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Cost to Form an LLC in Iowa: IA LLC Cost Guide 2024

Cost to Form an LLC in Iowa
(Last Updated On: November 29, 2023)

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Welcome to the realm of launching your business venture in Iowa! If you’re considering the formation of a Limited Liability Company (LLC), you’re embarking on a promising path. However, before you take the plunge, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the costs involved. These costs encompass the fees required during the application process, as well as the financial resources necessary to sustain your LLC’s operations. 

This comprehensive guide aims to elucidate the various costs associated with forming an LLC in Iowa. Should you seek additional guidance? esteemed LLC services like ZenBusiness that are readily available to provide assistance with the requisite paperwork, ensuring a seamless process. 

Armed with the right knowledge and support, you’ll be fully equipped to navigate the intricacies and financial aspects of establishing your LLC in the state of Iowa.

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What Is the Cost of Forming an LLC in Iowa?

The primary cost to form an LLC in Iowa involves the $50 charge for submitting your LLC’s Certificate of Organization through online channels with the Iowa Secretary of State.

Here’s the LLC Cost Guide for all US States:

Iowa Foreign LLC Formation Costs

In case you possess an existing LLC registered in a different state and wish to extend your business operations to Iowa, it will be necessary to enroll your LLC as a foreign entity within Iowa.

The fee associated with registering a foreign LLC in Iowa amounts to $100. To achieve this, you can go about registering the foreign LLC in Iowa through the submission of an online or mail-based Application for a Certificate of Authority.

Annual Cost for LLCs in Iowa

Understanding the ongoing expenses of maintaining an LLC in Iowa is crucial when initiating a Limited Liability Company in the state. The key recurring costs for an Iowa LLC include the registered agent Fee, which mandates the presence of a Statutory Agent to handle legal documents and official correspondence on behalf of the LLC. While the initial registered agent doesn’t need official consent, changes in registered agents do. 

Additionally, LLCs in Iowa are obligated to submit a biennial report to the Secretary of State during odd-numbered years. This report can be filed online or by mail, accompanied by a fee of $30 (online) or $45 (mail). By factoring in these expenses, you can better gauge the overall financial requirements of operating an LLC in Iowa.

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How Much Does it Cost to Start an LLC in Iowa with the Best LLC Service? 

ZenBusiness LLC Formation Cost

The initial expense for filing an LLC in Iowa starts at $50 and can vary depending on the additional services chosen. In terms of processing time, the standard duration is estimated to be 2 to 3 weeks. Alternatively, there’s an option to accelerate the processing period to 4 to 6 days by paying an additional $50 or further expedite it to 1 to 2 days for a fee of $100.

ZenBusiness provides a range of three distinct pricing plans catering to various business formation requirements: Starter, Pro, and Premium.

  • Starter plan: For those seeking fundamental business formation assistance, this presents an ideal choice and is offered at a cost of $0 alongside applicable state fees.
  • Pro plan: Should a more advanced package be sought, the incorporates supplementary features such as expedited filing and a registered agent for service. This plan is available for $199 in addition to state fees.
  • Premium plan: This stands as the most comprehensive offering, encompassing all elements of the Pro plan while introducing the invaluable addition of unlimited Worry-Free Compliance. This facet aids businesses in adhering to both state and federal regulations, and the Premium plan is attainable at a fee of $349, along with state fees.

ZenBusiness further enhances its value proposition by including a complimentary year of Worry-Free Compliance with the purchase of the aforementioned plans.

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Additional Costs When Starting an LLC in Iowa

Iowa LLC Name Costs

The expense of naming your Iowa business is $0. You won’t incur any charges for naming your Limited Liability Company (LLC). When your Certificate of Organization filing is sanctioned by the state, your chosen Iowa LLC Name will be accepted without any additional fees.

You might have come across information online suggesting that LLC Name Reservations are obligatory. However, this is generally not the case in most states. For the majority of states, creating an LLC doesn’t necessitate a Name Reservation.

