Updated on: June 24th, 2024

Publicly Available Fee for Iowa LLC Formation

Hire Professionals to Start an Iowa LLC for You

Maybe your goal is to establish an Iowa Limited Liability Company (LLC). People believe that forming an LLC is complex and expensive. Although normally not challenging, the price would differ between states. We have all the information you want on the price of creating an LLC, notably the price of founding an LLC in Iowa.

It combines a corporation’s restricted liability with a partnership’s or a single proprietorship’s flexibility and absence of formality. Any business owner who wants to reduce their personal liability for debts and legal actions related to their company should think about creating an LLC.

You must submit a Certificate of Organization, which costs $50, to the Iowa Secretary of State in order to establish an LLC there. Online, postal, or fax applications are all acceptable. The legal document that constitutes the formal formation of your Iowa LLC is the Certificate of Organization.

Forming LLC in Iowa: Various Costs

DescriptionFee
Filing an Iowa LLC online$50
Biennial Report Fee$60
Registered Agent$0-$200
Forming a Foreign LLC$100
Reservation of LLC Name$10
Filling a DBA Name$5
Copies of Certified Documents$15 + $1/pg.
Existence Certificate$5
  • $50 – Fee for Filing an Iowa LLC Online

You must provide a Certificate of Organization to the Iowa Secretary of State’s office in order to formally establish an LLC. In contrast to the majority of states, Iowa doesn’t need you to complete a formal Certificate of Organization form. You will have to create the document from scratch. A $50 filing fee must be paid when submitting your Certificate of Organization in person, via mail, or online. You must provide a Certificate of Organization to the Iowa Secretary of State’s office in order to formally establish an LLC. In contrast to the majority of states, Iowa doesn’t need you to complete a formal Certificate of Organization form. You will have to create the document from scratch. A $50 filing fee must be paid when submitting your Certificate of Organization in person, via mail, or online.

  • $60 – Fee for the Iowa Biennial Report

Every LLC in Iowa must submit a biennial report on a regular basis. This is a recurring demand that must be paid for every two years.

Again, even if you have no commercial activity or generate zero dollars, all LLCs are required to file this report.

Date for submitting the Iowa Biennial Report: Between January 1 and April 1 of the first even-numbered year after the year the LLC was founded. To get everything done and to prevent fines, we advise submitting as soon as the new year begins.

  • $0-$200 – Fee for Registered Agent

To establish an LLC in Iowa, you must designate a registered agent service to take care of state and federal legal paperwork and process serving on the company’s behalf. If the person or company is headquartered out of state, they must have a business office in Iowa. Otherwise, the registered agent must be a state citizen with a street address in Iowa. You may be your own registered agent in Iowa but choosing a registered agent service keeps your business compliant and reminds you of critical filing dates so you don’t pay late fines. The first year of registered agent costs is $39.

  • $100 – Cost of Forming a Foreign LLC in Iowa

Foreign corporations are those that were established in another state or country. To be eligible to do business in the state of Iowa, these organizations must apply for a Certificate of Authority with the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office.

Either a certificate showing that the entity is in good standing or a certificate stating that the entity exists from the state in which it was domestically constituted must be used to support the registration. By submitting an application for a certificate of authorization, you can use the SOS’s online application system to register your out-of-state international corporation. An Iowa Foreign LLC must pay $100 for its initial registration. It is advised that you contact the Iowa Secretary of State for more details since the state may have additional requirements.

  • Permits and Licenses for Businesses

To ensure the smooth operation of your Iowa limited liability company (LLC), it is your duty as a company owner to ensure that you have obtained the necessary permits from the state, federal, or local governments. While some of the fees associated with the transaction only need to be paid once, others are recurring costs.

Other Fees for Forming an LLC

There are additional costs involved with forming an LLC:

  • $10 – Reservation of LLC Name

By completing an Application for Reservation of Name and paying the $10 filing fee, you can reserve your name for up to 120 days prior to the establishment of your LLC. This can also be accomplished by letter.

