LLC Cost in Iowa 2022: Reviews & Free Guides

LLC Cost in Iowa

If you’re thinking about forming a limited liability company with the Iowa Secretary of State, then understanding the full breakdown of Iowa LLC cost options is a must. That’s why we’ve put together this guide.

Below, LLC owners will learn every filing fee they may encounter while creating an Iowa LLC with the Iowa Secretary of State. By the end of this guide, you’ll understand all of the Iowa LLC fees that you may be responsible for as a business owner transitioning away from a sole proprietorship.

So, without further delay, here’s the Iowa LLC cost information you need to make a more informed decision about the paperwork you file with the Iowa Department of Fast Track Filing.

What Is an LLC in Iowa?

LLC is an acronym that stands for limited liability company. It’s a way to transact business in the state that many small business owners choose to use. 

LLCs may have more than one member, or the full list of LLC members could just be you. Under Iowa law, limited liability companies receive some nice benefits related to personal asset protection and taxation – and even an Iowa foreign LLC will get these benefits.

The bottom line is that going through LLC formation may be right for your business entity if you want to conduct business in a way that allows your Iowa business to take advantage of these benefits.

So, with that in mind, here’s what you need to know about the cost of forming a domestic LLC or foreign LLC in Iowa.

LLC Cost in Iowa

As an individual or business entity that wants to become a domestic LLC, there are a variety of fees to be aware of while filing the paperwork for your organization online. 

With that in mind, here’s a complete overview of what you could owe the Iowa Secretary of State and internal revenue service while completing your online filing.

Iowa LLC Filing Fees

The baseline LLC formation filing fee in Iowa is $50. This is the amount that all Iowa LLCs must pay to file operating agreements and articles of organization with the Iowa Department of State. 

You may be able to pay an extra fee in order to complete the LLC formation process faster with the Secretary of State as well.

Iowa LLC Annual Report Fees

Many states charge an annual report fee, but Iowa doesn’t. The Secretary of State only asks that you file a biennial report on odd number years. More information on the Iowa biennial report fee is available in the next section.

Biennial Report Fee

If you file biennial reports online, it costs $45. But if you’d like to file the paperwork in person with the Secretary of State instead, then it will cost $60.

Just remember, you only need to pay this filing fee every other year. This makes it more affordable to complete your online filings and service fees in Iowa and Des Moines than it is in many other states.

Registered Agent Fee

As an LLC owner in Iowa, your company must also have a registered agent attached to a physical address in the state. Your LLC’s registered agent can either come from a professional registered agent service, or you can be your own registered agent.

A registered agent service typically charges between $99 and $300 per year. But you may be able to get a registered agent service for free if you were already planning on paying for an LLC formation service for your Iowa LLC.

Cost to Form a Foreign LLC in Iowa

If you have a foreign business and you want to file a certificate of organization in Iowa, it will cost $100 to do so. The operating agreement is a bit more expensive for companies seeking this Iowa certificate of organization.

Business Permits and Licenses 

There is no general state business license in Iowa. This means that your business filings and state fees in this area will depend on the professional services you’re offering to residents of Des Moines and elsewhere.

For example, an Iowa LLC wanting to file a certificate of organization for a new pharmacy may have business licenses expenses, whereas one looking for a certificate of organization for a laundromat may not.


There are also various taxes you’ll need to be aware of after you start an LLC in Iowa. Here are the rates for sales taxes, workers’ compensation insurance, and others that your company should be aware of after receiving an Iowa certificate of organization.

Corporate Income tax

When you conduct business transactions in Iowa, you will be responsible for the corporate income tax whether you file online or in person. The rate for this ranges from 5.5% to 8.4%, depending on how much you earn throughout the year, how you pay employees, and other state fees.

State Business Tax

You will also be responsible for the state’s business tax. This amount ranges from 6% to 12%, also depending on things like business license requirements, income, and workers compensation insurance status for the professional service your business name offers.

Iowa Withholding Tax

As an employer, you must withhold 7.65% of your employees’ wages. This figure should be held separately in your business bank account to avoid any issues with the state.

Sales and Use Tax

You will also be responsible for paying the use and sales tax in Iowa once you form your business. The rate for this is 6% at the state level, plus an optional 1% local tax that you may or may not pay based on where your business address is.

Other LLC Filing Costs

When you fill out a certificate of organization and operating agreement in Iowa, there are different kinds of state filing fees that you may or may not encounter. Here are the major service fees to be aware of, whether using formation services or completing this process on your own.

LLC Name Reservation Fee

The cost to reserve a business name for your LLC before filing an official certificate of organization is $10.

Foreign LLC Name Registration

It costs the same $10 amount to complete a foreign LLC name registration for things like health permits, your business website, and formation services.

“Doing Business As” (DBA) Name

If you want to file a DBA name in Iowa, it’s called a fictitious name. The price for creating this own certificate is just $5, and it can be helpful when you want to apply for things like a business insurance policy or purchase workers compensation insurance. 

Business Domain Name & Website

The price of purchasing a domain name and setting up a business website can vary significantly based on the domain name you choose and the service you use to set up your website.