If you do want to reserve an LLC name ahead of formation, you have the option to do so. By submitting an Application for Reservation of Name and paying a $10 filing fee, you can secure your desired name for up to 120 days before officially forming the LLC. This process can also be completed via mail.

Iowa Registered Agent Costs

The Iowa registered agent Fee can either be $0 or $125 per year. When establishing your LLC in Iowa, it’s mandatory to appoint a registered agent.

An Iowa registered agent, whether an individual or a company, plays the role of receiving official documents and state notifications on behalf of your LLC. The registered agent must have a physical address within the state and be accessible during regular business hours.

Opting to serve as your own registered agent or designating someone you know entails no extra charges. Alternatively, you have the choice to enlist the services of a registered agent provider. This will come at a cost ranging from $100 to $300 annually. These providers often furnish additional beneficial business services and can safeguard your confidentiality.

Selecting a registered agent service is advisable if:

  • You lack an address within the state (Iowa law necessitates that registered agents possess a physical in-state address).
  • You wish to prevent your address from being publicly disclosed (depending on the chosen company, you might have the option to use their address to maintain your privacy).

Iowa Operating Agreement Costs

An Iowa LLC Operating Agreement constitutes a written contract among the LLC Members, encompassing detailed information about LLC ownership, management structure, and the distribution of profits. Surprisingly, there’s no fee associated with this agreement.

For both Single-Member and Multi-Member LLCs, it’s recommended to draft an Operating Agreement, maintain it within their business records, and provide each Member with a copy. Notably, many online platforms charge fees ranging from $50 to $200 for the creation of LLC Operating Agreements.

Iowa EIN Cost

An EIN Number, alternatively referred to as an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), is essential for tasks such as filing income taxes, establishing an LLC bank account, and employing personnel when needed.

While numerous websites may impose a service charge for acquiring an EIN for your LLC, it’s worth noting that you can obtain it without any cost. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers the option to obtain an EIN for your LLC through online filing, a process that can be completed in just a few minutes.

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Iowa LLC Taxes

The annual expenses for Iowa LLC owners can vary significantly due to the various types of taxes they’re required to pay. Some of these taxes include:

Federal Income Taxes

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers various options for treating your Limited Liability Company (LLC) differently for tax purposes. When it comes to Single-Member LLCs, they’re considered Disregarded Entities by the IRS, meaning the LLC doesn’t need to file its own federal income tax return. 

Instead, the owner of the LLC files the return and pays the federal income taxes. How the LLC pays federal income tax depends on the owner: if it’s an individual, the LLC is taxed as a Sole Proprietorship; if it’s another company, the LLC is taxed as a branch or division of the parent company.

Multi-Member LLC Taxes

For an LLC with multiple owners, it’s treated as a Partnership for tax purposes. This requires filing a 1065 Partnership Return and issuing Schedule K-1 to owners, detailing each owner’s share of profits. The income “flows through” to the owners, who pay the taxes on their personal income tax return (Form 1040).

Husband and Wife LLC Taxes

In certain states, a husband and wife LLC can choose to file taxes as a Single-Member LLC (Qualified Joint Venture) instead of a Multi-Member LLC. This option is available in community property states. However, it’s important to note that this isn’t possible in non-community property states like Iowa.

Electing Corporate Taxation

Apart from the default options mentioned earlier, an LLC can opt for corporate taxation. There are two types of corporate elections: S-Corporation and C-Corporation. An LLC can request to be taxed as an S-Corporation by filing Form 2553 with the IRS. This can provide tax savings for businesses with established profits. 

Alternatively, an LLC can choose to be taxed as a C-Corporation by filing Form 8832, which could benefit larger employers seeking healthcare fringe benefits. It’s advised to consult an accountant before making this decision.

Iowa State Income Tax

For Single-Member LLCs in Iowa, the LLC itself typically doesn’t file a state-level return. Instead, the owner includes the LLC’s profits or losses in their personal state-level return. Multi-Member LLCs might need to file a state-level Partnership return, with owners reporting the LLC’s profits or losses on their personal returns. 