Perform a business entity search on the official Secretary of State website before deciding on the name of your LLC to ensure that it is available. If your desired business name is available, you may submit an application and the $10 filing fee to reserve it for 120 days. Make cheques payable to the “Secretary of State” alone.

Please be aware that according to the legislation, the name of your business organization must contain the words “limited liability company,” “limited company,” or a suitable acronym like “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” “L.C.”, or “LC.”

  • $5 – DBA (Doing Business As) Name:

To create a name different than your official LLC business name, file a Fictitious Name Resolution and pay the $5 filing fee. This can also be accomplished by letter.

  • $5 + $1/pg. – Copies of Certified Documents:

Order certified copies of your Iowa business paperwork from the Secretary of State’s office for $5 + $1 per page.

  • $5 – Certificate of Good Standing

This document, also known as an Iowa certificate of good standing, can be obtained by contacting the Secretary of State and paying the $5 charge. Banks and financial institutions frequently demand proof of existence.


Total Costs for Iowa LLC Breakdown & Best Options

WHO FORMS THE LLC?TOTAL FEES
You form the LLC in Iowa yourself$70+ ($50 Articles of Organization + $15 LLC Name +$5 Good Standing Certificate)
by using ZenBusiness$49+
by using Northwest Registered Agent$39/mo
see our other top-rated LLC service providers varies

On Your Own: How to Form an Iowa LLC

Here’s our full Iowa LLC formation guide

You must file a Certificate of Organization with the Iowa Secretary of State, which costs $50. You can submit your application online, via mail, or by fax. The Certificate of Organization is the legally binding document that establishes your Iowa LLC.

To get started, simply follow our 5-step tutorial on How to Form an LLC in Iowa.

Step 1: Choose a Name for your Iowa LLC

Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent 

Step 3: File the Articles of Organization

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement 

Step 5: Obtain an Employer Identification Number

Step 1: Choose a Name for Your Iowa LLC (Price: $15)

Name-Your-LLC

You must confirm that the intended LLC name is accessible to use before incorporating an LLC in Iowa.

The name of your Iowa LLC must be distinctive when compared to all other companies already registered in Iowa.

Additionally, your LLC name cannot be “confusingly similar” to any already-used company names. By reading this lesson, you can make sure such is not the case.

Iowa Secretary of State: Business Entities Search, Iowa LLC Name Search

Designator: A suitable designator must come at a conclusion about your LLC name. The following is permitted by Iowa law: The most frequent abbreviations are “LLC,” “L.L.C.”, “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Liability Co.”, “Ltd. Liability Company,” “LC,” or “L.C.”


Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent (Price: $0-$200)

Registered-Agent

You are not yet ready to make your business a legal entity. Once you have chosen a name, you can put it on hold to make sure no one else uses it before you send in your Certificate of Organization. For a small fee, you can hold a company name in Iowa for 120 days. We have a company name reservation service that can do this for you if you don’t want to do it yourself. We also check to see if the name you want is available as part of the service.

You should also think about the following when coming up with a name for your Iowa LLC:

If the name of your legal LLC doesn’t accurately describe what your business does, you can use a fake name called “Doing Business As” instead. To get a DBA in Iowa, you must send a Fictitious Name Resolution and a small filing fee to the Secretary of State. Our DBA service could take care of this documentation.

Trademark: If you want to do business outside of Iowa, you should check the US Patent and Trademark Office website to see if your company name or logo is protected by a federal trademark. You might also want to do a quick search on Google to make sure that no other business is using a name or logo that is similar to yours. Trademarks can also be registered with the government of a state. Visit the Iowa Secretary of State website to apply for a trademark or learn more about trademarks in Iowa.

Domain name: When picking a name for your LLC, you should also think about how many internet domains are available. You can quickly find out if a domain name is taken, and we can help you register it for your website.


