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State of Idaho Web Site

 

 


Business Assistance
Numerous state and federal agencies and organizations offer 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 name.

Agriculture and Land Use
Idaho Department of Agriculture
  Idaho Department of Lands
  Idaho Farm Bureau News
Idaho One Plan
  Idaho Rural Development
Alcohol:
Alcoholic Beverages
Business Formation and Expansion
  Idaho Attorney General
Idaho Department of Commerce 
Idaho Secretary of State
Idaho Department of Labor  
Idaho Small Business Development Center
Small Business Administration
SCORE
Internal Revenue Service
Idaho State Tax Commission
City Clerk
TeCenter
  TechHelp
  Womens Business Center
  "Things to Consider When Starting a Company in Idaho - a Lawyer's Persepctive'
Business Closure/Sale/Dissolution/Bankruptcy
Idaho Secretary of State
Idaho Small Business Development Center
Internal Revenue Service
  Idaho State Tax Commission
  Idaho Department of Labor
City Clerk
 Small Business Administration
SCORE
See an attorney and an accountant
Business Plans - Writing
Idaho Small Business Development Center
Small Business Administration
SCORE 
  Womens Business Center 
MicroEnterprise Training & Assistance (META)
  Starting My Own Business & Building My Own Business
Business Name or Entity Change
  Idaho Secretary of State
  Internal Revenue Service
  Idaho State Tax Commission
  Idaho Department of Labor
  City Clerk
Consulting/Counseling
Idaho Small Business Development Center
Idaho Department of Labor  
 Small Business Administration  
SCORE
  TechHelp
    Womens Business Center 
Demographic and Economic Data
Idaho Department of Commerce
U.S. Census Bureau
Internal Revenue Service
Contact your local Chamber of Commerce
Environmental Regulations (assistance with)
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
Idaho Small Business Development Center - Environmental Solutions
Finance and Accounting
Idaho Department of Finance
  Small Business Administration
  Unclaimed Property
Contact an accountant
Government Contracting/Procurement
Idaho Department of Commerce - Idaho PTAC
Small Business Administration  
Idaho Transportation Department
Idaho Division of Purchasing
Visit the Links and Hot Topics sections of this website for additional resources
Insurance
Visit the Insurance section of this website
International Trade/Exporting
Idaho Department of Commerce - Division of International Business
Idaho Department of Commerce - U.S. Export Assistance Center of Idaho
Idaho Department of Agriculture - International Trade Offices
  Idaho Small Business Development Center
Licensing/Permits
Visit the Business Wizard and the Licenses sections of this site
  Idaho Division of Building Safety
  Idaho State Police
Loans (bank)
Small Business Administration
Visit the Resource Wizard on this site
Visit the Hot Topics section of this site
Market Research
Idaho Small Business Development Center
Idaho Department of Labor 
Small Business Administration
Marketing & Promotion
Idaho Small Business Development Center
Idaho Department of Agriculture
Idaho Department of Commerce
Small Business Administration
SCORE
Motor Vehicles/Trucking/Aviation
Idaho Transportation Department
Idaho State Police
Occupational Safety
Idaho Safety & Health Consultation Program
OSHA  
Pollution Prevention/Environmental Issues
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
Idaho Small Business Development Center - Environmental Solutions
Public Works Contracts
Rural Business Development and Assistance
Idaho Department of Agriculture
Idaho Department of Commerce 
Scams and Schemes
Visit the Links section of this site
Taxes
Idaho State Tax Commission
Internal Revenue Service
Visit the Taxes section of this Web site
Technology Assistance
TECenter
ID TechConnect
  ID Department of Commerce - Commercial Innovation Division
  TechHelp
  ID Small Business Development Center
Training (Business Development)
Idaho Small Business Development Center
SCORE  
  TechHelp
  Womens Business Center 
Training (Workforce)
Idaho Department of Labor 
Travel and Tourism
Idaho Department of Commerce - Division of Tourism Development
Waste Reduction
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
Idaho Small Business Development Center - Environmental Solutions
  TechHelp

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Better Business Bureau                         

The Better Business Bureau (BBB):

  • Performs background checks on businesses and charities, investigates problems and facilitates dispute resolution
  • Provides a Code of Advertising standards for creating truthful, non-deceptive advertising
  • Informs the public about business and consumer scams

National BBB website: www.bbb.org. Northern Idaho is served by the eastern Washington BBB. Southern Idaho from McCall south and east to the Wyoming and Utah borders is served by the Boise BBB

For information about a charity, see www.bbb.org/us/charity/.

