Iowa Foreign LLC – Qualification and Registration


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If you already have an LLC in another state and want an LLC in Iowa, then starting an LLC would be somewhat different. You must register as a foreign LLC. We have here a guide on how you can qualify and register for a foreign LLC in Iowa

Forming an Iowa Foreign LLC

A foreign LLC does not need to be a company from another country but a business formed under the laws of another state. To start a foreign LLC in Iowa, you need to register it with the Iowa Secretary of State.

Step 1: Choose Iowa Foreign LLC Name

Obtain a name reservation certificate and submit it with your foreign qualification requirements at the Iowa Secretary of State. Your LLC’s legal name outside of Iowa will be listed on the application, along with the name it will use in Iowa. Take note of the requirements for naming your LLC

Check name availability at Iowa’s business entity names and reserve your LLC name.

Step 2: Select Iowa Foreign LLC Registered Agent

You’ll need a registered agent to form a foreign LLC in Iowa and take note that an Iowa registered agent must have a local address. Here are three of the best LLC services on our list that will provide you with registered agents to ease your worries: 

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Step 3: File Registration of Iowa Foreign LLC 

Fill out and submit a Foreign LLC Application for Registration form via email to sos@sos.iowa.gov or by mail to Secretary of State, Business Services Division, Lucas Building, 1st Floor, Des Moines, Iowa 50319.

Include the following:

  • LLC’s full legal name. 
  • A fictitious name or a DBA (only if your LLC’s legal name is not available); Attach a statement of adoption of the fictitious name signed by all LLC members.
  • LLC’s principal office and mailing addresses.
  • LLC formation state and date.
  • Registered agent’s name and address in Iowa.
  • Date when your LLC will start operations in Iowa.
  • Credit card information on the last page of the form for the $150 application fee. 

The LLC cost in Iowa, even for foreign LLCs will differ between online filing and by mail.

Step 4: Determine How Your Iowa Foreign LLC is taxed

Foreign LLCs are also subjected to the Iowa Business Privilege Tax, and they must file LLC annual reports each year.

Note that forming a foreign LLC would be good for your business as you can legally operate in a different state thus reaching a larger market and opening more opportunities for higher profit.

Steps to Filing Iowa Foreign LLC Online

Time needed: 5 minutes.

A foreign LLC is a form of the regular LLC business structure originally registered in another state and wants to conduct its business in the State of Iowa. When you are registering for the foreign LLC in this particular State, you will have to submit your Application for Registration of foreign LLC with the Secretary of State which costs $100. After approval, you will receive a Verification Certificate from the State Office. We have explained the aspects you need to cover when you apply for Connecticut Foreign LLC.

Visit the Iowa State website to learn about the updated forms and fees requirements for an Iowa Foreign LLC.

  1. Visit the Fast Track Filing system offered by the Secretary of State of Iowa.

    This system offers an easy method to file business entity documents, biennial reports, and UCCs.

  2. Sign-up or log in

    Click on the “Sign-up” option if you have not created your account on the platform. If you already registered yourself on the platform, click on “log in”, provide your credentials, and log in to your account.

  3. Enter your personal information

    After clicking on “sign-up”, the page will navigate you to the details page. Enter your information such as your name, address, country, email, and password, and click on “Sign-up”.

  4. Registration

    Proceed with the registration and business filings online on your account by filling out the Certificate of Formation form online. Enter all the important information.

  5. Payment

    Finally, make the online payment using Visa, MasterCard, or American Express Cards. Once done, you will receive a notification regarding the completion of filling your Iowa Foreign LLC.

It is convenient plus easy to file for the foreign LLC if you are doing it online. The steps are very easy and that’s why it’s possible to go along with the steps and form the foreign LLC in Iowa. 

