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Starting a Business in Iowa

We’re Just Not Annoying®


Starting a business in Iowa can and should be easier than you think. You file simple forms with the secretary of state, and your business is formed! Obviously there’s a few more things than that, but if you’d like to start your own business yourself, you will find it easy to hire us as your registered agent and you’ll find all the forms you could file to start a business in Iowa, along with great filing instructions on the quickest and cheapest ways to start your business in Iowa.

What’s the actual process to start a business in Iowa?


You file Articles of Incorporation for an Iowa corporation or Certificate of Organization for an Iowa LLC with the IA Secretary of State.

Federal Tax ID

You obtain a federal tax ID number (FEIN or EIN) with the IRS after you have confirmation and filed articles from the State of Iowa showing your approved Iowa business.

Bank Account

Opening a business banking account under your new Iowa business name should be easy with these two items.

Department of Revenue

If you’re going to have employees or need to withhold sales tax, you will probably need to register with the IA Iowa Department of Revenue and Finance and Iowa Workforce Development. We provide all these links in your online account.

Trade License

If your business trade requires a license, you’ll have to apply for a license with the Iowa licensing board. (Most businesses don’t.) But if you do, these quick links and contact details are in your online account.

Local License

Some local cities or counties have a general license, but most don’t.
You obtain a local trade license if the city or county you’re going to be working in requires it.


If you’re going to have an office or shop you might need an approval from the city zoning for your type of business in that location.

Get Going

If you get overwhelmed, just get your business pulling in money and worry about regulations later.

Are you a do-it-yourselfer? You can save some money:

If you want to start a business in Iowa yourself, you can just hire us as your Iowa registered agent, and you’ll instantly have the Iowa LLC or corporation forms to file along with filing instructions on the quickest, cheapest, and most efficient way to incorporate an Iowa corporation or form a Iowa LLC. You’ll get the ongoing support of our online tools, reminders and the support of a professional Iowa registered agent service.

Start Your Business Today

If you want a corporation, you file Iowa Articles of Incorporation:

The Iowa Articles of Incorporation cost $50 with the Iowa Secretary of State.
We custom draft your Iowa Articles of Incorporation when you hire Northwest to start your Iowa business. The basic requirements of Iowa corporations are:

  • The Iowa corporation must have a corporate ending such as INC, Incorporated, Corporation or a different variety.
  • The Iowa corporation name must be different than already registered Iowa corporations.
  • The number of shares the Iowa corporation is authorized to issue.
  • The name and office address of the registered agent in Iowa.
  • The name and address of each incorporator of the Iowa corporation.
  • Optional provisions.
  • The Iowa chairperson of the board of directors, its president, an officer, or the incorporator must sign and date the Articles of Incorporation.
  • The address and title of the person executing the Articles of Incorporation.

Iowa does not require original signatures on new IA corporation filings. The filed articles will be mailed to the return address on the envelope. If you fax a document to the SOS they will faxed it back after filing.

If you want a LLC, you file Iowa Certificate of Organization:

To form an Iowa LLC, you file an Iowa Certificate of Organization and pay the $50 fee. The basic requirements of Iowa LLC filings are:

  • The business name must have a LLC ending or variation of it.
  • The Iowa company name must be different than already registered Iowa companies.
  • The street and mailing addresses of the initial registered office.
  • The Iowa registered agent name and the physical address.
  • Optional provisions.
  • The Iowa organizer must sign and date.

Iowa does not require original signatures on new IA LLC filings. You’ll get the filed articles mailed back to you after the state approves your filing. If you fax, the SOS will fax your filing back to you.

Corporate Compliance
by Local Corporate Guides®