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Idaho Attorney General

Idaho businesses must comply with consumer protection laws, including the following:

Tobacco: Businesses that manufacture, import or sell tobacco or tobacco products, either wholesale or retail, must comply with Idaho tobacco laws.

Consumer protection information in Spanish

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Idaho Department of Environmental Quality

Responsible for implementing air, water, and land quality laws and programs and for protecting Idahoans from adverse health issues associated with pollution.

P2: (Pollution Prevention) information.

Small Business Environmental Assistance Program: Provides environmental compliance assistance to small businesses in cooperation with the Idaho Small Business Development Center (SBDC) through Environmental Solutions. The DEQ's website is www.deq.idaho.gov/.

To find your nearest DEQ office, see www.deq.idaho.gov/regional-offices-issues.aspx.                                                                                                 



Idaho Department of Commerce

Idaho Department of Commerce provides the following services:

The department's website is http://commerce.idaho.gov.

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Idaho Department of Labor     

The Department of Labor serves both employers and employees who are making career transitions. Services include:

  • Consulting/Counseling: Available both to employers and job seekers. Contact your local DOL office.
  • Labor Market Research

  • 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.                                                 
  • Business Services: available to both employers and workers. Interview facilities and computer skill testing of job applicants - contact your local DOL office for information.
  • Unemployment Insurance Tax: See the Taxes section of this website.

Idaho Business Registration - IBR-1: Businesses having employees and/or making retail sales complete this application to apply for Idaho withholding and unemployment accounts and establish sales and use tax accounts. If you do not have employees or 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 Idaho Secretary of State's office before completing this form. Business licenses are obtained from your local city clerk's office.

New Hire Reporting: New employees and those rehired after an absence of 12 months or more must be reported.

Business Closure: Businesses with employees must close unemployment withholding and all other accounts. Contact your nearest Department of Labor office for assistance.

Business Name Change: If you have an unemployment withholding account and change the name of your business, contact DOL to be certain payments are correctly attributed to your business.

Idaho Department of Labor's website is http://labor.idaho.gov

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Idaho Department of Agriculture

The Department of Agriculture oversees Idaho's agricultural and livestock industries and ag-related businesses, including:

  • farming, ranching
  • florists
  • nurseries (plants)
  • dairies
  • feed lots
  • livestock auction sales
  • fish farms (aquaculture)
  • commercial bee keepers
  • pesticide applicators
  • organic farmers
  • organic fertilizer manufacturers
  • farmer's markets and other seasonal food-related activities
The Department also manages programs to control noxious weeds and invasive insects and monitors Idaho's Agricultural Water Quality Program.

Marketing and Promotion: Domestic and international marketing assistance 

International Business

Organic Certification: Crops, livestock and handlers/processors

Financial Resources for ag businesses

Weights and Measures: The Department oversees the Bureau of Weights and Measures, which inspects and certifies weighing and metering devices, including  scales and fuel pumps, and 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.

Starting a Specialty Food Business in Idaho guide

The Department's website is http://www.agri.idaho.gov/.

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Idaho Department of Finance

Through its three bureaus the Department oversees a significant portion of the financial services industries in Idaho.

The Securities Bureau oversees:

  • The issuance and sale of securities (stocks, bonds, notes, partnership and membership units, etc.
  • Stockbrokers, broker-dealers, investment and financial advisors
  • Money transmitters
  • Continuing care and long-term care facilities for the elderly and incapacitated.
  • Endowed care cemeteries
  • The Consumer Finance Bureau regulates:

  • Mortgage brokers and lenders, loan originators and processors, escrow agencies, mortgage loan underwriters, mortgage companies
  • Finance and consumer loan companies
  • Consumer credit and debt counselors
  • Collection agencies and agents and debt buyers
  • Credit repair agencies and agents
  • Payday and title loan companies
  • The Financial Institutions Bureau oversees:

  • State chartered banks, credit unions, savings banks and trust companies
  • Business and industrial development corporations
  • The Department's website is http://finance.idaho.gov.


    Idaho Department of Lands

    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 issues. Website: www.idl.idaho.gov.


