With our 5-step process, forming a company in Iowa is simple. A company may be formed by submitting formation paperwork with your state and forming a board of directors.
We’ll teach you how to form your own company in Iowa.
In Iowa, it is simple to form a corporation.
To get started, follow the steps in our How to Start a Corporation in Iowa tutorial below:
Step 1: Give Your Iowa Corporation a Name
Step 2: Select a Registered Agent.
Hold an Organizational Meeting in Step 3
Step 4: Submit your Articles of Incorporation.
Step 5: Obtain an EIN
Step 1: Give Your Iowa Corporation a Name
The first step in forming a company is to choose a business name. You must choose a distinct name that conforms with Iowa company naming regulations.
1. Iowa naming conventions:
The following words or abbreviations must appear in your name: corporation, incorporated, company, limited, corp., inc., co., or ltd (or words or abbreviations of like meaning in another language).
Your name must be distinct from any other current company in the state. This lists reserved names in Iowa.
Your company’s name cannot include terms that may be confused with a government organisation (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
Certain banned terms (e.g., bank, attorney, university) may need extra documentation and a licenced professional to be a member of your organisation in certain jurisdictions.
2. Is my business name accessible in Iowa?
Your Iowa company name must be distinct and recognisable from other Iowa business names. To see whether your selected company name is available, use the Iowa Secretary of State’s Business Search Portal.
Visit our How to Name a Business guide and pick Iowa from the drop-down option for additional information on Iowa corporation name searches.
3. Is the URL accessible?
Before forming your Iowa company, check to see whether an appropriate URL for your selected business name is accessible. Even if you don’t intend to create a company website right immediately, we recommend purchasing a web domain right away to avoid other companies from obtaining it.
Step 2: Select a Registered Agent in Iowa.
When you file your company with the Secretary of State, you must choose an Iowa registered agent.
What exactly is a Registered Agent? A registered agent is a person or organisation chosen by an LLC or corporation to accept service of process, government communications, and compliance paperwork on behalf of a company.
Who Is Eligible to Be a Registered Agent? An person, a corporate organisation, or a professional registered agent service may serve as your registered agent. Any organisation or individual may act as your Iowa registered agent as long as the person:
is at least 18 years old
has a physical address in the state where business is done
is accessible during regular business hours (in person).
Step 3 Hold an Organizational Meeting
Before filing the Articles of Incorporation formally in Step 4, you must conduct an organisational meeting to perform the following tasks:
Complete and sign the Articles of Incorporation.
Establish and approve bylaws
Choose your first director (s)
Determine your ownership structure.
Fill out an Incorporator’s Statement.
Establish and Approve Corporate Bylaws
Bylaws are the rules that regulate and control how your organisation is governed and operated. Consider the bylaws to be your corporation’s constitution. It clarifies the norms and priorities for all parties involved.
The bylaws of a company will augment any regulations established by the federal government or the state.
Include the following in your bylaws:
The governance of the company, including the roles of directors and officials
Meeting processes, voting procedures, and the election of executives or directors
How will records be preserved and managed?
How will disagreements be resolved?
How will bylaws be added/modified in the future?
The annual shareholder meeting date
Contract Negotiation Techniques
Fiduciary responsibilities to the company (i.e. acting in the best interests of the corporation)
What is a quorum for voting purposes?
What exactly is a quorum? A quorum is the minimal number of members who must be present at a meeting in order for the meeting’s actions, including any votes, to be legitimate.
Appoint the First Directors
At least one director must be appointed to manage your Iowa company until the first shareholder meeting.
A corporate director is in charge of operational bylaw adoption, modification, and repeal, as well as the election, monitoring, and removal of officers.
Following the incorporation of the company, the incorporator(s) — or initial director(s), if listed on the formation papers — shall convene an organisational meeting. During this inaugural meeting, either the incorporator(s) or the initial director(s) will elect the board of directors.
Selecting a Share Structure and Strategy
A share of stock is a corporation’s unit of ownership. Each share of stock reflects a proportion of the company’s ownership. If a business issues one share of stock, the shareholder (stock owner) owns 100% of the corporation.
Shares may be divided into classes. Each class, known as a share class, has unique rights and advantages. There may be several classes, and each class can have an unlimited number of shares.
Because Iowa businesses must write their own Articles of Incorporation, you must specify whether your company will issue more than one authorised share class or series.
NOTE: We suggest that you begin with a large number of authorised shares. Many lawyers advocate for a million dollars. Starting with a large number allows you to issue shares as required without incurring legal expenses to enhance your original permitted share size.
Make and implement an Incorporator’s Statement
The incorporator(s) shall sign and preserve an Incorporator’s Statement with the full names and addresses of all initial directors in the corporate records book.
This document identifies the first director(s) who will serve until the board of directors is chosen at the first shareholder meeting. It should be kept with the rest of your company’s records.
Step 4: Submit the Articles of Incorporation to the State of Iowa.
To form a company in Iowa, you must submit the Iowa Articles of Incorporation. The Articles of Incorporation are the legal documents that establish your Iowa company. You may file with the Iowa Secretary of State either online or by mail. The fee for filing is $50.
Iowa does not supply a hard-copy version of its Articles of Incorporation, but you may construct your own by following the directions given or utilising the online filing template.
This paper will address the fundamentals of your company, such as:
Name and location of the corporate registered agent
The number of authorised shares that a company may issue.
Name(s) and address of incorporator(s) (es)
When appropriate, provide class information.
Step 5 Get an EIN for Your Iowa Corporation
What exactly is an EIN? The federal government uses an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN) to identify a company organisation. It is effectively the company’s social security number.
Why do I need an EIN? An EIN is necessary for the following activities:
To establish a commercial bank account for the firm
In terms of federal and state taxation
To recruit workers for the firm
How can I get an EIN? After founding the firm, the business owner obtains an EIN from the IRS (free of charge). This may be done online or in the mail.