Forming an LLC requires a different business name, which must be unique and adheres to the guidelines. The great thing is Iowa’s Secretary of State page includes a name availability checker. Check out LLC Name Search to learn more.
Meanwhile, if you’re interested in learning more about starting an LLC in Iowa or forming an LLC in general, you can check out How to Start an LLC.
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
How to Name an LLC in Iowa
Time needed: 5 minutes.
There are guidelines to follow in doing an Iowa LLC name search. To learn more, check out LLC Naming Guidelines or read Foreign LLC Application for Registration if you’re planning to register a foreign LLC.
- Check Name Availability
Search the Business Entity Records in Iowa’s Official Secretary of State page to check if your chosen business name is available. You may also try typing your trademark, business, or domain name on any search engine to generate businesses with similar names and to ensure your trademark is unique and meets the state’s requirements.
Check out How to File a DBA to learn more about registering a DBA or trademark. For social media pages, use Social Searcher to avoid using similar page names.
- Check Domain Availability
If your business name is still available, you must register for a domain name using Namecheap, Google Workspace, or other domain name sites. So customers can easily find your business over the Internet. Use the Kinsta app to manage your domains efficiently.
- File Name Reservation
A Name Reservation Certificate is required along with a Certificate of Formation. You can reserve a name online, by mail, or in person with a $10 filing fee (plus tax for online).
File your Certificate of Formation and Name Reservation online on the Secretary of State Online Services page of Iowa. You may also download the pdf file of the Name reservation form and submit it with the processing fee to the Secretary of State Business Services Division, Lucas Building, 1st Floor, Des Moines, Iowa 50319.
Guidelines to Follow in Naming LLC
- Use a business name with the abbreviation “LLC” or the phrase “Limited Liability Company.”
- Your decided business name must not coincide with any existing government entity. Otherwise, you might have to face legal lawsuits when filing your LLC.
- Use the LLC name availability checker to ensure your business name is unique.
- Get a license first if you plan on using restricted words to avoid any complications.
Note that you must put adequate effort into naming your LLC because this name will be with your business for a long time. Making your LLC name unique is vital as it would prevent people from confusing your business with others, not to mention it would be easier for them to recall your business, products, or services.
How to do a Iowa LLC Online Name Search
Here’s an easy-to-follow guideline on how you can do an online search for your Iowa LLC name.
Access the Business Entities Search Tool of the State of Iowa
The State of Iowa provides a Business Entity Search Tool to assist you in deciding the uniqueness of your proposed business name. This tool is very helpful in deciding whether the proposed business name is available for usage in the territory or not. Keep a list of backup names ready, so you can select the final name in a few attempts.
Enter the name
After you navigate to the search page, you will find two different types of search filters that you can execute to find a relevant name for your business. You can perform the search either by the “Business Name”, or “Business Number”.
Perform the Search
If you intend to take your business online by setting up a website, you should also check if a domain name similar to your chosen business name is available for your business.
Next, if you also wish to use a Trademark for the distinct identity of your business, you can run a search on the Trademark Database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to check if the chosen name is already in use by some other business entity. After finalizing a name for your LLC in Iowa you can file an application for reservation of the name either online or via mail.
How Do I Reserve an LLC Name in Iowa
To reserve an LLC name in Iowa you need to submit a name reservation request form to the Iowa Secretary of State by mail or online by paying a filing fee of $10.
When it comes to starting a business in Iowa, one of the most important initial steps is to reserve the desired LLC name. Your LLC name serves as the identifier, or the face, of your company. Hence, a well-chosen name can help convey what your business does and aims to achieve, attract potential customers, and distinguish your business from competitors.
In Iowa, reserving an LLC name can be done in a straightforward three-step process. Firstly, check whether the desired name is available. Iowa law requires that LLC names are unique and distinguishable from other business names registered with the Iowa Secretary of State. Thus, it is advisable to use the Iowa Secretary of State’s online name availability search tool to avoid naming conflicts. Also, avoid elements such as business entity designations (e.g., LLC) that would make the name non-distinctive.
Secondly, limit the period for which the name is reserved. Reserve the name for up to 120 days before the LLC formation process commences. Hence, during this time, you can work on other aspects of the business, such as filing the articles of organization and registering for taxes, without worrying about losing the chosen name to another business.
Thirdly, file the name reservation application and pay the $10 fee through the Iowa Secretary of State website. Ensure that the application is complete, accurate, and meets the required language standards. For example, avoid profanity in the name, and include required words like “Limited Liability Company” or “LLC” in the name.
It is important to consider the significance of a registered LLC name. Not only does it affect how you position your business, but it’s also of great importance for trademark protection. A legally registered name guarantees your business exclusive and permanent rights to use the name so long as the company exists. This means that competitors cannot use the same name in the same industry or sector as yours.
Therefore, when selecting a name, it is crucial to do research to ensure that the name is not already registered with the Iowa Secretary of State and that it is unique in the preferred sector.
In conclusion, selecting and reserving the company name is a topic of substance, that can serve as a potential growth promoter or deterrent of your business operations. That’s why it is critical to choose a name that is fitting for your brand. In Iowa, the process to reserve an LLC name is quick and simple, and enlisting the service of a seasoned business name reservation agent can aid you greatly make the whole booking process error-free and hassle-free process.
A trade name (doing business as (DBA) name) is the official name under which a proprietor or company chooses to do business.
Having a domain isn’t necessary, but it is recommended. If you have a domain name, customers will find you more accessible through online means with your online website.
For domestic LLC, you can simply brainstorm for another name if the one you pick is no longer available. For foreign LLC, you must think up a “fictitious name,” which you’ll use only in the state.
LLC names are important as it is the main identity of your business. While naming your LLC make sure to choose the one that suits the nature of your business. Follow the naming guidelines before you start filing your LLC name