Business Entities – FAQ

Pursuant to Idaho Code §30-21-214, effective November 1, 2018, there will be a surcharge of $20 for any filing requiring
manual data entry received by this office if that filing could otherwise be completed (or generated) online.

  1. Where do I get tax related information about forming my business?

    The Idaho State Tax Commission provides information and assistance with tax related questions. Visit the Idaho Tax Commission’s Businesses webpage or call at (208) 334-7660, 1-800-972-7660.

  2. Do I need a tax ID number?

    “Tax identification number” is a generic term that can refer to many types of tax accounts or permits, e.g., the Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN).


    Business Taxes

  3. How do I apply for an EIN?

    An EIN number is assigned by the IRS. Visit the IRS web page How to Apply for an EIN.

  4. Are there additional requirements if I’m forming a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation?

    If you intend to apply for IRS federal tax exemption as a charitable organization, your articles of incorporation must contain a required purpose clause and a dissolution of assets provision.Valuable information on 501(c)(3) qualification is on the IRS website, It includes sample articles of incorporation. Click the Charities and Nonprofits tab and then scroll down to find the Life Cycle of a Public Charity link.

  5. How do I file an “S” Corporation?

    It is the IRS that grants you “S” status for your corporation. They have a very good web page that explains how to qualify and how to apply. Here is the link.

  6. How many people have to sign the Articles of Incorporation?

    One of the incorporators listed in the articles needs to sign. There must be at least one incorporator. The incorporators’ duties terminate upon filing.

  7. How do I qualify an out of state corporation to do business in Idaho?

    You file a Foreign Registration Statement, a form provided by the Secretary of State’s Office. The application must be accompanied by an original certificate of corporate status from the corporation’s state of domestication, dated within 90 days of filing, along with the filing fee.

  8. Will you accept certified copies of a filing from another state in lieu of the certificate of status?

    No, the certificate must be an original certificate of status, not certified copies.

  9. Are bylaws filed with the Secretary of State’s Office?

    No, bylaws are not filed in any public office. They are kept with the corporation’s private records.

  10. How do I reserve a corporate name?

    File Application for Reservation of Corporate Name Form provided by the Secretary of State’s office, requesting the name you would like to reserve. This reserves the name for 4 months.

  11. How do I change the name of my corporation?

    Profit and Non-Profit Corporations: You must file Articles of Amendment. If the individuals do not want to seek the help of an attorney, they need to refer to Idaho Code § 30-29-1006 for profit corporations and Idaho Code § 30-30-705 for non-profit corporations.

  12. Do the business entity documents filed with the Secretary of State’s Office need to be


  13. Must a corporation have a registered agent?

    Yes, all foreign and domestic corporations must have a registered agent pursuant to Idaho Code § 30-21-402.

  14. What is the purpose of the registered agent?

    The registered agent is the person named to receive service of process on behalf of the corporation if litigation occurs.

  15. Can a registered agent have a post office box address?

    A post office box is not accepted as an address for a registered office. The registered agent must be a person or another corporation located at a physical street address in Idaho. A post office box can be used for the mailing address for the corporation.

  16. What if I don’t know anyone to act as registered agent in Idaho?

    There are service companies that will act as registered agents for foreign corporations.

  17. Does the Secretary of State’s Office keep record of stock ownership?

    No. Stock ownership is not a matter of public record. To find this information you may contact the corporation’s secretary or stock record agent. Keep in mind they are not required to disclose this information except to shareholders.

  18. I was cleaning out my grandparents attic and found some old stock certificates for a company that was incorporated in Idaho … can you tell me if the company still exists and if the stock is worth anything?

    Yes and no. We can search our records and tell you the history of the corporation – whether the company still exists under the same name, has merged, changed it’s name, dissolved, etc. If the company is still in existence we can tell you the address we have on file and the most current officers shown on their annual report. We cannot tell you any information on stock value, it is not a part of the information filed with us. contains information on how to go about researching old stock value. It can give you some idea if your stock certificates have value as collectibles even if they have no value as a stock. Our standard disclaimer applies: (1) is a commercial site and our link is not intended to recommend or endorse this particular business, the link is provided for informational purposes only; (2) the contents of is under their control and any questions or comments regarding information found on the site should be directed to them; (3) if we become aware of other web sites offering similar information, they may also be linked.

  19. What does it mean when a corporation is in good standing?

    It means the corporation has met the filing requirements for filing an annual report form updating officers and directors. There is no financial information on the report.

  20. What does it mean when a corporation is forfeited?

    It means the corporation involuntarily gave up its right to do business as a corporation because it failed to file the annual report form by the due date.

  21. Can I fax my applications to the Secretary of State’s Office?

    No. We no longer can process payment under Financial standards designed to protect the consumer in our Office

  22. What is the turn around time for corporation documents?

    We usually have a 7-10 day turn around time, unless an expedite fee is paid. Expedited service is within 8 working hours.

System Upgrade In Progress

Campaign Finance, Lobbyist Reporting, and Online Voter Tools are expected to be offline from April 9th at 5:00 p.m. MDT, through April 12th at 8:00 a.m. MDT to complete a system upgrade.

Per Idaho Code 67-6607, campaign finance is reported monthly during a campaign’s election year. The deadline for the March report falls on Saturday, April 10th. Due to the interruption caused by this upgrade, political treasurers will be allowed to file the March report until 11:59 p.m. MDT on Monday, April 12th.

While we do our best to ensure compliance with all deadlines in statute, the timing of this release is critical to ensure minimal (or no) impact to the May election cycle. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.