    Idaho Industrial Commission

    Oversees Idaho's worker's compensation laws and offers rehabilitation services to help employers handle human and economic costs of industrial accidents and illnesses.

    For information about rehabilitation services, contact your nearest IIC regional office, or visit the IIC website www.iic.idaho.gov/.

    For information about workers' compensation insurance, see the Insurance section of this website.

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    Idaho Safety and Health Consultation Program

    Idaho employers can receive confidential, no cost consulting to help comply with OSHA requirements.  See http://oshcon.boisestate.edu/ or call (208)426-3283. To request a consultation, complete this form.

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    Idaho Secretary of State

    Registers business names and entity types, licenses notaries, registers trade marks (in Idaho only), registers lobbyists, and maintains a file of UCC/liens.

    Business Formation:  Businesses must register their name and entity type (partnership, corporation, LLC, etc.) before transacting business. For information on choosing a business entity form, visit the Legal Structure/DBA section of this website.

    Closing a Business or Changing the Name or Other Registered Information: See the Legal Structure/DBA section of this website. 

    Notaries
    registration

    Trademarks: Visit the Hot Topics section of this website.

    Lobbyists registration 

    UCC/Liens: The Uniform Commercial Code enables a creditor to perfect a security interest in a business, equipment, property or other assets owned by another party (debtor).   


    Idaho Small Business Development Center 

    Through its six regional offices the Idaho SBDC offers a wide variety of services to small businesses, including:

    Regional SBDC office locations: www.idahosbdc.org/locations/.


    Idaho State Tax Commission

    Oversees the collection of income, sales, withholding, and other taxes in Idaho. See the Taxes section of this website for specific information.

    • Starting a Business: Contact the Tax Commission to obtain sales and use tax permits and to establish employee withholding accounts.

    • Closing a Business: When a business closes, state tax permits need to be cancelled, withholding accounts closed and a final tax return may need to be filed.

    • Business Name Change: If the name of a business changes, contact the Tax Commission to be certain tax payments are correctly attributed to your business.


    Internal Revenue Service                                   

    Collects taxes owed to the Federal government, including personal, corporate and business income taxes, Federal withholding and Social Security and Medicare taxes. To learn about the taxes your business may be required to pay, visit the Taxes section of this website or see the IRS Small Business Tax Center

    Closing a Business: Find 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 more.  

    You will also need to close your Idaho state tax accounts and file any necessary final state tax reports.

    Change of Business Name or Entity Type: When a business name or entity type (such as from an LLC to a corporation) changes, the tax reporting date and the forms used may change. If the entity type is  changed, a new Employer Identification Number (EIN) may be reqired.

    Tax Identification Number (EIN): See the Taxes section of this website.

    Tax Statistics: Find statistics based on individual, business and non-profit tax reporting that may be helpful for your business or marketing plan.

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    Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)

    OSHA regulates working conditions to insure employee safety. See www.osha.gov. The Idaho office is located in Boise at 1150 N. Curtis Road, phone 208-321-2960.


    Public Works Contracts

    Idaho Division of Building Safety - public works contractor licenses

    State public works contracts available for bid - You must have an Idaho public works contractor license to bid.

    To find local public works projects (city and county), contact your city or county planning and zoning or planning and development department. Many projects are listed in the legal section of your local newspaper.


     

      Small Business Administration

    Offers programs to help start, build, and grow small businesses. Contact the Boise office at (208) 334-9004, extension 333; the Spokane office at (509) 353-2809, or visit the SBA's website.

    Loan Guarantee Program: The SBA guarantees bank loans (it does not issue loans) to qualified businesses. For information, contact your banker.

    Government Contracting information

    Buying a Business: Purchasing an existing business -
    Purchasing a franchise  

    Business Plan Creation

    Closing or Selling a Business: Contact an SBA or SCORE counselor at the telephone numbers listed above.

    SCORE:  The Service Corps of Retired Executives, 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 at no charge. SCORE also offers low-cost workshops on a variety of start-up topics.

    SCORE offices are located in Boise, Idaho Falls, and Spokane.
    Businesses in north Idaho are served by the Spokane SCORE office. The national website is www.score.org

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    Idaho Transportation Department     

    The Department serves Idaho drivers, auto dealers, truckers, pilots and boat dealers and owners. They also regulate activities occurring on or near Idaho highways.


