How to Get a DBA Name For an LLC in Iowa – An Easy Guide


Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
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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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Get a DBA Name in Iowa

Are you looking to establish a business in Iowa and need to get a DBA (Doing Business As) name for your venture? You’re in the right place! A DBA, also known as a Trade Name, Fictitious Name, or Assumed Name, allows you to conduct business under a name that’s different from your legal business name. This can be advantageous for branding, marketing, and overall business operations.

In Iowa, if you’re willing to use a different name other than the legal name for your business, you must file the DBA (Doing Business As). The public (specifically your potential customers) knows your business by its registered legal name. Instead of using your formal business name, you may use the trade name or DBA in marketing and sales to reach a wider audience.

Iowa, popularly known as The Hawkeye State, has some regulations when it comes to filing your DBA name. However, the regulations can vary depending on the type of business structure you have. In this article, I will share the basic steps to get a DBA Name in Iowa.

What is DBA Name in Iowa?

Whenever you form an LLC or any business structure, you must get a name for it. Every company has a legitimate name. For instance, a partnership or sole proprietorship might function under the legal name of the company’s owner or owners. The name specified in the Articles of Incorporation or Certificate of Organization may be used by any business entity, including corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), and others.

However, there are situations when you may decide against using your company’s registered legal name in Iowa. This is due to a variety of factors. For instance, the legal name of your company can be unrelated to it or no longer accurately describe it. Or perhaps you want a new name without altering your documentation for incorporation or registration.

If you intend to run your business in Iowa under a name other than your personal name or an existing corporate name, you must submit a DBA name with Iowa state regardless of the type of business entity you have incorporated as (single proprietor, partnership, corporation, or LLC).

No restrictions exist on how many DBA names you can use to do business. However, each DBA name must be filed with the state where you conduct business. This is necessary because the general public has a legal right to know whether a specific individual or company is operating under a name other than their legal name.

In Iowa, changing your business name is a risky factor. It can bring positive and negative effects on your business. Hence, before you file and change your legal business name, analyze all the risks and advantages.

LLCBuddy Editorial Team

How to Get a DBA in Iowa

To get a DBA in Iowa, you must first check if any other business is already using the name before filing a DBA in Iowa. You can then submit the Iowa business name reservation form after it has been confirmed that no other company is already using the chosen name. You can search the Iowa Government Records Inquiry System and confirm that the name you chose is not already in use. However, getting a DBA is not mandatory in many states. If you open an LLC in Iowa, you must check with Iowa Secretary of State whether you need to file DBA or not.

Guideline for choosing a DBA name

You must choose a name to register, which is the crucial step. There are a few straightforward LLC name guidelines to follow (if you’re forming an LLC) while choosing a name in Iowa.

  • In Iowa, fictional names cannot be the same or similar to one another. A DBA cannot deceive the public by appearing to be confusingly similar to any other business name.
  • Unless the company has been incorporated as an LLC or corporation, a DBA name cannot contain a corporate indication, such as Corp or LLC, or any other words that imply an entity type. This will stop a lone proprietor from passing for a legitimate corporation.
  • Any banking-related words without a letter from the Iowa Banking Commissioner’s Office, or any insurance-related words without a letter from the Iowa Iowa Insurance Division.
  • Any words that could confuse your corporation with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
  • A professional designation in the name (i.e., engineering, attorney) without a copy of the license of one officer/member or a letter from the governing agency allowing the use of the name without licensing.
  • Any words that indicate or imply that the corporation is engaged in a business that is not authorized by law to pursue.

How Can You Tell if a DBA Name in Iowa is available?

Once you have selected a name that complies with the requirements mentioned above, there are a number of methods you can use to find out if the name is open for registration. One simple strategy is to look up other companies in Iowa with the same name on Google.

It is a simple technique to clear out any already taken names, even though it may not guarantee that the name you want to register is accessible. As it is likely that you will require a website domain that matches your business name, you may also check to see whether the web domain for that name is accessible. For example, you can check Iowa LLC name search guide to see how you can find the availability of your desired LLC name in Iowa.

Before you may register your Trade Name in Iowa, you must have used it for business purposes. Therefore, you must use a Trade Name as soon as possible if you want to register and protect it in Iowa.