Steps to Register for your Foreign LLC via Mail

  1. Visit the website: Open the official Iowa Secretary of State website. After the page opens up, click on “Business Services” provided in the header section and then select “Business Entity Forms and Fees”
  2. After the “Business Entity Forms and Fees” page displays, scroll down and click on “Foreign Limited Liability Companies”.
  3. The next page displays the overall costs required in setting up a foreign LLC in Iowa. Select “Application for Certificate of Authority” on the page.
  4. Download the Form for Application for Certificate of Authority from the Official Secretary of State website. It can be filled out online and then printed or printed and then filled out in pen and mailed to the Iowa State Authorities.
  5. Read the instructions carefully and fill the form with required details such as the name of your LLC, date of formation, duration, street and mailing address of its principal office, details of registered agent, and signature.
  6. Make the check payable in the name of “Secretary of State”. The filing fees are $100.00.
  7. After you complete the application form, mail your application to the following address: Secretary of State, Business Services Division, Lucas Building, 1st floor, Des Moines, IA 50319.

After Forming Iowa Foreign LLC

Here are added things you need to accomplish after forming your Iowa Foreign LLC

  1. Obtain Business Licenses. Find the business licenses you’ll need using the Business License Search.
  2. File LLC annual reports and Business Privilege Tax.
  3. Pay State Taxes like sales tax; you’ll need an EIN for your LLC

How Much Does It Cost to Register a Foreign LLC in Iowa

To register as a foreign LLC in Iowa, you can file online by paying a filing amount of $100 to the Iowa Secretary of State.

You can form a foreign LLC in Iowa to do business in the state. The process is similar to the domestic LLC formation process, but the process is much more complicated. In order to create a foreign LLC in Iowa, you must file an application for a Certificate of Authority and pay a $100 filing fee. In some cases, you may need additional fees, such as an Internet Sales Tax certificate, and the certificate of authority of your foreign company.

If you own an existing corporation in another state, you can avoid the fee altogether by filing your application online. You can also file on paper and mail, or fax, the necessary forms. You will also need a registered agent who has a physical office address in Iowa. The office should be open during normal business hours. This person will act as the company’s primary contact with the Secretary of State.

Once you’ve completed the application form, you’ll need to submit an application fee to the Secretary of State. This fee is only $100 and is based on the amount of employees you plan to hire. Besides this fee, there are a few other fees associated with a foreign LLC. One of them is a federal tax ID number, or EIN. The EIN is necessary to open a business checking account and pay payroll taxes. Once you’ve received approval from the Secretary of State, you can then submit your application. After that, you can submit the application for a certificate of existence. You’ll need a certificate of existence from the state where you organized the LLC. This certificate must be dated at least 90 days before the application deadline. The filing fee is $100.

The application for the Foreign LLC is very similar to the application for the domestic LLC. Both states require similar information for the application. In addition to paying a registration fee, you will need to file annual and biennial reports. The application can be downloaded from the Secretary of State’s website. The fees for this are usually the same as for the incorporation process in your home state. If you’re planning to incorporate your foreign LLC in Iowa, make sure you check out the registration fees for foreign LLCs.

When forming a Foreign LLC in Iowa, make sure you have a physical address. This is necessary because you can’t form an LLC without a physical address. Fortunately, there are registered agent services that will solve this problem for you. These services typically hold a physical office in the state and will help make the process simpler for small businesses. Thankfully, ZenBusiness offers free registered agent services in Iowa with your LLC!

If you already have a business name, you can reserve it by registering it with the US Patent and Trademark Office. This way, you can keep the LLC name and operate under a different trade name. However, be sure to follow the guidelines of the Iowa Secretary of State to avoid any potential trademark infringement. Moreover, every LLC must have a registered agent. This is the person who is responsible for registering the LLC with the state.

F.A.Qs

What is a foreign LLC in Iowa?

If your LLC is formed under the laws of another state, it is referred to as a foreign LLC in Iowa.

Do I need a foreign LLC?

Businesses incorporated outside of the state where they operate must have “foreign qualifications” issued in the other states.

What is the main difference between domestic and foreign LLC?

A domestic LLC is a company registered in Iowa as an LLC. The entity type that has a physical presence in another state is a foreign LLC.

In Conclusion

Starting a foreign LLC in Iowa does not require a lot of documentation or tasks. However, it is always good to seek help from a professional when it comes to running your business. Get a professional registered agent and form your foreign LLC anywhere without a hassle.

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