Iowa LLC Name Search – How to Name Your LLC

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Forming an LLC requires a different business name, which must be unique and adheres to the guidelines. The great thing is Iowa’s Secretary of State page includes a name availability checker. Check out LLC Name Search to learn more.

Meanwhile, if you’re interested in learning more about starting an LLC in Iowa or forming an LLC in general, you can check out How to Start an LLC.

How to Name an LLC in Iowa

Time needed: 5 minutes.

There are guidelines to follow in doing an Iowa LLC name search. To learn more, check out LLC Naming Guidelines or read Foreign LLC Application for Registration if you’re planning to register a foreign LLC.

  1. Check Name Availability

    Search the Business Entity Records in Iowa’s Official Secretary of State page to check if your chosen business name is available. You may also try typing your trademark, business, or domain name on any search engine to generate businesses with similar names and to ensure your trademark is unique and meets the state’s requirements.

    Check out How to File a DBA to learn more about registering a DBA or trademark. For social media pages, use Social Searcher to avoid using similar page names.

  2. Check Domain Availability

    If your business name is still available, you must register for a domain name using Namecheap, Google Workspace, or other domain name sites. So customers can easily find your business over the Internet. Use the Kinsta app to manage your domains efficiently.

  3. File Name Reservation

    A Name Reservation Certificate is required along with a Certificate of Formation. You can reserve a name online, by mail, or in person with a $10 filing fee (plus tax for online).

    File your Certificate of Formation and Name Reservation online on the Secretary of State Online Services page of Iowa. You may also download the pdf file of the Name reservation form and submit it with the processing fee to the Secretary of State Business Services Division, Lucas Building, 1st Floor, Des Moines, Iowa 50319.

Guidelines to Follow in Naming LLC

  •  Use a business name with the abbreviation “LLC” or the phrase “Limited Liability Company.” 
  • Your decided business name must not coincide with any existing government entity. Otherwise, you might have to face legal lawsuits when filing your LLC.
  • Use the LLC name availability checker to ensure your business name is unique.
  • Get a license first if you plan on using restricted words to avoid any complications.

Note that you must put adequate effort into naming your LLC because this name will be with your business for a long time. Making your LLC name unique is vital as it would prevent people from confusing your business with others, not to mention it would be easier for them to recall your business, products, or services.

How to do a Iowa LLC Online Name Search

Here’s an easy-to-follow guideline on how you can do an online search for your Iowa LLC name.

Access the Business Entities Search Tool of the State of Iowa

The State of Iowa provides a Business Entity Search Tool to assist you in deciding the uniqueness of your proposed business name. This tool is very helpful in deciding whether the proposed business name is available for usage in the territory or not. Keep a list of backup names ready, so you can select the final name in a few attempts.

Enter the name

After you navigate to the search page, you will find two different types of search filters that you can execute to find a relevant name for your business. You can perform the search either by the “Business Name”, or “Business Number”.

Perform the Search

Search the availability of the chosen name on the website. If the proposed business name is already in use, the page will display the relevant details of the business using the same name. The State of Iowa does not display the social security number of such businesses in its privacy policy. Conduct thorough research of the name by using the provided filters before filing it with the Authorities.

If you intend to take your business online by setting up a website, you should also check if a domain name similar to your chosen business name is available for your business.

Next, if you also wish to use a Trademark for the distinct identity of your business, you can run a search on the Trademark Database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to check if the chosen name is already in use by some other business entity. After finalizing a name for your LLC in Iowa you can file an application for reservation of the name either online or via mail.

How Do I Reserve an LLC Name in Iowa

To reserve an LLC name in Iowa you need to submit a name reservation request form to the Iowa Secretary of State by mail or online by paying a filing fee of $10.

If you are considering forming an LLC in Iowa, you need to know how to reserve a business name. First, you need to conduct a trademark search and see if your chosen name has already been used by someone else. If the name is not available, you can try searching for similar domain names. Once you find an available business name, you can register it online. In addition to name reservations, you should also register the business domain name.

The next step is to choose a registered agent. Your registered agent can be a person or a business. They must agree to accept legal documents on your behalf and to send them to you if needed. In addition, your registered agent must be an Iowa resident or a corporation authorized to do business in Iowa. The registered agent can be the owner of the LLC. In some cases, the company owner can serve as the registered agent.

Once you’ve determined the business name you want, you can reserve it for 120 days before you actually file for the LLC formation process in Iowa. Before submitting your application, you can check for availability in the online database to see if your desired name has already been reserved. If you are unsure if your preferred name is available, you can submit your application in person in Des Moines. The reservation process is simple and can be done as early as 120 days before the business name registration.

Once you’ve selected a name for your LLC, you need to file an application for Certificate of Organization with the State of Iowa. The name must be unique and cannot be similar to another entity’s name. Filling out the form is easy and you’ll pay a minimal fee of $50. The Secretary of State’s website provides complete instructions for filing the form. Besides the application fee, you must also choose a registered agent. Once your LLC is registered, you’ll need to choose a registered agent service to handle state and federal legal documents and services.

When forming an LLC in Iowa, the name must be unique and distinguishable from other existing businesses in the state. In order to avoid confusion, you can search the database of business entities maintained by the Iowa Secretary of State. The Iowa website provides instructions for filing a Certificate of Organization. Besides a business bank account and business credit card, you’ll also need to register for tax purposes. Make sure you adhere to all employment compliance practices to ensure the smooth running of your business.

Remember to file an Operating Agreement. Having a written document that states the policies and procedures of your business can save you a lot of trouble down the road. Use an Operating Agreement Template to draft the agreement, and you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble later. Remember, the Employer Identification Number (EIN) number is essential for virtually all businesses. If you want to hire employees or open a business bank account, you’ll need a valid EIN.


What is a Trade Name?

A trade name (doing business as (DBA) name) is the official name under which a proprietor or company chooses to do business.

Is having a domain name necessary?

Having a domain isn’t necessary, but it is recommended. If you have a domain name, customers will find you more accessible through online means with your online website.

What if my name is unavailable?

For domestic LLC, you can simply brainstorm for another name if the one you pick is no longer available. For foreign LLC, you must think up a “fictitious name,” which you’ll use only in the state.

In Conclusion

LLC names are important as it is the main identity of your business. While naming your LLC make sure to choose the one that suits the nature of your business. Follow the naming guidelines before you start filing your LLC name

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