Numerous state and federal 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
Visit the Links section of this site
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
For information about a
charity, see www.bbb.org/us/charity/.
Businesses operating in Idaho must comply
with consumer protection laws found at
Landlord and Tenant Guidelines:
Those who rent property to the public (landlords) must
comply with regulations found at
Motor Vehicle Sales Advertising:
New and used automobile dealers must comply with the
truth in advertising rules found at
Idaho's automobile sales "Lemon Law" is found at
Charitable Solicitations Act: http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/idstat/Title48/T48CH12.htm.
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 implementing air, water, and land quality laws and
programs in Idaho and for protecting Idahoans from
adverse health issues associated with pollution.
(Pollution Prevention) information for small businesses
is found at
Small Business Environmental Assistance Program:
provides environmental compliance assistance to small businesses in cooperation
with the Idaho Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Boise
The program, Environmental Solutions, provides a
“one-stop shop” where small businesses can obtain free,
confidential environmental compliance
assistance. Environmental Solutions' website is
The DEQ's website is http://www.deq.idaho.gov/.
To find a DEQ office near you, click on
the "DEQ Regional Offices" button to the right
Idaho Department of Commerce
Idaho Department of
Commerce provides the following services to help Idaho
businesses and communities expand and grow:
The department's website
Idaho Department of Labor
The Idaho Department of
Labor is a business consulting organization with the dual
purposes of assisting businesses in solving employment
and training related challenges and helping employees
with career transitions. Their services include:
Assistance is available both to employers and job
seekers. For information, contact your local DOL office.
For a list of offices, see
Research: provides Labor Market Information (LMI) to help
businesses recruit and retain a qualified workforce and make business
decisions. Access the Idaho Labor Market
Information System at
or by visiting a regional
Workforce Development Training
Fund (WDTF): provides job skill training for new employees of
companies expanding in Idaho and improves the skills of current
workers who are at risk of being permanently laid off.
available to both employers
and workers. Interview facilities are available, as is computer skill testing of job
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, visit the Taxes section
of this website.
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. The form is found at
https://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 information, see
employees must close unemployment withholding accounts and any
other accounts when closing 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, 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, see http://www.agri.idaho.gov/Categories/Marketing/indexMarketing.php.
For information on international trade offices and
exporting agricultural products, see http://www.agri.idaho.gov/Categories/Marketing/tradeoffices.php.
The Department certifies crops, livestock and
The Department of Agriculture offers several financial
incentives to assist Idaho farmers and ranchers. See http://www.agri.idaho.gov/Categories/Marketing/financialassistance.php.
Weights and Measures:
The Department 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, see
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 Department of Finance
Through its three bureaus the
Department oversees a significant portion of the
financial services industries in Idaho.
The issuance and sale of securities (stocks,
bonds, notes, partnership and membership
Stockbrokers, broker-dealers, investment
and financial advisors
Continuing care and long-term care
facilities for the elderly and
Finance Bureau regulates:
Mortgage brokers and lenders, loan
originators and processors, escrow
agencies, mortgage loan underwriters,
and consumer loan companies
Consumer credit and debt counselors
Collection agencies and agents and debt
repair agencies and agents
and title loan companies
Institutions Bureau oversees:
chartered banks, credit unions, savings
banks and trust companies
Business and industrial development
The Department's website is
Idaho Department of Lands
The Department manages state lands and
activities occurring on them, including mining, grazing,
timber sales and logging, wind energy and geothermal
production, forest management and navigable water
For information, see
To find your nearest IDL office, see
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
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.
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.
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
All businesses must register their name and entity type (partnership, corporation, LLC, etc.) with the Secretary of State's
Office before 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 notify the Secretary of State's Office.
Information about closing a 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
When a business moves, it
is the owner's 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 requires 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
For information, visit the
Hot Topics section of this
Lobbyists: See www.sos.idaho.gov/elect/lobbyist//lobinfo.htm
Uniform Commercial Code enables a creditor to perfect a
security interest in a business, equipment, property or
other assets owned by another party (debtor). For
Small Business Development Center
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. Contact your nearest
SBDC office to make an appointment.
