This page is dedicated to the best resources for starting a business in Iowa.
Iowa, ranked 6th in the top states to start a business in the U.S ranked first in the lowest cost for starting a business, 10th with the best economy, 12th in business friendliness, and 20th in the most educated workforce to mention a few categories.
Although the state is often viewed as an agricultural and farming state, this field plays a little role on its diverse and large economy. In the late 2000’s recession, Iowa was one of the most outstanding states who weathered the difficulties in the economic downturn and employment rate.
To help make your journey as an entrepreneur a little easier, we’ve put together a list of the 79 best resources for starting a business in Iowa.
Think of your business entity like the engine of a car. Depending on the kind of engine you have, you'll be able to go down different terrains and operate at different speeds. The business entity you choose will impact the legal protection you have, the taxes you pay and more. Choose wisely!
If you're wanting the most small business friendly structure with more flexibility and no double taxation, look into this guide.Learn More
If you're wanting a business structure more suited for bigger businesses and raising outside investment, look into this guide.Learn More
By learning about the journey of established business owners, the mistakes they’ve made and their best practices, you’ll be much better equipped to start a business.
Small Business Resources is a financial firm, however, it further helps clients by providing small business resources such as links to valuable financial tools specifically up-to-date tax, business and financial news articles, financial calculators, a tax calendar that contains important filing dates, federal and state tax links and a financial page. They also give you links so you can track your federal and state tax refunds.
The Iowa City Chamber of Commerce is a network composed of more than 1,000 members; the organization aims to actively foster an excellent business environment through community and economic development. They serve the community by offering small business resources and tools to aspiring entrepreneurs.
The Iowa SBDC is a government agency that helps small business owners transform their business ideas into real business ventures. They will assist you in developing your concept and will advise you on how to translate your ideas into reality. They will also help you in the entire process of planning and launching your small business; you can even request free counseling if you want. Available business plan templates, forms, financial worksheets, how-to guides on making a marketing plan and strategic plan are also listed in their site.
The Cherokee Area Economic Development is a government initiative with the main goal of helping entrepreneurs start a small business and overcome the many challenges of building one. They are available to assist both existing and new small businesses. The agency has also listed several resources which are available for free or at minimal cost.
Incorporated in 2003, EDC is a community-sponsored business accelerator. EDC’s mission is to provide economic growth through the creation and expansion of high-impact Iowa businesses. From start-ups to well-established entities, EDC is focused on fostering innovation and creating vital and diversified entrepreneurial communities. EDC provides guided professional and business direction, networking and educational programs, and connection to qualified community and state resources. While working with both emerging and existing Iowa-based businesses, EDC supports the development and commercialization of new products, services and technologies.
Iowa Economic Development is a government association that aims to provide resources so that entrepreneurs can grow their business. The site has available resources in the form of PDF’s which cover topics such as environment requirements, providers, funding programs and many more. They also have a list of supporting content that will help you immensely.
Iowa Venture Capital Association is a government initiative of Iowa with the goal of helping the startup community thrive in the state. To be able to do this, the association provides entrepreneurs and small business owners with state assistance, a list of accelerators and incubators, business resources and startup events.
SCORE is a non-profit organization made up of experienced and expert business professionals and consultants who came together to create a network that provides free mentorship and coaching to new entrepreneurs and small business owners across the United States. The goal of the organization is to educate young and budding entrepreneurs so that they can continue to promote economic development in the country.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is a government agency and the largest provider of small business resources and tools in the country. The aim of the agency is to assist both new and existing small business owners in the U.S. to start, manage and grow their enterprise. They also provide local assistance, loans and grants and business management training.
The Iowa Business Growth also known as the IBG is a partner organization of the SBA that executes the 504 loan program. The organization is fully dedicated to assisting small business owners in the state of Iowa with their funding needs. The IBG is a certified development company “CDC” that has assisted 650 Iowa small business loans to date.
The Iowa Center is an organization that specifically helps women, people of color, individuals with disabilities and U.S. veterans in applying for loans to start a small business. They offer business loans of up to $50,000, fixed interest rates, fixed monthly payments, no prepayment penalties and up to 5 year loan terms.
IA Source Link provides numerous financial resources to support business growth through direct financial assistance and tax incentives. Some of the funding services they have are direct financial assistance, venture capital fund, tax incentives, angel/seed fund serving Iowa, revolving loan fund and a lot more.
The Iowa Women’s Foundation is a gender focused support group that aims to empower women by offering numerous grants to help women and girls achieve their dreams. The organization has partnered with several institutions and government agencies to be able to provide financing support to women entrepreneurs.
Vault is a community of professionals mainly composed of founders, innovators, entrepreneurs, starters and creatives who think big and work together to improve the state of Iowa. The community inspires professionals and helps you get connected with the right people, opportunities, resources for your projects, and an alternative office space where you can work productively and in peace.