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Guide: Start a Business in Iowa | Step Five:

Register Business for Additional Licensing

Contrary to popular belief, the state of Iowa DOES NOT have a general business license. So what does this mean? This means that when you are starting your business in Iowa, you must register your business with either your county recorder’s office OR with the Iowa Secretary of State’s office. After you register your business, you need to figure out if you need any additional licensing to operate your business. Here’s an example:

Let’s say you want to start a plant seed business in Iowa. After you register your business with either the state or your county recorder’s office (depending on your entity type), you then search for any additional licenses needed to operate your business. That’s where the Business License Information Center (BLIC) comes into play. BLIC is NOT the administering agency for these licenses. Their team is simply a referral source for all of the licensing agencies from across the state.

Search for additional licensing you may need to operate your business in Iowa.



 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about setting up your online store? You should consider checking out our Resource Navigator. It houses the contact information of 400 of our most helpful partners from across the state who provide free to low-cost assistance to Iowa entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Q: Do I need a business license for my business?

A: In the state of Iowa, you must register with the state or with the county you reside in in order to conduct business. This depends entirely on your entity type (LLC, non profit, sole proprietorship, etc). Additional licensing may be required depending on your business type and industry.

Q: How do I find what kind of licensing I need to run my business?

A: IASourceLink provides an easy to search database of all Iowa licensing requirements. This is provided under the name of the Iowa Business License Information Center. You can contact their team for one on one help, or easily search the database yourself.

Q: Do I need a license to sell my products in another state?

A: This depends entirely on the other state’s requirements and laws to operate your business. 

Q: I’m an out-of-state business, do I need a license to operate within Iowa?

A: If you make taxable sales within the state of Iowa, regardless if you are a domestic or foreign entity, you will need to register with the appropriate state or county authority. This also applies to sales tax, but there are some exceptions. See more information for details.

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NOTICE: The information included on this website is to be used only as a guide. It is not intended to cover all provisions of the law or every taxpayer's specific circumstances.

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