To create an LLC in Iowa, you must first choose a reputable LLC formation provider that will guide you through the registration procedure.
A good LLC service will file your certificate of organization with the Iowa Secretary of State, as well as providing a variety of additional services to guarantee your Iowa LLC remains in compliance with state and federal regulations.
A bad LLC service may swindle you with subpar services and delay your LLC formation.
I conducted a four-stage, five-factor process to determine which of the 18 major LLC services in Iowa is the best. My research yielded the following results.
1. Northwest Registered Agent: 9.45/10 (Best Overall LLC Service)
Northwest Registered Agent is the best LLC service in Iowa, thanks to its low-cost formation package and industry-leading customer service.
Northwest’s $39 formation package includes all the essential services you need to start your LLC in Iowa, including assistance with filing your certificate of organization with the Iowa Secretary of State, assistance with drafting your operating agreement, an Iowa business name and address, an online storage portal, a business tax consultation with its in-house accountants, a three-month free trial of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service, and a free year of registered agent service.
Northwest will also help you apply for an employer identification number (EIN), a Certificate of Good Standing, and state-certified copies of your formation paperwork. These services, however, are optional extras that can be purchased when required.
Northwest’s formation package usually costs $225, but I've been able to negotiate a wonderful bargain for BoostSuite readers, and you can get an 82% discount if you use my special link to the Northwest Registered Agent sign-up page.
This brings the total cost down to a manageable $39.
Despite the low price, Northwest Registered Agent has a major perk—customer service. Its Corporate Guides are a team of former small business owners, accountants, and attorneys with years of expertise running an Iowa LLC.
They not only assist you with the establishment of your corporation, but they also give industry-leading business advice to help you manage your Iowa LLC.
The one issue with the Northwest Registered Agent services is that the formation package does not include any website-building tools to assist your Iowa LLC in establishing an online presence. These absent services include personal business website design, email hosting, and domain name registration.
However, this is a small issue because you can design your own business website for as little as $15 with websites like Squarespace.
Northwest Registered Agent is my top pick for the best Iowa LLC formation service. Its $39 formation package includes all the fundamental services you'll need to form your Iowa LLC, as well as a free year of registered agent service.
Northwest’s highly qualified Corporate Guides assist you with the Iowa LLC formation process and also provide outstanding business advice that comes in handy when you have problems along the way.
Visit Northwest Registered Agent today to get an 82% discount on its formation package if you need a cheap, reputable, and dependable LLC service provider in Iowa that delivers excellent customer service.
2. ZenBusiness: 8.25/10 (Best Essentials LLC Service)
There’s no beating ZenBusiness’s $0 price. But its services are so minimalistic that you’ll have to spend loads in additional fees to make up for what it lacks.
ZenBusiness’ $0 (plus filing fee) price is enough to catch the attention of any frugal entrepreneur. With that package it will perform a business name availability search, help you with filling out your paperwork, and file your formation documents for you.
The $199 Pro plan features expedited filing (four to six days) and assistance with the operating agreement for your business.
The $299 Premium plan includes a business domain name, email address, custom website builder, and rush filing (one to two days).
The downside of ZenBusiness’ $0 plan is that it only covers the bare necessities. If you need anything beyond that (and you almost certainly do), then you’ll either have to pay its high prices for it or find it elsewhere.
Every LLC needs a registered agent, so even if you don’t seek one out through your formation service, you will need one. So it’s nice that some companies throw in a year of registered agent service for free. But not this one. None of ZenBusiness’s plans come with a complimentary year of registered agent service. In fact, the only plan to feature registered agent service costs $199 per year.
While ZenBusiness’ customer service can help you with password changes or update your information speedily, it is overall unimpressive. The team isn’t made up of business experts that can answer any business or tax questions you may have.
If you want an LLC service that can do everything you need for a little less, then ZenBusiness’s $0 plan is an excellent choice. But you won’t get registered agent service or small business advice, so if you need those then it will ultimately cost you more in the years to come.
If you’d like to learn more about ZenBusiness’ services, read more on the website.
3. Harbor Compliance: 7.15/10 (Best Premium LLC Service)
Harbor Compliance is the best premium LLC formation service in Iowa because it provides a dedicated account manager to help you through the registration process.
