Idaho Business Entity Search

Idaho Business Entity Search is maintained by the office of the Secretary of State. It’s a very useful tool for several purposes, including checking the status of your business or for forming a new business in the state.

Existing businesses can use it to check their filings, see the due date of the annual report, request a certificate of existence, and more. When forming a new business, this tool comes in handy to check for name availability.

Ascertaining name availability is the first step if you’re forming an Idaho LLC. The chosen name has to be unique and distinguishable on record. That means it shouldn’t be the same as, or confusingly similar to existing entities. 

While we are focusing on LLCs here, this information is valid for most business entities. The next sections detail how to conduct an Idaho corporation search.

Accessing And Using Idaho Secretary Of State Business Search

Idaho has a very sleek entity search webpage. It’s functional and intuitive, so using it will be easy. Since the entity search database in most states is managed by the SOS, it’s also called the Idaho Secretary Of State Business Search.

On the search page, you see these basic options:

  • Search by name
  • Search by file number
  • Advanced

As long as you’re using a name or file number for search, you can add them directly to the search box. No additional options or settings need changing. However, if you prefer to streamline or manage the search results, the “advanced” option can come in handy. Let’s take a look at how each of these works. 

Idaho Business Entity Search Using Name

Using a name for search is the simplest option. We recognize most entities by their name, so it makes sense to use the entity search function using the name of the business. Once you enter the entity name, the system checks for existing matches and displays them on the page.

It isn’t necessary to enter the exact or full name of the business to conduct this search. Using a partial name or searching with word(s) contained in an entity name is good enough. All relevant results are displayed as a list at the bottom of the search option. 

Search Using File Number

Each business entity in Idaho has an associated file number. Searches using this number are exact and display only the business associated with the file number. 

Working With The Advanced Option For Entity Search

There might be times when you want to filter the search results to match specific criteria. Since the file number search is exact, the advanced options usually apply to search by name. Clicking on the “Advanced” button gives you the following options:

  • Starts With: List the name options beginning with the search query entered. The query doesn’t have to be a full name. Results will be displayed as long as the query matches the starting of the name of a registered entity. This option works with business name search as well as for registered agent name (explained below).
  • Contains: In this option, the tool checks if the words in the search query are present in registered entities (or if the option is chosen, for registered agents). The order of the words is not important, as long as they’re present in the entity name.

Both these options can be used in conjunction with the following filters.

  • Search by Registered Agent: This option limits the search criteria to Idaho Registered Agents. You can enter the name of a registered agent or use the options mentioned above to view the list of entities represented by an agent.
  • Active Entities Only: Choosing this option limits the search to display only active entities in the results.
  • Filing Date Range: You can choose to limit the results to entities whose filing dates are within a set date range. 

Information From The Entity Search

If the entity search has some results, they’ll be displayed on the page. The information displayed includes entity name, file number, status, filing date, and agent. Clicking on the name will show details for the specific entity.

The details page includes information like entity name, status, type, filing date, principal and mailing address, date for annual report, and name and address of the registered agent. You can also use this page to view previous filings. Entities can choose to order a certificate of existence from this page.

How To Reserve A Business Name In Idaho

The name of your business is important. It’s the first impression on clients and/or customers. It also defines how memorable the business will be to these customers. So, a good name is practically indispensable. On the other hand, good and easily recognizable names are tough to come by.

The name you choose should be unique and distinguishable. This also means that with the hundreds of thousands of already registered businesses, finding a name for your business is a difficult task. So, if you do chance upon a name that fits these criteria, it makes good sense to get hold of it as soon as you can.

Name reservation makes it possible to hold on to a business name without fully forming the business. You can use this name commercially when filing for the Certificate of Organization for your LLC. However, the name can’t be used until a business is formed.

Going for a name reservation gives you enough time to prepare for setting up the business. During the period of name reservation, no one else will be granted authorization to use the chosen name.

You can choose to transfer the reservation at your own judgment, when or if necessary.

Is It Mandatory To Reserve A Business Name In Idaho?

No, Idaho doesn’t require a name reservation. You could move straight away to filing the Certificate of Organization. While name reservation has its advantages, it remains entirely optional. If you aren’t worried about name availability, it might make better sense to skip reservation and save your time and resources.

How Long Does A Name Reservation Last In ID And What Does It Cost?

Once the ID Secretary of State approves the name reservation, it remains valid for 120 days (four months). However, Idaho doesn’t allow a renewal of reservation. So, make it a point to use reservations strategically. 

The cost of filing a name reservation varies depending on how you file the application. If you choose to file online, the cost is $20. Those filing a paper form via mail will have to pay an additional $20, taking the total cost to $40. This is because the state charges an additional $20 fee for manual processing of paper forms.

Reserving A Business Name In Idaho

To reserve a business name in Idaho, you’ll have to file an Application for Reservation of Legal Entity Name. The best way to file this is online, through the Idaho SOSbiz website. The state encourages this method and the filing fee online is $20.

Should you prefer to take the old-fashioned route and send the form via postal mail, download it from the Business Forms section of the SOS website. An additional $20 manual processing fee is chargeable, taking the total cost of the filing to $40. The payment can be made through a check payable to “Idaho Secretary of State”.

Once you’ve filled the form and have the payment ready, mail it to:

Office of the Secretary of State
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, Idaho 83720-0080

There are a few things to remember when filing for a name reservation. First, ensure that the name is compliant with the state’s business entity name restrictions. Second, it pays to do your due diligence and check the entity name through the Idaho Business Entity Search. This can ensure name availability and a greater chance of success for the filing.