit when you opened your business, you will need to cancel it when the business
own a retail business and plan to have a
going out of business sale, you may need to obtain a
permit from your local city clerk's office.
Name Change: If you
change the name of your business, you may need to secure
a new business license or update your existing one.
To find contact
information for your local city
clerk's office, click here:
The state’s Unclaimed Property
division is managed by the Idaho State Treasurer's
Office. Unclaimed property Includes the contents of
safe deposit boxes, stocks and bonds, uncashed refund
and payroll checks whose owners cannot be found, utility
deposits, traveler’s checks, undeliverable tax refund
checks, and more. To find out if you or your business
may have unclaimed property, visit