Should you form your LLC in Iowa? We've collected the relevant information that will help you make this decision.

Pros

  • Taxed as a partnership
  • Low cost of living
  • Low cost of doing business
  • Among "Best States to Live" (US News and World Report 2017)

Cons

  • Geographical distance from coasts

Cost of doing business

  • $50 filing fee / $30 annual report (if filed online)

Privacy

  • No disclosure of owners

Forming an LLC in Iowa

The name
In order to communicate to the public that your new business is an LLC, its official name will need to end with one of the following signifiers (or abbreviation of): “Limited liability company”,  “Limited Company”, “LC”, “L.C.”, “LLC”, or “L.L.C.” In addition, it is required that the name of your business is not intentionally misleading to consumers, for any reason. Your company’s new name must also be completely unique, and not deceptively similar to any other organizations name or trademarks. Do a FREE name search now.

Ownership
The owners of an LLC are called “members.” The following information must be required regarding your LLCs members:

  • Required number of members
    Iowa LLCs must have at least one member or manager listed in their incorporation documents.
  • Age restrictions
    LLC members in Iowa may be of any age.
  • Residence restrictions
    There are no residence restrictions imposed on LLC members in Iowa.
  • What information needs to be included in the Certificate of Organization?
    Outside of the principal member, LLC Members in Iowa are not required to list their name or addresses in their Certificate of Organization.

Requirements for the Certificate of Organization

The Certificate of Organization is a document that must be filed during the LLC formation process in every state. Here is the information that must be included in this document when filing in Iowa:

Registered agent information
All Iowa LLCs must have a registered agent on file, and submit their name and address (which cannot be a PO box). This agent will be required to be accessible during standard business hours, and act as the state’s point of contact with the company. Learn more about registered agents.

If your business is a professional practice
Professional service companies are permitted to form under the professional limited liability company (PLLC) structure.

Iowa LLC taxation and fee requirements

There are several tax and fee requirements that must be addressed by LLCs in Iowa. They are as follows:

Taxation
All states have complex taxation requirements. For more information regarding taxes in Iowa it is advised that you visit the state’s official business related website. 

Annual report requirements
LLCs in Iowa are required to file a bi-annual report every other year before April 1st. The cost of this filing is currently $45, but online filers receive a $15 discount. Learn more about annual reports.

Tax identification numbers
Iowa requires an EIN (employee identification number) for all LLCs that will have employees, and most banks will require one to open accounts. Iowa does not require LLCs to obtain state tax ID numbers. Learn more about EINs.

Business license requirements

The business licenses and permits required in Iowa vary wildly depending on the county or municipality in which your new LLC is located. If you would like to see more in-depth information on licenses and permits, please feel free to visit the content in our learning library that covers business licenses and permits.

Need an Iowa corporation instead? Click here.