Guide: Start a Business | Step Four

Check for Additional Licensing

Iowa Business License Information Center (BLIC)

Did you know the state of Iowa does not have a “general” business license? Instead, Iowa regulates the activity of your business or profession. Whether you’re a newly established business wondering how to fulfill your licensing obligations, a contractor looking for registration information, or an existing corporation seeking to expand your business lines or geographic footprint, the Business License Information Center can help you! Here are just a few of the regulatory agencies listed in the BLIC online license database:

Attorney General

Certain types of businesses are required by law to file documents with the Office of the Attorney General.  These include debt collectors, companies that hold consumer credit contracts with Iowans, charitable trusts, professional fundraisers, and membership campgrounds.

Department of Commerce

The mission of the Iowa Department of Commerce is to serve Iowans by efficiently and effectively providing for a fair, flexible, and positive regulatory environment for consumer service industries.

In support of this, the Department of Commerce is committed to:

  • Alcohol Beverage Division (ABD)
    Iowa law requires all alcoholic beverages retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, importers and brokers to apply for and obtain a license or permit before doing business in the state. The licensing process for Iowa liquor license and beer, spirits, and wine permit holders is entirely online.

  • Division of Banking (IDOB)
    Protect the interests of those doing business with Iowa chartered banks, licensed financial service providers, and licensed professionals through regulation that ensures safety, soundness, and adherence to applicable laws.

    Regulated industries covered under Bank Bureau’s, Finance Bureau’s, NMLS (License Verification), and the Professional Licensing Bureau.

  • Division of Credit Unions (IDCU)
    By law, credit unions operating in Iowa must acquire and maintain account insurance to protect each shareholder and depositor against loss of funds held on account by the credit union. The insurance must be obtained from the National Credit Union Administration, an agency of the Federal government.

  • Iowa Insurance Division (IID)
    The Iowa Insurance Division is the state regulator which supervises all insurance businesses transacted in the state of Iowa. Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen leads our team that oversees companies and individuals in the sale of insurance in Iowa and has general control over all aspects of their business.  The Iowa Insurance Division also has statutory authority over many activities related to the sale of securities and other regulated products in the state.

  • Professional Licensing Bureau (PLB)
    The division is headed by the Superintendent of Banking who appoints and supervises staff that provides administrative support and coordinates activities for six professional licensing boards.  Each board is responsible for establishing and enforcing standards for licensure, certification, or registration, and investigating complaints. The standards generally include initial education, experience, an examination, continuing education, and practice review.

    The six professional licensing boards are: Accountancy Examining Board, Architectural Examining Board, Engineering and Land Surveying Examining Board, Interior Design Examining Board, Landscape Architectural Examining Board, and the Real Estate Commission.

  • Iowa Utilities Board (IUB)
    The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) has regulatory authority over investor-owned utility (IOU) rates and other service issues. IUB authority is mostly limited to service, safety, and engineering issues for the rural electric cooperative (REC) and the municipal electric (Muni) utilities in Iowa. The IUB has very limited authority for non-utility generators.

Department of Inspections & Appeals

Staff in the Department is responsible for inspecting and licensing or certifying health care providers and suppliers, restaurants and grocery stores, social and charitable gambling operations, hotels and motels, and barber and beauty shops. In addition, DIA staff investigates alleged fraud in the State's public assistance programs and conducts contested case hearings to settle disputes between Iowans and various state government agencies.

Department of Natural Resources

The Iowa Environmental Assistance Guide is your roadmap to Iowa's environmental permitting requirements. This guide will assist in identifying the regulatory requirements as your company begins to plan for locating or expanding your business in Iowa.

Professional Licensing & Regulation Bureau

Mission Statement:  Protect the interests of those doing business with Iowa chartered banks, licensed financial services providers, and licensed professionals through regulation that ensures safety, soundness, and adherence to applicable laws.

To find more potential licensing requirements, visit the Iowa Business licensing Information Center’s searchable database.

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