Iowa Registered Agent
If you are planning to register your business as an LLC or corporation, you’ll need to appoint an Iowa registered agent.
You can act as your own agent, but most small business owners use a third-party service. Services are affordable and can go a long way in:
- Protecting your privacy and reducing risk
- Increasing your flexibility
- Ensuring your business’s legal documents are stored securely
We’ll help you make the right choice for your business.
Recommended: Northwest Registered Agent offers free registered agent services with LLC or corporation formation ($29 plus state fees).
Choosing a Registered Agent in Iowa
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An Iowa registered agent will serve as your business’s point of contact with the state and will receive important correspondence that relates to your annual report and tax requirements.
Iowa registered agents are also responsible for receiving service of process in the event that a lawsuit is filed against your business.
Appointing a registered agent in Iowa is a legal requirement for LLCs and corporations. This can be a registered agent service or an individual, so long as:
- They’re at least 18 years old.
- They have a physical street address in Iowa.
- They’re always available during regular business hours at their registered office address.
Iowa Registered Agent Services
- Convenience: If you hire a third-party service, you will not need to be present in your business’s physical address during normal business hours (in order to receive service of process).
- Privacy: Your registered agent’s name will become publicly available as soon as your business is registered. This means that you can choose to hire a third-party service instead in order to protect your personal information.
- Legal compliance: Several third-party services come with additional features that can help your business avoid fines and/or penalties (e.g., annual report reminders, etc.).
Let’s Find the Right Registered Agent for Your Business
We’ve tested and reviewed the most popular registered agent services.
Can You Be Your Own Registered Agent?
Yes you can, although this is generally not recommended for a variety of different reasons, including the fact that:
- Being your own agent will not save you a significant amount of money (i.e., between $90 and $300 per year).
- Being your own agent offers fewer privacy protections in comparison to using a third-party service.
- Being your own agent will mean that you will always need to be physically present in your business’s address in order to receive service of process.
If you are forming a new LLC, it makes sense to hire a formation service that includes a free year of registered agent services. These types of services can charge as little as $29 per formation — excluding state fees — and will ensure that your corporate filings do not get rejected.
If you are forming an LLC but prefer to file the paperwork yourself and act as your own registered agent, take a look at our How to Start an LLC in Iowa guide.
Best Iowa Registered Agent Service
If you're in Iowa and either looking to form a new LLC or switch your existing registered agent, it's crucial to consider factors like cost, range of services, reputation, and customer support.
Many people seek registered agents offering features like mail forwarding, document scanning, and compliance monitoring.
To help you make an informed choice, we've compiled a table comparing the top 5 Iowa registered agent services below.
Best Registered Agent Services
BEST REGISTERED AGENT SERVICE
TRUSTED AND WELL-KNOWN COMPANY
Whether you're starting a new business or considering a change, it's crucial to weigh factors like pricing, services, reputation, and customer support when choosing a registered agent in Iowa. Compare quotes and read online reviews to find the best fit for your needs.
Benefits of Using a Registered Agent Service
Many businesses choose to use a professional registered agent service when they form an LLC. This is because it can offer a number of benefits, including:
- Legal compliance: A registered agent service will ensure that you don’t miss an important legal document or notification (e.g., service of process, etc.) as a result of not being in your office (or as a result of a human error).
- Improved privacy: If you act as your own agent, your name and address will become public record on the Iowa Business Entities Search. Using a registered agent service will help keep your information private.
- Discretion: When it comes to legal disputes, you will want to avoid receiving lawsuit-related documents in front of your clients and/or some employees.
- Better storage: Your service will generally scan all documents received and upload them online in PDF form. This means that you will always be able to access them online, and won’t have to worry about losing an important document.
A national registered agent service can also be beneficial if you plan to expand into other states as a foreign LLC. This is because, otherwise, you would need to find an individual or business entity that is a resident — or is allowed to transact business — in each state that you want to register in.
How to Elect a Registered Agent in Iowa
This is the formation document that must be filed with the Iowa Secretary of State in order for your LLC to be formed.
Electing a Registered Agent Online
You can register your Iowa LLC online by using the state’s Fast Track Filing portal ($50 filing fee). You’ll list your agent’s information in the “Registered Agent and Registered Office Address” section of the application.
Electing a Registered Agent by Mail or Fax
Unlike most states, Iowa does not have an official LLC registration form. Instead, they provide a list of required information (including the name and address of your registered agent) and request that you create your own Certificate of Organization. Once complete, you must submit a physical copy with the IA Secretary of State (along with the $50 filing fee).
How to Change Your Registered Agent in Iowa
You can appoint a new agent by filing a Statement of Change of Registered Office form with the Secretary of State. There is no filing fee for LLCs or corporations.
This can be done by mail, in person, or by fax.
Mail or In Person:
Secretary of State
Business Services Division
Lucas Building, 1st Floor
Des Moines, IA 50319
Consent to Appointment
Your new registered agent also will need to consent to their appointment. They do this by signing the Statement of Change form, or you can include a separate sheet with their written confirmation with your filing.
For more information read our how to change registered agents in Iowa guide.
Iowa Registered Agent FAQs
Yes, you can, although this is generally not recommended.
This is because even though acting as your own agent will save you a small amount of money (i.e., around $90 per year), it will also come with significant drawbacks, and will potentially expose your business to fines and/or penalties.
For more information, we recommend having a look at our Iowa Registered Agent article.
If you want to hire a third-party service, you can find the right provider for your business’s unique needs via our review of the Best Registered Agent Service in Iowa.
Alternatively, if you prefer to act as your own agent, you will simply need to write down your own details when completing your Certificate of Organization.
All Iowa registered agents need to satisfy the following requirements in order to be accepted:
- Must be 18 years old or older
- Must have a physical address in Iowa
- Must always be available during regular business hours at their Iowa registered office address
See our What is a Registered Agent article for more information.
This will depend on who your registered agent is.
If you act as your own Iowa registered agent, for example, there will be no cost (besides your time).
On the other hand, if you choose to work with a third-party service, you will likely spend between $90 and $300 per year.
See our How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost article for more information.