How to Form an LLC in Iowa


If you’re thinking of starting your own business, you may be wondering what kind of legal structure you should use. An LLC is an option that can help protect the personal assets of its members while still providing a level of liability protection. In this article, we’ll look at how to form an LLC in Iowa and some steps you should take along the way.

Choose a business name that complies with Iowa state laws.

Choose a business name that complies with Iowa state laws. Your company’s name must be distinguishable from other names already in use by other businesses, so make sure it isn’t too similar to another business’ name. If you’re not sure if your proposed LLC name is unique enough, try Googling it to see if there are any results.

Also keep in mind that certain words may not be allowed as part of your company’s name. Your business’s title should not contain any of the following:

  • Obscenities or profanities
  • References to illegal drugs (see below)
  • Discriminatory terms related to race, religion, ethnicity or national origin

File a Certificate of Organization.

  • You can file a Certificate of Organization online or by mail.
  • If you choose to file your Certificate of Organization online, you will need the following information:
  • Your name, address, and date of birth.
  • The name under which the LLC will do business (the “Doing Business As” or DBA name). This should be identical to its legal name unless it has been previously registered with the Secretary of State.
  • The purpose for filing your LLC in Iowa. This may be one or more of the following: 1) Formalize an existing partnership; 2) Create a new partnership; 3) Buy out a partner’s interest; 4) Create an entity that will act as the managing member of another entity (for example, if multiple owners share control over particular assets held by another entity); 5) Create an entity that will own real estate or other property; 6) Provide liability protection for personal assets when traveling outside Iowa; 7) Avoid double taxation on real estate investments where profits are reported annually but taxes paid every two years based on assessed value (this benefit is available only through formation under Chapter 508); 8) Provide for tax treatment as either personal income or corporate income depending on individual circumstances

Appoint a registered agent.

You’ll need to appoint a registered agent for your LLC. A registered agent is a person or business that agrees to accept legal documents (for example, summonses, lawsuits and other legal papers) on behalf of your LLC. Registered agents are usually lawyers, law firms and commercial registered agents.

You can find a registered agent in the state of Iowa by going to the Secretary of State’s website

Create an operating agreement.

An operating agreement is a legal document that governs the LLC. It establishes how the business will be run and what happens if one or more members want to leave. You should create an operating agreement for your Iowa LLC as soon as possible after filing the Articles of Organization. The reason for this is simple: without an operating agreement, all decisions are made by majority vote in meetings (which may not occur regularly—or ever) and each member has equal rights in relation to control over profits and other matters affecting the company’s operation. If you have multiple members, it’s best to have everyone sign off on a written document before any money changes hands or any assets are purchased with the intention of being owned by this new entity.

If you’re looking for help writing an operating agreement for your Iowa LLC, we’ve got resources below that can guide you through it step-by-step:

Obtain the business licenses, permits and insurance required by the state of Iowa.

Once you’ve formed your LLC, you’ll need to obtain a business license. To do this, contact the Department of Revenue in Iowa by calling 515-281-3140 to request an application. You must also obtain a registered agent, who will act as your representative in case legal documents are served on the company; a UBI tax number; and fire insurance, liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance policies. The first two will be issued by the Department of Revenue; the latter two can be purchased from any licensed insurance carrier in Iowa.

Register for taxes with the IRS and the Iowa Department of Revenue.

Before you can register with the Iowa Department of Revenue, you must first register with the IRS.

In order to register as an LLC:

  • You must file a Form SS-4; this form is required for all businesses applying for an EIN. The only exception is if your business has been previously assigned an EIN by the IRS. If this is the case, then you will not need to file a separate application because it will be included in your tax submission.
  • To obtain an EIN from another state (if applicable), refer to their website and follow instructions provided there. The process varies by state but generally involves completing an online form or printing out one that must be mailed in along with proof of identity such as a driver’s license or passport photo page, etc., sometimes both depending on what information they require before processing your request, so check out their guidelines carefully when deciding how best suited they are for helping fulfill yours needs!
  • Once complete contact us so we can help!

Forming an LLC in Iowa follows a standard formula that any aspiring entrepreneur can learn.

You can form an LLC in Iowa by following a standard formula that any aspiring entrepreneur can learn.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Choose a business name that complies with Iowa state laws. You may also want to consider reserving your chosen name as an Internet domain name.
  • File a Certificate of Organization with the Iowa Secretary of State. The filing fee is $60 per year (or $125 if you apply online), and expire on December 31st each year unless renewed; this includes the right to use “Limited Liability Company” or “L.L.C.,” which can be abbreviated as LLC., L-L-C, Ltd., etc.. Note: If you decide not to form an LLC because of these fees, it may be possible under Iowa law for others (including competitors) who have purchased similar rights from the state during previous years.) For example, if someone else has already filed “ABC Corp.” then there would be no way for me – even though I wanted – could ever call myself ABC Corp without paying them royalties each time we produced something together!


We hope this article has helped you understand how to form an LLC in Iowa. Even though it may seem like a daunting task, we’re here to assure you that with our guidance and expertise, the process will be easy and straightforward. Our staff is always happy to answer any questions you may have so please don’t hesitate reaching out if needed!

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