How to Start an LLC in Iowa

Last Updated on February 5, 2022

Step 1: LLC Name

In Iowa, each registered LLC must follow naming guidelines such as having a unique name, nor be confusingly similar to other names.  Here, you can check on available Iowa LLC names before filing.

Next, every LLC must include one of the following words or abbreviations at the end of the business name:

Limited Liability Company
Limited Liability Co.
Ltd. Liability Company
Ltd. Liability Co.

Step 2: Initial Registered Office Address

The initial registered office address can be the physical address of the business or the address where the business records are stored.  A P.O. Box may not be used.

Step 3: Registered Agent

To have an LLC in Iowa, a Registered Agent must be identified.  The registered agent can either be a resident of Iowa or a registered agent service.  The agent must have a physical street address in the state to act as a point of contact to receive legal documents, tax notices, summons, subpoenas, etc. on behalf of the LLC.

Step 4: Effective Date (optional)

If you want to file the LLC but not want it to start until a date in the future, you can add a section stating the LLC’s effective date.  By default, the LLC is effective on the date submitted.  If you prefer to have the LLC officially start at a later date (up to 90 days), enter that date and time in these fields.

Step 5: Signature

Review the information, and the LLC organizer (could be a member, attorney, or individual helping form the LLC) will sign and date the Certificate of Organization.

Step 6: Pay and Send

The next step is to send in the Certificate of Organization.

By Mail: 

Prepare a check or money order made out to “Iowa Secretary of State” and mail to

Secretary of State – Business Services Division
Lucas Building, 1st Floor
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319


Scan the completed Certificate of Organization, upload to the Secretary of State website and pay via credit card –

By Fax:

Download the Credit Card Authorization Form –

Then fax the completed Certificate of Organization and Credit Card Authorization Form to the Secretary of State at 515-242-5953.