Forming a partnership, or extending a foreign partnership into Iowa is simple, in one sense, and overly complicated in another. All filings are done by completing the self-same PDF form, however, at least in the case of domestic LPs, there is no official form provided so you will be required to draft your own. Once the form has been completed, homemade or otherwise, it can be filed online or through the mail. Instructions on filing are located at the bottom of the page. Select the following partnership type which corresponds with your needs to jump to its specific tutorial (fees listed):

Make sure to cross-reference the business database to ensure that your desired operating name is indeed available before attempting a filing. Additionally, feel free to file a name reservation to reserve your name for a period of 120 days ($10) to give you time to get your filings in order.

How to File a Domestic LP

Step 1- As mentioned above, drafting a domestic LP will be more difficult than other types of partnership filings due to the lack of a pre-existing official PDF form. The only help you will receive from the Secretary of State will be in the form of the form-drafting guideline (488.201). Download the guidelines before proceeding.

Step 2- Continue with the drafting of your form by supplying the following information:

  • Name of LP
  • Principle business address
  • Registered agent name and address
  • Name and address of each general partner
  • LLLP status

ia-lp-form-1Step 3- Now that you have completed your form, proceed by submitting it to the state offices either online or through the mail. Instructions on both procedures can be found here.

How to File a Foreign LP

Step 1- Unlike a domestic LP, foreign LPs have the benefit of the Secretary of State having drafted for them a ready-made PDF form, the Application for Certificate of Authority. Download this document before proceeding.

Step 2- With the application downloaded, continue by providing the following information:

  • Name of LP
  • LP operating name in Iowa (if different)
  • LLLP status
  • Initial jurisdiction
  • Date of organization
  • Duration of LP
  • Principle office address
  • Jurisdictional office (if applicable)
  • Registered agent address and name
  • Name and address of each general partner
  • Certificate of existence/good standing from initial jurisdiction (attach to application)
  • Signature, name and title

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Step 3- With the PDF application completed, you will need to submit it as well as the filing fee to the office of the Secretary of State. Click here for instructions on this procedure.

How to File a Domestic LLP

Step 1- Like foreign LPs, Iowa provides templates for the purposes of initial filings for domestic LLPs. Download the Statement of Qualification PDF before moving forward.

Step 2- The information required on this form is as follows:

  • Name of partnership
  • Name of LLP
  • Chief executive office address
  • Address of in-state office (if any)
  • Registered agent name and address
  • LLP status
  • Deferred effective date (if any)
  • Signature, name and capacity of signatories

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Step 3- Lastly, you will need to supply your application and the filing fee to the office of the Secretary of State. Click here for instructions on this procedure.

How to File a Foreign LLP

Step 1- Foreign LLP filers are in luck as the state of Iowa has, unlike for LP filers, provided a ready-made document, the Statement of Foreign Qualification. Have the application downloaded before proceeding.

Step 2- To continue, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Name of foreign LLP
  • Chief executive office address
  • Address of in-state office (if any)
  • Registered agent name and address (if necessary)
  • Deferred effective date (if any)
  • Signature, name and capacity of signatories

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Step 3- To complete the filing process, you will need to supply your application and the filing fee to the Secretary of State. Click here to learn more about this procedure.

How to File (Online | Mail)

Step 1- Regardless of your chosen filing method you will first need to ensure that you have your partnership-specific form ready to file. For a more detailed explanation of the form drafting process for different partnership types please select whichever link of the following corresponds to your desired partnership type:

Step 2- Individuals filings through the mail should skip to Step 4. Online filers will need to now navigate to the online form filing portal and indicate the filing being made, the preferred method of payment, and then submit the following data to start the filing process:

  • Filing party
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Email address

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Individuals paying by credit card will have to enter the following data:

  • Company
  • Full name
  • Address
  • Card type
  • Expiration date
  • Card number

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Individuals paying via a pre-existing account with the Secretary of State must input their account number, PIN, and invoice reference to complete the payment.

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Step 3- You must now upload the aforementioned form and, after indicating that you are not a robot, select SEND to complete the filing.

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Step 4- To file by mail you must print your PDF form and attach a check for the appropriate amount ($100 for Domestic LP, Foreign LP, Foreign LLP; $50 for Domestic LLP) to the form. Foreign applicants will need to also include a certificate of good standing from the initial jurisdiction of formation. Send all articles to the address below for processing.

Secretary of State

Business Services Division Lucas Building, 1st Floor

Des Moines, Iowa 50319

Tips

EIN– New, domestic partnerships must obtain an EIN, or Employer Identification Number, in order to function financially in full legal standing. The IRS issues these numbers in order to tax businesses, and thus once you’ve obtained an EIN for your partnership you will be able to apply for loans, pay employees, and the like. Acquire your EIN Online through the IRS website or through the mail by completing the PDF Form SS-4 and delivering it to the IRS. For more information on EINs and how to acquire one for your new partnership please follow the link to the left.

Partnership Agreement– New partnerships, thought not legally required to do so, should seriously consider drafting a partnership agreement at the point of initial filing. Partnership agreements are internal documents (never filed with the government) which lay out the rules and regulations which will govern the partnership, and thus are invaluable for the proper organization of your entity. For more information on partnership agreements, and to gain access to our free agreement templates, available in both MS Word and PDF formatting, follow the link to the left.

Renewal– To remain in good standing with the office of the Secretary of State your partnership must, once every two years, file a biennial report with the office. This can be accomplished online ($30) through the link to the left in a matter of minutes or by paper ($45) by following the guidelines laid out in the 488.210 (biennial renewal form) for drafting a biennial renewal. Paper filers must submit their document, once complete, with a check made out to the Secretary of State to the following address:

Secretary of State

Business Services Division Lucas Building, 1st Floor

Des Moines, Iowa 50319

How to (Video)