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Starting a business is exciting, but it also comes with challenges. One of the first challenges an entrepreneur faces is establishing an LLC or a limited liability company. The State of Iowa requires business owners to file LLC formation paperwork to get things started. These documents legally set up a company in the state.

While forming an LLC, an entrepreneur will likely be introduced to new terms like a registered agent. Every company is required to list a registered agent on its formation documents.

A registered agent is a person or company that accepts documents on behalf of your LLC.

Many entrepreneurs have questions about registered agents, like who can serve in the position and the part it plays in setting up a company. To help, we’ve created a guide that answers frequently asked questions.

What is an Iowa registered agent?

An Iowa registered agent is a person or company that’s willing to accept important documents for your LLC. This person will likely receive documents like tax notices or service of process papers, which are served during a lawsuit.

The selected registered agent should be a trustworthy person or company.

Read more:  What is a registered agent?

How does an owner select a registered agent in Iowa?

The registered agent is listed on the LLC formation papers, which are known as the Certificate of Organization in Iowa. The person or company name and address are required by law.

Who can be a registered agent in Iowa? 

In Iowa, a registered agent must meet these criteria:

  • Any person at least 18 years old and has a physical address in Iowa
  • Any company that’s in good standing and authorized to do business in the state
  • The person or company must have a street address, not a P.O. box
  • The person or company must be available during regular business hours to accept documents as needed.

Given these rules, a registered agent could be a friend, a trusted employee, a family member, another local business, or even a professional registered agent service. For a fee, there are businesses that serve as your company’s registered agent. They’re known as a registered agent service.

Can I be my own registered agent in Iowa?

Yes. Many business owners serve as their own registered agent. If the owner plans to physically work at the company, it’s an easy fit. However, it’s not the only choice. Iowa business owners can select others to fill this role.

Why would a company choose to work with a registered agent service? 

A registered agent service is a professional company that accepts documents on behalf of your company. Here are some benefits of working with such a company:

  • Availability. A registered agent should be available during regular business hours. Some business owners don’t keep regular hours, need to travel, or have regular commitments that keep them away from the office. A registered agent service is available during regular business hours, which makes it a convenient choice for busy business owners.
  • Peace of mind. A professional service has experience accepting documents and serving as a company’s point of contact. It gives an owner peace of mind knowing all official paperwork is being handled by professionals.
  • Privacy. Registered agents receive confidential documents. For added protection, a registered agent service is ideal. When documents arrive, the owner is notified immediately.

Read more:  Best Registered Agent Services

How much does a registered agent service cost in Iowa?

Entrepreneurs often wonder how much a registered agent service costs. The cost might be more affordable than you think. There are companies that can serve as your registered agent for as little as $35 a year. These companies will accept documents and notify you when they arrive.

For more advanced services like mail forwarding, online accounts, and reminders regarding annual reports, prices hover around $100-250 annually.

List of Iowa registered agent services

To find a registered agent service in the state of Iowa, owners can start with a Google search. To provide an idea of the services available, here’s a snapshot of possible choices:

  • ZenBusiness is fairly new to the market, but it’s grown a strong following. Business owners love the affordable rates for a registered agent service, which are as low as $99 per year. The company also offers worry-free compliance to help business owners file the necessary reports on time.
  • Northwest Registered Agent is one of the most recognized names in the registered agent business. The company has decades of experience and local offices scattered across the U.S. to serve small businesses like yours. The cost for a registered agent service is comparable to others. Business owners can also take advantage of additional services like report filing.
  • Harbor Compliance is a great fit for organizations that register in multiple states and for those who don’t want to pay excessive service fees. With their network and electronic document delivery, they help ensure your business never misses a legal notification.

Iowa registered agent FAQs

Do I really need a registered agent in Iowa?

Yes. The state requires all LLCs or Iowa corporations to list a registered agent on the formation paperwork.

Can a company change its registered agent?

Yes. Registered agents do change from time to time. When a change is needed, the owner must file a Change of Registered Agent form with the secretary of state. Many states charge a filing fee to make this change, but in Iowa, there is no fee.

What’s a statutory agent?

A statutory agent and a registered agent have the same meaning. The title varies by state. In Arizona, for example, a statutory agent is used. Other states use the title ‘service of process’ agent.

Most states though, including Iowa, use the term registered agent.

What’s a commercial registered agent?

A commercial agent is a professional registered agent service. They’re considered commercial because a business must pay for their services. A non-commercial registered agent is an agent that’s not paid to fill the role. If a business owner, employee, or friend, are listed as the registered agent, they’re considered non-commercial.