Iowa Corporation Requirements

Each state has different requirements for forming a corporation. Whether you are starting a business or incorporating a business already in existence, you’ll want to understand state requirements for Iowa incorporation.

Cost to incorporate in Iowa

At BizFilings, we clearly outline our fees and the state fees to form an Iowa corporation. View our pricing to incorporate as a C corporation or S corporation to plainly see:

  • BizFilings’ package prices. BizFilings offers three incorporation service packages from which you can choose.
  • State fee for standard turn-around. Our pricing clearly shows the state fee to incorporate in Iowa with standard turn-around.
  • Expedited turn-around. You will see the BizFilings and state fee, if any, for expedited turn-around.
  • Certified copy. Our pricing also clearly displays the BizFilings and state fee, if any, for issuing a Certified Copy of the Articles of Incorporation.

Incorporate in Iowa

Corporate name

The name must contain the words "Corporation," "Incorporated," "Company," "Limited" or the abbreviation "Corp.," "Inc.," "Co.," "Ltd." or words or abbreviations of like import in another language. The name must be distinguishable from that of any domestic or foreign corporation authorized to transact business or a name to which exclusive right is, at the time, reserved or registered.

Director information

The following are Iowa’s requirements for directors of corporations:

  • Minimum number. Corporations must have one or more directors.
  • Residence requirements. Iowa does not have a provision specifying where directors must reside.
  • Age requirements. Directors must be at least 18 years old.
  • Inclusion in the Articles of Incorporation. Director names and addresses are required to be listed in the Articles of Incorporation.

Requirements for the Articles of Incorporation

The document required to form a corporation in Iowa is called the Articles of Incorporation. The information required in the formation document varies by state. Iowa's requirements include:

  • Officers. Officer names and addresses are not required to be listed in the Articles of Incorporation.
  • Stock. Authorized shares and par value must be listed in the Articles of Incorporation. An increase in the number of shares or par value does not affect initial filing fees.
  • Registered agent. Corporations must list the name and address of a registered agent with a physical address (no post office boxes) in Iowa. The registered agent must be available during normal business hours to accept important legal and tax documents for the business.
Iowa Registered Agent Service

Professional services businesses

Iowa allows professionals, such as accountants, attorneys and physicians to form a professional corporation (PC).

After forming a corporation, you must undertake certain steps on an ongoing basis to keep your business in compliance. These steps are also important in preserving the limited liability a corporation provides its owners. This guide outlines the ongoing requirements for Iowa corporations.

Corporate records

Iowa corporations must keep the following with their corporate records:

  • The Articles of Incorporation and any amendments
  • Bylaws or restated bylaws and any amendments
  • Resolutions by the board of directors creating one or more classes or series of shares, and fixing their relative rights, preferences and limitations
  • Minutes of shareholder meetings for the past three years
  • Records of actions taken by the shareholders without a meeting for the past three years
  • Written communications to shareholders for the past three years, including financial statements
  • A list of names and business addresses of current directors and officers
  • Most recent biennial report

Corporate taxes and fees

The following are taxation requirements and ongoing fees for Iowa corporations:

  • Biennial report. Iowa requires corporations to file a biennial report that is due between January 1 and April 1 of even years. The fee for this report is $45, or $30 if filed online.
  • Taxes. For complete details on state taxes for Iowa corporations, visit Business Owner's Toolkit or the State of Iowa .
  • Federal tax identification number (EIN). An EIN is required for corporations that will have employees. Additionally, most banks require an EIN in order to open a business bank account.
  • State tax identification number. Iowa does not require a state tax identification number.

Business licenses

Business licenses and/or permits are required for most businesses. The BizFilings Business License Application Package can help you stay on top of these requirements.

S corporation election

Iowa recognizes the federal S corporation election and does not require a state-level S corporation election.

Additional Iowa information

View the following additional resources BizFilings has for forming and maintaining companies in Iowa:

State Guides

The state in which you form your company can provide certain benefits.

Please select both a state and a topic.

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