Iowa Secretary of State Business Entity Search

The state of Iowa has seen really good results in terms of the success of advanced manufacturing industries. In the past few years, many other industries like healthcare, food services, and tourism have seen positive growth in the state. So Iowa could be a good place to start your new business. But do your know how to name your business in Iowa? Well, Doing an Iowa business entity search is very important to successfully register your business with the SOS. Our article will discuss what a business entity search is and also how it can be done for the state of Iowa.

For small to medium start-ups in Iowa, forming a limited liability company is a really good choice. An Iowa LLC can get your new business on track fast with very simple rules into play. Further, forming an LLC is comparatively cheaper and provides greater flexibility to handle a business.


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A business entity search simply reflects checking for the availability of a particular name that you want to use to register your business. The fact is that you cannot register any business with a name that is already taken by another business in the state. Thus, Doing an Iowa business entity search will make sure that the name is unique and distinguishable from other businesses in the state. Further, there are also some more guidelines if you want to name your LLC in Iowa. So let’s talk about them.

Iowa LLC Naming Guidelines

Following are some of the rules set by the Iowa SOS on naming an LLC in the state.

  • The name of your limited liability company must contain the words “limited liability company” or “limited company”. you can also use its short forms like LLC or LC.
  • You are restricted from using words that would confuse your LLC with a government agency. This includes words like Iowa police, Iowa department of revenue, state department, agency, FBI, and so on.
  • Your Iowa LLC should not have words that reflect that the business is illegal to carry out.
  • You cannot name your business after a registered business in the state database. So it is important to select a name that’s unique from other businesses in the state. You can do this by performing an Iowa business entity search on the Iowa SOS business search portal.

Iowa Business Entity Search Procedure

There are a variety of ways different states facilitate business entity search to new entrepreneurs. So what are the available methods to conduct an Iowa business entity search? The Iowa Secretary of State business search page allows you to do a business name and number search. The detailed procedures for both are as follows.

1. Search By Business Name

You can search your desired business name and know whether the name is already taken by another entity in the state of Iowa.

  • Go to the Iowa Secretary of State business search portal and search your desired name in the “business name” search box.
  • If the name is already registered by another entity in the state, then you’ll get the result shown in the image below which mentions details like business number, entity status, and entity type.

  • If there are zero results to your searched term then you are free to use that name.

2. Search By Business Number

A business identification number is a unique number assigned to all the registered businesses in the state.

  • On the Iowa business entity search page, you can type the business number of any particular business situated in the state.

  • This will give you a single result of any particular business associated with that number. This will display details like assigned fictitious names, registered agents, addresses, and so on.

Reserve Your Iowa LLC Name

If you are not prepared to start your business immediately after finalizing a name then you can choose to reserve it for some time. To reserve a business name in Iowa, file the Name Reservation Application with the Iowa SOS. The filing fee for a name reservation is $10 which will reserve the name for 120 days.

Register Your Iowa Business Name

If you are successful in finding a suitable name for your business after performing an Iowa business entity search, then the next step would be forming the Certificate of Organization. This document will legally register your LLC in Iowa and make the name yours. The cost of filing the Certificate of Organization in Iowa is $50.

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It is important to select a domain name that is exactly similar to your official business name. If not, the domain should at least have some similarity with the business name. furthermore, you can also protect your business name, symbol, or slogan by trademarking it. A trademark will protect your business by enabling you to take legal action against anyone who uses your trademarked name. You can register a trademark in Iowa by filing a registration application. The cost for filing a trademark in Iowa is $10 per class.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I know if a business name is available to sue in the state of Iowa?

As mentioned, you can conduct an Iowa business entity search for your desired name by visiting the Iowa SOS business search page.

2. What if I name my LLC after an already registered business in Iowa?

No. If you do that then the Iowa SOS will deny the legal formation of your LLC.

3. What is the cost of registering an LLC in Iowa?

Your LLC is legally registered with the state when the document of Certificate of Organization is formed. The filing fee for this document is $50.

4. What is the cost of registering a trademark in Iowa?

The cost for registering a trademark in Iowa is $10 per class.

5. Can I reserve a business name in Iowa?

Yes. The Iowa SOS allows you to reserve a business name for 120 days which costs $10.

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