First Steps

Helping Businesses Thrive and Grow

Questions to ask yourself…

  • • What is your business idea? Can you describe it in 3 or 4 sentences?
  • • Who is your best customer?
  • • What problems/needs do they have that you want to solved/meet?
  • • What would these benefits be worth to your customers?
  • • How will you deliver these benefits to your best customers?
  • • Can you do it at the price and cost that would create a “win-win” for your customer and for your business?
  • • How will you retain and repeat these experience with your customers?

Click here for more on Business Planning.

Helpful Documents

Business Start-up Guide (PDF) – A guide provided by the Idaho SBDC that is designed to walk you through the key steps in starting a business.

Starting a Business in Idaho (PDF) – This booklet from the Idaho Department of Commerce provides Idaho entrepreneurs and new businesses with information essential to begin successful operations.

Online Resources

Small Business Readiness Assessment Tool – This assessment will help you evaluate your skills and experience and direct you to SBA resources.

Business Skills Assessment – What skills do you have and what will you need to learn or delegate to others?

Business Wizard

Business Entity Search – Prior to filling for an Assumed Business Name it may be useful to run a search for business entities that have names identical or similar to your desired business name.

Certificate of Assumed Business Name (PDF) – If you plan to operate your business by a name other than your full legal name you will need to register the business name.

Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN):

Do You Need an EIN?

Apply for an EIN by filling out the Application for Employer Identification Number (PDF) and submitting it by Mail or Fax, or apply online.

Complete the Idaho Business Registration System (IBR-1) – Businesses that have employees and/or make retail sales need to apply for Idaho Income Tax Withholding andUnemployment Insurance Accounts and establish sales and use tax accounts. The IBR-1 system helps business owners apply for these accounts.