Register the Iowa DBA Name

Once you have established that the name is available for registration, you must finish the file using the forms your county has provided. You must register your DBA name in the county where you intend to conduct business. In most Iowa counties, the following fundamental information is needed-

  • Name of the company, its phone number, city, state, and street address
  • The organization type under which the business is incorporated
  • List the partners’ names and addresses (if applicable)
  • Describe the items, services, or business that will be delivered under the Fictitious Name in the registration form
  • Use of the Fictitious Name in the marketplace
  • Both the classification type and number
  • Make a mark (pick Trade Name)
  • Date and state of the first use of the trade name
  • When the Trade Name first appeared in Iowa
  • Application’s name, title, signature, and date Email address

Submitting the Iowa DBA Name Application

To file the Iowa DBA Name, you must apply to the Iowa Secretary of State. In Iowa, you can file the DBA name in three methods, online, by mail, and in person filing.. The cost of filing the Fictitious Name (DBA name) in Iowa is $5.

  • Online filing: For online filing, check the Iowa Fast Track Filing. There, look for the “Fictitious Names” section. You will get the registration form.
  • Offline filing: For filing offline, you must send the downloaded PDF form or drop it off in person at the Secretary of State, Business Services Division, Lucas Building, 1st Floor, Des Moines, IA 50319

Using the Iowa Trade Name

Three “specimens” demonstrating the Trade Name used must be submitted to Iowa Secretary of State. The following are some instances of acceptable specimens:

  • Business cards
  • Booklets,
  • Flyers,
  • Labels, and
  • Stickers

How to Renew a Trade Name in Iowa

You can renew your DBA name after a stipulated time. In most states, the renewal of the DBA name follows the same process as filing a fresh DBA name. You need to get the DBA renewal form, fill it up with the correct information, and submit it to the state online or offline. The renew time for DBA name filing is Indefinite in Iowa.

How to Change a Trade Name

You can change your Trade Name (DBA or Fictitious Name) by applying to the Iowa SOS. The process is similar. You can search for the name you want to have after changing the old Trade Name. If the name is available, make sure it follows other guidelines. You can reserve your DBA name for Indefinite; after then, you can change or renew your DBA if needed through the Iowa SOS.

FAQs

What is a DBA name?
DBA stands for “doing business as,” and it is another name for a trade name, assumed name, or fictitious name. A DBA name is a legal name for a business that is different from the individual or legal entity that owns the business.
Is filing a DBA name in Iowa required?
Yes, in Iowa, if you wish to conduct business under a name other than your own name, or the legal name of an organization, you must file a DBA with the Secretary of State.
What are the benefits of filing a DBA name in Iowa?
Filing a DBA in Iowa gives your business greater legitimacy and helps to prevent another business from using your trade name. It also allows you to open a bank account in the name of the business and to list a business address on business contracts.
Is there a fee to file a DBA name in Iowa?
Yes, there is a $50 filing fee to register a DBA name in Iowa.
How long does it take to file a DBA name in Iowa?
Typically, it takes up to 10 business days for the filing to be processed.
Where do I go to file a DBA in Iowa?
The filing must be submitted to the Iowa Secretary of State’s office.
What documents do I need to file a DBA name in Iowa?
You will need to fill out an Iowa DBA Name Registration form and submit it to the Iowa Secretary of State.
What information do I need to provide when filing a DBA name in Iowa?
You will need to provide your name, address, phone number, the business name, the purpose of the business, the name of the registered agent, and the signatures of the owners.
Do I need to get a business license in order to file a DBA name in Iowa?
No, you do not need a business license to file a DBA name in Iowa.
How often do I need to renew my DBA name registration in Iowa?
The registration must be renewed every five years.
Does filing a DBA name in Iowa protect my business name?
No, filing a DBA does not protect your business name from being used by another business. It simply registers the name in the state of Iowa.
Is a DBA name the same as an LLC or Corporation?
No, a DBA name is not the same as an LLC or Corporation. A DBA is simply a trade name, assumed name, or fictitious name for a business. An LLC or Corporation is a legal entity that can be used to protect the owners from personal liability.
Do I need to file a DBA name in every state?
No, you do not need to file a DBA name in every state. However, you may need to register the name in states where you intend to conduct business.
Can I file a DBA name online in Iowa?
Yes, you can file a DBA name online in Iowa through the Secretary of State’s website.
Can I use my DBA name to open a bank account?
Yes, you can use your DBA name to open a bank account in Iowa.
Does filing a DBA name in Iowa mean that I have registered my trademark?
No, filing a DBA name does not mean that your trademark is registered. You will need to register your trademark separately.
Are there any restrictions on the types of business names I can register as a DBA in Iowa?
Yes, you may not use a business name that is already in use by another business in Iowa, or that is similar to an existing business name. You also may not use a business name that is offensive or deceptive.
Do I need to submit a business plan when filing a DBA name in Iowa?
No, you do not need to submit a business plan when filing a DBA name in Iowa.
Do I need to submit a copy of my logo when filing a DBA name in Iowa?
No, you do not need to submit a copy of your logo when filing a DBA name in Iowa.
What if I need to make changes to my DBA name after it has been registered in Iowa?
If you need to make changes to your DBA name after it has been registered in Iowa, you will need to file an amendment with the Secretary of State.
What happens if I don’t file my DBA name in Iowa?
If you do not file your DBA name in Iowa, you may be subject to fines or other penalties.
Is there a way to search the Iowa database to see if a DBA name is already in use?
Yes, you can search the Iowa database to see if a DBA name is already in use.
Do I need to file a DBA name if I am using my own name to conduct business in Iowa?
No, you do not need to file a DBA name if you are using your own name to conduct business in Iowa.
Do I need to file a DBA name if I am using an LLC or Corporation to conduct business in Iowa?
No, you do not need to file a DBA name if you are using an LLC or Corporation to conduct business in Iowa.
Where can I find more information about filing a DBA name in Iowa?
You can find more information about filing a DBA name in Iowa on the Iowa Secretary of State’s website.
What other forms do I need to file when starting a business in Iowa?
Depending on your business structure, you may need to file other forms, such as an LLC formation document or a Corporation formation document, in order to start your business in Iowa.
Is there a way to expedite the filing process for a DBA name in Iowa?
Yes, you can pay an additional fee to expedite the filing process for a DBA name in Iowa.
What if I need to cancel my DBA name registration in Iowa?
You can submit a cancellation form to the Iowa Secretary of State to cancel your DBA name registration.
Can I use my DBA name to apply for a business loan in Iowa?
Yes, you can use your DBA name to apply for a business loan in Iowa.
How do I file a DBA name in Iowa?
In Iowa, you can file a DBA name by submitting an Application for Registration of Fictitious Name with the Iowa Secretary of State.
Is there a filing fee to register a DBA name in Iowa?
Yes, there is a filing fee of $35 to register a DBA name with the Iowa Secretary of State.
How long will it take to register a DBA name in Iowa?
It typically takes up to 10 business days for the Iowa Secretary of State to process the registration of your DBA name.
Do I need to register my DBA name in Iowa if I’m doing business in multiple states?
Yes, if you plan to do business in Iowa, you must register your DBA name with the Iowa Secretary of State.
How often do I need to renew my DBA name in Iowa?
In Iowa, DBA names must be renewed every 5 years.