Step 3: File the Articles of Organization (Price: $50)

Articles-of-Organization

The Iowa Certificate of Organization is a document that is filed with the Iowa Secretary of State to establish a limited liability company. A Certificate of Organization costs $50 to file online.

After taking care of all the prerequisites, you may proceed with forming your LLC. This requires filling out a Certificate of Organization in Iowa. The state puts out the specifics of what your paperwork should contain, such as the LLC name, street location, and the operating guidelines, rather than providing a pre-existing form.

If you are concerned about getting the structure right, templates are accessible for downloading all over the internet. The Fast Track Filing technique is a well-liked method for completing the procedure online and saving time. Alternately, you might pay an LLC filing agency to finish the procedure on your behalf. The filing cost is $50 in any instance.

You must prepare your own Certificate of Organization whether submitted by mail or fax, pursuant to Iowa state regulations. Filing an Iowa Certificate of Organization:

_______________

OPTION 1: File Online With Iowa Fast Track Filing

FILE ONLINE

– OR –

OPTION 2: File the Certificate of Organization by Mail or by Fax

READ REQUIREMENTS

State Filing Cost: $50, payable to the Secretary of State

Mailing Address:
Lucas State Office Building
321 E 12th St
Des Moines, IA 50319

Fax: (515) 242-5953

_______________


Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement (Price: FREE)

Operating-Agreement

Although an operating agreement for an LLC is not necessary in the state of Iowa, having one is strongly recommended. This is an internal document that outlines the procedures that will be used to manage your LLC. It specifies the rights and obligations of the members and managers, as well as the management structure of the LLC. In addition to this, it can assist protect your limited liability by providing evidence that your limited liability company is, in fact, a distinct business organization. Your limited liability company’s operations will be governed by the laws of the state in the absence of an operating agreement. In the event that an operational agreement is drafted, however, its submission with the Certificate of Organization is not required.

Although it is not required by law, all newly formed limited liability companies in Iowa are highly advised to prepare a thorough LLC operating agreement.

These things should be covered under the operating agreement:

  • Describe the corporate structure of the LLC.
  • Determine the specific duties and obligations of each LLC member
  • Describe the management of the LLC

An LLC may experience substantial operational and legal challenges in the absence of an operating agreement that specifies the precise obligations of its members.


Step 5: Obtain an EIN (Cost: FREE)

Employer-Identification-Number-IEN

What is an EIN number? The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues an EIN, or Employer Identification Number, to identify a firm for tax reporting reasons. An EIN is a company’s version of a Social Security number (SSN). You only need to get an EIN for your one-member limited liability company if it will be employing people or if you want to have it taxed as a corporation rather than a sole proprietorship after you create it (disregarded entity).

Read our article on when to acquire an EIN to learn more about the circumstances under which you should apply for one; there are several practical reasons why it makes sense for SMLLCs to also obtain an EIN. You may get an EIN by going to the IRS website and filling out an application that is available there. There is no cost to submit the paperwork.

What is the purpose of having an EIN? For the following, an EIN number is required:

  • Opening a bank account for your business
  • Employee recruitment

After founding your firm, you may obtain an EIN for free through the IRS website.


The Iowa LLC’s Required Ongoing Maintenance Costs

Whether you’re starting a new Iowa domestic LLC or transferring an existing one from another state, you’ll need to file Biennial Reports every other year. This is an annual fee in some places, but it is only required every other year in Iowa. The report keeps the state informed about crucial facts about your company. The cost of the report is $60.

You will very definitely need to pay some type of continuing company taxes as well, depending on your LLC’s commercial activity. For example, if your company sells any goods or services, you’ll almost certainly need to register for sales and use taxes in order to establish a business correctly.

Penalties that Could Result From Avoiding These Costs

For some Iowa LLCs, the expenses are now becoming significantly more expensive. You might be wondering what the repercussions of skipping any or all of these costs might be. In other words, skipping any required payments is not in your LLC’s best interests.

