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Before forming an LLC in Iowa, a unique business name has to be found. See how to find if the LLC name you want is available to register.

The Business Service Division of the Iowa Secretary of State acts as the record center for any business entities registered in the state. The Division stores information of the following entities:

  • Corporations
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Series LLC
  • Limited Partnership
  • Limited Liability Partnership
  • Limited Company

Business names for sole proprietorships and partnerships are registered with the County Recorder in the county where the business is located with the Registration of Trade Name Certificate. However, names of LLCs and other registered entities are available through the Business Entity Database.

The online business entity database search tool is important when forming an LLC as every LLC in the state must have a unique name. By using the database, you can save considerable time as LLC paperwork will be returned should a name be requested that is already registered.

Follow our simple step-by-step guide to make your Iowa business LLC name search easier:

Step 1. On the Iowa Secretary of State’s website, click on “Business Entities” (see the screenshot below for reference).

Step 2. Enter the name of the LLC you want to register in the “Search by Business Name: field. In this example, we will search for “Lawn Care Professionals”.

As you can see from the screenshot below the name Lawn Care Professionals is an LLC that is active and in good standing in the state. This means the name can’t be registered by anyone else.

* The Division also allows you to file online reports, as well as download online filing forms to form new entities in the state. From this screen, the Certificate of Existence can also be printed.

The Business Entity Summary provides an overview of the business you were searching for.  Results include:

  • Business Number
  • Legal Name
  • Status (Good Standing is Active, while Not in Good Standing will be any other results)
  • State of Inc (If the result is Iowa the entity is a domestic entity while an out-of-state result is a foreign entity)
  • Expiration Date (Most choose perpetual which intend to last forever)
  • Effective Date (Date the entity first became active
  • Iowa Registered Agent Information
  • Filing Date (Date the Articles of Incorporation (Corporations) or Articles or Organization (Limited Liability Company) were filed with the Secretary of State

If your search result returns the message “Sorry, no results” the LLC name is likely available.

Secretary of State Contact Information

First Floor, Lucas Building
321 E. 12th St.
Des Moines, IA 50319

sos@sos.iowa.gov
(888) 767-8683

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