First off, you need to name your Iowa LLC. When filing an Iowa LLC, keep in mind that the name of your business should be unique. Don’t use a name that closely resembles another business’ name.
The key is to do a proper name research to come up with something that fits your business. When you’ve trimmed down your options to just a few names, perform a name search to see if it’s available. When filing an Iowa LLC, always remember that the business name should contain ‘Limited Liability Company’, ‘L.L.C.’, or ‘LLC’. You can choose from either of the three.
Starting an LLC in Iowa requires a Registered Agent. This is a legal requirement for your business to operate legally.
A Registered Agent is an individual or an organization that is in charge of accepting all legal documents and notifications in behalf of your business. He or she needs to be a resident of Iowa and should always be available during office hours.
That said, you can hire a Registered Agent service and pay up to $160/year, or get an Iowa Registered Agent free of charge when you incorporate your LLC with IncFile – which is $100 less than other online incorporation services.
Now that you have your business name, and you have a Registered Agent, the next step to register an LLC in Iowa is to complete and file the Articles of Organization form.
You will have to file this form with the state of Iowa. Filing an Iowa LLC can be accomplished online. Although there is no template for this form, they do provide some instructions on how to write it.
Fee for filing the LLC: $50
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) or also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number is your business’ unique identification.
To put it, your Iowa EIN will serve as your business’ social security number. Your EIN basically allows you to operate your business, from hiring employees, paying taxes, to opening bank accounts. Your EIN can be acquired free online through the IRS.
Keeping your LLC’s finances and personal finances separate is very important. The best way to do this is to open a separate business checking account.
Although there are many options available, do the research to see which is right for you and your business. If you’re not sure where to get started, here is a great roundup of the best banking options.
If you have done all the 5 steps mentioned above, congrats! You are now officially the owner of an Iowa LLC. But before you close this guide, here are several steps to follow to become an official and legal business.
Who needs a business plan anyway?
You Do! Trust me, a business plan may not sound very appealing to you, but it makes every facet of your Iowa LLC and its operations efficient and successful.
If you’re starting an Iowa business, write a business plan that’s well thought of and outlines your goals, marketing strategies, competition market, etc. The bottom line is get that business plan started!
Every business is required to pay taxes, and yours is not an exemption. If you are an Iowa LLC, you need to take care of your tax obligations or the IRS will be breathing down your neck.
Suffice it to say, incorporating an LLC in Iowa requires you to comply with the necessary local and state tax requirements.
To help you get started on your Iowa LLC tax requirements, you can check our business taxes guide.
As part of starting an LLC in Iowa, you also have to adhere to Iowa business license and regulation requirements.
These regulations and licenses as well as its fees will differ depending on the type of business you are operating and its location. However, this is a mandatory procedure you need to comply. You can start taking care of those obligations now by using our Iowa business licenses and regulations guide.
An LLC Operating Agreement is not mandatory for the state of Iowa, but it is highly suggested that you write one for your business.
An Operating Agreement comes in handy by clearly defining the operating stipulations of your business. This way it protects your business’ legal rights and interests overall. Rocket Lawyer has a free LLC Operating Agreement that you can customize and sign online in just a few simple steps.
If you want your business to be taken seriously and build trust with potential customers, build a website that explains what you offer. With a free tool like WordPress, you can build a professional and customizable website without the need to hire a professional.
Recommended Resource: Check out this free guide to learn more about WordPress and how to get started.
This guide does not constitute a legal advice in any way and is only for informational purposes. For questions about forming an Iowa LLC or starting a business in Iowa, consult a lawyer.