Starting a Professional Corporation in Iowa 2023: Ultimate Guide

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How to Start a Professional Corporation in Iowa

Licensed professional? Level up your business with Iowa professional corporation! Enjoy unique benefits like Iowa LLC, such as limited liability, tax perks, and a polished image. Our step-by-step guide unravels the essentials for smooth compliance and the right fit. LLCBase has your back with expert guidance, so make an informed decision and triumph in Iowa with your professional corporation today!

This guide will review the requirements for starting a professional corporation in Iowa, explore the advantages and disadvantages of this business structure, and help you determine if it is the right fit for your business goals.

What is a Professional Corporation

A Professional Corporation (P.C.) is a unique type of corporation designed for licensed professionals, such as doctors, dentists, lawyers, architects, and accountants. Forming a P.C. allows licensed professionals to offer their services through a corporate structure, providing them with the benefits of a traditional corporation, such as limited liability protection and tax advantages. Forming a professional corporation in Iowa is a popular choice due to the thriving professional landscape and business-friendly environment. When starting a professional corporation, choose a reliable formation service in Iowa.

The primary purpose of Iowa Professional Corporation is to protect its owners from personal liability for the corporation’s actions. The shareholders’ personal assets are protected if the professional corporation faces legal issues. Moreover, Iowa professional corporations can offer certain tax benefits, such as deducting employee benefits and operating expenses. These advantages make forming a professional corporation an attractive option for many professionals in Iowa.

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Who Can File Under Professional Corporation Laws

Under Iowa Professional Corporation laws, only certain licensed professionals are eligible to form a professional corporation. The specific professions allowed to form a P.C. may vary slightly by state, but in Iowa, the following professionals can typically form a professional corporation:

  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • Dentists
  • Chiropractors
  • Optometrists
  • Podiatrists
  • Certified Public Accountants
  • Architects
  • Engineers and Land Surveyors
  • Psychologists
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Clinical Social Workers
  • Professional Clinical Counselors
  • Veterinarians
  • Attorneys
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Pharmacists
  • Registered Nurses
  • Physical Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Acupuncturists

Each profession has its governing licensing board, which sets specific rules and regulations for forming and operating a professional corporation. It is essential to check with the relevant board and state laws to ensure that your profession is eligible to form a professional corporation and to understand the specific requirements associated with your profession.

Launching a professional corporation in Iowa? Get in touch with the best LLC formation services in Iowa for expert guidance and support tailored to your unique venture. Let their skilled assistance pave the way for seamlessly setting up your professional corporation, so you can focus on growing your business!

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Structure of a Professional Corporation

  • Shareholders: Iowa Professional Corporation’s shareholders must be licensed professionals in the same field as the corporation’s purpose. For example, if a professional corporation is formed to offer legal services, all shareholders must be licensed attorneys. This requirement ensures that the professional corporation’s management comprises qualified individuals with relevant expertise.
  • Directors: The directors of a professional corporation in Iowa are responsible for overseeing the corporation’s operations and making high-level decisions. The directors must also be licensed professionals in the same field as the corporation’s purpose. The number of directors required depends on the specific licensing board’s regulations, but typically a minimum of one director is needed.
  • Officers: The officers of Iowa Professional Corporation manage the professional corporation. Officers typically include a President, Secretary, and Treasurer. However, additional officers can be appointed as needed. While not all officers must be licensed professionals, the President must hold a valid license in the same field as the corporation’s purpose.

Starting a Professional Corporation in Iowa: A Guide

Here is a detailed guide to starting a professional corporation in Iowa that you should follow.

Step 1: Appointment of Registered Agent

The first step in forming a Professional Corporation is appointing Registered Agent in Iowa. This individual or company will act on behalf of the corporation, receiving official notices and legal documents. The agent must have a physical address in Iowa and be available during regular business hours.

We compiled the list of the best registered agent services in Iowa to help you choose the one you can rely on.

Step 2: Choosing the Name of the Corporation

Selecting a name for your Iowa Professional Corporation is crucial. The name must be unique and appropriate, including the words “professional corporation” or the abbreviation “P.C.” It must also comply with the rules and regulations of the governing licensing board and should not be confusingly similar to an existing corporation’s name.

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Step 3: Drafting of By-laws

By-laws are the internal rules and regulations governing the management and operations of the professional corporation. These should include provisions related to the appointment of directors, issuance of shares, and any restrictions imposed by the licensing board.

Step 4: Appointment of Board of Directors

The board of directors oversees the management and operations of the Iowa Professional Corporation. Directors must be licensed professionals in the same field as the corporation’s purpose.

Step 5: Conduction of Board Meetings

Regular board meetings are essential for maintaining the proper functioning and compliance of the professional corporation. The by-laws should specify the frequency, notice requirements, and procedures for conducting these meetings.

Step 6: Issuance of Corporate Shares

Shares represent ownership in the corporation. The professional corporation must issue shares to its shareholders, who must be licensed professionals in the same field. Share issuance should comply with the by-laws and any restrictions imposed by the licensing board.

Step 7: Comply with State Requirements

Forming Iowa Professional Corporation requires compliance with specific state requirements, such as obtaining necessary permits and licenses, paying fees, and adhering to rules and regulations the governing licensing board sets forth.

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Step 8: Filing of Statement of Information

Iowa professional corporations must file an annual report with the Iowa Secretary of State. This document includes essential information about the corporation, including its name, address, Registered Agent, and directors.

Step 9: Getting Tax Permits from the State

The professional corporation must obtain the necessary tax permits from the Iowa Department of Revenue, such as an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Step 10: Opening of a Bank Account

Finally, open a separate bank account for the Iowa Professional Corporation to maintain proper accounting and financial records.