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Why Iowa DBA Filing is So Important

One of the primary reasons why Iowa DBA filing is so important is branding and marketing. Your business’s name is often the first thing that potential customers notice about your company. A catchy and memorable name can help set your business apart from competitors and attract more customers. By registering a DBA name, you are securing your exclusive right to use that name in the state of Iowa. This not only protects your brand identity but also helps you build brand recognition and loyalty over time.

Additionally, filing a DBA name also adds credibility to your business. When customers see that your business is registered under a specific name, it gives them confidence that they are dealing with a legitimate and established entity. This credibility can be especially important for small businesses or startups trying to gain a foothold in the competitive market. It shows potential customers that you are serious about your business and are committed to providing quality products or services.

Furthermore, Iowa DBA filing can also protect you legally. Operating a business under a different name than your legal entity name without registering a DBA can leave you vulnerable to legal disputes and liabilities. If another business discovers that you are using a similar name without proper registration, they could take legal action against you for trademark infringement. By officially registering your DBA name, you are ensuring that you have exclusive rights to use that name within Iowa and are protecting yourself from potential legal issues.

Another important aspect of Iowa DBA filing is taxation. By registering a DBA name, you are making it easier for the state to track your business activities and tax obligations. Without a registered DBA name, it can be difficult for tax authorities to identify your business and properly assess your tax liabilities. This can result in missed deadlines, penalties, and additional fees that could harm your business’s financial health.

In conclusion, Iowa DBA filing is a vital step for businesses, both large and small. It provides branding and marketing benefits, adds credibility to your business, protects you legally, and ensures proper taxation. While the process of filing a DBA name may seem tedious, the benefits far outweigh the effort. By taking the time to register your DBA name, you are setting your business up for success and laying a solid foundation for future growth. So don’t overlook the importance of Iowa DBA filing – it could be the key to unlocking your business’s full potential.

In Conclusion

A DBA name in Iowa is the best way to update your business name. Unlike the registered legal business name, you can have as many as DBA names. You can use your new assumed name as soon as the state has processed your filing, and getting one is a rather simple process. Whether you have an LLC or any other business structure, filing a DBA name is helpful for your business upgradation anytime.

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