Start a Business Guide


Start a Business in Iowa

A FREE 10-step guide to starting your very own business in Iowa!

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Enter your information below to download our free 2023 Start a Business Guide! After you click the Request Now button, you’ll gain immediate access to the PDF and a copy will be sent to your email.

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Pros & Cons of Starting a Business

Looking for practical insights and advice about starting your business? This step covers the pros and cons of starting a business in Iowa, characteristics and skills required to be a successful entrepreneur, the importance of customer discovery, finding a business partner, buying an existing business, buying into a franchise, and taking over a family business.

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Conduct Market Research

Market research is about understanding your target market to determine the success of a product or service. Conducting market research helps you understand customer preferences, which in turn helps to tailor marketing messages, branding, and development strategies.

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Choose a Business Name

Choosing a name for your business is essential, but not necessarily a death sentence if it doesn’t seem “right” or “descriptive enough.” Your brand will grow, and your name will become more recognizable over time. When naming your business, there are several factors to consider, such as state naming guidelines, similarities to competitors, ease of pronunciation and spelling, web-friendliness, memorability, consistency with your brand, and not limiting.

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Write a Business Plan

Want to learn what a business plan is and how to write one? This step outlines the traditional format of a business plan and the key sections that should be included, such as the executive summary, business description, market analysis, organization and management, product or service line, and marketing and sales. A free business plan template is also available for download.

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Register a Business

Looking to register a business in Iowa? It’s an essential step in order to legally conduct business within the state. The process involves choosing a legal structure for your business, such as a sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership or non-profit, and then registering it with the appropriate office, depending on the entity you’re forming.

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Federal, State and Local Taxes

If you are a business owner, taxes are an inevitable part of running your business. You may have to collect and remit sales and use tax, pay self-employment tax, or pay unemployment taxes, depending on your business type and location. In this step, you will learn more about federal, state and local taxes that may be applicable to your business.

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Apply for Licensing and Permits

This step discusses the process of applying for licensing and permits when starting a business in Iowa. The state does not have a general business license, rather, the state regulates individual industries and business types. This step provides a list of popular licenses, and the administering agencies for each license are also included.

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Fund Your Business

This step is a guide on how to calculate your startup expenses and fund your business. Understanding your startup expenses is crucial for estimating profits, conducting a break-even analysis, securing loans, attracting investors, and saving money using tax deductions. The step provides a list of common startup costs, and suggests other expenses that may be relevant to your business.

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Choose a Business Location

Are you struggling to choose the right location for your business? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Picking a business location can be overwhelming, but it’s crucial to your success. Things you should consider include your budget, the type of location that suits your brand image, your vendor’s accessibility, employee safety, foot traffic, parking, and delivery logistics.

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Consider Business Insurance

Are you a business owner wondering if you need insurance? Business insurance protects against losses due to normal business practices, including property damage, employee injuries, and product defects. Lack of insurance can leave small businesses unable to survive when faced with potential risks like natural disasters or lawsuits.

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Next Steps

If you’re ready to take the next steps in starting your own business, IASourceLink can help. With resources for funding, online presence, growth, and even expanding to Iowa, IASourceLink is a one-stop-shop for entrepreneurs. No matter what your business needs are, IASourceLink can connect you with the right resources to help you succeed.