    Idaho Division of Building Safety

    The Division licenses:

    • Plumbers
    • Electricians
    • HVAC technicians
    • Public works contractors and employees
    • Construction managers
    • 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 http://dbs.idaho.gov. To find your nearest DBS office, click here


      Idaho State Police

      The following divisions oversee business activities:


    • Idaho Division of Purchasing

      Manages the purchase of goods and services used by state agencies - http://purchasing.idaho.gov/. Before bidding on state contracts, businesses must register.

      "Vendor's Guide to Doing Business with the State of Idaho"  

      Bids for construction, renovation and maintenance of state-owned and leased buildings is overseen by the Division of Public Works.


       TECenter                                                

      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.


      TechHelp

      TechHelp assists 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. To find workshops and other training events, click here.


      U.S. Census Bureau

      The U.S. Census Bureau offers useful information for market research and/or writing a business plan.

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      Women's Business Center

      The Women's Business Center offers free counseling services, assistance with business plan preparation, and training seminars for women business owners in southwestern Idaho and eastern Oregon.


      City Clerk's Office

      City clerk's offices manage business activities occurring within city limits, including:

      • Business Licenses/Permits: Many cities license some or all business activities occurring within the city limits. You may need a business license, a conditional use permit if your business activity varies from standard zoning requirements for your specific location, an occupancy permit when you open the business, and/or approval of exterior signage. 

      • Closing a business: Permits obtained from a city clerk's office need to be cancelled. Retail businesses planning to hold a going out of business sale may need a permit. 

      • Business Name Change: When the name of a business changes, an existing license will need to be amended. If the name changes because of the sale of the business, a new license may be required.

      To find contact information for your local city clerk's office, click here: City Clerk.


      Alcoholic Beverages

      State and Local Licensing: Several agencies license the sale, manufacture, distribution and/or import of alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine. Applicants must have a background check, including a financial check, and be fingerprinted.

      For general information and the order in which permits need to be obtained, contact your local city or county clerk's office. To apply for an alcohol permit, a business must first have a beer permit.

      To sell or serve liquor by the drink, contact the following agencies:

      To sell alcohol by the bottle, contact the Idaho State Liquor Division in addition to the above agencies. 

      Federal Licensing: Breweries, wineries, importers, exporters, distributors, wholesalers, and those who warehouse alcoholic beverages must secure a federal license from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

      Wine Direct Shippers: Both a wine license and a direct shippers permit need to be obtained from the ID Department of Law Enforcement Alcohol Beverage Control Division. An Idaho sales tax permit and a wine tax permit must also be secured from the Idaho State Tax Commission using forms IBR-1 and BWA.

      Off-site delivery of wine or beer permit

      Beer kegs: A Permit is required when sold to unlicensed individuals and groups   

      Winery-sponsored events: Special events open to the public, such as concerts, need a special events permit from the Department of Law Enforcement Alcohol Beverage Control. Private events, such as wedding receptions, do not need a permit.

      Charitable events: A temporary permit to serve beer or wine at a charitable event lasting 3 days or less is needed.  The applicant must not have a current wine or beer permit and all proceeds must go to charity.

      Application requirements: The following documents are needed to apply for an alcohol license:

      • Completed application form, including a copy of applicant's retail beer license

      • Fingerprint cards and fees to cover the cost of background checks for everyone listed on the application

      • A copy of the lease agreement or proof of ownership of the property where the alcohol will be served, a detailed description of the premises, proof of zoning approval and a copy of the city or county building occupancy permit

      • A copy of the most recent health department facility inspection 

      • Names and address of all persons having a financial interest in the business, including mortgage holders, lease holders and silent partners

      • a copy of the business's entity registration (corporation, LLC, etc.) filed with the Idaho Secretary of State's office

      • Detailed financial statements for the business and each person listed on the application


      Unclaimed Property

      The Idaho State Treasurer's office manages the Unclaimed Property program. Unclaimed property Includes the contents of safe deposit boxes, stocks and bonds, uncashed refund and payroll checks, utility deposits, traveler’s checks, undeliverable tax refund checks, and more. To find out if you or your business has unclaimed property, visit http://sto.idaho.gov/UnclaimedProperty/. To report unclaimed property to Idaho Unclaimed Property, use this form.


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