Iowa Business Entity Search

Iowa Business Entity Search database is an important tool for anyone who has a business in the state or plans to set one up. It also has its importance for public use since it provides access to public records and filings made by businesses.

If you’re setting up a new business entity like an Iowa LLC, using the entity search is an excellent way to check for name availability. Searching with the desired names for the new business makes it possible to see if there are previously existing entities with the same or confusingly similar names.

For existing businesses, the entity search provides the availability to check their filings and general information. This feature is also useful for public information. Additionally, businesses can use this search to get a copy of their Certificate of Authorization.

Accessing And Using Iowa Secretary of State Business Search

As with most states, the business search in Iowa is maintained by the Secretary of State. It is for this reason that it’s also called the Iowa Secretary of State Business Search. The search is publicly available on the SOS website.

Entity search in Iowa is relatively simple and doesn’t have much by way of adjusting parameters and requirements. This has the advantage of making the search extremely simple and straightforward. 

On the other hand, it has the disadvantage that settings and parameters aren’t available for narrowing down search results. This may (sometimes) result in getting way too many results or getting irrelevant results.

The available search options are:

  • Search by Business Name.
  • Search by Business Number.

IA Corp Search By Business Name

Using search by business name is the simplest of options. It is the most relevant option when your goal is to check for name availability. There are applications for general use too. After all, the business name is the biggest identifier for a business.

Iowa’s Business Entity Search system is basically a no-frills approach. There are no additional options to work with here. All the user needs to do is enter the intended name as a search term and move ahead with the search. 

It is a good idea to be as detailed as possible with the search term. This way, you’ll see fewer results, which can make search easier. On the off chance that you’re not entirely sure of the name, it’s okay to go a bit more generic with the search term. Just be prepared to sift through a large number of results.

Using Entity Search By Business Number

The business number search is a direct and exact search. Each business entity in the state is assigned a business number. Searching by this number gives users an exact result that leads to the specific business entity.

This is a very useful option if you own a business and know its business number. On the other hand, those looking for name availability have little use for this option.

Working With Business Entity Search Results

If there are relevant results to your search, they’ll be displayed in a tabular format. Entity search is limited to displaying a maximum of 1000 results for each search. The information available for each entity is its name, business number, status, and type. 

Clicking on the business number will take you to the details page of the entity. This page shows several details about the chosen entity. Entity name, type, address, Iowa registered agent, officer names, previous names, and business filings are available on this page.

You can also use the page to order a Certificate of Authorization. The associated fee is $5.

How To Reserve A Business Name In Iowa

If you have a good business name in mind, it might make sense to reserve it. There are several reasons to choose a name reservation. As an example, you may have an excellent name in mind, but not be ready to start your business yet. 

Utilizing name reservation in such a scenario could ensure that the business name remains available when you’re prepared to start your business. Several other reasons could also play into this requirement.

Is It Mandatory To Reserve A Name?

No, Iowa doesn’t require a name reservation. This is an entirely optional process that is beneficial for several entrepreneurs.

Also, if you don’t see the value in name reservation and aren’t concerned about name availability, it is a good idea to skip this part. Your time, resources, and money could be better spent elsewhere.

How Long Does A Name Reservation Last?

Once the secretary of state accepts a name reservation request, the name is reserved for 120 days. If necessary, you can choose to renew the name reservation for another 120 days. However, only one renewal is available, so it’s important to use the reservation strategically and make the best use of this time.

Filing a name reservation request requires a fee of $10. Renewals too cost the same amount.

Reserving A Business Name In Iowa

Reserving a business name in Iowa requires filing an Application for Reservation of Name with the Iowa Secretary of State. This form is available on the Forms and Fees section of the SOS website.

The associated $10 fee should be made using a check made payable to “Secretary of State”. The mailing address for these documents is:

Secretary of State
Business Services Division
Lucas Building, 1st Floor
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

It’s also possible to file the document online using the Business Entity Filing System. This requires an upload of a completed form. Associated payments can be made using a credit card or through a bank.

Before filing a name reservation, check Iowa entity name restrictions and requirements. Also, conducting an Iowa Business Entity search on the chosen name makes it easier for you to check the viability and availability of the desired name.