Its basic formation package provides services such as assistance with your certificate of organization, a draft operating agreement template, an Iowa registered office address, access to an EIN, and a free year of registered agent service.
Harbor Compliance’s greatest value, however, is in its customer service. Most businesses provide a customer service hotline that connects you to an anonymous customer service representative, and some just lead you to an internet forum where you will spend a significant amount of time attempting to find solutions to your problems.
Harbor Compliance is a different story. It links you with a dedicated account manager that not only assists you with your Iowa LLC formation process but is also accessible to give service-related advice anytime you have obstacles during your business's lifespan.
Harbor Compliance, being a premium LLC service provider, charges relatively high fees for its services. For example, its cheapest formation package is $399, but its premium Compliance package costs $799. Most individuals can't afford this, especially aspiring entrepreneurs who don't have a lot of money to spend on a premium LLC service provider.
Harbor Compliance provides all the necessary services you need to form an LLC, including an employer identification number and a full year of Iowa registered agent service.
Harbor Compliance may be more expensive than the majority of LLC service providers on my list, but when you consider the personalized approach of its customer service, you certainly are getting good value for your money.
If you need a dedicated account manager to take you through your LLC formation process and are prepared to pay a premium for the service, visit Harbor Compliance today.
4. Rocket Lawyer
Rocket Lawyer is an online law firm that also provides some basic LLC formation services.
Rocket Lawyer's LLC services are available in conjunction with other essential online legal services. It offers legal assistance at a fraction of the expense of hiring a lawyer.
As part of its $99.99 plan, it'll file and submit your certificate of organization, give you a registered office address, and provide a free 30-minute legal consultation on all new legal matters with a single click or phone call. You’ll also get access to a massive library of quick and easy-to-use legal forms, including an operating agreement and other useful forms, attorney representation, and all your legal documents reviewed by a lawyer.
Unlike Northwest Registered Agent, Rocket Lawyer's $99 LLC formation service does not include many extra services. It doesn't provide a year of free registered agent service, EIN access, or phone service. Rocket Lawyer is also quite costly compared with Northwest Registered Agent services.
Considering the high cost, Rocket Lawyer is a worthy choice if you want ongoing legal assistance and services after forming an Iowa LLC. This service is especially beneficial for new Iowa business owners who are unfamiliar with business contracts.
5. Swyft Filings
Swyft Filings' $49 basic plan includes assistance with your certificate of organization, an operating agreement, an online document storage portal, a 30-minute business tax consultation with its in-house accountants, and a free one-year business domain name registration.
However, it ranks fifth on my list because it doesn't provide a free year of Iowa registered agent service. You'll have to pay an additional $149 for this, which is unreasonable given that Northwest Registered Agent offers this service in its $39 basic package.
Nonetheless, it is a relatively new organization (founded in 2012) that provides dependable services. Check out my Swyft Filings review for a detailed look at its services.
MyCompanyWorks offers a $79 basic package that includes help with submitting your certificate of organization to the Iowa Secretary of State, an operating agreement template, support with applying for an EIN, a physical address, and compliance notifications to ensure you don't miss any critical filing deadlines with the Secretary of State.
It also provides a year of free registered agent service, but only as part of its $279 premium package. Given that Northwest Registered Agent provides this service for $39, MyCompanyWorks isn't a worthwhile purchase.
However, the customer service is good, and it has a 4.5/5 rating across 3,500 online reviews.
7. Inc Authority
Inc Authority is a ZenBusiness clone that markets itself as a “low-cost” business formation service provider, but upon closer inspection, it is anything but. Its website says that it would assist you in filing your formation paperwork for free.
If you want more extensive services, such as help applying for an EIN or an LLC operating agreement template, you must upgrade to its $399 package. You must also subscribe to its $799 all-inclusive premium package if you want a year of free registered agent service.
8. Incorporate Fast
Incorporate Fast guarantees that it will submit your business formation paperwork the same day it receives them. No other firm on this list makes such a bold claim.
