Best Businesses To Start In Iowa

Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
Business Formation Expert
Steve Goldstein runs LLCBuddy, helping entrepreneurs set up their LLCs easily. He offers clear guides, articles, and FAQs to simplify the process. His team keeps everything accurate and current, focusing on state rules, registered agents, and compliance. Steve’s passion for helping businesses grow makes LLCBuddy a go-to resource for starting and managing an LLC.

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Best Business to Start in Iowa

Have you thought of starting a business in Iowa? With its diverse population [by 2023 data, it is 3,233,572], thriving industries, and supportive business environment, Iowa has become a hotbed for innovation and growth. Whether you have a revolutionary idea, a passion for a particular industry, or are simply seeking an opportunity to be your own boss, there is no better time to explore the best businesses to start in Iowa. When it comes to starting a business, it is necessary to decide on the structure first. You can form a corporation, a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or can create an LLC in Iowa.

In this article, we will delve into the various industries that are currently flourishing in Iowa and highlight the top business opportunities within each sector. From eco-friendly ventures to tech start-ups and from healthcare to hospitality, we will provide valuable insights and guidance on identifying the most promising and best businesses to start in Iowa. So, if you’re ready to take the plunge and embark on an entrepreneurial journey, read on and get inspired!

Why Start a Business in Iowa?

There are many reasons why many individuals would want to start a business in Iowa. With its gentle climate and being one of the most populated states in the U.S., it has excellent conditions for businesses to thrive. That’s the main reason plenty of retail establishments operate in the state.

On a different note, Iowa is also one of the technologically advanced states in the U.S. that shows more accessible means of accounting, product development, manufacturing, and delivering products to customers on top of easy access to fully utilizing the supply and demand chain in the big market. This is also one of the reasons why the e-commerce industry is also booming in the state.

Now that we have mentioned all the positive attributes of why the state is excellent for starting a business, it’s time to discuss the top 5 best businesses in the state to venture into. Let’s get to it.

The Best Businesses to Start in Iowa

In Iowa, the overall business environment is quite friendly. For a beginner, starting a business with fewer close competitors is always wise. For example, local products, food businesses, or something similar that is highly in demand, yet cost-effective in Iowa. Here are the best businesses in Iowa that can be a good option to start with-

1. Specialty Bakery

If you plan to set up a business in Iowa, Specialty Bakery will be the best option. The Specialty Bakery sector has developed significantly across the state in recent years. As far as the cost of the business is concerned, it is comparatively cheaper as Iowa provides tax benefits to the start-ups. Besides, if you start an LLC for your Specialty Bakery business, you can enjoy pass-through taxation and other benefits.

2. Content Writing

Content Writing is in the second position when it comes to the best business list in Iowa. If you’re in Des Moines that is the state’s capital, having this business can make a lot of difference to your career and revenue. Content Writing is highly in demand in Iowa and cost-effective. So, if you are planning to set up your own business in Iowa, Content Writing can be a smart option.

3. Childcare Service

In Iowa, setting up Childcare Service is easy and perfect for the ones who are looking for long-term business. Every year, more than thousands of entrepreneurs set up this business in Iowa. Iowa government offers subsidies for the ones starting business in Iowa. If you hire people in your company, you might get employment benefits for providing job opportunities.

4. Food Truck

The next one is Food Truck to start in Iowa. As we know, Iowa is one of those states that provide good infrastructure to start any business at any cost. Hence, starting a Food Truck business is also not difficult. To start this business, check with the state and local government for licenses and permits.

5. Coffee Shop

Finally, you can start Coffee Shop business in Iowa. Though it is in the 5th position, it has high potential in Iowa. It is common, and the best part of starting Coffee Shop is the availability of initial raw materials (basic production material) in Iowa. Hence, you don’t need huge initial capital to start this business.

These are the 5 best businesses LLCBuddy Team shortlisted as the best to start in Iowa. Compared to other businesses, these businesses have a huge demand for their services and worth and don’t have high start-up costs.

What to Do After Deciding on a Business To Start in Iowa

After everything has been decided, it’s time to start the legal proceedings to successfully launch your business in Iowa. You must choose a legal business structure, for example, a limited liability company (LLC), a corporation, a partnership, a sole proprietorship, etc. While this may vary between states, the typical processes are as follows:

Deciding on a Legal Structure

First, you must decide what type of business structure you want for your business. You can protect your personal assets from your business liabilities by forming an LLC in Iowa. Besides, you can start a sole proprietorship or an S-corp if you want to set up a small business.

Choosing a Business Name

The next step is to get a business name. Ensure you get a name not used by any other entity in the state. If you plan to start an LLC in Iowa, you can check the Iowa LLC name guidelines and search process before you name your business.

