LLC Cost in Iowa | How Much Does It Cost to Start an LLC

LLC Costs in Iowa

Forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Iowa is a popular choice for entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to protect their personal assets and enjoy flexibility in their business operations. LLC formation costs vary from state to state, and it is essential to understand the costs involved in forming and maintaining an LLC in Iowa.

If you would like to know more about the Iowa LLC Cost, read the whole article until the end. Webinarcare Editorial Team will help you gain knowledge on how much an LLC Costs in Iowa. You must be guided by all the factors gathered in this article.

How to Start an LLC?

Before we dive into the LLC Cost in Iowa, you should know the step-by-step process of starting an LLC, including selecting a unique business name, appointing a Registered Agent, filing the necessary documents, and fulfilling any additional requirements, such as obtaining licenses or permits that are specific to your industry or location.

Here are the steps in starting an LLC in Iowa:

  • Step 1: Choose a Unique Business Name
    The first step in starting an LLC in Iowa is to select a unique business name for your company. The name should be distinguishable from any other registered businesses in the state. You can check the availability of your desired business name by searching the state’s business name database. Once you’ve found an available name, you may need to include “LLC” or “Limited Liability Company” at the end of the name to comply with state requirements.
  • Step 2: Appoint a Registered Agent
    A Registered Agent is someone who will receive official legal and tax documents on behalf of your LLC. The Registered Agent must have a physical address in Iowa and be available during normal business hours. You have the option to appoint yourself as the registered agent or hire a professional registered agent service.
  • Step 3: File the Certificate of Organization
    To officially form your LLC, you need to file the Certificate of Organization with the Iowa Secretary of State or the appropriate state agency. The Certificate of Organization typically requires basic information about your LLC, such as its name, address, Registered Agent details, and the name and address of the LLC’s members or managers.
  • Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement
    Once your LLC is formed, it’s highly recommended to create an operating agreement in Iowa. Although not required by Iowa law, an operating agreement is a crucial internal document that outlines the ownership, management, and operating procedures of your LLC. It helps establish clear guidelines and expectations among members, and it can be especially useful in the event of disputes or disagreements in the future. The operating agreement can be customized to fit the specific needs and goals of your LLC.
  • Step 5: Obtain Required Licenses and Permits
    Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to obtain specific licenses or permits at the federal, state, or local level. Research the licensing requirements in Iowa and apply for business licenses in Iowa related to your industry or activities. Common examples include professional licenses, health or safety permits, and sales tax permits.
  • Step 6: File for an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
    An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that is used to identify your LLC for tax purposes. Even if you don’t have employees, obtaining an EIN is typically required if you plan to open a business bank account, hire contractors, or file certain tax forms. You can easily apply for an EIN in Iowa through the IRS website.
  • Step 7: Comply with Ongoing Requirements
    Once your LLC is established in Iowa, it’s important to stay in compliance with any ongoing requirements. This may include filing periodic reports, paying Annual Report fees, and renewing licenses or permits. Familiarize yourself with the specific obligations for maintaining your LLC’s good standing in Iowa.

Remember, starting an LLC in Iowa involves some specific steps and requirements that may differ from other states. It’s advisable to hire an LLC Services in Iowa that specializes in business formation to ensure that you follow all the necessary procedures accurately and efficiently. We reviewed the Best LLC Services for you to check out.

LLC Cost in Iowa

It is crucial to consider the costs associated with the formation and maintenance of your business. The costs of establishing and operating an LLC in Iowa can vary based on several factors, including the initial formation fees, ongoing compliance requirements, and optional expenses.

Initial LLC Costs

When starting a limited liability company (LLC), knowing the initial costs associated with forming and registering your new business entity is essential. Understanding and preparing for these expenses can help you budget effectively and set your Iowa business on a path to success. Some common initial costs associated with forming an LLC include Certificate of Organization filing fees, Registered Agent fees, and additional services, such as business name reservation fees.

Certificate of Organization Filing Fee

The first step in forming an LLC in Iowa is to file the Iowa Certificate of Organization with the Iowa Secretary of State. This document officially creates the LLC and includes essential information about the business, such as its name, address, and Registered Agent.