Its $99 basic package includes help with submitting your business formation documents, such as the certificate of organization, help structuring your operating agreement, and a free year of registered agent service. It also offers a $199 premium package that includes an EIN but excludes services such as an online storage portal for your business and legal documents and a company tax counseling conference with its in-house CPAs.
BizFilings is another Iowa business service provider that offers a $99 basic package that includes limited services, such as assistance with your business formation papers, compliance notifications, and a year of free Iowa registered agent services. That’s all it provides.
LegalZoom is a legal services firm that charges $99 for minimal Iowa LLC formation services. It will only help you file your business formation paperwork and obtain a banking resolution for your business bank account. The continuous focus on other legal aspects of its business explains the lack of comprehensive Iowa LLC formation services.
Other Iowa LLC Services
I included the following seven Iowa LLC services in my review process. Its services aren't particularly noteworthy, but I've decided to list them below just to be thorough. Here they are in no specific sequence.
Incorporate.com costs $99 for assistance with filing your certificate of organization and also offers an online document storage portal.
CorpNet will charge you $79 to submit your certificate of organization and issue compliance notifications, but no registered agent services. That's $40 more than the Northwest Registered Agent $39 formation package, which includes a full year of registered agent services for free.
MyCorporation maintains the habit of overcharging for insignificant services. It charges $133 for completing your initial formation paperwork and offering a draft operating agreement template. But you’ll have to be your own registered agent at that price.
14. Direct Incorporation
Direct Incorporation, like MyCorporation, assists with filing your formation papers with the Iowa Secretary of State's office and gives a draft operating agreement, but unlike MyCorporation, it also includes access to an EIN and a banking resolution in its formation package. The issue is that it charges $147 for these not-premium services.
For $117, InCorp will file your certificate of organization and assist you in creating your operating agreement.
16. Nationwide Incorporations
17. SunDoc Filings
SunDoc Filings offers a $79 basic package that will let you file your company's formation papers. Its $99 Key package includes an LLC operating agreement template, while its $279 Premier package includes an EIN for your Iowa business entity.
*With the exception of a one-time filing fee, all charges are per state, per year.
The Best LLC Service Review Summary
After researching the 17 main LLC formation services in Iowa, I concluded that Northwest Registered Agent is the best LLC formation service in the state.
Its $39 formation package includes assistance with filing your initial formation documents, a draft operating agreement, access to an EIN, an online document storage portal, a three-month free trial of VoIP service, a consultation with its in-house accountants, and a free year of free registered agent service.
Its highly experienced staff of Corporate Guides assists you with your business setup and are accessible every weekday during normal business hours to provide top-tier business advice throughout your journey.
Visit Northwest Registered Agent today if you need a business service provider in Iowa who takes the stress out of your business registration procedure while giving industry-leading small business advice.
Best LLC Service Review Methodology
This is the process I used to find the best LLC formation services in Iowa.
Why You Should Trust Me
You should believe my suggestions for the top LLC services in Iowa since I have more expertise in the Iowa business services industry than any reasonable individual would acknowledge.
My adventure began when I established my first limited liability company. I did not have the necessary expertise to submit my certificate of organization with the Secretary of State, so I hired an LLC formation service to assist me. However, the firm I hired provided such mediocre services that the entire experience was rather upsetting.
During my second venture into the business world, I opted to look for a cheap yet reliable service provider, but this time I picked Northwest Registered Agent since its services provided the most value for my money and its Corporate Guides were ready to provide efficient business advice.
I had gathered enough money for my third business project to hire a premium LLC services provider. My logical choice was Harbor Compliance, who assigned me a dedicated account manager to assist with the business registration procedure.
However, my experience is not restricted to only using these services. I've helped friends, relatives, and many others start businesses throughout the years. In fact, I launched this website to help aspiring entrepreneurs get the best business counsel, and I've helped over 1,000 small business owners identify the best business service provider in Iowa for their business companies.
How I Selected the Best LLC Service
To find the best LLC formation service in Iowa, I went through the four-stage method outlined below.
Stage 1: Reviews
The initial step in this process was to read internet reviews on sites like Facebook, TrustPilot, Google Business, and the Better Business Bureau. Most organizations in this market urge their consumers to write critical or good comments on these sites so that they may assess their experiences.