Get Your Iowa Registered Agent

This is one of the most crucial steps in forming any business in Iowa. You must get a legit Registered Agent for your business. The Iowa Registered Agent is a person responsible for handling your official and legal documents on your behalf. Ensure your Registered Agent has rights to conduct business in Iowa and they have a physical address anywhere in the state.

Registering your Business Entity

After assigning the Registered Agent, you must register your business. If you are forming a corporation, you must file the Iowa Articles of Incorporation. On the other hand, if you are forming an LLC, you must file Iowa Certificate of Organization with the Iowa Secretary of State. You can file it online or offline, whichever is available for you.

Once your business is registered (if registered as an LLC), you might need to prepare an operating agreement. The Iowa LLC operating agreement may or may not be required for LLCs. You must check with the Iowa Secretary of State for more details. On the other hand, if you registered your business as a corporation, you must hold a first board meeting with the initial directors and partners of the company.

After Setting up Your Business in Iowa

As soon as you set up your business in Iowa, you must consider the following points-

  • Applying for Licenses and permits: The next step is to apply for the licenses and permits in Iowa. Based on the nature of your business, license and permits are required to obtain. Checking with the local county/city authority for special licenses is recommended.
  • Register for Required Iowa Taxes: Once you file your business, apply for state and federal taxes. For that, you must apply to obtain an Employment Identification Number (EIN). To obtain an EIN, you must apply online, by mail, or by fax to IRS. Before you apply for your EIN, check if your business needs to obtain EIN.
  • Obtaining Business Insurance: Protecting your business from any unpleasant events or losses is required. In that case, you should obtain business insurance. If you hire employees in your company, you must get employee coverage to protect them.
  • Opening a Business Bank Account: Finally, get a business bank account to separate your business and personal transactions. Having a business bank account can improve your credit score. That brings more credit and loan opportunities to your business.


What are the best business to start in Iowa?
Some of the best businesses to start in Iowa include tech startups, online businesses, finance and consulting, healthcare and wellness, manufacturing, agriculture, and hospitality and tourism.
What are the biggest obstacles to starting a business in Iowa?
Some of the biggest obstacles to starting a business in Iowa include access to capital, finding qualified employees, and navigating the state’s regulations and bureaucracy.
Are there any incentives to starting a business in Iowa?
Yes, there are a number of incentives for businesses to start and grow in Iowa. The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) offers a variety of tax credits, grants, and loan programs to help new businesses start and succeed.
What types of taxes do I have to pay if I start a business in Iowa?
Iowa businesses must pay corporate, personal, and property taxes. Other taxes that may be applicable include sales and withholding taxes, excise taxes, franchise taxes, and unemployment insurance taxes.
What are the regulations for starting a business in Iowa?
Regulations for starting a business in Iowa vary depending on the type of business you plan to start. It is important to research the specific regulations and licensing requirements associated with your type of business.
Is there any free or low-cost assistance available for starting a business in Iowa?
Yes, there are a number of free or low-cost resources available for business owners to get started in Iowa. The Iowa Small Business Development Centers (ISBDC) offer free counseling and low-cost training to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Additionally, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) offers a variety of grants, loans, and tax credits to help businesses in Iowa start and succeed.
Is it expensive to start a business in Iowa?
Starting a business in Iowa can be expensive, depending on the type of business you plan to start. It is important to research the costs associated with starting and operating your business, including startup costs, licensing fees, taxes, and other expenses.
What types of licenses are needed to start a business in Iowa?
Depending on the type of business you plan to start, you may need to obtain a business license, zoning permit, and/or special permits. Additionally, certain professions like attorneys, accountants, and real estate agents will require professional licensing.
What type of business structure should I use in Iowa?
Generally, the most common business structures used in Iowa are sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies (LLCs). Each structure comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. It’s best to consult with an accountant and/or attorney to decide which is best for your business.
What are the tax rates for businesses in Iowa?
In Iowa, the corporate income tax rate is 6.5%, and there is no personal income tax for businesses. Additionally, businesses may be eligible for a variety of tax credits or deductions.
What types of incentives are available for businesses in Iowa?
Iowa offers a variety of incentives for businesses, including job creation tax credits, research and development tax credits, and assistance with job training and relocation costs. Additionally, businesses may be eligible for various local, regional, and state grants and loans.
What is the cost of doing business in Iowa?
The cost of doing business in Iowa varies depending on location, type of business, number of employees, and other factors. Generally, Iowa is a relatively affordable place to do business, with lower costs of living and doing business than many other states.
What is the labor market like in Iowa?
The labor market in Iowa is strong, with an unemployment rate that is often below the national average. Additionally, Iowa has a highly educated labor force, with many residents holding advanced degrees or specialized skills.
What are the most popular industries in Iowa?
The most popular industries in Iowa include agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, technology, and retail. Additionally, Iowa is home to a number of small businesses, start-ups, and entrepreneurs.
What is the process for starting a business in Iowa?
The process for starting a business in Iowa requires registering the business name, obtaining any necessary business licenses or permits, and registering for taxes. Additionally, businesses may need to set up a business bank account, obtain liability insurance, and file other paperwork.
What is the best business to start in Iowa?
The best businesses to start in Iowa depend on the individual’s interests, skills, and resources. Some popular options include retail and service businesses, restaurants, farming, technology, and manufacturing.
What types of industries are popular in Iowa?
Iowa’s economy is primarily driven by industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, energy, healthcare, and logistics.
What are the best cities to start a business in Iowa?
Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Sioux City, Davenport, and Iowa City are some of the best cities to start a business in Iowa.
What is the cost of starting a business in Iowa?
The cost of starting a business in Iowa varies depending on the type of business, but it can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
What paperwork do I need to start a business in Iowa?
In Iowa, you will need to register your business with the Iowa Secretary of State, obtain a business license, and obtain any other necessary permits and licenses.
What resources are available for entrepreneurs starting a business in Iowa?
The Iowa Economic Development Authority and the Iowa Small Business Development Center provide a variety of resources and services for entrepreneurs starting a business in Iowa.
What tax incentives are available to businesses in Iowa?
Businesses in Iowa may be eligible for various tax incentives, including the High Quality Jobs Program, the Research Activities Credit, the Investment Tax Credit, and the Research and Development Tax Credit.
What is the cost of living in Iowa?
The cost of living in Iowa is slightly below the national average, making it an affordable place to live and start a business.
What types of businesses are growing in Iowa?
Technology, healthcare, and manufacturing are some of the fastest-growing industries in Iowa.
What is the average salary in Iowa?
The average salary in Iowa is $45,450, which is slightly lower than the national average.
What is the business climate like in Iowa?
Iowa has a positive business climate with low taxes, a strong labor force, and a supportive government.
What legal considerations should I keep in mind when starting a business in Iowa?
When starting a business in Iowa, you should be aware of the state’s laws governing business formation, taxation, and labor.
Are there any local business organizations in Iowa?
Yes, there are several local business organizations in Iowa, including the Iowa Business Council, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, and the Iowa Association of Business and Industry.
How can I find funding for my business in Iowa?
The Iowa Economic Development Authority provides financial assistance and resources to businesses in Iowa. Additionally, there are several private and public lenders that offer funding to businesses in the state.
What are the major economic sectors in Iowa?
The major economic sectors in Iowa include agriculture, manufacturing, energy, healthcare, and logistics.
What is the population of Iowa?
The population of Iowa is 3,155,070.
What is the GDP of Iowa?
The GDP of Iowa is $213.4 billion.
What is the average temperature in Iowa?
The average temperature in Iowa is 41°F.