Business and Marketing Plans:
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. NxLeveL®
classes are now available on-line. For information, see
Closing/Sale/Dissolution: A consultant can assist you, your
accountant, and your attorney in preparing for the
closing or sale of your business 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
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
The Idaho State Tax
Commission oversees the collection of income, sales, withholding, and
other taxes in Idaho. Their website is
Starting a Business:
Contact the Tax Commission to obtain sales tax permits
and to establish employee withholding accounts.
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, contact the Tax Commission to be
certain withholding and/or sales tax payments are
correctly attributed to your 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, visit the small
business and self-employed section of the IRS website at
Starting a Business: Find
tax information for new businesses at
including information about record keeping and tax
Agricultural Tax Center:
Closing a 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
If you are 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), your tax reporting date and the forms you
use may change. If you change the
entity type, you may also need to obtain a new Employer
Identification Number (EIN).
Tax Identification Number
(EIN): 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, that may be useful for
your business plan at
& Health Administration (OSHA)
OSHA, a division of the
U.S. Department of Labor, regulates working conditions
to insure employee safety. For information, see
Idaho office is located in Boise and may be reached by
phone at 208-321-2960.
The Small Business Administration
(SBA) offers programs to help start, build, and grow small
businesses. 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 see
Contractor Certification: 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. 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 are found at http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/starting-managing-business/managing-business/getting-out.
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 business owners.
SCORE counselors can also help with closing a business.
Counseling services are free.
SCORE offers low-cost workshops addressing topics such
as assessing entrepreneurial potential, developing a
start-up checklist, selecting a legal entity form,
creating a business plan, securing funding and
SCORE offices are located in Boise, Idaho Falls, and
Boise SCORE office's website is
http://treasurevalley.score.org or visit the national
website at http://www.score.org.
Idaho Falls SCORE office can be contacted at http://www.scoreideast.org/.
Businesses in north Idaho are served by the Spokane
SCORE office, http://www.scorespokane.org/.
Idaho Transportation Department
The ID Transportation
Department provides services to Idaho drivers, auto dealers, truckers,
pilots and boat dealers and owners. They also regulate activities
occurring on or near Idaho highways.
Driver and Motor Carrier Services:
for driver and motor carrier information. For commercial trucking
Dealerships: To establish a
new or used
auto dealership, see
The aeronautical division oversees aviation activities in Idaho,
including registering pilots, aircraft and aircraft dealers and overseeing flight instructor training.
information, see 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 permanently attached form of propulsion (some exemptions
apply). ITD also licenses boat
dealers. For information, see
Businesses and organizations wanting to erect a sign along a
highway must secure authorization from ITD. For information, see 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. For information,
Idaho Division of Building Safety
The Division licenses:
Public works contractors and employees
Manufactured and modular housing manufacturers,
retailers, service companies and installers
The agency issues permits to
contractors and homeowners to perform electrical,
plumbing or HVAC installations and replacements.
DBS also inspects elevators, boilers
and pressure vessels, oversees logging safety and issues
permits to rehabilitate older mobile homes.
Their website is
To find your nearest DBS office, see
Idaho Division of Purchasing
Purchasing of goods and
services for state agencies is handled by this agency. Their website is
http://purchasing.idaho.gov/. Before bidding on state contracts, businesses must
first register with Sicomm Net at http://www.sicomm.net/.
For information on contracting with the
state, check the "Vendor's Guide to doing
Business with the State of Idaho" at
Bids for construction,
renovation and maintenance of state-owned and leased buildings is
overseen by the Division of Public Works. For
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. Incubator space is available for qualifying
companies. For information, see
manufacturers, food processers and other businesses
improve and streamline their processes to increase
productivity. Inventors can receive assistance in product
design and prototype development, as well as other
services. TechHelp's website is
U.S. Census Bureau
Census Bureau website, 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:
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 and/or approval of exterior signage.
Closing a business:
obtained a city or county business license, an occupancy
permit 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 located, utility
deposits, traveler’s checks, undeliverable tax refund
checks, and more. To find out if you or your business
may have unclaimed property, visit