Iowa LLC Name Search

How to Do an Iowa Business Name Search

Selecting the right name is an essential first step for your Iowa LLC, requiring you to ensure the name’s availability. Searching the Iowa business entity database is vital to avoid infringing on existing business names and intellectual property rights within the state.

Our Iowa LLC name search guide offers essential tips on checking LLC name availability, reservation, and registration, helping you secure a unique and compliant business identity efficiently.

Business Entity Search in Iowa: How Do I Look Up an LLC in Iowa? (Summary)

A woman with a computer, learning how to look up an LLC in Iowa

To look up Iowa LLC name search availability

You can follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Iowa Secretary of State’s Business Entities Search page: Go to the Iowa business entities database search¬†to check if your chosen business name is available.
  2. Enter the name of the LLC in the “Entity Name” field. If you are unsure of the exact name, you can use the “Begins With” option to search for all LLCs that start with a particular word or phrase.
  3. Click the “Search” button.
  4. Review the search results to find the LLC you are looking for. The results will show the entity name, type, status, and registration date of each LLC that matches your search criteria.
  5. Click on the name of the LLC to view more detailed information, including its registered agent, address, and other filings with the Secretary of State’s office.

If you have trouble finding the LLC you are looking for or need additional assistance, you can contact the Iowa Secretary of State’s Business Services Division for help.

Search Business Names in Iowa (Iowa LLC Lookup Guide)

Man looking up an LLC in Iowa on a laptop

Iowa LLC Name Requirements

To ensure that your desired business name has been found, you should perform an Iowa Secretary Of State Business Search before you form an LLC in Iowa. It must indicate that the LLC is a Limited-Liability Company.

Therefore, the name should include the abbreviation LLC or L.L.C. at the end. An LLC is not a corporation. The name of an LLC cannot contain any references to “corporation”, “incorporated,” or “corp.”

You must be able to distinguish your LLC from other Iowa businesses. Names must be unique. Grammar and punctuation differences do not make a business name different from another.

How to search the Iowa Business Entity Databank

Iowa business entity name search

You can search the Iowa business directory for information, whether you are looking for information on another business or a new LLC. The system’s simple functions make it easy to navigate the database.

Navigate to the Search Page for Business Entities on the Secretary of States’s website. In the search box, enter your preferred LLC name. To maximize your search results choose the “100” option in the drop-down menu.

Click “Search.” A page will be generated based upon your search terms. Simply select the business to access its summary. Click on any business entry to view all information about it, including its stock information and filing history.

These tips will help you search for more information:

  • You can leave out the ending punctuation and “LLC”.
  • Capitalization is not something to be concerned about.
  • Only enter the first or second word of your chosen LLC name.
  • To be more thorough, enter part of the first sentence.

If you get a message saying “Sorry, no Results”, it means that there are no similar LLCs in the Iowa database. You can use the one you like. If you do not receive results, changing your business name to something more distinctive is possible.

You cannot use the same business name as another. You must create your LLC name from scratch.

Sometimes, it is not possible to be certain that the name you want to use is available. If this happens, file the paperwork anyway. If the name isn’t available, the state will reject it and ask you to modify it.

Once you have found an available Iowa LLC name, you can choose a Registered agent.

Reserving a Business Name

Although you may have a great name for your business, you are not ready to set up an LLC. Iowa allows individuals to reserve business names for up to 120 days by filing an Application For Reservation of Name.

Send the application and $10 filing fee to

Secretary of StateBusiness Services Division

Lucas Building

1st Floor

Des Moines, Iowa 50319

How to Create a Corporation in Iowa

You must first file the Articles Of Incorporation online with the Secretary of State and pay the $50 filing fee. You can also attach your payment to the application, and mail it to:

Regular Filing

PO Box 670

Columbus, OH 43216

After forming your corporation successfully, apply for an EIN to open a bank account under your company’s name.

How to form an Iowa LLC

First, choose a name to establish an LLC within Iowa. Names must be unique and include “Limited Liability Company” (or one of its abbreviations) or “L.L.C .”).”. Some words, such as attorney, university, or bank, are not allowed because they require licenses. Even if your goal is to start your own business, it’s worth looking into purchasing a domain name.

Next, select your registered agent. Next, choose your Registered Agent. This is the person or company who can receive legal papers on behalf of your LLC. You, your friend, or a relative can serve as the Registered Agent.

To register your LLC in Iowa, you can file your Certificate of Organization. Although the state doesn’t provide a sample Certificate of Organization form, there are instructions on how it can be created on the website.

Additional Steps

1. Trademark Search

When searching for a business name, it’s important to note that availability doesn’t necessarily mean the name is free to use if it’s already a registered trademark.

To avoid potential complications down the line, it’s wise to conduct a thorough trademark search using the Trademark Electronic Search System before finalizing a business name.

2. Choose a Registered Agent

After you have chosen an LLC name that is distinctive and unique, you can now choose your LLC’s Registered Agent.

3. Check if the Domain Name is Available

To check if a domain name is available, you can follow these steps:

  1. Go to a domain registrar website, such as GoDaddy.com or Namecheap.com.
  2. In the search bar on the homepage, type in the domain name you want to check.
  3. Click on the search button to see if the domain name is available or not.
  4. If the domain name is available, you will be prompted to purchase it. If it’s not available, the registrar will suggest some alternative options or you can try a different domain name.

4. Check if Social Media Name is Available

Check if a social media name is available for a new business name

5. Register Iowa Business Entity

When you complete the required documents for filing a new business entity, you then register your business and business name with the state. The state of Iowa will either approve your business name or reject it.

If you hire a good LLC service like Northwest Registered Agent, ZenBusiness or Bizee, these LLC services have business name tools available for you to do a quick search.

6. Register an Employer ID Number (EIN) With the IRS

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify businesses and other entities for tax purposes.

7. Create a Brand Logo

Creating a business logo involves several steps. There are affordable online services that can design a logo for you and assist with the process.

Define your brand: Before you start creating a logo, you need to define your brand’s personality, values, and mission. This will help you create a logo that accurately represents your brand.

8. Write a Business Plan

Writing a business plan involves a comprehensive process that covers various aspects of your business, including the industry, market research, marketing and sales strategies, financial projections, and more.

9. Open a Business Bank Account in Iowa

A bank account is generally required for a new Limited Liability Company (LLC) or corporation to separate personal finances from business finances and to establish a clear record of business transactions.

References

Iowa Uniform LLC Act: Section 489.108 Name
Iowa Secretary of State: Business Entities Search Help

author avatar
Brian Wilson Writer and Editor
Brian Wilson is the content manager and founder of LLC Radar. Brian grew up in North Texas, just outside of Dallas, and has a bachelor's degree in business from Southern Methodist University. Since graduating from SMU, Brian has gained over 10 years of experience in business writing for several online publications. Brian resides in Plano, Texas and he can be reached by email:   info@llcradar.com Phone: 972-776-4050

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