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Why Best Business Iowa is So Important

Best Business Iowa is a program aimed at recognizing and celebrating the outstanding achievements of small businesses in the state. By shining a spotlight on these businesses, the program not only highlights their success but also inspires others to strive for excellence.

One of the key reasons why Best Business Iowa is so important is because it fosters a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Small businesses are known for their ability to think outside the box, adapt to changing market conditions, and strive for continuous improvement. By recognizing and honoring these traits, Best Business Iowa encourages other small businesses to follow suit.

Moreover, Best Business Iowa helps raise awareness about the incredible diversity of small businesses in the state. Whether it’s a family-owned restaurant, a tech startup, or a boutique shop, each business has its own unique story and value to add to the community. By showcasing the different types of small businesses that call Iowa home, Best Business Iowa helps promote a more vibrant and inclusive economy.

Another reason why Best Business Iowa is so important is because it provides small businesses with valuable exposure and networking opportunities. Being recognized as one of the best businesses in the state can open doors to new customers, investors, and partners. It can also boost employee morale and help attract top talent to the company.

Furthermore, Best Business Iowa helps instill a sense of pride and camaraderie among small business owners. Running a small business can be a challenging and lonely journey, but knowing that there are others out there who understand and appreciate the hard work and dedication it takes can be incredibly uplifting. Being part of a community of outstanding businesses can provide much-needed support and inspiration to keep going, even during tough times.

In conclusion, Best Business Iowa is not just about awards and accolades. It’s about celebrating the resilience, creativity, and hard work of small business owners across the state. It’s about fostering a culture of innovation, promoting diversity, and providing valuable exposure and networking opportunities. Most importantly, it’s about building a strong and thriving economy that benefits everyone. So let’s continue to support and celebrate the best businesses in Iowa, because when small businesses succeed, we all succeed.


Before pulling the trigger, don’t forget that self-assessment is also important. Take into account your available resources, interests, and long-term objectives. Having said that, practically every industry may prosper with the appropriate combination of grit, drive, and talent. Hence, before you select the type of business, make sure you have the proper expertise to run it. Also, it is recommended to consult a legal expert before you take any decision.

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