Last updated: April 24, 2023

If you want to form an LLC in Iowa, you should know how long the Iowa Secretary of State takes to receive, review, and approve your LLC registration documents.

With our certified business advisors who have worked in the LLC sector for over a decade, we spent four weeks investigating the various Iowa LLC registration alternatives and processing timelines.

Here's a summary of the LLC processing times in the home state of Iowa.

Quick Summary

  • It takes 2-3 weeks to register Iowa LLCs by mail with the Secretary of State’s office.
  • Online LLC filing is available on the Fast Track Filing system, and you must create an account to access it.
  • The Iowa SOS offers expedited shipping at a state fee of $15.

How Long Does It Take To Form an LLC in Iowa?

An office worker forming an LLC in Iowa

It takes 14-21 business days to form an LLC in Iowa by mail and two business days if you do the process online on the Fast Track Filing system.

You can also pay additional fees for expedited shipping and reduce the processing time to less than 5 business days.

Iowa LLC Processing Time

The LLC processing time is the total time it takes the Iowa SOS to examine and approve your hard/soft copy registration papers and record your LLC file into their system.

Here are three ways to file an LLC and the different processing times for each filing method.

1. Online Filings

A person filing paperwork online

To file an LLC online in Iowa, you must create a user account on the Fast Track Filing System [1]. This innovative system allows the filing of all business documents except the biennial report.

Once you're logged in, navigate to the 'Business Filings' section on the homepage, and click on it. Select 'File a Document' on the drop-down menu that will be displayed.

Choose the 'Limited Liability Company' option in the' New Entities' section. You'll then be directed to the 'Certificate of Organization' page, where you'll select whether you're filing a 'Domestic LLC' or a 'Domestic Professional LLC.'

Proceed to fill in the details of your LLC, including name and address, then upload the document in PDF form.

When you file online, ensure you provide an electronic signature to confirm that the information you shared is correct and up-to-date.

The Iowa Secretary of State takes a few minutes to process LLC online filings, and you'll receive an email notification once your LLC paperwork is approved [2].

However, the process can also take up to 2 working days when there's a high filling volume.

Note that if you plan to pay your online state fees via a credit card (Visa, Discover, or Mastercard), you must first fill out the Credit Card Authorization Form and give the correct details.

2. Mail Filings

A person filing paperwork through the mail

To start an Iowa LLC via mail, a certificate of incorporation form, also known as the articles of organization, must be filled out and submitted.

This document contains information such as the LLC's name and the registered agent's contact information.

The Iowa Secretary of State takes 15-21 business days/2-3 weeks to review and approve the certificate of incorporation.

However, you can pay an additional fee for expedited shipping and have your papers reviewed in less than 5 working days.

Remember to include the $50 state fees as a check or money order.

3. Expedited Filings

The Iowa SOS offers expedited processing for regular document filings and preclearance service on LLC filings.

If you're filing your domestic or foreign LLC paperwork and need expedited processing, you can pay extra fees for these two options:

  • Two-day delivery: $50.00
  • Five-day delivery: $15.00

But if you want the preclearance service on your LLC filings, here are the expedited processing options offered by the Secretary of State’s office:

  • Same-day processing: $250.00
  • Two-day processing: Twice the filing fee amount
  • Three-day processing: Equal amount as the filing fee

Read more about how much does an LLC cost in Iowa.

Steps To Start an LLC in Iowa

A woman working at home and starting an LLC in Iowa

Follow these steps to start a limited liability company in Iowa.


What's the Fastest Way To Get an Iowa LLC?

The fastest way to get an LLC in Iowa is to file your certificate of incorporation online. Online LLC formation on the Fast Track Filing system takes a few minutes to be processed and approved.

Should You Hire an LLC Service in Iowa?

The LLC formation process in Iowa can be daunting if you don't know what you're doing.

Hiring professional Iowa LLC services is a smart move if you want a straightforward and smooth LLC formation process.

While these four services will not reduce the overall processing time, they'll ensure that every document is filed correctly per the Iowa State LLC guidelines.

In addition, you'll also get access to prompt customer service and attorneys if you ever need legal counsel for your Iowa business.



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