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The state of Iowa maintains an online portal through which a limited liability company can be formed. The portal is overseen by the Iowa Secretary of State.

Pick a Name for an LLC

llc-online-4The first step in creating an LLC in Iowa is selecting a legally acceptable name. This is a two-step process.

First, a person desiring to establish an LLC needs to determine of the proposed name is available for use. A name for a new LLC cannot be like that being used by a business already registered and in operation in Iowa.

Second, the name has to have a proper suffix, like LLC or Limited Liability Company. There are other legally acceptable options as well.

The suitability of a desired name can be checked online. The Iowa Secretary of State maintains a database through which a person easily can check out the suitability of a proposed name.

Obtain an Employer Identification Number

There are certain circumstances in which a new LLC must obtain an employer identification number, or EID, from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. An EID is required in a new LLC has more than one member. An owner of an LLC is called a member.

If the business has employees, it needs an EID number. If a business plans to hire employees during the coming year, an EID number is necessary.

Otherwise, an EID number is not mandatory. An LLC may have some other reason to obtain an EID number. In the absence of an EID number, the sole member’s Social Security number is utilized.

File Articles of Organization

llc-online-5Articles of organization in Iowa are not complicated documents. The provide essential information about the proposed business enterprise. This includes some basic information about the owner or owners of the organization.

In addition, the articles or organization name the person who is the managing member of an LLC. In layperson’s terms, the managing member is the person who legally oversees an LLC on a day-to-day basis.

The articles set forth the purpose of the business. Typically, this is a general statement that sets forth that the LLC will engage in any activity authorized by Iowa statutes and regulations.

The articles or organization are submitted online through the Iowa Office of the Secretary of State. A registration fee must be paid at the same time as the articles of organization are filed online. The registration fee to establish an LLC in Iowa is $50.

Designate a Registered Agent

As part of the process of creating an LLC online in Iowa is designation of what Iowa law calls a registered agent or a registered agent for service of process. In Iowa, a registered agent can be an individual, including an owner or member of an LLC. A registered agent can also be another legal entity.

The registered agent must be physically present in the state of Iowa. The agent must have a physical address in the state, and not just a post office box.

Publication of Notice of Formation

iowaIowa no longer has any type of publication requirement when a new LLC is formed. The act of creating and filing articles of organization creates a public document that provides the public-at-large with vital information on the newly created enterprise.

Operating Agreement

The state of Iowa does not require the creation or filing of an operating agreement. Although not required, the Secretary of State recommends that this additional document be prepared.

An operating agreement is somewhat like bylaws that are created for a corporation. The document provide directives as to how the LLC is to be managed and run. Even if an operating agreement is prepared at a later date, that document does not need to be filed with the Iowa Secretary of State at any time.

Biennial Report

Once an LLC is created in Iowa, it triggers the requirement for the limited liability company to file a report with the Secretary of State every two years. There is a filing fee due when the biennial report is filed. That fee is $30 if filed online or $45 if filed via mail. The report can be submitted through an online portal or printed and mailed as a representative an LLC desires.