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Iowa LLC

LLC formation

Form an LLC in Iowa by following these simple steps below.

Not ready to start an LLC? Learn the basics.

1. Name your LLC

This is the first and most important step in starting your LLC. Do some research to make sure the name you choose is suited to your business venture and is easily searchable for potential clients.

  1. Follow the naming guidelines: Your entity name must contain the words Limited Liability Company or the abbreviation L.L.C. or LLC. Restricted words require additional paperwork (e.g. Banc, Bank, Banque, etc) and/or licensed individuals (e.g. Doctor, Engineer, etc). to be part of the LLC. Prohibited words are those that would confuse the name of your LLC with a federal or state agency e.g. FBI, Secret Service, Treasury etc.
  2. Is the name available? Make sure the name isn't already taken by doing a name search on the Iowa website.
  3. Is the URL available? Check to see if the name of your LLC is available so that you can reserve your domain name. Even if you don't plan to make a website today, you may want to buy the domain name in order to prevent others from acquiring it.

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An email address is also something to consider when choosing a name. Get a professional email (@yourcompany.com) with Google apps. Also get access to the top business tools, cloud storage, and business-grade security. - Try it for free

2. Choose a Registered Agent

You must nominate a Registered Agent for your LLC in Iowa

What is a Registered Agent? A registered agent is a person or business nominated by your company to officially receive and send papers on your behalf including annual state filings.

Who can be a Registered Agent? The registered agent must be a resident of Iowa or a corporation authorized to transact business in Iowa. You may elect an individual within the company including yourself.

Click here to find out why you may want to use a registered agent service.

Recommended: This registered agent service provides a great package.

3. File the Articles of Organization

How to register your LLC with the State of Iowa

File the Certificate of Organization for a Domestic LLC.

The State of Iowa does not provide a sample Certificate of Organization form. They do provide instructions for writing the Certificate of Organization on their website. We have provided a sample form purely as an example of the kind of form that can be used.

Additional Online Information:
Certificate of Organization - Domestic Iowa LLC

Our Disclaimer THE SAMPLE DOCUMENT BELOW IS PROVIDED "AS IS," "AS AVAILABLE," AND WITH "ALL FAULTS," AND WE AND ANY PROVIDER OF THE DOCUMENTS DISCLAIM ANY WARRANTIES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. - Please see our terms of use

 

SAMPLE Certificate of Organization

The undersigned natural person, acting as organizer of a limited liability company under the Iowa Limited Liability Company Act, adopts the following Certificate of Organization for such limited liability company:

 

Article 1. Name.
The name of this limited liability company is:

 

Article 2. Registered Office and Registered Agent.
The street address of the initial registered office of this limited liability company is: and the name of its initial registered agent at this address is:

 

Article 3. Principal Office.
The street address of the principal office of this limited liability company is:

 

Article 4. Period of Duration.
The period of duration of this limited liability company is:

 

In Witness Whereof, the undersigned Organizer of this Limited Liability Company has executed these Certificate of Organization on the date indicated.

Date:

Signature: ___________________________________________,

Organizer Name:

 

Mail the form to:
Iowa Secretary of State
Business Services
Lucas Building 1st floor
321 E. 12th St
Des Moines, IA 50319

 

A nonrefundable fee of $50 is required when submitting the Certificate of Organization.

Important: If you're expanding your existing LLC to Iowa you are forming a Foreign LLC. Learn how.

4. Create an Operating Agreement

What is an Operating Agreement? An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of your LLC. This agreement allows you to form financial/working relationships with co-owners into an established system suitable to your business. It is not required to form an LLC in Iowa, but is good practice to have one.

Recommended: We provide a free operating agreement however we recommend getting one professional drafted by a lawyer, especially if you are starting a multi-member LLC.

after filing

Further Requirements After LLC Formation

1. Obtain an EIN

What is an EIN? The Employer Identification Number (EIN), or Federal Tax Identification Number, is used to identify a business entity. It is essentially a social security number for the company.

Why do I need an EIN? An EIN is required for the following:

  • To open a bank account for the company
  • For federal and state tax purposes
  • To hire employees for the company

Where do I get an EIN? An EIN is obtained from the IRS (free of charge) by the business owner after they form their business. This can be done by one of two ways:

2. Register for State Tax

Do I need to register for State taxes? You will need to register for State taxes if:

  • you have employees
  • you are selling a physical product that requires sales tax within your State

Determine your state's tax obligations at SBA.gov

3. Obtain Business Licenses & Permits

Do I need business licenses & permits and how do I obtain them?

To operate your LLC you must comply with federal, state, and local government regulations. For example, restaurants likely need health permits, building permits, signage permits, etc.

Find out what types of special licensing you need by doing the following:

  • Fill out the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) comprehensive guide. Follow the directions to obtaining the correct licenses and permits.
  • Contact your local Chamber of Commerce and ask about local licenses and permits.

The details of business licenses and permits vary from state to state. Make sure you read carefully. Don't be surprised if there are short classes required as well.

Fees for business licenses and permits will vary depending on what sort of license you are seeking to obtain.

4. Hire Employees

Once a business decides to hire employees, they are obligated to adhere to certain legal requirements, such as:

  • Ensuring that potential employees are eligible to work in the US
  • Reporting employees as a "new hires" to the State
  • Providing workers' comp insurance for employees
  • Withholding income taxes
  • Printing compliance posters and place in conspicuous location
  • Ensuring payment of employees in specific increments as required by the state

Learn more about hiring employees for your small business.

5. Get Insurance

What is Workers Compensation Insurance? This form of insurance is required for most businesses with employees, but varies by State. Click here to learn more.

What is General Liability Insurance? This is an important service, but is not required in most States. Click here to learn why.

How much will the right insurance cost you? Click here to find out.

additional resources

Additional Resources

Jump Start Your Business

As a new business there are a lot of services you'll need to get started. Below we have provided a short list of some of the things that will help jump start your business.

State of Iowa Quick Links

How to Start an LLC in Iowa How to Video

 

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