How to Form an S Corporation in Iowa


In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of forming an s corporation in Iowa.

Step 1: Decide on a Name for Your Business

  • Decide on a name for your business. Try to be as descriptive as possible, but don’t use a word that’s likely to confuse people (for example, you could use “Psycho Tax Consulting” but not “Psycho Tax Services”). Make sure it isn’t already in use by another company, particularly if it’s one of your competitors. You should also check for trademark infringement with the state department of commerce and industry.*

Step 2: Submit the Required Paperwork

The next step is the submission of the required paperwork to form a corporation in Iowa. This includes submitting a corporation application that should be completed by all shareholders and directors. You can also use this form as your application for registered agent service; it must include:

  • The name of the business entity
  • The location where business is conducted (if different than headquarters)
  • A signature line for each person signing on behalf of the entity

Step 3: Decide on a Registered Agent

  • Who is the registered agent?

The registered agent is the individual or business that manages your state filing responsibilities on behalf of your corporation. This person will receive official communication from the state on behalf of your company, and he or she can also be held responsible for any taxes due on behalf of your business. It’s essential for you to find a reputable, dependable registered agent who understands what’s required to maintain an active corporate charter in Iowa. The best way to do this is by conducting research online using search engines like Google. You’ll want to look at review sites like Yelp and Facebook, which may have feedback from past clients; if possible, ask friends or colleagues who have used this type of service before how they liked their experiences with previous providers.

Step 4: Get an Employee Identification Number (EIN)

An EIN is a nine-digit number that identifies your business. It looks like this: 123-45-6789.

The IRS requires you to have an EIN before you can apply for most types of business tax identification numbers, including a corporation and partnership tax ID number, as well as an individual taxpayer ID number (ITIN).

You can get an EIN by filing Form SS-4 with the IRS. The form isn’t complicated, but it does require basic information about your company and its owners or partners—so be sure to read through it carefully before submitting it in person at a local IRS office or by mail. You also need to include proof of your identity when applying in person or through the mail; bring along one document from List B or C of Form W-7 if applying in person, or one from List A on Form SS-4 if mailing in your request over the mail.*

Step 5: Track Your Finances

Once you’ve formed your business, you’ll need to set up an accounting system. This is an essential step in keeping track of your financial information and ensuring that all necessary taxes are paid.

You can set up an accounting system yourself or hire an accountant to do it for you. If you’re new at this, it’s best to hire someone else to do the work because they will know the best practices and legal requirements for organizing your books properly.

Once you have a firm grasp on what needs to go into your accounting system, there are some crucial questions that must be answered: Who is responsible for bookkeeping? How often will it be updated? What data does each individual report contain? When should reports be filed with the IRS or state tax authorities?

Once these questions are answered (and if you’re setting up a large corporation), consider hiring someone qualified to handle these tasks on behalf of your company.

Step 6: Establishment of Internal Governance Procedures

Establish internal governance procedures and formalize them in writing. Internal governance procedures should be consistent with the business entity’s purpose, size and complexity, industry, or any other factor relevant to its operations. The corporation must adopt a buy-sell agreement that is consistent with the governing documents of the business organization and its purpose.

The board of directors may hire officers (for example, president), establish committees and delegate authority as appropriate for effective management.

Step 7: Undertake any Necessary Government Registrations or Licensing

After forming your business, it will need to undergo other necessary government registrations or licensing. This includes:

  • Federal Tax ID
  • State Tax ID
  • Business licenses, work permits and/or other permits from local, county and state governments.
  • Insurance (liability, workers’ compensation) if required by law for the industry in which you operate.

 Required Paperwork and Legwork for an S Corporation

Forming an S-corporation is not difficult, but it does require some paperwork and legwork. You should ensure that you have a registered agent in your state of incorporation. This person or company will receive legal documents on behalf of the corporation and act as its representative with respect to those matters.

You’ll also need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which is just like a Social Security number for businesses; this number must be used whenever you conduct business affairs with any government agency or other entity outside of your business structure. Lastly, you need to set up your accounting system so that all financial transactions can be recorded accurately and efficiently (for example, having a separate bank account for each type of income).

To formalize internal governance procedures within the company itself, each shareholder should sign off on these rules before they become effective: start-up capital commitment agreement; general operating agreement; director rotation schedule; director removal process; shareholder removal process; required notice provisions for board meetings and special meetings (and related action); quorum requirements for board meetings and special meetings (and related action).


Becoming an S-corporation is not difficult, but it does require some paperwork and legwork.

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