This document includes essential information about your LLC, such as:

  • The name of your LLC
  • The address of your LLC’s principal office
  • The name and address of your Registered Agent
  • The purpose of your LLC (optional in some states)

You can typically file the Certificate of Organization online, by mail, or in person. A filing fee is associated with this process, which costs around $50. You can also file by mailing it to Iowa Secretary of State, which is located at Lucas State Office Building, 321 E 12th St, Des Moines, IA 50319.

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Registered Agent Fee

An LLC in Iowa must designate a Registered Agent who will be responsible for receiving legal and government documents on behalf of the business. You can act as your own Registered Agent or appoint someone you know. Professional Registered Agent in Iowa typically charge an annual fee ranging from $50 – $150.

In Iowa, your Registered Agent must:

  • Be a resident of Iowa or a business entity authorized to do business in the state.
  • Have a physical address in Iowa (P.O. boxes are not acceptable)

Choosing a reliable and responsible Registered Agent is essential, as failure to receive and respond to legal documents can seriously affect your business.

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Business Name Reservation Fee

If you have a specific business name in mind and want to ensure it is available when you are ready to file your Certificate of Organization, you can reserve the business name with the Iowa Secretary of State.

In Iowa, your LLC name must:

  • Include the words “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C.
  • Not contain any words or phrases that are prohibited by state law
  • Be distinguishable from the names of other businesses registered in the state

However, if you do not wish to file your LLC right away but want to hold the name that you have decided on, then you can reserve your LLC name for 120 days. You must file a name reservation application in the Iowa Secretary of State to keep the name.

The online name reservation fee is $10, while the mail name reservation fee is $10. You can register your business under a different legal name if your preferred name isn’t available. Once you have chosen a name, you can submit an application for a DBA (doing business as). If you have decided to file for a DBA, you can file it in three methods, online, by mail, and in-person filing. However, before filing Iowa DBA, you should know that you need to renew your DBA, which cost $5.

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Ongoing LLC Costs

After you know the initial costs of forming an LLC in Iowa, you should also know the ongoing costs once you have filed for an LLC. Here are the involved costs that you need to know.

Annual Report Filing Fee

To keep your LLC in good standing, you must file Annual Report with the Iowa Secretary of State. The Annual Report provides updated information about your LLC, such as changes in address, members, or Registered Agent.

In Iowa, the Annual Report fee costs $30 which can be paid every 1 year (odd numbered years).

Franchise Tax or Annual LLC Tax

Some states require LLCs to pay an annual franchise or LLC tax, separate from the Annual Report filing fee. Franchise tax, or annual tax, is a fee imposed by Iowa on businesses, including LLCs and Iowa Corporations, for the privilege of operating within their jurisdiction. This tax is separate from income taxes and is usually based on factors such as the company’s net worth, assets, capital, or a fixed dollar amount, depending on the Iowa’s specific tax regulations.

Iowa LLC Taxes To Be Paid

The State of Iowa is one of those rarest states in the United States that does not levy any personal income tax on businesses. However, the business LLCs must file other taxes with the State authorities.

  • Sales Tax: A sales tax is a government-imposed tax on the sale of goods and services. It is generally added to the price of a product or service at the point of sale and paid by the consumer. The tax is collected by the retailer or service provider, who then remits the collected tax amount to the relevant government authority. In Iowa, the sales tax rate is 6.00%.
  • State Income Tax: Considering other taxes in Iowa, you should pay for the state income tax, with a rate of 5.5-9.8%.
  • LLC Federal Self-Employment Tax: Federal self-employment tax rates are the same across all states. Self-employment taxes are imposed on self-employed individuals or members of a Limited Liability Company (LLC) taxed as a sole proprietorship or partnership.
  • Property Tax: The property tax is fixed at 1.53% of industrial, commercial, residential, agricultural, and all other properties.

Business Licenses and Permits

Depending on the nature of your Iowa business and the location of your operations, you may need to obtain permits and business licenses in Iowa. The costs of these licenses and permits will vary based on your specific business and location. In Iowa, the business license ranges from $50 – $300. However, research the requirements for your LLC in Iowa and budget for these expenses accordingly.

