How to get a business license in Idaho

Updated on December 21, 2023


Securing a business license in Idaho is a key step for legal operations. This guide will walk you through the essentials: who needs a license, the types available, the application process, cost considerations, necessary documents, maintaining compliance, and special state-specific considerations.

Who Needs a Business License in Idaho?

Most commercial businesses in ID require licensing, including retailers, restaurants, service providers, rental properties, contractors, and independent professionals.

Penalties for non-compliance include fines up to $1,000 per violation, possible business closure after multiple offenses, and potential criminal charges.

Understanding Idaho Business Licenses

Common Idaho business licenses include:

  • General state business licenses – Needed for most
  • Local city licenses – Required in some municipalities
  • Sales tax permits – For collecting/remitting sales tax
  • Professional/vocational licenses – For specialized services

Preparing to Apply for a License

Start by using the Idaho Business Licenses & Permits tool to determine the licenses required for your specific business activities. Gather necessary documents like business formation papers and lease agreements. Fees will vary based on the type of license.

Step-By-Step Guide to Apply

Idaho facilitates both online and paper applications for business licenses. To apply online:

  1. Access Idaho OneStop Business Portal
  2. Run the Permitting Wizard
  3. Select your required license types
  4. Provide requested business and ownership details
  5. Pay all fees
  6. Obtain approvals

After Submitting an Application

Typically, online applications in Idaho are processed within 10 business days. You can check the status of your application through the OneStop portal. Be prepared to provide additional information if requested.

Maintaining Compliance

Once licensed in Idaho, ensure compliance by displaying licenses visibly, renewing them before expiration, remitting tax payments on time, and reporting any changes in your business.

Obtaining Federal Registrations

In addition to state requirements, businesses often need federal registrations such as:

Special Considerations

There are specific rules for businesses like liquor stores, contractors, healthcare services, and those in the mining and renewable energy sectors. Check with the relevant regulatory bodies for detailed requirements.

Registering Your Business Name

Register your trade name or DBA at the county level in Idaho through the County Clerk’s office.

Idaho Tax Permits

Key tax permits in Idaho include Sales & Use Tax Permits and Fuel Tax Permits.


Who Needs an Idaho Business License?

Most commercial businesses in Idaho, including those in the retail, hospitality, tourism, construction, and healthcare sectors, require a license.

What Do Licenses Cost in Idaho?

Licensing fees in Idaho can range from $20 to over $300, depending on the type of business and activities. Consult the state’s fee listings for specific estimates.

Final Thoughts

Properly registering your business in Idaho is crucial for compliance and smooth operations. Take advantage of online licensing options for a more efficient process.

Priyank Singh

Priyank Singh, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Stilt, specializes in technology-driven financial solutions. He is having experience of starting FinTech Company, understanding regulations and coming up with creative solutions to solve difficult problems.