How to Form a C Corporation in Iowa


Congratulations! You’ve decided to form a corporation in Iowa. The process isn’t as difficult as it might seem, but you’ll need to take your time and make sure you’re prepared ahead of time. If you can file all the paperwork correctly and get the necessary licenses and permits, forming a C corporation in Iowa is fairly straightforward — though there are some things that must be done correctly or else your business could be shut down by the state government or face hefty fines from federal regulators. Don’t worry though: We’ll cover everything you need to know about how to form a corporation in Iowa so that you can start building your dream company right away!

Determine the name of your corporation.

The name of your corporation is important because it will be the name of your business and it must be approved by the Iowa Secretary of State. The following are some guidelines for naming a corporation:

  • Choose a simple, descriptive name. Try to avoid using words like “incorporated” or “corporation” in the name because they aren’t allowed.
  • Make sure that no other company has used your proposed name before—it’s best to check with an attorney first!
  • Avoid using numbers in corporate names unless they’re part of an official government identifier such as an EIN (Employer Identification Number) or FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number).

Select a location.

Choosing a location for your business is an important decision. You want to make sure that you choose a location that’s convenient for everyone. Here are some things to consider:

  • Accessibility to customers. Your customers will want to be able to get in touch with you and do business with you easily, so it makes sense to choose a central location where they are likely to be located.
  • Accessibility of employees. You want your employees and/or contractors (if applicable) who work at various locations throughout the day or week, such as salespeople or service technicians, also have access to your building during normal working hours if possible.
  • Accessibility of suppliers and vendors. If there is anything specific about your product or service that requires certain suppliers or vendors for production purposes, proximity will help streamline their ability obtain what they need efficiently without incurring additional costs associated with shipping long distances between supplier/vendor locations versus yours being nearby one another in close proximity so they don’t have spend extra time driving back-and-forth between warehouses each day which means less downtime waiting around while supplies arrive into stock before starting assembly lines etcetera etcetera…

Choose a registered agent.

You must select a registered agent for your corporation. A registered agent is a person or business that agrees to receive legal papers on behalf of the corporation. They must be located in Iowa, and they are available during normal business hours. The registered agent should have a physical street address and telephone number so that they can be easily contacted by third parties who need to contact the company.

Create a corporate bylaws document.

The corporate bylaws are the rules that govern the internal operations of a corporation. They do not need to be filed with the state, but it is still a good idea to keep them on hand in case of any future legal questions or issues. The board of directors will adopt these bylaws and then distribute them to all shareholders and officers so they can know how everything works together.

The corporate bylaws can include information such as:

  • The type of business this corporation will conduct
  • Who can vote or buy shares in this company (specifically who can be an owner)
  • How often meetings should occur and when they should happen

Designate officers, directors and shareholders and hold meetings.

After you’ve filed your Articles of Incorporation with the Iowa Secretary of State and officially formed your C Corporation, you can begin to make decisions about how to run it.

A corporation will need officers (a CEO, president and secretary) who are responsible for managing day-to-day affairs. Officers must be appointed by the shareholders in an official meeting. The directors are responsible for hiring or firing officers, as well as establishing policies that govern how a corporation will operate. Directors should also be appointed by shareholders at an annual meeting or special meeting if needed.

Prepare an articles of incorporation form, pay the filing fee and submit all necessary paperwork to the state.

  • Prepare an articles of incorporation form, pay the filing fee and submit all necessary paperwork to the state.
  • If you are forming a corporation in Iowa, you will need to prepare an articles of incorporation form. The Secretary of State provides this document for free on its website at (see Resources).
  • After submitting the articles of incorporation form, pay your filing fee using a personal check or money order made payable to “Secretary of State” (see Resources). Make sure that you have all necessary documents and information available when completing these steps so as not to delay processing time for your business’s formation process.(see Resources)(see Resources)

Obtain an employer identification number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

You will need an employer identification number (EIN) for your corporation. This is a nine-digit number that acts like a social security number for the business. It is used for tax purposes and to report income to the IRS, and it’s required by all corporations regardless of size or type of business structure (C or S). You can apply online at the IRS website here.

Obtain licenses and permits that are necessary for your business to operate legally in Iowa.

In Iowa, you will need to apply for a business license, which is also called a certificate of authority. This must be done within 90 days of starting your business. You can apply online at the Iowa Secretary of State website or by mail by sending in form 1A-100 with all required attachments and payment.

In addition to applying for a license and permit, you’ll have to obtain tax clearance certificates if you are selling tangible personal property (TPP), making retail sales, or offering taxable services in Iowa. If you operate out of more than one location across multiple counties, then each location must file its own taxes separately. You’ll need separate tax returns filed with the Department of Revenue as well since some counties only allow businesses located within their boundaries to file with them rather than through the state agency itself!

Forming a corporation in Iowa is fairly straightforward if you have all of your documents in order and complete them thoroughly.

Before you begin, you’ll need to have some basic information in order. For example, if you plan on hiring employees and/or forming a partnership with other businesses, it might be necessary to register those entities with the state. This can be done through the Iowa Secretary of State office by filing Articles of Organization. Additionally, if your business will operate in multiple states or has customers who reside out-of-state and will make purchases through your website, then you may also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN). An EIN is used by employers within the United States when they file taxes or pay wages to employees so that they do not have their personal Social Security numbers sent out over mail or email.[1]

To obtain an EIN from the IRS:

  • Go here: https://sa1.www4a0l7zjb38ul2fhv9qe8s4t3u3t4w319c7djo5pblmxd7cpyloqz2i7f9hutg4nq6sjt5fdnh8ghgx2khe71nf42kgdavkdagdxm9begrlkbdlgjlrtvglw8yyxgadskjquklpcprpddrdgsv0r9skleapowzia6un5fnnbwv8rmgazrmbaevsvoeyyrmbadkrksmyltmtclpsikrcfsajtwyijhdtcxetrotwxgnfrznjiiunpnfxjs


It’s probably a good idea to have an attorney help you through the process, especially if this is your first time forming a corporation. The lawyer will be able to ensure that all of the necessary documents are filed correctly and get you started on the right foot by helping with things like choosing a name for your business or selecting an appropriate location. If you decide to go it alone, make sure that you know exactly what information needs to be included in each document before starting work on them because missing anything could mean having to file several times over again with additional fees! It may seem like quite a lot of work—but if done correctly once means never having worry about doing it again!

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