Iowa Business Entity Name Reservation & Naming Requirements Guide

Iowa (IA) State ShapeThe first step in forming your business in Iowa is to check whether the business name you’ve choosen is available for registration or not. You can find information about how to conduct a business name availability search here.

Once you ‘re sure the name is available you can proceed with the formation of your business. In cases where you’re sure about the name but are not yet ready for filing yet, in such scenarios name reservation can be helpful. Name reservation protects your business name from being registered by someone else till the time you’re ready for filing.

The business name can be reserved for the period of 120 days which can be further renewed. It can also be transferred to any third party during the holding period.

Iowa Business Entity Naming Requirement for LLCs and Corporations

Iowa Secretary of State has mandated certain requirements which you must keep in mind while selecting a business name.

The chosen business name must be unique and distinguishable from any existing business entity name registered with the Secretary of State. Also any difference in grammar, similarly sounding business name, or using stop words does not make the business name unique and it will finally lead to the name being rejected.

For example, the following names are not distinguishable:

  • Justin Plumber LLC vs The Justin Plumber LLC
  • Mango Farm LLC vs Mango Farms LLC
  • Jake & Mary Corporation vs Jake and Mary Corporation

Required suffix in the business name:

LLC Naming requirements
Must contain either “Limited Liability Company”, “Limited Company”, “L.L.C.”, “LLC”, “L.C.”, “LC”, “Limited”, “Ltd.”, “Company” or “Co.”
Corporation Naming requirements
Must contain either “Corporation”, “Incorporated”, “Company”, “Limited” or an abbreviation of one of such words.
Prohibited Words
  • Language falsely indicating or implying the business is organized for an impermissible purpose
  • An LLC cannot end with “Corporation”, “Corp”, “Co” etc.
  • A corporation cannot end with “LLC”, “Limited Liability Company” etc.

How to Check for Business Name Availability in Iowa

To make sure the name you’ve chosen for your business is unique and distinguishable, you must search through the Iowa SOS business records. We have written an in-depth tutorial on how to search for a business name in Iowa here.

How to File for Business Name Reservation in Iowa

Business name reservation can be filed over mail. The process can take upto 1 week.

By Mail

Download Form
AddressSecretary Of State
Business Services Division
Lucas Building, 1st Floor
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
Processing TimeWithin 1 week
  1. Download the name reservation form – Link.
  2. Fill the form with the requested details.
  3. Include the money order or check drawn in favor of “Secretary of State”.
  4. Send the filled form to:
    Secretary Of State
    Business Services Division
    Lucas Building, 1st Floor
    Des Moines, Iowa 50319


For any queries, you can contact the SOS at 515-281-5204 during business hours.


Last Updated: 15/01/2018

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