How to Start a Business in Iowa (Step by Step Guide)

Starting Business in IowaAre you thinking about starting your own business in Iowa? If so, then you have come to the right place!

On this page, you can find step by step DIY instructions on how to incorporate your business in Iowa. From selecting the business entity type to forms to be filled, we have covered it all.

Let’s get Started

The first step in setting up your business is to select the business structure.

Broadly there are 4 types of business entities that can be registered:

  1. Limited Liability Company (Most Popular)
  2. Corporation
  3. Sole Proprietorship
  4. Partnership

Each business structure differs on the basis of taxation, asset liability and estate planning. We have written a detailed tutorial on how to choose a business entity type for your business here.

Below we have given a broad outline of the steps involved in registering an LLC or Corporation in Iowa.

Clicking on each step, opens up a detailed guide on how to complete it.

How to Start an LLC in Iowa

Agency ResponsibleIowa Secretary of State – Business Services
Form(s) to be filledCertificate of Organization
ModeMail, fax, Online
Name ReservationOptional, Fee $10 (Mail)
Filing Fee$50
Time2 days
LawREVISED UNIFORM LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY ACT, §489.201


Summary:

  1. Choose a Business Name
  2. File for Business name reservation (Optional)
  3. Select a Registered Agent
  4. Fill Certificate of Organization form
  5. Prepare an Operating Agreement
  6. Get an EIN Number (IRS Form SS-4)
  7. Get Iowa Tax ID Number
  8. Obtain relevant licenses and permits
  9. (Ongoing) File Biennial Report

How to Start a Corporation in Iowa

Agency ResponsibleIowa Secretary of State – Business Services
Form(s) to be filledArticles of Incorporation
ModeMail, fax, Online
Name ReservationOptional, Fee $10 (Mail)
Filing Fee$50
Time2 days
LawIA Code § 490.202 (2016)

Summary:

  1. Search for a Business Name
  2. File for Business Name Reservation(Optional)
  3. Select Registered Agent
  4. Fill the Articles of Incorporation form
  5. Create Bylaws
  6. Get Iowa Tax ID Number
  7. Obtain relevant licenses and permits
  8. (Ongoing) File Biennial Report



References:
https://law.justia.com/codes/iowa/2011/titlexii/subtitle2/chapter489/489-201/

Last fact-checked on 25/07/2018

Download Iowa LLC Operating Agreement (PDF / DOCX)

Every Iowa LLC owner should execute an operating agreement, if not done already. Without a valid agreement, your LLC will be governed by default state statutes. And in case of any legal issues, default statutes are applicable which will not be in the best interest of your business. For example, the default LLC statutes mandates […]

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