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How to Name Your Iowa LLC

Learn how to conduct an Iowa business search with the Iowa Secretary of State and register your LLC name.

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Whether you’re searching for the right business name or registering your LLC with the Iowa Secretary of State (SOS), Bizee can help. We’ve got all the information you need on how to conduct an Iowa business search, plus LLC naming rules, fictitious names and registering your business.

General Rules for LLC Names

These rules typically apply to all LLCs, regardless of which state they're formed in.


Your LLC Name Must Be Unique

Your preferred business name cannot be used by any other LLC or corporation in the State of Iowa. This is why it's imperative to perform an Iowa business entity search before you begin the filing process.


Your LLC Name Must Not Be Confused with Another Business Name

Your LLC name should be unique, but that’s not enough. It also cannot be similar to the name of a corporation or LLC in Iowa. For example, you cannot use the following factors to say your name is different from the name of another business:

  • Suffixes, such as Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp., Co., Inc., Ltd., LLC, etc.
  • Definite articles, such as “A,” “An,” or “The”
  • The conjunction "And," or “&"
  • The singular, plural or possessive forms of words
  • Abbreviations, punctuation, symbols, fonts, typefaces, etc.
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    Your LLC Name Must Contain Certain Words

    All LLCs must have the words “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC” in their names, normally at the end of the name.


    Your LLC Name May Have Other General Restrictions

    Most states will not allow you to form LLCs with names that:

    Are very similar to the name of a federal or state agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, Iowa Comptroller, Iowa Police, Treasury, etc.)

    Suggest affiliation with a federal or state agency or organization

    Use the term “Olympic” or any terms that are trademarks of the International Olympic Committee

    Imply a purpose that would be illegal for your business to carry out

    Specific Rules for Iowa Business Names

    As mentioned above, Iowa requires LLCs to comply with the general naming rules. Iowa does not require any further name regulations to be met.

    How to Come Up with a Business Name

    Finding the perfect business name can be elusive. We have a complete guide to choosing the right business name, but basically, you'll want to choose a name that will:

    • Best represent your product or services
    • Be memorable enough to stand out
    • Appeal to your customers
    • Not be used by any other business

    Need help coming up with business name ideas? Try our free Business Name Generator.

    Iowa Business Search

    Once you have an idea of your preferred business name, you’ll need to perform an Iowa business name search to make sure the name hasn’t been taken by another business.

    Bizee offers a fast, simple and convenient tool to look up your proposed business name. The Iowa Secretary of State also has a tool that lets you search the State of Iowa business registry to see whether another business entity already has your desired business name.

    Find out whether your preferred business name is available in Iowa with Bizee’s free tool

    Check Your LLC Name
    Business Name Search Tool

    Trademarks and Service Marks

    You must be careful that your Iowa LLC name doesn’t infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. The easiest way to make sure your proposed business name doesn’t do that is to complete a trademark search through Bizee. If no one else is using it, you can even register it as a trademark yourself.

    Make Sure Your Business is Starting Off on the Right Foot When It Comes to Intellectual Property.

    Bizee’s Trademark and Registration Service

    Iowa DBA or Fictitious Name

    You may do business under a different name from your legal LLC name. In some states, this is called a DBA (doing business as), trade name or assumed name. In Iowa, it's called a fictitious name. You may decide to use an Iowa fictitious name for a variety of reasons.

    For example, your business might be called Midwest Marketing Solutions, LLC, and under that company, you have an event planning business called Midwest Events. You could file for a fictitious business name just for that company. You'll file a resolution to adopt a fictitious name with the Secretary of State, or you can have Bizee do it on your behalf through our DBA service.

    Note: A trade name is not the same as a trademark. Learn more about trademark vs. DBA.

    Register and Manage a DBA or Fictitious Name Through Our Easy-To-Use Service

    Get a DBA or Fictitious Name
    Assumed business name document

    Register Your Business Name with the Iowa Secretary of State

    Once you’ve completed an Iowa business entity search, checked availability, followed the naming rules and decided whether you need a fictitious name, you can register your LLC name. There are a couple of ways to do this.

    1. If you don’t want to form your LLC right now, you can reserve the business name. You’ll need to file an application for reservation of name with the Iowa Secretary of State. Your name will be reserved for 120 days once the application is processed. If you’re forming your Iowa LLC right away, you won’t need to reserve a name.
    2. If you’re ready to start your LLC now, you can file your Certificate of Organization with the Iowa SOS or have Bizee do it for you.

    Bizee Can Handle All Your Formation Paperwork With the State of Iowa for You — and We’ll Do It for Free!

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    FAQs About Naming Your Iowa LLC


    How Do I Search for My Iowa Business Name?

    Use our intuitive, free Business Name Search tool and enter your desired business name. You can also perform an Iowa business search of the state's registry, which will tell you whether there are any corporations or LLCs in the state with that name.


    Are There Any Rules for Naming My LLC in Iowa?

    Yes. Most LLCs are bound by general rules (applicable to all LLCs) and specific rules (applicable in the State of Iowa). You'll find more information above.


    Can I Do Business in Iowa Under a Name Different from My LLC Name?

    Yes. You can conduct business under a fictitious name. Details are above.


    Can I Reserve a Name for My LLC in Iowa?

    Yes. The Iowa Secretary of State allows you to reserve a name for 120 days if you don’t want to start your business immediately. Details are above. If you’re ready to start your business now, you don’t need to reserve a name.

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