This enabled me to distinguish between companies that provided subpar services and those that were leaders in the industry. But one must be skeptical of too many positive customer reviews, so I couldn’t stop there.
Stage 2: Website Analysis
After eliminating the subpar service providers, the next step was to examine the websites of the remaining LLC formation services. This entailed reading through every claim and promise they made in order to have a thorough grasp of the services they offered, their pricing strategies, and how they positioned themselves in the business.
Stage 3: Speaking With Real Customers
For the third step, I contacted consumers who had formed an LLC in Iowa and inquired about their experiences with the services of these organizations. Granted, I might have discovered this from internet reviews, but they seem to be slanted toward the good or bad extremes.
I inquired about how intuitive and user-friendly the websites for each Iowa LLC formation service were, the quality of each company’s customer service team, and the length of time it took to submit their registration materials.
This procedure showed me which organizations were scammers and which provided authentic services.
Stage 4: Speaking With Sales Teams
This third stage was calling the sales and customer service departments of each business service provider to see how hard they would attempt to upsell me. I also pressed the customer service representatives for clarification on some of the criticism leveled in the internet reviews.
This allowed me to evaluate how each service provider handled criticism and how well their marketing staff promoted their services.
After putting these limited liability company services through the four-stage review, I ranked each one based on the five factors listed below.
Factor 1: Offerings
Some LLC formation firms just assist your Iowa LLC with filing your certificate of organization for free and then charge your business organization for any extra services. Northwest, for example, has an all-inclusive formation package that includes assistance with submitting your formation paperwork, a draft operating agreement template, an online document storage portal, a free consultation with their in-house accountants, and a free year of best-registered agent service around.
Because of the vast disparity in business services, I began my ranking process here.
Factor 2: Price
The cost of business services was the second factor I considered. Some businesses charge as low as $0 for their most basic LLC products, while others demand $399 simply to start up. I put the firms that provide reasonable and dependable services at the top of the list and moved the overpriced services to the bottom.
Factor 3: Ease of Sign-Up
The variation in their sign-up methods was an interesting characteristic I discovered when researching these companies. Some organizations provide good services but lose their attraction when it comes to sign-up convenience. They have badly designed sign-up processes that leave you completely perplexed at the end.
Still, some of these organizations provide an appealing combination of the best LLC services and a well-designed, user-friendly sign-up approach that saves your business entity a significant amount of time and work.
I went through the sign-up procedure for each firm to see which took the least amount of effort.
Factor 4: Ease of Use
The majority of the problems I encountered throughout the sign-up procedure were also prevalent in other portions of their websites. Some websites provide pre-filled information, and in most cases, all that is required to complete the registration procedure is your signature.
In contrast, several firms' websites appeared to have been developed in a junior high class, with a slew of flaws, including broken links.
I evaluated these services based on how simple their platforms were to use.
Factor 5: Customer Service
The quality of their customer service was the final consideration I utilized to rank these services. Many businesses outsource customer support to call centers in other regions with little knowledge of US small businesses. Then there are organizations like Northwest Registered Agent with incredible customer support, whose staff of highly experienced, US-based Corporate Guides provide guidance and help not only throughout the registration procedure, but also throughout your whole business journey.
Following a four-stage, five-factor analysis of the 18 best LLC formation services in Iowa, I determined that Northwest Registered Agent is the best business service provider in the state.
For just $39, its formation package includes assistance with filing your certificate of organization, an operating agreement template, an Iowa registered office address, an online document storage portal, a free three-month trial of VoIP service, a free business tax consultation with its in-house accountants, and a free year of registered agent service.
It also provides other services for small businesses, such as access to state-certified copies of your LLC formation paperwork, aid in applying for an EIN, and a Certificate of Good Standing, all of which may be purchased as needed.
Northwest’s Corporate Guides are a group of former accountants, lawyers, and small business entrepreneurs that know a lot about running a business entity. They are prepared to assist you with the establishment of your firm and to support you along your business journey by providing credible business advice.
Visit Northwest Registered Agent today if you need a cheap and trustworthy LLC service that takes the burden out of your business setup process while delivering first-rate small business advice.