Business Licenses, Fees and Filing Requirements for Your Iowa LLC

Some types of businesses have different requirements in Iowa, including related fees and costs. Your IA LLC needs to pay various fees to the federal government, Iowa government and other agencies. Some of these fees are levied by the Iowa Secretary of State or statewide organizations, while others come from the federal government. On this page, we’ve summarized the most common fees and requirements.

Note that Iowa business licenses and permits might need to be paid when you first form your business, on an ongoing schedule or on an ad hoc basis. Find more details below.

Initial Filing and Costs for Forming an LLC in Iowa

To create your business in Iowa, you’ll file an LLC with the IA Secretary of State and pay an associated LLC formation fee. Every state has different LLC filing fees and filing times. Here is the current information for Iowa:

State Fee State Filing Time Expedited Filing Time
$50 3 Weeks 5 Business Days

When you incorporate through Incfile, we forward this fee to the Iowa Secretary of State on your behalf when we file your paperwork.

Some states allow you to form your LLC more quickly by paying a rush fee. You can compare state filing times and fees here, including expedited fees for Iowa.

Getting an Employer Identification Number for Your IA LLC

Every Iowa LLC should have a unique Employer Identification Number (EIN). These are provided by the Internal Revenue Service, and you use them when filing taxes, opening a business bank account and paying employees. You can get one yourself at no cost from the IRS or have Incfile obtain one on your behalf.

Foreign Qualification to Operate in a State Outside Iowa

If you’re expanding your Iowa LLC beyond the borders of the state, you will need a Foreign Qualification or Certificate of Authority to operate in another state. These are typically necessary if you have a physical presence, employees or banking in a different state than Iowa. Fees and requirements for foreign qualifications depend on each state’s rules. Incfile provides a complete Foreign Qualification service for any state.

Iowa LLC Annual Reporting and Ongoing Fees

Most states need you to file an annual (or other periodic) report with their secretary of state. When you file your IA LLC annual report, you may need to pay a fee. Here are the filing requirements for Iowa:

Learn about your ongoing Iowa LLC filing requirements and business filing deadlines with our helpful Iowa filing lookup tool.

Incfile can also complete and file your Iowa Annual Report on your behalf.

Business Licenses and Permits in Iowa

Some IA LLCs will need certain business licenses and permits from federal, state and regional organizations. These permits and licenses will have associated fees that you should pay on a one-off or regular basis.

Permits and licenses vary based on:

  • The industry your Iowa LLC operates in (e.g., restaurants will need health permits)
  • The location of your Iowa LLC (state, county or city) (e.g., a license to conduct business from the city of Des Moines)
  • The type of business that you run (e.g., healthcare providers must meet HIPAA requirements)

You can research these permits and licenses yourself or use Incfile’s Business License Research Package, which includes:

  • A complete report on all the licenses, permits and tax registrations your Iowa LLC will need
  • The application forms you will need to file with the Iowa, regional and federal licensing authorities

Remember that operating your business without the required licenses can expose you to risks and fines from federal, Iowa and local governments.

An Operating Agreement for Your Iowa LLC

An Operating Agreement is a business document that covers how the business will be run, how managers and members are chosen, rights and duties of members and several other key areas.

An Operating Agreement is extremely useful for several reasons (learn about them here). If you’re interested in having your Operating Agreement created for you, Incfile can draft a general Operating Agreement template when you choose to form your Iowa business. You can choose to make changes to the template based on your unique requirements.

Ad Hoc Iowa Fees or Requirements for Your IA LLC

There are several other fees or requirements that you may need to meet during the life of your Iowa LLC. These ad hoc fees will only be payable in specific circumstances, which we’ve listed below.

To Obtain a Fictitious/DBA Name for Your Iowa LLC

If you want your IA business to trade under a different name, you can file a form with the Iowa Secretary of State. You will need to pay an Iowa filing fee. Incfile can file this form on your behalf.

To Change the Iowa Registered Agent for Your IA LLC

Your Iowa LLC needs a Registered Agent, which must be appointed when you first incorporate your LLC. You can also switch to a new IA Registered Agent later. Incfile provides a complete Iowa Registered Agent service.

To Reserve a Name for Your Iowa LLC

If you don’t want to form your IA business right away, you can reserve a name with the Iowa Secretary of State. You will need to pay a small fee to do this.

To Amend Certain Facts About Your Iowa LLC

Your business formation documents state certain facts about your Iowa business when it was originally formed. Over time, these facts might change — if they do, you need to file “Articles of Amendment” with the Iowa Secretary of State. You can do this yourself or have Incfile complete the filing on your behalf. Areas you might want to file Iowa Articles of Amendment for include:

  • Adding, removing or changing an Iowa LLC member or manager
  • Changing the business address of your LLC
  • Altering the stated business activities of your Iowa LLC

To Get a Certificate of Good Standing for Your Iowa LLC

Some organizations will request that you prove your Iowa LLC’s compliance with laws and tax requirements. If you need to prove you have met your commitments, you will need a “Certificate of Good Standing” from the Iowa Secretary of State. Incfile can obtain a certificate on your behalf.

The fees listed above detail all the charges that a standard IA LLC will be required to pay. In some unusual circumstances, there may be other one-off, periodic or ad hoc fees not listed above.

Of course, your Iowa LLC will also probably need to pay self-employment, payroll, federal, state and sales taxes, but we will cover that when we talk about taxes for IA LLCs.

FAQs About Iowa LLC Costs

What Happens to the State Fees That I Am Charged When Forming My Iowa LLC?

We charge you for this fee at cost and then pay the fee to the secretary of state on your behalf when forming your Iowa business.

Do I Need to Pay an Annual Report Fee Every Year?

No, reports in Iowa are due every other year. You can find out more on the compliance page for your state.

Who Will I Get Business Licenses and Permits from for My Iowa LLC?

It depends on various factors including:

  • The type of business you run
  • Where you are located
  • Governing organizations in your industry
  • Federal, state and local regulations

That’s why our business license research package is so useful. It explores all of these areas for you and provides a comprehensive overview of exactly what your Iowa LLC needs to be compliant.

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This report is mandatory and must be filed within the specified time frame in order for the entity to remain in good standing with the state. Failure to file this report can lead to the company being revoked or administratively dissolved.

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