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Key Information

Legal Name

Iowa Secretary of State


1st Fl., Lucas Bld., 321 E. 12th St., Des Moines, IA 50319



1 (888) 767-8683


$0.00 USD
2 Days
How to Do an Iowa Business Search:

Before you can apply for a name reservation or file formation documents, you will need to ensure that your desired business name is available by performing business entity and trademark searches using the applicable tools online.


Conduct an Iowa business search online.


Go to the Iowa SOS website.

Go to the Iowa SOS website.

The Iowa SOS offers a business search tool that allows you to check if your preferred business name is already in use by another business.

Note that names are not checked against trade names or "Doing Business As" (DBA) names of sole proprietorships or co-partnerships registered at the county level. You can visit your county recorder's website to search for these.


Enter your business name in the search field.

Enter your business name in the search field.

In the field titled "Search by Business Name," enter your preferred business name, or a keyword, without punctuation or identifiers such as "LLC" or "LLP." You can leave the "Search by Business Number" field blank. Lastly, click "Search."

Be sure to search alternate spellings and similar names to ensure that your proposed business name does not clash with those of other businesses in the database.


View the search results.

View the search results.

If there are no results, you will see a notification stating "Sorry, no results. Search again." This means that your name is most likely available to use. However, you will still need to conduct trademark searches.

If there are any matching and/or similar entity names in the database, the results will include the name, business ID number, status (active or inactive), and name type (legal or fictitious) of each entity. You can click on each business ID number to see an overview of that business.

Note that an inactive status does not necessarily mean that the business name is available. It indicates that the business was either voluntarily or administratively dissolved, but may be allowed to reinstate the name within a certain period.


Additional Iowa business search steps.


Perform trademark searches.

Perform trademark searches.

Trademark searches are advisable as the business search outlined above is limited to business names registered with the state and does not include state or federal trademarks.

To find out more about trademarks registered with the state, contact the SOS at via telephone.

It is also advisable to search the United States Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) trademark database to check for registered federal trademarks.


File a name reservation.

File a name reservation.

If your business name is available, you can choose to reserve it for up to 120 days prior to filing your business formation documents. The filing fee is $10.00. There are two name reservation filing options: electronic and hardcopy.

To submit electronically, start by navigating to the SOS Business Entity Filings page.

Select "Name reservation" under "File type."

Select your preferred payment method.

Complete the online form.

Click "Send."

Alternatively, download and complete the name reservation form and mail it or deliver it in person to the SOS Business Services Division.


How can I do a state of Iowa business entity search in Iowa?

Go to the Secretary of State's (SOS) online business search tool, enter your desired name (or a keyword) in the applicable field, and click "Search."

Does it cost anything to do a business search in Iowa?

No, the service is free of charge.

Can I reserve a business name in Iowa?

Yes, you can reserve a business name with the Secretary of State for up to 120 days prior to filing your formation documents.

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