Iowa Registered Agent

A smiling Iowa registered agent

An Iowa registered agent acts as an official point of contact for a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, or nonprofit.

A registered agent is responsible for accepting important correspondence like service of process.

Recommended: Get free registered agent services for a year when you form an LLC with Northwest Registered Agent ($39 plus state fees).

What Is an Iowa Registered Agent?

A registered agent primarily acts as your business’s main point of contact with the Iowa Secretary of State. Your registered agent will be responsible for receiving important tax notifications and compliance information.

A registered agent’s most important role is to accept service of process. Service of process is the action of informing an individual or entity that there's a pending lawsuit against him or her, or in this case, against one's company.

Business owners must appoint a registered agent when they form an LLC or corporation.

Should I Use a Registered Agent Service?

Before you decide to hire an Iowa registered agent service — also called a commercial registered agent — it’s important to consider the advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages

  • Privacy: Your registered agent’s address will be listed on the public record — not your personal or office address. This is especially important if your business operates out of your home.
  • Focus on Growth: A professional registered agent service will send you regular compliance reminders and notify you of any requirements needed to keep your organization in good standing. You, on the other hand, will be focusing on growing your business.
  • Discretion: When a business owner acts as their own registered agent, service of process could be delivered to your home or in front of employees or customers at your office.
  • Convenience: Hiring a registered agent service allows you to keep a flexible schedule. A registered agent is required to be available at their given address during normal business hours.
  • National Support: If you think you may want to grow your organization nationally, a national registered agent service will be able to continue service there.

Disadvantages

We aren’t sure there are any real disadvantages to hiring a registered agent service. The only downside is that hiring a commercial registered agent service costs money, but the time you will save can outweigh that cost. And after all, time is money.

What Is the Best Registered Agent Service in Iowa?

Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent’s competitive prices and great customer service are also a solid choice for Iowa businesses. 

Northwest’s online form system only requires customers to provide information once, which then auto-populates in every form that asks for that info. They also scan every document locally — not just certain documents — to make sure that you never miss a filing. Their discount on multiple-state service is also a nice perk.

On top of all that, Northwest’s customer service is praised for being personable, knowledgeable, and timely in their responses.

Are you forming an LLC?

Northwest Registered Agent to form your LLC for $39 and get one full year of registered agent services free.

Form an LLC With Northwest

Just looking for a registered agent?

Northwest Registered Agent offers registered agent services for $125 per year.

Northwest Registered Agent Services

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in Iowa?

You can be your own registered agent. Your friend can be your registered agent, too. Really, anyone can be a registered agent as long as they meet these three requirements: 

  • They’re at least 18 years old.
  • They have a physical address in Iowa.
  • They’re always available during regular business hours at the address you provide.

Should I Be My Own Registered Agent?

Being your own registered agent will work for a handful of business owners. A registered agent needs to be organized, available, and aware. Most importantly, they need to have the time to be all of these things too.

If you miss a filing deadline or lose a document, you could put your compliance status at risk and the state could revoke your LLC or corporate status. 

Many business owners choose to hire a professional registered agent service so they can focus on growing their business without the fear of missing a notice or deadline.

Is a Registered Agent Liable?

A registered agent is ONLY liable for any losses incurred by failing to notify the business of service of process documents in a timely manner. The registered agent may have to pay damages to the court in this situation.

How to Elect a Registered Agent in Iowa

In Iowa, LLCs, corporations, and nonprofit organizations elect their registered agents on the formation document for each type of business entity.

Elect a Registered Agent for Your LLC

Complete the Certificate of Organization using the template provided by the Iowa Secretary of State. Your registered agent information is covered under Article 1.b.

The cost to file the LLC Certificate of Organization is $50.

File by Mail or by Fax

Submit your completed LLC Certificate of Organization to the address below:

Iowa Secretary of State
Business Services
First Floor, Lucas Building
321 E. 12th St.
Des Moines, IA 50319

You can also fax your Certificate of Organization to (515) 242-5953.

File Online

Form your LLC on the Iowa Fast Track Filing website.

You will need to set up an account with Fast Track Filing to file online.

Elect a Registered Agent for Your Corporation

Complete the Articles of Incorporation using the template provided by the Iowa Secretary of State. Your registered agent information is covered under Article 1.c.

The cost to file the For-Profit Articles of Incorporation is $50.

File by Mail or by Fax

Submit your completed For-Profit Articles of Incorporation to the address below:

Iowa Secretary of State
Business Services
First Floor, Lucas Building
321 E. 12th St.
Des Moines, IA 50319

You can also fax your Certificate of Organization to (515) 242-5953.

File Online

Form your corporation on the Iowa Fast Track Filing website.

You will need to set up an account with Fast Track Filing to file online.

Elect a Registered Agent for Your Nonprofit

Complete the Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation using the template provided by the Iowa Secretary of State. Your registered agent information is covered under Article 1.b.

The cost to file the Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation is $20.

File by Mail or by Fax

Submit your completed Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation to the address found below:

Iowa Secretary of State
Business Services
First Floor, Lucas Building
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319

You can also fax your Certificate of Organization to (515) 242-5953.

File Online

Form your nonprofit on the Iowa Fast Track Filing website.

You will need to set up an account with Fast Track Filing to file online.

How to Change Your Registered Agent in Iowa

To legally change your Iowa registered agent, simply fill out a Statement of Change of Registered Office and/or Registered Agent and submit it to the Secretary of State.

You can file online, by faxing the Statement of Change to (515) 242-5953, or by mailing your completed form to the address below:

Iowa Secretary of State
Business Services
First Floor, Lucas Building
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319

There is no filing cost for this form.

Consent to Appointment

Your new registered agent must consent to their appointment by signing the Statement of Change form.

Iowa Registered Agent FAQ

Who can be a registered agent?

In the state of Iowa, anyone may serve as your registered agent as long as they’re a state resident and available at their listed address during standard business hours during the week. We do, however, recommend all LLCs, registered nonprofits, and corporations use a registered agent service.

How much does an Iowa registered agent cost?

Although using a registered agent service can cost between $50 and $300 per year, it could save you time, money, and stress in the long run.

How much does it cost to change my registered agent?

There is no cost to change your Iowa registered agent with the Secretary of State.

Does registered agent mean owner?

No. A business owner can be a registered agent, but a registered agent is not necessarily a business owner.

Can anyone be a registered agent?

Anyone can be a registered agent as long as they meet these requirements: 

  • They’re at least 18 years old. 
  • They have a physical address in Iowa. 
  • They’re always available during regular business hours at the address you provide.

Should I be my own registered agent?

If you plan on having a lot of free time to handle administrative work and you plan to always be at the address you provide during business hours, day after day, week after week, then it would be ok to be your own registered agent. Most business owners can't make that commitment, but there are always unique cases.

If you plan to hit the ground running and grow your business like nobody’s business, then we HIGHLY recommend hiring a registered agent.

Is a registered agent liable?

A registered agent is ONLY liable for any losses incurred by failing to notify the business of service of process documents in a timely manner. The registered agent may have to pay damages to the court in this situation.

What is service of process?

Service of process is the action of informing an individual or entity that there's a pending lawsuit against him or her, or in this case, against one's company.

What is a statutory agent?

A statutory agent is another name for a registered agent.

What is a resident agent?

A resident agent is another name for a registered agent.

What is a service of process agent?

A service of process agent is another name for a registered agent.