Starting and managing a business is an exciting endeavor, but it takes hard work and thorough research to increase your likelihood of success. The U.S. Small Business Administration is charged with supporting business ventures, while providing resources and programs that guide businesses through the start-up process. The City of Caldwell is also dedicated to helping you answer business start-up questions and navigate the overall business process. Evaluating a sound business plan will help you think through important issues that you may not have considered. Your business plan will become a valuable tool as you set out to launch your business.
Before you hire employees, apply for a business license, or find a location, take time to research the information on this page and continue to explore the numerous resources available to you.
10 Steps to Starting a Business
1. Develop a Business Plan
A business plan operates like a roadmap, showing you how to structure, run, and grow your new business. Your business plan will help you outline and create actions you need to take in order to reach your goals. The resources shown below, such as the Small Business Administration (SBA) and SCORE, provide support to individuals seeking assistance with business plans.
2. Secure Startup Capital
Small businesses have financial resources available in Caldwell and across the Treasure Valley, but limited options are available to startups. You may find information under "additional resources" for guidance on financing options.
3. Choose and Register a Business Name
The name you choose for your business is an important aspect of your operation. Create a business name by completing the Certificate of Assumed Business Name (also called a DBA) form on the Idaho Secretary of State’s website. If you register your business as an LLC or corporation, you will also be registering the name and do not need to file the DBA form. For information about protecting your business name, see the Trademarks FAQ page.
4. Get an EIN (Employee Identification Number)
An EIN is the federal tax number that identifies your business. You don't need an EIN unless you will have employees, plan to form a partnership, LLC, or Corporation. It's free and allows you to keep your Social Security number (SSN) private and reduce the chance of identity theft. (If you don't have an EIN, your SSN identifies your business for tax purposes.) (IRS.gov)
5. Research Which Taxes, Licenses, and Permits Your Business Needs
The licenses and permits you need for your business will vary by industry, location, and other factors. The Idaho Biz Help Business Wizard can help you with business estimations: (idahobizhelp.idaho.gov).
6. Register for a Sales Tax Permit (and Withholding Account, if Necessary)
If you plan to sell a product within your business, you will need to secure a sales tax permit from the Idaho State Tax Commission. If you will have employees, you will need to establish a state income tax withholding account with the Idaho State Tax Commission and an unemployment insurance tax account with the Idaho Department of Labor. Both can be established by completing form IBR-1. Completing form IBR-1 also registers you for a sales and use tax account. Additionally, because businesses are taxed on personal property (such as furniture and equipment), fill out a tax form for business personal property (if necessary).
7. Get a Business Bank Account
Open an account using your business name and EIN. Use that account for all business-related deposits, withdrawals, and transactions. After this is done, set up your accounting and record-keeping systems.
8. Get Business Insurance
All businesses need insurance, but how much and what type depends on your business activities. Many types of insurance are available; some are required by law and others are optional. If you have employees, have them fill out Forms I-9 and W-4. Report new hires to the Idaho Department of Labor. (labor.idaho.gov)
9. Get a Business Permit with the City of Caldwell
All businesses in the City of Caldwell are required to have a Business Permit. Business Permits are reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Staff, the Building Department, the Fire Department and the City Clerk. Please see our business permit page to review the process of obtaining a business permit.
10. Market Your Business
Design a logo and prepare to share your information through various social media outlets. Register your domain name and create a website. Order business cards. Along with some of the resource options below, your local SBA office can suggest useful tools to help you showcase your business to the public. (sba.gov/offices/district/id/boise)
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
Created in 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) helps small business owners and entrepreneurs pursue the American dream by providing counseling, access to capital, contracting expertise and other forms of assistance. The SBA provides assistance to small businesses by providing loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance. SBA has a local district office located at 380 E Parkcenter Blvd, Suite 330., Boise, Idaho 83706.
Contact: Irene Gonzalez, Economic Development Specialist
Additionally, the SBA offers a range of affordable statewide workshops and trainings. Please see the workshop page to learn more.
Zions Bank Business Resource Center
The Zions Bank Business Resource Center helps businesses find answers and resources, develop strategies, solve problems and get guidance for starting a business. Topics include finance, sales and marketing, security measures, and industry guides. Zions Bank offers a range of Business Resource Training and Events throughout the state for your consideration.
Idaho Department of Commerce
The Idaho Department of Commerce business page provides information to assist you with starting or growing a business. They are dedicated to helping your business thrive by providing a number of resources, which includes their business resource guide.
SCORE is a nonprofit group comprised of volunteer, expert business mentors. They are dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. SCORE is the nation's largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, with more than 10,000 volunteers in 300 chapters. SCORE provides free, confidential mentoring in person, via email or by video, they provide free business tools, templates and tips, and they provide inexpensive or free business workshops (locally) and webinars (online 24/7).
From offices in Boise, Post Falls, and Pocatello, TechHelp Specialists help Idaho manufacturers, food processors and inventors/entrepreneurs improve their competitiveness through continuous product and process innovation. Their services fall into three primary areas of practice that include:
TechHelp is a partnership of Idaho’s three state universities and provides services statewide using university facilities around the state. This partnership gives Idaho companies access to university facilities, students, and faculty available to meet their needs.
In addition, TechHelp offers a number of events throughout the year to help Idaho manufacturers and inventors improve competitiveness and profitability.
Caldwell Chamber of Commerce
The Caldwell Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the economic prosperity of the City of Caldwell. They support membership through educational programs, visitor information services, and community events.
Jannus provides tools and resources necessary for financial resilience to socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Jannus supports individuals with asset development, credit building, and business planning.
MoFi Business Consulting
MoFi provides business loans to help with startup costs, exisiting business purchases, real estate, equipment purchases, working capital, debt restructure, and more. All of MoFi's borrowers receive a free, customized path to bankability plan. Consulting services can include accounting and bookkeeping support, credit-building plans, assistance with human resource policies that promote inclusive hiring and employee retention, marketing and PR, legal assistance, and ultimately, helping them successfully apply for bank financing.
Entrepreneurship Centers/Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
New Ventures Lab
New Ventures Lab is a hybrid co-working space specifically designed for turning ideas into businesses. It is a combination of spaces and processes intended to help you identify a business plan and grow your venture. The Lab uses the Lean Startup processes to help individuals and groups launch their business. The Lab provides networking opportunities along with tangible resources to help your business grow and succeed.
Trailhead is home to over 350 inventors, builders, creators, and business experts delivering new, better, faster products and businesses that make a difference. They are committed to supporting them as they innovate for the future.
Trailhead is located in downtown Boise and provides events on innovation, start-ups, and panel discussions by investors and technologists.
Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
The Idaho Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is a statewide, university-based organization which has been helping small businesses succeed since 1986. Experienced Idaho SBDC consultants provide guidance in developing and growing a successful business. Idaho SBDC assistance is available to anyone interested in expanding or starting a private small business in Idaho. Consulting is available at no cost to you. There are three (3) locations available in our region:
Regional Office - BSU Micron Business & Economic Building
2360 West University Drive, Suite 2132
Boise, ID 83706
Boise Business Accelerator
520 West Idaho Street
Boise, ID 83720
Nampa Business Accelerator
5465 East Terralinda Way
Nampa, ID 83687
Additionally, the SBA offers a range of affordable statewide workshops and trainings. Please see the regional training page to learn more.