Your Iowa Registered Agent provides various services, including the acceptance of formal documents and communications with the Iowa SOS.

Your LLC must have a Registered Agent at all times. You’ll appoint one when you first formally register and start your business. You can also replace your existing Iowa Registered Agent at a later date, provided there is a smooth transition between the old and new agents.

 

Iowa Registered Agent Requirements

  • Every LLC, both foreign and domestic, must have a Registered Agent with a registered office within the State of Iowa at all times.
  • The Registered Agent can be a domestic or foreign (licensed to transact business in the state) artificial legal entity (Corporation, LLC, LP or LLP) or a natural person.
  • The Registered Office must be in the state of Iowa and located at a street address (a P.O. Box only is not acceptable)
  • If the Registered Agent is a person, they must live in Iowa.
  • If the Registered Agent is a company, they must be authorized to conduct business in Iowa.
  • The Registered Agent must be available in person to sign for any correspondence during normal business hours.

Note that the address for your Iowa Registered Agent does not need to be the same as your Iowa LLC business address.

What an Iowa Registered Agent Does

A Registered Agent’s main function in Iowa is to accept official documentation and correspondence.

This includes:

  • Correspondence from the Iowa Secretary of State
  • Service of process notices (e.g., if your LLC is sued or required to appear in court)
  • Official state and federal government correspondence and notices
  • Tax forms and requests to complete permits, company filings and reports

Having a Registered Agent also provides proof to the state that your business exists.

Incfile Provides Free Iowa Registered Agent Service for the First Year

Incfile provides complete Iowa Registered Agent service for any LLC that’s formed in the state. Even better, if you’ve formed your business through Incfile, your Registered Agent is completely free for the first year and only $119 a year after that.

Incfile is authorized to conduct business in Iowa and can legally act as your Registered Agent. Here’s what our Registered Agent service provides:

An always-available Iowa Registered Agent who can receive correspondence, documents and legal proceedings on your LLC’s behalf

A digital dashboard where you can access, store and retrieve any information we’ve received for your business

Email notification whenever we receive documents for your business

Automatic forwarding of all legal correspondence, documentation and information directly to you

 

Appointing a Registered Agent Service for Your LLC

When you first register and form your LLC, you must appoint a Registered Agent. You can change it at any point after that. Here’s how to go about it.

Assign a Registered Agent When You Form Your LLC

Your business needs to have a Registered Agent as soon as it’s formed. You can do this two ways:

1
File Certificate of Organization with the Iowa Secretary of State

When you formally create your business, you’re required to include details of your Registered Agent in your Certificate of Organization.

2
Get a Free Registered Agent When You Form Your LLC with Incfile

Establish your business through us, and you’ll get a free year of our Registered Agent Service. We’ll also complete and file your Certificate of Organization for you with the information that you provide.

Assign a Different Registered Agent After Formation

After you’ve formed your LLC, you can still assign someone else to be your Iowa Registered Agent. There are a couple of ways to achieve this.

1
Choose a new Registered Agent Service and let the Iowa Secretary of State know

Once you’ve chosen a new Registered Agent, file the change with the Iowa Secretary of State. Once you’ve filed the change, the SOS will review and update your records. There is no fee by the SOS to make this change.

2
We’ll file the change on your behalf when you sign up for Incfile’s Registered Agent service

When you use our Registered Agent service, we take care of all the form filling and filing for you. We’ll collect important information about your business, complete the form on your behalf and then send it to the Iowa Secretary of State. When we officially become your Registered Agent, we’ll let you know.

Iowa Registered Agent Search

In certain situations, it may be useful to know the name of the Registered Agent that represents another LLC in Iowa. You can search the Iowa SOS’ business database to discover this information.

If you can’t find the Registered Agent information there, you can request it from the Secretary of State.

What Happens If You Don’t Have a Registered Agent?

If you don’t assign or provide details of a Registered Agent to the Secretary of State, there are several possible ramifications, including:

  • Getting sued or served and not knowing about it. You could lose to a default judgment in your absence if your LLC is sued and you don’t respond.
  • Falling out of good standing with the Iowa Secretary of State. The state may revoke your right to do business if you don’t respond to certain correspondence (such as a request for your annual report).
  • Losing your status as an LLC in Iowa. A Registered Agent is evidence to the state that your business exists. Without it, you could lose your business entity protections and your LLC may be dissolved.
 

Acting as Your Own Registered Agent

You can choose to be the Registered Agent for your LLC if you have a physical address in Iowa. There can be some drawbacks to this approach:

  • The Registered Agent must have a physical street address in Iowa. If you’re forming an LLC outside the state, you’ll need to use an in-state Registered Agent.
  • The Registered Agent’s name and address are part of the public record and available through the Iowa Secretary of State's website. You should use a Registered Agent service if you prefer that these details remain private.
  • Someone must always be available during business hours at the Iowa address to sign for important documents.
  • If you change your business address or move out of state, you need to file additional documentation with the Secretary of State for the new address. This isn’t necessary if you use a Registered Agent service, making a move or address change much simpler.

Other Useful Resources

FAQs About Iowa Registered Agents

Do I Need to Appoint an Iowa Registered Agent?

Yes. Most business entities (including LLCs) in the state are required to have a Registered Agent. This is mandated by the Iowa Secretary of State. Find more information above.

When Should I Assign a Registered Agent?

You must assign a Registered Agent when you first register and form your Iowa business with the Secretary of State. You can change your agent afterward by filing the correct form. If you form your business through Incfile, we’ll file all the necessary forms on your behalf. You'll find more information above.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent?

Yes, but we don’t recommend it for the reasons listed above.

Does the Registered Agent for my Iowa-Based LLC Need to have an Address in Iowa?

Yes. And if you use a company as your Registered Agent, that company must be legally able to conduct business in your state. You'll find more information above.

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