By Cora J. Whitney
Small business is a vital part of Idaho’s economy. In fact, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, small businesses create more than 56 percent of private sector jobs in the state*.
Small businesses are the backbone of our community. Whether you own a retail store, a home-based consulting practice, or a small business that provides services to others, the work you do matters.
How to start a small business in Idaho.
To start a successful small business, a great first step is creating a business plan. There are many free forms you can find online that will help you get started. We like this one that is offered by the Small Business Administration. Once you have a thought-out business plan, you are ready to move on to the next step and form your business to become a legal entity.
Forming a small business in Idaho.
Many small business owners don’t realize that forming their businesses in Idaho is one of the most important things they can do. Why? Officially forming a business, whether it is a limited liability company, corporation, or limited partnership provides you and your family’s assets with limited liability protection. A sole proprietorship doesn’t provide you with any legal structure or limited liability protection.
The Idaho Secretary of State recently launched a new online portal to help businesses complete their registration. The new portal includes a search feature for businesses and makes the process quick and easy. In addition to the Secretary of State, we strongly encourage businesses to work with attorneys (we can help here) to draft operating agreements, partnership agreements, or shareholder agreements.
Free resources to help small businesses in Idaho.
If you need support creating your business plan, or discovering more about how running a small business in Idaho works, The Idaho Small Business Development Center is a great place to start. They have a wide range of services to support small businesses in Idaho and are a valuable free resource for the community.
Female entrepreneurs can find help, support, and community through the Idaho Women’s Business Center. They offer free one-on-one mentorship, in-person and virtual business coaching, as well as in-person meetings throughout the state. They have a strong emphasis on supporting women of color in Idaho and are actively working to change the landscape of business ownership in the state.
In addition to those resources, The Idaho Department of Commerce also offers a listing of grants that small businesses can apply for. Many of the grants are aimed at helping to support economic growth in rural areas of the state.
Your Idaho-based business can flourish in today’s competitive environment, no matter which part of the state you’re located in if you have the right small business strategy and the right legal support. As a small business owner, you have unique legal challenges to face, and at Smith + Malek, we’re here to help you understand those challenges, and help your business thrive.
This has been presented as general information and not as legal advice. Do not engage in legal decision-making without the advice of a competent attorney after a discussion of your specific circumstances.