Some Iowa industries and business types are subject to other specific business taxes, warranting the assistance of an accountant for proper preparation and filing.

Iowa State Tax ID Number

Iowa mandates all businesses to obtain an Iowa Tax ID Number, which is used for tax payment purposes. This number can be acquired online through the Iowa Department of Revenue or by reaching out to them directly.

Local Income Tax

Local municipalities may require either you or your LLC to file and pay local income taxes. It’s advisable to engage an accountant for the accurate preparation and filing of local income taxes. Your municipality can provide information about specific requirements.

Iowa Sales Tax

Selling products to Iowa consumers might necessitate collecting sales tax and obtaining a Seller’s Permit from the Iowa Department of Revenue (DOR). A Seller’s Permit grants permission to levy sales tax on retail transactions within the state. It’s also known as a resale license, wholesale license, sales tax permit, or reseller permit. Registration for a Sales Tax Permit can be done online through the Iowa DOR’s platform.

Iowa LLC Payroll Taxes

If your Iowa LLC hires employees, you’re obligated to handle payroll taxes, which include federal and state income tax withholding, Social Security tax, Medicare tax, federal and state unemployment taxes, local deductions, and employee deductions. 

Managing payroll taxes can be intricate and lead to penalties if not done accurately. Many choose to hire a payroll company or consult an accountant to manage this process effectively.

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Iowa LLC Cost FAQs

How Much Does It Cost to Open an LLC in Iowa?

Initiating an Iowa LLC necessitates a $50 payment, a singular charge for the LLC Certificate of Organization. Additional prerequisites could encompass obtaining a business license, contingent on your industry and geographical placement, with varying expenses associated with local business permits.

How Much Does an LLC in Iowa Cost Per Year?

Enlisting the services of a registered agent entails an annual subscription fee of approximately $125, payable each year. Furthermore, every Iowa LLC is required to remit a $30 fee for the Biennial Report, which is submitted to the Secretary of State every 2 years to ensure the LLC’s active status. 

Additionally, certain Iowa LLCs might necessitate a business license, contingent upon industry and location, requiring verification of potential annual renewal fees for the business permit from the respective municipality.

Should I Hire an LLC Formation Service?

Although it’s not a requirement to enlist professional assistance when setting up your Iowa LLC, you do have the choice to handle the formation process on your own. However, for individuals aiming for efficiency and accurate filing, it’s recommended to consider the services of a company like ZenBusiness.

With a history of delivering outstanding customer support, they also offer complimentary registered agent services for the first year, in addition to other benefits such as crafting an Operating Agreement and managing Annual Report submissions.


In conclusion, forming an LLC in Iowa entails careful consideration of associated costs within the context of the state’s business landscape. While Iowa offers certain advantages, such as its strategic location and potential for economic growth, there are specific expenses tied to establishing an LLC. 

These include filing fees, registered agent fees, and the possibility of incurring legal or consulting charges. Additionally, services like ZenBusiness present streamlined options to facilitate the incorporation process. 

Entrepreneurs must thoroughly assess these costs in relation to Iowa’s benefits, such as its business-friendly policies and potential market opportunities, to make an informed decision aligned with their business objectives and financial capabilities.

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About the author

Dr. Gabriel O'Neill, Esq., a distinguished legal scholar with a business law degree and a Doctor of Juridical Science, is a leading expert in business registration and diverse business departments. Renowned for his academic excellence and practical insights, Dr. O'Neill guides businesses through legal complexities, offering invaluable expertise in compliance, corporate governance, and registration processes.

As an accomplished author, his forthcoming book is anticipated to be a comprehensive guide for navigating the dynamic intersection of law and business, providing clarity and practical wisdom for entrepreneurs and legal professionals alike. With a commitment to legal excellence, Dr. Gabriel O'Neill, Esq., is a trusted authority dedicated to empowering businesses within the ever-evolving legal landscape.