Idaho Cleaning Business Start-up Laws

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This article provides three key state business startup requirements for self-employed sole proprietors and general partners who run residential house cleaning businesses. Information from the Secretary of State, the Idaho State Tax Commission and selected city and county government sources were used to research this article.

Be aware that sole proprietor and general partner startup requirements in this state are always changing. Some requirements even vary from county to county.  It is important that you call or visit your local county or city government to find out local requirements for residential house cleaning businesses and home-based businesses. This article is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal or tax advice.

 

Business Name Registration

Sole proprietors and general partners who want a business name that does not include the owner(s) full names (for example, Janice Smith’s Cleaning Service or Martha Harris and Tom Graham’s Maid Service) need to find out whether the name they want to use is available in the state of Idaho. Before registering a business name, be sure to do a search with the Secretary of State’s office.

Then do an online search for names similar to the one you plan to use. For example, if you want to use the name, Crystal Clean Maid Service, do simple Google searches for “Crystal Clean Maid Service+Idaho” plus Crystal Clean Maid Service+your county” and “Crystal Clean Maid Service+your town or city”. Search beyond the first page of results. Go at least five pages deep into the search results to see if the name you want or similar names are being used in your state, county or city.

To operate under an Assumed Business Name or DBA (“doing business as” name) in Idaho, a Certificate of Assumed Business Name must be filed with the state. The form can be found at Idaho’s Online Business Services portal.    The assumed name should be different from any other name already registered with the state.

In the state of Idaho, filing for an assumed name does not guarantee a business sole rights to the use of that name. For example, sole proprietorships can register a name currently being used by another business. Other businesses in the state may also register similar assumed names. Registered businesses are expected to legally defend their assumed names.

Business License Registration

Sole proprietors and general partners do not have to apply for a state business license in Idaho. Business licenses are filed at the local county clerk’s office.  Find a county clerk in Idaho.

General partners must also file a Statement of Partnership Authority with the Secretary of State. In Idaho, a general partnership is created when two or more owners form an oral or written agreement to start a business together. It is advisable for general partners to file for a Certificate of Assumed Business Name. A written partnership agreement drawn up by a lawyer is important for both or all partners. While partnership agreements do not have to be filed with the state, be aware that under Idaho State law:

“a legally binding partnership agreement may be created orally, in writing, or by the actions of two or more parties. Individuals who engage in a common effort to make and share profits from a business activity or businesses that represent themselves to the public as partnerships may have created a legal partnership, even if they have not registered as a General Partnership with the Secretary of State. Creating an unintentional partnership could have serious legal or financial implications.”

Sole proprietors and general partners may apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS even if they do not plan to hire employees. Getting an EIN may make it easier to open a bank account and reduce your risk of identity theft. You can apply for an EIN online.  In addition, some business registration forms will require a a NAICS business classification number for the house cleaning industry.

Business Tax Registration

Register with the Idaho State Tax Commission at the Secretary of State’s Business Portal.

Residential house cleaning services are not taxable in the state of Idaho. Cleaning services do not have to collect and send sales taxes to the State Tax Commission.

Sole proprietors and general partners pay tax on their business income on individual state tax returns. Sole proprietors and general partners may be responsible for paying estimated self-employment state income taxes in Idaho (on Form 51) similar to the way self employment taxes are paid to the federal government. Get more information about estimated tax requirements by calling the State Tax Commission at (208) 334-7660 or Toll free: (800) 972-7660.

Idaho general partnerships that file a Federal partnership information Form 1065, may need to file state income tax Form 65. Get more information from a CPA or qualified tax preparer to find out if your partnership must file those returns.Idaho General partnerships must file a yearly income tax return with the state.

Sole proprietors and general partners do not have to pay the Business Income Tax in Idaho.

Selected Idaho City Licenses

Boise Business License: The city of Boise does not require a business license for residential house cleaning services.

Caldwell Business License: https://www.cityofcaldwell.org/departments/business-permits

Coeur d’Alene Business License: The city of Coeur d’Alene does not require a business license for residential house cleaning services.

Idaho Falls Business License: The city of Idaho Falls does not require a business license for residential house cleaning services.

Meridian Business License: The city of Meridian does not require a business license for residential house cleaning services.

Nampa Business License: The city of Nampa does not require a business license for residential house cleaning services.

Pocatello Business License: The city of Pocatello does not require a business license for residential house cleaning services.

Twin Falls Business License: The city of Twin Falls does not require a business license for residential house cleaning services.

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