Optional LLC Costs

Here are the optional costs you must consider if you will form an operating agreement or hire a professional service.

Operating Agreement

Although not required by law, it is highly recommended that LLCs create an operating agreement in Iowa. This document outlines the LLC’s ownership structure, management, and operating procedures. Hiring a business attorney to draft an operating agreement can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000, or you can use online resources and templates to create one yourself.

Professional Services

You may hire professionals such as attorneys, accountants, or business consultants to help you establish and run your Iowa LLC. These services can provide valuable expertise and guidance but come at an additional cost. Consider the potential benefits and weigh them against the costs when hiring professional assistance.

You may check out the Best Business Attorney Services in Iowa that offer their professional services to form your business.

Can I Set Up an LLC For Free?

It’s impossible to set up an LLC entirely for free, as state filing fees and other costs are associated with establishing an LLC. However, you can save money by handling the formation process instead of hiring a professional service. Here are some steps to help you minimize the cost of setting up an LLC:

  • Choose your LLC’s name and check for availability in your state. This can generally be done through the Secretary of State’s website.
  • Prepare and file the Certificate of Organization yourself. Iowa offer an online filing option or downloadable forms on their websites. By completing this process independently, you can avoid paying additional fees for a professional service.
  • Act as your own Registered Agent if permitted within Iowa. It allows the business owner to serve as the Registered Agent, saving you the cost of hiring a professional registered agent service.
  • Create your own Operating Agreement using online resources and templates. Although not required in every state, an Operating Agreement is highly recommended to outline your LLC’s ownership structure and management. By drafting this document yourself, you can save on legal fees.
  • Research and apply for any required licenses and permits on your own. Depending on your business type and location, you may need specific permits or licenses. These costs can vary, but handling the application process yourself can save you the expense of hiring a professional service.

While you can’t set up an LLC for free, taking a do-it-yourself approach and minimizing the use of professional services can help you save money during the formation process. However, handling these tasks requires time and effort, and there may be additional legal or financial risks if mistakes occur.


What are the registration fees for forming an LLC in Iowa?
The filing fee for forming an LLC in Iowa is $50.
Does Iowa require LLCs to pay an annual report fee?
Yes, Iowa LLCs are required to file an annual report and pay a fee of $60.
Is there a cost for changing the name of an LLC in Iowa?
Yes, the fee to change the name of an LLC in Iowa is $25.
What is the fee to add a member to an existing LLC in Iowa?
Adding a member to an existing LLC in Iowa costs $50.
Can I reserve an LLC name in Iowa? If so, how much does it cost?
Yes, you can reserve an LLC name in Iowa for a fee of $10.
How much does it cost to dissolve an LLC in Iowa?
To dissolve an LLC in Iowa, the filing fee is $10.
Do non-residents of Iowa have to pay extra fees when forming an LLC in the state?
No, non-residents do not have to pay extra fees when forming an LLC in Iowa.
Will I need to pay a publishing fee for my Iowa LLC?
No, Iowa LLCs are not required to publish anything, so there is no publishing fee.
Are there any franchise taxes for Iowa LLCs?
No, Iowa does not have a franchise tax.
How much does it cost to file for a foreign LLC in Iowa?
Filing for a foreign LLC in Iowa costs $100.
Can I file for a certificate of status for my Iowa LLC? If so, how much does it cost?
Yes, you can file for a certificate of status for your Iowa LLC for $5.
Is the formation fee for Iowa LLCs higher for out-of-state businesses?
No, there is no additional formation fee for out-of-state businesses forming an LLC in Iowa.
Can I file for expedited processing for my Iowa LLC? If so, how much does it cost?
Yes, you can file for expedited processing for $100 in addition to the regular filing fee.
Will I have to pay additional fees if I change my Iowa LLC’s name and file for a new EIN?
There is no additional fee to obtain a new EIN when you change your Iowa LLC’s name.
Can I file an Iowa LLC online, or do I have to mail the paperwork?
LLC formations can be submitted online or through mail.
Can you start an LLC in Iowa for less than $50?
No, the filing fee is $50, and there are no shortcuts or options available currently.
How long should I expect to wait for my Iowa LLC to be formed?
It generally takes about 1-2 weeks to form an LLC in Iowa.
Is there a fee for adding or removing an Iowa LLC member?
Yes, there is a $50 fee to add or remove an LLC member in Iowa.
Are there any extra costs involved in obtaining the necessary licenses and permits for an Iowa LLC?
Any necessary licenses or permits incur an additional fee, not directly with Iowa Enterprise Register.
How much does it cost to get a business license for an Iowa LLC?
Depending on the city, county and business type, the cost varies accordingly.
Can I use a credit card for LLC filing fees in Iowa?
Yes, Iowa accepts credit card payment with Mastercard, Visa, Discover, currently.
Does Iowa offer any incentive or discount for veterans to start their own LLC?
The state government provides offers varying benefits currently extending towards several other traditional loans.
Are the Iowa LLC formation fees refundable?
No, After the submission of documents, the payment is nonrefundable.
Should I expect additional costs when creating an operating agreement for my Iowa LLC?
No, there is no fee for creating or drafting an operating agreement in Iowa.
Can I get help with completing LLC paperwork if I need it?
If you need assistance with completing LLC paperwork in Iowa can go through their resource guide or encyclopedia present in website.
Do Iowa LLCs incur penalties if the annual report is not filed on time?
Yes, a late fee of $50 may be imposed if the annual report isn’t filed on time.
Can I set up an Iowa LLC myself or do I need a lawyer?
People can form an LLC by themselves in Iowa, whereas the use of a lawyer is a personal preference.
Are there any additional fees for out-of-state LLCs doing business in Iowa?
Depending on the business type, the fees vary when out-of-state LLCs want to do business in Iowa.
Where should the checks for LLC fees be made payable in Iowa?
The check for LLC fees should be made payable to “Iowa Secretary of State”.
What is the convenience fee for electronic payments applied in Iowa?
For payments made with a credit card or e-check, a 1.8% convenience fee is applied.

