An Iowa Registered Agent or Iowa Registered Agent Service is required by law for every business entity in the state of Iowa. A registered agent is an individual or business entity that will accept legal papers (documents) on your behalf if it is sued. The registered agent or registered agent service must have a physical street address in Iowa and be available during regular business hours.
In my Iowa Registered Agent guide, I’ll walk you through the detailed process of when you should get a registered agent or registered agent service for your Iowa business, how to pick one, if they are required and how to change one if needed. Typically you’re getting a registered agent when you setup your Iowa LLC. Check out my guide on how to setup an Iowa LLC so you can make sure you’re following all the right steps in the process. If you are just looking for the professional service to help you – use Northwest Registered Agent or ZenBusiness.
Best Iowa Registered Agent Service
ZenBusiness will be the best option for setting up a registered agent service in Iowa. They can also help you with getting your LLC formed so if you’re looking for the best option, check them out today!
When you’re thinking about the best Iowa registered agent you need to consider the services like ZenBusiness and Northwest Registered Agent. They have two of the best teams that help 1000s of business owners every month. It’s important to find an organization that specializes in what you’re looking for in a registered agent service.
Both of these teams do a great job with their customer service and support by making sure that when you’re forming your LLC that you’ll also get the first year of the registered agent service included too.
The other item to consider is that you want to have a team that has a great relationship with the Iowa Secretary of State’s office in case you’re going to need to have a situation that needs to be handled there.
I wouldn’t expect it but when you work with a national provider like ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent you’re going to fell much better about it than trying to be your own registered agent or find a law firm in Iowa that has services attached to their other legal offerings.
What is an Iowa Registered Agent?
An Iowa registered agent is no different than any other type of registered agent or registered agent service. Every state in the United States is going to require that you have some type of registered agent. Traditionally a registered agent or registered agent service is going to provide three main things for any business owner:
– They will have a physical street address in the state of Iowa that is going to be required for any legal documents.
– They will be available during regular business hours so they can accept any legal papers on your behalf.
– They will have a great relationship with the Secretary of State’s office so if there are any problems they will know where to go
The other item is that they’ll help you stay compliant with whatever annual reports / compliance is going to be required for your business to stay up to date and accurate.
An Iowa registered agent or registered agent service is not going to be a PO Box or some type of UPS Store mailbox. The Iowa Secretary of State’s office will find out that you’re using some type of UPS Store and if that happens your business will be dissolved. You can’t do that and it’s just not worth the risk of having to start your business all over again.
Why do I need an Iowa Registered Agent?
The short answer is that it’s legally required for you to have a registered agent associated to your Limited Liability Company, C-Corp, S-Corp or any other type of business.
One of the main things that will happen is that your registered agent’s name and registered agent’s address is going to be searchable through the Iowa Secretary of State’s business name search portal.
The implications of what this means as a business owner can be pretty large depending on how you decide to build your business. If someone wanted to from anywhere in the world they will be able to use the portal above to pull up your name and address if you’re acting as your own registered agent.
The last thing you need is to have someone showing up during regular business hours trying to serve you legal paperwork and your closed. It’s just not worth the cost in Iowa to you personally.
When should I obtain an Iowa Registered Agent?
The best time to obtain an Iowa registered agent is when you’re forming your Limited Liability Company in Iowa. If you don’t do it at that time, you may be violating Iowa laws from the Secretary of State’s office. If you don’t do it at the beginning it may be that your business just never is formed or will be immediately be dissolved.
If you just use a national provider like ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent, you’ll find their service is going to help you.
Check with them on the latest deals but typically you’re going to find they will be able to include the first year of a registered agent service when you form your LLC with them. The other big consideration is all the annual reporting and compliance you’re going to need to consider. You’ll be able to use a registered agent’s help and help you keep track of all the deadlines a business owner will have vs. trying to spend time thinking through how to keep track of it yourself.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent In Iowa?
Yes. It is possible for you to be your own registered agent but like we’ve talked about – it’s really not a good idea. Do you really want someone showing up at your home to serve you legal papers that you must accept?
I believe the best option is to find a service that can help you with this because if you do this on your own you are going to need to:
- Have a physical address in Iowa that is open during normal business hours
- Accept service of process paperwork when your business is sued
- Help keep your business in annual compliance
How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost?
A registered agent is going to cost anywhere between $0 and up to $300 per year. It really depends on what type of service you go with. If you act as your own registered agent the up front cost will be close to $0 but based on everything we’ve talked about it’s just not a good idea.
If you do want to find a law firm in Iowa that can help you, I do recommend considering that before you act as your own agent but the ideal solution (in my opinion) is to find a national provider like ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent who will provide the best service at the best price.
How Do I Elect A Registered Agent In Iowa?
In Iowa similar to many other states you’re going to need to elect your registered agent during the LLC formation process. Iowa looks at the LLC’s Certificate of Organization as the main way to determine if you have a valid business entity.
Iowa is a bit different that other states because they don’t have an official document for you to use but rather some basic guidelines of what is required information to form a business. You will need to include the registered agent’s name and registered agent’s address just like every other state so it will be public record. They also ask that you create your own Certificate of Organization and submit it with the $50 filing fee.
The link above isn’t the actual Certificate of Organization but rather the details of what you need to fill out/fill in.
How Do I Elect A Registered Agent Online in Iowa?
There really isn’t a good way of doing this because they ask that you mail it in with the requirements I layed out above. You will be able to find other business entity forms you may need on the Business Entity Forms and Fees section of the Iowa Secretary of State’s office
How Do I Elect A Registered Agent by Mail, Fax or In Person in Iowa?
If you want to elect by mail you can create your own Certificate of Organization and send it into:
Secretary of State
First Floor, Lucas Building
321 E. 12th St.
Des Moines, IA 50319
How Do I Change My Registered Agent In Iowa?
To change your Iowa registered agent you will need to fill out the Statement of Change of Registered Office and/or Registered Agent form and submit it to the Iowa Secretary of State’s office. This is one of the states that doesn’t have a filing fee for making a change unless the business entity type is a partnership. If it is a partnership, you’ll need to send in a $5 fee by check or credit card. (Use this CC authorization form)
If you want to take this form filled out and submit it – you can at the Business Services Division.
Secretary of State
Business Services Division
Lucas Building, 1st Floor
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
Iowa doesn’t really have an easy way to do this via online so just mail it in.
Iowa Registered Agent FAQ
Does Iowa require a registered agent?
Yes, Iowa requires that you name a registered agent when you form your business.
Does registered agent mean owner?
No, the registered agent and owner are two different things. The business owner is the person who owns/operates the business while the registered agent is the person/company who agrees to accept service of process and other legal documents on behalf of the LLC.
What is a registered agent service?
A registered agent service is a company that you can hire to act as your LLC’s registered agent. This can be especially helpful if you’re not comfortable with having your personal address public record or don’t want to be bothered with accepting service of process and other legal documents on behalf of the business.
Best Registered Agent
The best option for your registered agent service