Certified Document Copies

You may sometimes need certified document copies for things like business insurance. These cost $5 as a base fee plus an additional $1 per page.

Certificate of Good Standing (Certificate of Compliance)

If you want a certificate of good standing for something like sales tax paperwork or business insurance, it will cost you $10 to get one.

Articles of Organization Fee

The Secretary of State charges a fee of $50 for filing articles of organization in Iowa.

Attorney Fees

Your attorney fees will vary significantly based on who you hire and how much you use them. But most businesses shouldn’t have to pay an attorney when forming an LLC. You will only need one if something unusual comes up in your situation.

Tax ID Number (EIN)

Every company needs an employer identification number (EIN) as well. But this is entirely free to set up and you can do it online.

6 Basic Steps to Start an LLC in Iowa 2023

LLC Cost in Iowa

Now that we’ve covered the costs of starting an LLC in Iowa, let’s look at some of the steps for doing so. Here are six to get you started.

Choose a Name for Your LLC in Iowa

First, make sure that you select a valid name for your new LLC. It must comply with all naming rules as set out by the Secretary of State. You can find these online.

Choose a Registered Agent in Iowa

The next step is to decide on a registered agent. You can either fulfill this role yourself or hire a service. You may also be able to get a free year of registered agent support if you hire a company to complete the LLC formation process on your behalf.

Read more: Best Iowa Registered Agent 2023

File Organizational Paperwork With the State

Now you’re ready to file your organizational paperwork with the state. This process is fairly straightforward. Simply go online and find the correct forms, then submit them virtually on the state’s website.

Obtain a Certificate from the State

After you’ve filed your paperwork and paid your fees, you’ll get a certificate from the state saying that your new business has been officially recognized as an LLC. This can take a few weeks depending on how busy the state is.

Prepare an LLC Operating Agreement

At this point, the only major step left to complete is to fill out your LLC operating agreement. This document lets the state know how you plan on organizing your company from a profit-sharing and managerial perspective.

Obtain an EIN for Your LLC in Iowa 

The last thing you need to do is set up your EIN. As we said in the previous section, you can do this entirely for free online in as little as 10 minutes.

The Top 2 LLC Services in Iowa

If you’re considering hiring a professional service to help you complete this process, here are two of the best options in the state.

Northwest Registered AgentZenBusiness
AwardBest OverallBest Customer Service
PricingFree – $275 annually + filing feesFree – $299 annually + filing fees
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Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest regularly receives excellent reviews from customers and provides a wide variety of business services at affordable prices. Whether you want support with starting your LLC or you want a resident agent from a professional provider, they can give you the services and resources you need to run your company more effectively.


ZenBusiness offers many of the same services as Northwest, but they also provide after-hours customer support and ongoing assistance with things like taxes and accounting. If you hire ZenBusines to help you out with resident agent support, they’ll start your LLC for free.

Read more: Best LLC Formation Services In Iowa (IA) 2023

Final Thoughts

Starting an LLC in Iowa can be a smart way to take advantage of various benefits related to personal asset protection and taxation. If you think that forming an LLC is the right decision for your Iowa business, then we hope our pricing guide will help you make a more informed choice about how to proceed with the process.

Whether you end up hiring a professional service to help with this process or not, we wish you all the best with your Iowa business moving forward.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is an Iowa LLC?

An Iowa LLC is a kind of business structure that you can use to take advantage of benefits like personal liability reduction and improved tax status.

Can I start an Iowa LLC on my own?

Yes, you can absolutely start an Iowa LLC without hiring a professional service. All of the paperwork and instructions you need to do so are available for free online.

How much does it cost to start an Iowa LLC?

The baseline Iowa LLC filing fee is $50, but you could pay more than that if you also need add-on services like a name reservation or a DBA name.



Bizreport - Kellan Jansen
Kellan Jansen, BA
Business Writer
Kellan works with businesses of all sizes to help them achieve their growth goals and has won several awards for his work in the space. He is especially focused on the fields of business finance and the developing cryptocurrency industry, regularly writing about both for audiences across the globe.


Kristina Knight-1
Kristina Knight, Journalist , BA
Content Writer & Editor
Kristina Knight is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience writing on varied topics. Kristina’s focus for the past 10 years has been the small business, online marketing, and banking sectors, however, she keeps things interesting by writing about her experiences as an adoptive mom, parenting, and education issues. Kristina’s work has appeared with, NBC News,, DisasterNewsNetwork, and many more publications.

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  1. FAQs. Accessed January 28, 2023.
  2. Business Entity Forms and Fees. Accessed January 28, 2023.
  3. What is a registered agent? | Fast Track Filing Resource Center. Accessed January 28, 2023.
  4. REVISED UNIFORM LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY ACT. §489.108. Accessed January 28, 2023.
  5. Iowa Secretary of State. Published 2020. Accessed January 28, 2023.
  6. How do I form a Limited Liability Company (LLC)? | Fast Track Filing Resource Center. Accessed January 28, 2023.

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