Also Read

How to Save Money While Starting Your Business LLC in Iowa

One of the best ways to save money when starting your business LLC in Iowa is to handle as many tasks as possible on your own. While it may be tempting to hire professionals to help with every aspect of setting up your business, such as legal assistance and accounting services, doing so can quickly add up in costs. By taking the time to research and learn about the various steps required to set up your LLC, you can save a significant amount of money.

Another way to save money while starting your business LLC in Iowa is to make use of online resources and tools. There are many free or low-cost resources available online that can help you navigate through the process of setting up your LLC, such as tutorials, templates, and guides. By utilizing these resources, you can save money that would otherwise be spent on expensive consultants or services.

When it comes to registering your business LLC in Iowa, it is essential to do your research and compare various options. While hiring a third-party service to assist with the registration process may seem convenient, it can also be costly. Instead, consider registering your business yourself through the Iowa Secretary of State website. This will not only save you money but also give you a better understanding of the registration process.

It is also crucial to be frugal when it comes to purchasing supplies and equipment for your business. While it may be tempting to splurge on top-of-the-line equipment and supplies, it is essential to weigh the cost-benefit of each purchase. Consider buying used or refurbished equipment, as well as searching for discounts and deals on supplies. Additionally, it may be beneficial to buy only what you need initially and upgrade as your business grows.

Networking and building relationships with other business owners in Iowa can also be a great way to save money while starting your business LLC. By connecting with other entrepreneurs and sharing resources, you can learn from their experiences and potentially find cost-saving opportunities. Attend networking events, join business associations, and engage with the local business community to build valuable relationships that can help you save money in the long run.

In conclusion, starting a business LLC in Iowa can be a costly endeavor, but there are ways to save money without sacrificing the quality of your venture. By taking on tasks yourself, utilizing online resources, registering your business independently, being frugal with purchases, and networking with other business owners, you can effectively save money while starting your business LLC in Iowa. With careful planning and the right strategies, you can set up your business for success without breaking the bank.


Forming and maintaining an LLC in Iowa involves various costs, including initial filing fees, ongoing annual report fees, and taxes. Understanding and planning for these costs is essential when establishing your LLC. Additionally, consider any optional expenses, such as hiring professional services or drafting an operating agreement, to ensure the success and longevity of your LLC in Iowa.

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