Last Updated: May 10, 2024, 2:54 pm by TRUiC Team

Iowa LLC Name Search

Ensure a smooth start for your business by performing an Iowa LLC name search before you form an LLC.

This guide will help you check LLC name availability for your Iowa LLC.

Recommended: Northwest ($29 + State Fees) will register your business name when you form an LLC.

Learn how to perform an Iowa LLC search

Check LLC Name Availability in Iowa

You can use Iowa’s Business Entity Search to check the availability of your business name.

To perform the most effective search, type in the name you would like to use, excluding identifiers like “LLC”, and leave all other boxes blank. This will return all entities using the same or similar names. If you can't find the name in your search, that means the name has not been taken and is available for you to use.

2. Search Available Domain Names

Another important consideration to make when selecting a business name is whether or not your desired web domain name is available.

Having a URL that clearly matches your business name is important. This seemingly small step can make a big difference in how prospective customers find your business.

The best way to determine if your desired URL is available is to search for it online using your preferred domain registry, such as GoDaddy.

Find a Domain Now

3. Follow Iowa Naming Guidelines

For entrepreneurs launching a new LLC in Iowa, selecting the perfect name is a pivotal first step. 

Here, we provide a clear and concise guide to the specific naming requirements in Iowa:

Required Terms

Your LLC's name must include the words “limited liability company” or “limited company,” or you can use the abbreviations “L. L. C.”, “LLC,” “L. C.”, or “LC.” It's also possible to shorten "Limited" to "Ltd." and "company" to "Co.".


The name you choose for your LLC should be unique and not identical or too similar to:

  • The name of any other entity (that's not an individual) incorporated, organized, or authorized to transact business in Iowa
  • Any name reserved under section 489.109 of the Iowa Code

If you want a name that's similar to an existing one, you may apply to the Secretary of State for permission. You can get this permission if:

  • The current user of a similar name agrees to your use and promises to change their name to something distinguishable from yours
  • You have a court judgment establishing your right to use the desired name

Using the Name of Another Entity

In certain cases, your LLC may use the name (or fictitious name) of another entity active in Iowa. This can happen if:

  • Your LLC has merged with the other entity
  • Your LLC has been formed by reorganizing the other entity
  • Your LLC has acquired all or most of the assets (including the name) of the other entity

Use of Fictitious Names

While the use of fictitious names is not directly regulated, if your LLC chooses to use one, you need to provide a certified copy of a resolution from your members (if member-managed) or managers (if manager-managed) that adopt the fictitious name.

Foreign LLCs

Foreign LLCs authorized to transact business in Iowa must also adhere to these naming requirements.

Remember to ensure your chosen name not only meets these requirements but also represents your business well. After settling on a compliant and suitable name, you can move on to the next stage of your LLC's formation.

For more information, check out the Iowa Secretary of State website.

Not sure what to name your business? Check out our LLC Name Generator.

Registering Your Iowa Business Name

Register Your Iowa LLC Name

In Iowa, registering your LLC name is a straightforward task. The official registration of your business name happens when you file the Iowa Certificate of Organization. This pivotal document signifies the formal initiation of your business in the state.

The Iowa Secretary of State's website provides detailed instructions on how to fill out the form and pay the required state filing fee.

Remember: If you engage a professional LLC formation service, they can simplify your journey by managing the registration of your LLC name and the formation of your LLC. To gain more insights, check out our Best LLC Services review.

Reserve Your Iowa Business Entity Name

Iowa’s Secretary of State Business Services Division handles all LLC naming questions and requests. Business names can be reserved for a nonrenewable period of 120 days. If you have yet to form your business entity using the reserved name when the business name reservation expires, you may renew the name reservation.

When reserving your name, you will have to pay a filing fee. Checks must be made out to the "Secretary of State." You can file either online or by mail, each option having its own advantages. While you will end up paying more if you file online, your application will be expedited and have a special priority. If you want to keep your filing costs down, you may want to consider filing a paper application by mail instead.

After choosing a name for your LLC, take the next step and create a unique logo with our Free Logo Generator.

Iowa Name Reservation

File Online with the State of Iowa

File Online

- OR -

File by Mail

Download Form

Fee: $10

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

Considering Using an LLC Formation Service?

We reviewed and ranked the top LLC formation services.
Find out which is best for you.

Compare Services

Other Considerations

While reserving the name for your LLC is straightforward, there are some other things you should think about when choosing the best name for your business. You may want to do a Trademark and Social Media search for your name to see if it's available for use across the internet. This will help ensure you have full, unrestricted use of your business name.

Trademark Search

Conducting a trademark search of your business name and associated slogans or logos before registering can help prevent costly litigation in the future. Discovering that another entity has trademarked your business name does not automatically disqualify you from using it.

However, it is important to know who is using the name, what industry they operate in, and where they are located to be sure you do not inadvertently infringe upon anyone’s intellectual property rights.

To complete this step:

  • Search Iowa’s trademark records by searching the business entity search to see if your business name or associated slogans, logos, or others are in use by another business in your state.
  • Search the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s electronic records to find any federally registered trademarks associated with your business name.

Social Media Search

Just as important, or more so, than finding a domain name that fits your business is ensuring that your business name is available for use across social media platforms. You can do this by simply searching your business name on each major site, or use a tool such as Namecheckr to search across all platforms at once.

Bottom Line

Having a name for your business is an important first step for creating a successful LLC, and one that is incredibly easy to do. Once you have found your preferred name using Iowa's Business Entity Search, you'll want to secure your domain name so that your customers will be able to find your business online. Reserving your name with an Application for Reservation of Name will help you stand out from the competition. With your name secured, you will be ready to take the next steps to formalize your LLC.

How to Start an LLC Icon

What's Next?

Now that you have your name, it's time to take the next steps to establish your LLC. Check out our full guide on how to form an LLC in Iowa, where we can guide you every step of the way.

How to Start an LLC Call to Action Form An LLC Form An LLC


You can perform an LLC name search in Iowa by using the Iowa Secretary of State's business entity search tool. Enter your intended LLC name into the search box, then review the results to verify that your desired name is not already in use.

By performing an Iowa LLC name search, you ensure that your proposed LLC name is unique in the state. This is essential for maintaining the distinct identity of your business, avoiding legal issues, and steering clear of possible trademark infringement.

It's advisable to perform an Iowa LLC name search during the early planning stages of your LLC. However, if there has been a significant gap since your previous search and you haven't registered the name, you should recheck its availability before proceeding with registration.

In Iowa, your LLC name must be unique and must include "Limited Liability Company," "LLC," or "L.L.C." Furthermore, it should not contain words that could mislead the public into thinking your LLC is a government agency or suggest a purpose the LLC does not have.

After verifying the availability of your preferred LLC name through the Iowa LLC name search, you can reserve the name for 120 days. This is done by filing a Name Reservation application with the Iowa Secretary of State and paying the required fee.