How to Check Corporation Name Availability in Iowa

Woman doing an Iowa corporation name search on her computer.

Before you form a corporation, you’ll need to complete a business name search with the Iowa Business Entities Search tool to check if your corporation name is available.

We'll show you how to check corporation name availability in Iowa in this guide.

Or, use a professional service:

4.7 out of 5 stars ZenBusiness ($49 + state fee)

Iowa Corporation Name Search

The Iowa Secretary of State requires all business names to be distinguishable from other business entities in the state. So, you’ll want to search and make sure no other businesses in the state are already using your name.

It is also useful to see if your corporation name is available as a web domain (URL).

SKIP AHEAD:

  1. How to Register a Corporation Name in Iowa
  2. Iowa Corporation Name Requirements
  3. Iowa Corporation Name Search FAQ

How to Search Available Iowa Corporation Names

Once you know your corporation name meets Iowa business name guidelines, make sure it’s available by using the Iowa Business Entities Search tool.

Want to learn more about corporations? Check out our What Is a Corporation guide to get started.

How to Check Available Domain Names

When deciding on a name for your corporation, you should make sure that a similar or exact domain name is available. A matching URL will help potential customers find your corporation faster.

Find a Domain Now

How to Register a Corporation Name in Iowa

Register Your Name

A corporation name is officially registered when you file your Iowa Articles of Incorporation. You can hire a professional service to form a corporation for you or start a corporation yourself.

Ready to register your corporation name? Use our Form a Corporation guide to get started.

If you want to register a DBA in Iowa, known as a fictitious name, that’s a separate process that requires filing a separate form with the Secretary of State.

Reserve Your Name

While not required, you have the option to reserve your corporation name in Iowa for up to 120 days before you register it. This prevents other businesses from registering your name until you are ready to register it yourself. 

Name reservations can be filed online or via hard copy with the Iowa Secretary of state. The filing fee is $10.

Need Help Forming Your Corporation? ZenBusiness will get you started.

Iowa Corporation Name Requirements

Key Guidelines

Iowa has official requirements for its corporation names.

The name must contain the following words or abbreviations: corporation, incorporated, company, limited, corp., inc., co., or ltd. (or words or abbreviations of like meaning in another language).

There are also restricted words, such as “FBI” or “Treasury,” that you cannot use in order to keep your LLC from sounding like an official institution.

For more information, check out the Iowa state statute on corporation names.

Distinguishability

Your name must be distinguishable from all other Iowa business names. In Iowa, a distinguishable name is one that is substantively different from all other existing or reserved business names in the state.

If your corporation name isn’t distinguishable, your Articles of Incorporation filing will likely be rejected.

What if my corporation name is already taken? Our AI-powered corporation name generator will give you thousands of new ideas. 

For a list of brainstorming tips, check out our guide to naming your business.

Iowa Corporation Name Search FAQ

How do I check if a corporation name is taken in Iowa?

You can use the Iowa Business Entities Search tool to see if your business name is available.

Learn more about business entity name availability in the Iowa Corporation Name Search section.

Should I name my corporation after myself?

While there’s no rule against naming a corporation after yourself, most experts advise against doing this. 

One of the benefits of starting a corporation is the ability to choose a different name for your business, which can make it sound more professional.

To explore other naming options, use our free AI-powered business name generator.

What words can’t be used in an Iowa corporation name?

Business names generally can’t include words that imply the company is a banking or financial institution or that it’s affiliated with a local, state, or federal government agency.

Learn more about corporation naming requirements in the Iowa Corporation Name Requirements section.

Should I use a business name generator?

If you’re having trouble choosing a name for your corporation, a corporation name generator can help you come up with some ideas.

Do I have to include ‘corporation’ in my name?

Iowa corporation names must contain the following words or abbreviations: corporation, incorporated, company, limited, corp., inc., co., or ltd. (or words or abbreviations of like meaning in another language).

Learn more about corporation naming requirements in the Iowa Corporation Name Requirements section.

Do I need to renew my business name in Iowa?

Iowa doesn't require corporations to renew their legal or DBA name.

Can my business name be different from my corporation name in Iowa?

Some companies choose to operate under a name that’s different from their legal name. This can either be called a “doing business as” (DBA) name or fictitious name in Iowa. 

In Iowa, fictitious names for corporations are filed with the Secretary of State.

Learn more about fictitious names with our Iowa DBA guide.

Does my corporation need a DBA name?

Your corporation doesn’t need a DBA name unless it plans to do business under a name other than its legal name. Learn more with our Iowa DBA guide.