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5 Steps to Starting a Business in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

You’ve got your business plan in place and found the perfect spot to house your new company, right here in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Starting a business can be complicated, especially when you factor in paperwork, taxes, licensing, and all the other seemingly endless requirements. And with everything else you’ve got going on, you don’t have time to waste searching for all the answers to these concerns.

We’re here to save you time and help you get everything in order to open the doors to your new business. This guide outlines the five steps you must take to help get your business organized and off the ground in Coeur d’Alene.

Step 1: Get the right permits and licenses.

In order to legally operate your business, you’ll need to register it with the Idaho Secretary of State. If your business has employees, then you will need a federal Employee Identification Number (EIN), which can be obtained from the IRS.

Depending on the types of services your business will offer, you may also need to obtain professional business licensing from the city clerk as well. Examples of this include daycare centers, taxi services, or establishments that will serve or sell alcohol.

Coeur d’Alene also regulates the type of sign you can use outside of your business and requires a permit for exterior signage. This ensures it adheres to city code.

Step 2: Select your insurance.

In Idaho, businesses with employees must have worker’s compensation insurance as well as state and federal unemployment insurance. Worker’s compensation insurance covers costs resulting from job-related injuries. You can obtain this type of insurance through a private company or through Idaho’s state insurance fund.

Unemployment insurance is actually a tax that must be paid federally as well as locally. It covers unemployment compensation for employees who lose their jobs.

Step 3: Make sure you’re zoned for business.

Before you set up shop or start building a new structure for your business, you’ll need to make sure the area is zoned for that type of work on the city’s zoning maps.

If you plan on building a new structure for your business, you will need a building permit in order to ensure your plans are compliant with city code. These zoning district information sheets list building requirements.

To make the building approval process easier, Coeur d’Lane provides a free service called a project review. Once you submit your proposed plans, the review board will provide recommendations or tell you what you need to do in order to be compliant.

Step 4: Set up your business infrastructure.

Once you get the legalities and exterior of your business situated, you’ll need to set up your business infrastructure. Your needs will vary depending on the business type. At minimum, your business will need Internet and mobile phone services. You should also decide how you plan on interfacing with your customers. If you want to be able to send appointment reminders or allow customers to send text messages, a business texting service may also be useful.

Step 5: Don’t hesitate to ask others for help.

Starting your own business is an exciting time. Whatever you do, don’t get discouraged!

Coeur d’Alene has an entire department dedicated to helping small business owners get their businesses off the ground. If you have questions or get confused along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out to the appropriate government officials at the Idaho Small Business Development Center for help.

Image by Paul Sableman via Flickr

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