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Frequently Asked Questions About Starting an Iowa LLC

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Did you know that Iowa is the birthplace of sliced bread? With history like that, Iowa is the perfect place to start a business! When you're forming an LLC there, there's no doubt that you'll have a slew of questions. We've gathered many of the most frequently asked questions to help you hit the ground running with your Iowa LLC. From registering your company with the state of Iowa, to business licenses and corporate franchise taxes, we’ve got you covered. We’ve answered these questions below and linked extensively to our guides, tools and other services, which makes everything streamlined and simple.

How Do I Decide What the Best Legal Structure Is for My Business?

There are a few different options when it comes to formally starting a business in Iowa. From a legal perspective, there are three main types of Iowa for-profit business entities: LLCs, S Corporations or C Corporations. For many entrepreneurs, we believe an LLC provides the right mix of liability protection and ease of administration.

What Do I Need to Start a Business in Iowa?

In order to start an LLC in the state of Iowa, there are some minimum requirements you must meet. These are a completed Certificate of Organization, a business name and a fee you pay to the Iowa Secretary of State. We recommend taking some additional steps before formally starting your LLC:

After you’ve created your Iowa LLC, you will also need to review your business license requirements, understand ongoing filing needs, set up a separate business bank account and get an accountant.

How Do I Register a Company in Iowa?

In Iowa, you register a business by completing and filing your Certificate of Organization with the Iowa Secretary of State. You will need to gather pertinent information about your business, fill out the form and file it with the Secretary of State along with your processing fee. This will formally create your LLC in Iowa.

You can file your Certificate of Organization using the Secretary of State's Fast Track Filing System. Alternatively, Bizee can guide you through every step of the process by getting details from you and filing the form on your behalf — for free! There’s no additional charge for our basic LLC filing service, so all you need to do is pay the Iowa state filing fee.

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How Much Does It Cost to Form an Iowa LLC?

At the time of writing the fee charged by the Iowa Secretary of State is $50. You can always check the latest Iowa filing fees here. You can also pay an additional $15 or $50 for expedited filing through Bizee, which will create your LLC faster. The amount of the expedited fee is dependent on how quickly you want your filing processed. Some LLC filing services do charge you extra to prepare and submit your filing documents, but at Bizee, we do this for free — so you only pay the state fee.

How Long Does It Take to Form an LLC in Iowa?

Once you’ve gathered all of your information together and filed your Certificate of Organization (or had Bizee do it for you), it can take up to three weeks for the Iowa Secretary of State to legally create your LLC. If you pay an additional $15 or $50 expedited fee, your LLC can be formed in as few as 2 or 5 business days.

How Do I Perform an Iowa Business Search?

When you're thinking of a name for your Iowa LLC you'll need to make sure it's unique, so check first to see if it’s already being used by another business. You can do that via the Iowa Secretary of State website, or by using our fast and simple Business Name Search tool.

Is Your Business Name Available in Your State?

Find out using Bizee’s Business Name Search Tool.

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Trying to Come Up With a Creative Business Name?

Try Bizee's Business Name Generator to brainstorm ideas.

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How Do I Register a Business Name in Iowa?

There are a few ways to register your Iowa LLC name.

  • If you’re creating a new business and your business name is unique in Iowa and meets state naming rules, you simply include it in your Certificate of Organization.
  • If you want to change the legal name of your business, file an Amendment to your Certificate of Organization by using the SOS Fast Track Filing System.
  • If you just want to do business under a different name, file a resolution to adopt a fictitious name with the Iowa Secretary of State, or have Bizee do it on your behalf.

If you want to prevent people from using your business name across the U.S., you can file a trademark for the name. We can help.

What Are Iowa Articles of Incorporation?

In other states, the formal documents that you file to form a corporation or LLC might be known as Articles of Incorporation. In Iowa, this document is called your Certificate of Organization, and it performs the same functions as the Articles of Incorporation.

Does Iowa Permit Series LLC?

Yes, the State of Iowa does allow the formation of a Series LLC. A Series LLC is a special type of LLC where you create one “overall” business and then have individual, series LLCs within it, each counted as separate legal entities.

Do I Need a Registered Agent for My Iowa LLC?

Yes, all legal business entities in Iowa, including LLCs, must have a Registered Agent at all times. Here at Bizee, we provide a free Iowa Registered Agent service for the first year if you file through us.

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How Do I Change a Registered Agent in Iowa?

If you want to change your Iowa Registered Agent you can do so by filing a Statement of Change with the Secretary of State. Here at Bizee, we provide a free Iowa Registered Agent service for the first year if you file through us. If you’ve been using a different Registered Agent and wish to switch to us, we’ll file the Statement of Change on your behalf.

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How Do I Perform an Iowa Registered Agent Search?

If you need to know the Registered Agent of a specific Iowa business, you can perform an Iowa Registered Agent search within the state's business database.

What Iowa Business Taxes Do I Need to Pay?

As an LLC, any business profits you earn will be reported on your personal 1040 filing and reported and taxed as “pass-through” income. You will typically need to pay:

  • Self-employment or payroll tax on all business profits
  • Federal income tax on profits after you meet your tax-free allowance
  • Sales tax for selling taxable products and services
  • What Businesses Need to Pay Iowa Sales Tax?

    Iowa imposes a 6% state sales and use tax on all retail sales, leases and rentals of most goods. You will also need to pay sales tax if you provide a taxable service. You can find everything you need to know about IA sales and use tax in this handy sales and use tax guide provided by the IA Department of Revenue.

    How Do I Get an Iowa Sales Tax ID?

    You will need to obtain a sales and use tax permit from the Iowa Department of Revenue. You can complete this process online via the Department's business registration system.

    How Do I Calculate Iowa Sales Tax?

    The base rate for Iowa sales tax is 6%, and there may be additional local or municipal sales tax depending on your region, county or city. Once you know your overall sales tax amount, calculate the value of all your taxable products and services. Then, multiply that by your sales tax rate to understand how much you will need to pay.

    When Is Iowa Sales Tax Due?

    Once your LLC’s sales tax application is approved, you will receive a letter with instructions on how often you must file a sales tax return and pay sales taxes. Returns and payments may be due monthly, quarterly or annually.

    Does Iowa Levy a Franchise Tax on Businesses?

    No. Several states across the country impose a tax on businesses for the privilege of doing business within the state. This is not the case in Iowa, however businesses are still required to complete corporate income tax returns with the IA Department of Revenue and pay the amount owing.

    Do I Need a License to Do Business in Iowa?

    If you are operating a business within the state of Iowa, chances are you'll need some type of business license to remain in operation. The types of business licenses you need will vary depending on your type of business, industry, location and various other factors. We can research the types of business licenses you might need for you.

    We hope you’ve found this Iowa LLC FAQ useful. If you’ve used our services and have a question that isn’t answered here, let us know and we’d be happy to help.

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