Your LLC won’t even exist if you don’t pay the filing fee associated with your Certificate of Organization. The state has the authority to administratively dissolve your LLC if you don’t submit your Biennial Report on time. In the meanwhile, underpaying your taxes might result in significant fines for both you and your company.

Even while it may seem like these costs mount up rapidly, paying these fines is still a far preferable choice than the alternative. Operating as a sole proprietor is a backup plan if there is just no means to pay these LLC formation charges.

Following the Creation of an LLC

Authorized the formation of your LLC, it’s crucial to:

Create a bank account for your company. The corporate veil of your LLC must be maintained, which may be done with the use of a business bank account. Your personal assets are shielded from creditors by a corporate veil in cases where your LLC or business may be sued.

Get a credit card for your company. While establishing your company’s credit history, a business credit card will help you keep personal and professional costs separate. For obtaining financing in the form of small business loans, a solid credit history will be beneficial.

Contract with a company accountant. A company accountant will assist you in reducing your tax burden and avoiding fines and penalties. Payroll and bookkeeping are made simpler by an accountant. Consult with a company accountant to find out how much you could be saving.

Obtain commercial insurance. Business insurance aids with risk management. Workers’ compensation, general liability, and professional liability are the three most popular types of company insurance.


FAQ: Costs to Form an Iowa LLC

Does the cost of an Iowa LLC need to be paid annually?

Every other year, LLCs in Iowa are required to pay a $60 biannual report fee.


Learn How to Form an Iowa LLC with the Help of a Professional

The process of forming a Iowa LLC can be time-consuming and complicated. We’ve produced a list of two of the best services for forming an LLC in case you need some help.

#1 – In Iowa, ZenBusiness can help you create an LLC.

Creating an LLC with ZenBusiness is simple, affordable, and comes with several helpful features. This is something that most LLCs may profit from. It is included in all ZenBusiness products for a year of free registered agent service. Using their Pro and Premium Packages, they can guarantee that you will be in full compliance with the law. Your annual report will be filed by ZenBusiness, and you’ll be notified if anything further needs to be done to ensure that the state is being followed as per this promise. Worry-free compliance is available to individuals with the entry-level plan for $119 per year.

A Iowa LLC may be formed for $50 with ZenBusiness. 98 percent of their clients are satisfied, and there are over 4500 reviews that may be trusted.

Here’s our full review of Zenbusiness and its services.

$0 + State Fees

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Rating: 4.8/5
Review count: 4830+

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Form an LLC today with ZenBusiness for only $0 + State fees. They Have 98% customer satisfaction rating and over 4830+ verified reviews.


#2 – Use Northwest Registered Agent to form an LLC in Iowa.

Northwest Registered Agent is a top-notch company formation service with decades of experience. They provide knowledgeable and helpful customer service. However, the most significant advantage they offer is the sense of privacy. The company doesn’t use any third-party vendors, don’t sell your information, and even develop their own programming in-house.

Right now, Northwest can assist you with the formation of an LLC in Iowa. They have a 98 percent customer satisfaction rating and more than 4150 verified reviews. Registered agent service will be included for a full year at no additional cost.

Read our extended review and evaluation of Northwest.

Use our special promo and get an LLC today with Northwest & get Registered Agent 1 year for free! Hassle-free and quick.


Therefore

Some of the costs connected with running an Iowa LLC are shared by all of the state’s LLCs, as discussed in this article. It’s also clear that many of the expenses only apply to certain kinds of limited liability firms. You should avoid looking for ways to avoid paying these fees, which is the most significant lesson here. The consequences may be severe, but they are also quite simple to avoid.

In addition, starting an Iowa LLC isn’t as expensive as it seems.
The total cost shouldn’t be more than:

  • $49 if you’re forming a basic LLC with all the basic options with ZenBusiness.
  • $39/mo if you’re forming an LLC with Northwest.
  • ~$70 if you’re forming an LLC yourself.

If you are looking to save money on the fees of creating and managing your LLC, you may choose an economical business formation firm to file your certificate of organization and serve as your registered agent, among other options.

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