Fees Associated with Professional Corporation in Iowa

Here are some of the most common fees when starting a professional corporation in Iowa.

  • State Laws and Regulations: To form a professional corporation in Iowa, it is crucial to comply with the state laws and regulations governing professional corporations. The Iowa Code Title XIII and the specific licensing board’s regulations for each profession outline the requirements and restrictions for professional corporation formation. Before starting the process, professionals should consult with their licensing board to ensure they meet the necessary qualifications.
  • Incorporation Process: Once the licensing requirements are met, the next step to form a professional corporation in Iowa is to draft and file the Articles of Incorporation with the Iowa Secretary of State. This document includes essential information about the corporation, such as its name, address, purpose, and number of authorized shares. Filing the Articles of Incorporation requires a filing fee currently $50 for most professions. However, it is essential to check with the Iowa Secretary of State for the specific fee associated with your profession.
  • Naming Requirements: You must follow specific rules when choosing a name for a Professional Corporation in Iowa. The name must include the words “Professional Corporation,” “P.C.,” or “Prof. Corp.” Additionally, the name cannot be misleading or too similar to an existing corporation’s name. Conducting a name search with the Iowa Secretary of State is recommended to ensure the chosen name is available. This search is free, but reserving a name before filing the Articles of Incorporation requires a reservation fee of $10 online and $10 mail.
  • Articles of Incorporation: The Articles of Incorporation is a critical document for forming a professional corporation in Iowa. It outlines the corporation’s essential information, such as the name, address, purpose, and number of authorized shares. The Articles must also include a statement that the corporation is a professional corporation and the specific profession it practices. Once completed, the Articles of Incorporation must be filed with the Iowa Secretary of State, accompanied by the appropriate filing fee.
  • Additional Fees and Costs: In addition to the filing fees mentioned above, forming Professional Corporation in Iowa may involve other costs, such as:
    • Annual Report: professional corporations must file an initial Statement of Information with the Iowa Secretary of State every March 31st of filing the Articles of Incorporation. The filing fee for this form is $30.
    • Licensing and Permit Fees: Depending on the specific profession, the governing licensing board may require additional licensing and permit fees.
    • Registered Agent Fee: Hiring of Registered Agent service will likely involve an annual fee of $50 – $150, which can vary depending on the service provider.
    • Legal and Accounting Fees: Forming a professional corporation may involve consulting with attorneys and accountants, which can result in additional professional fees.

Advantages of a Professional Corporation

  • Limited Liability Protection: One of the main benefits of a professional corporation is its limited liability protection to its shareholders. This means the shareholders’ assets are protected from the corporation’s debts and liabilities.
  • Tax Benefits: Professional Corporations enjoy specific tax benefits, such as deductions for business expenses and the ability to retain earnings within the corporation.
  • Business Credibility: Operating as a professional corporation can enhance the credibility and reputation of the professional services, demonstrating a commitment to compliance and professionalism.
  • Continuity of Operations: A professional corporation has a perpetual existence, ensuring the continuity of operations even if the shareholders or directors change.

Disadvantages of a Professional Corporation

  • Complexity and Cost of Formation: Forming a professional corporation can be more complex and costly than other business structures, such as sole proprietorships or partnerships.
  • Ongoing Compliance Requirements: professional corporations must adhere to ongoing compliance requirements, including regular board meetings, filing annual reports, and maintaining proper records.
  • Limited Flexibility in Management: professional corporations may need more flexibility in management, as the board of directors must consist of licensed professionals in the same field.

Taxation of Professional Corporations

Here are the taxes that your professional corporation must pay in Iowa:

Federal income tax

A professional corporation in Iowa is subject to federal income tax on its net earnings. However, a P.C. can elect to be taxed as an S corporation, which allows the corporation’s income, deductions, and credits to pass through to the shareholders. This can result in significant tax savings by avoiding double taxation.

State taxes

Iowa Professional Corporation is also subject to state taxes, such as the Iowa franchise tax, which is based on the corporation’s annual net income. Additionally, depending on the nature of its operations, the professional corporation may be subject to other state and local taxes, such as payroll and sales taxes permit in Iowa.

Tax deductions and exemptions

A professional corporation in Iowa can take advantage of various tax deductions and exemptions, such as deductions for employee benefits, operating expenses, and depreciation. These deductions can help reduce the corporation’s taxable income, ultimately leading to tax savings for the P.C. and its shareholders.

Alternatives to Professional Corporations in Iowa

If you decide that a professional corporation is not for you, then you might consider the following alternatives.

  • Sole Proprietorships: A simpler business structure is where an individual operates the business under their name without limited liability protection.
  • Partnerships: Two or more individuals join to operate a business, sharing profits, losses, and responsibilities.
  • Limited Liability Companies (LLCs): A hybrid business structure that combines the limited liability protection of a corporation with the tax benefits and flexibility of a partnership.
  • S-corporations: Starting an S Corp in Iowa avoids double taxation by allowing income, losses, and deductions to pass through to the shareholders’ personal tax returns.


What is a professional corporation?
A professional corporation is a type of corporation organized to fulfill certain requirements for professional services in Iowa.
What are some professions that can form a professional corporation in Iowa?
Professions such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers, architects or any group that requires a professional license are eligible to form a professional corporation in Iowa.
Why should I form a professional corporation?
A professional corporation provides you with limited liability protection, which separates the business’s assets from your personal assets in Iowa.
Can non-professionals own a share in my professional corporation in Iowa?
No, Iowa law states that only licensed professionals can be shareholders in a professional corporation.
What is the minimum number of people required to form a professional corporation in Iowa?
You need at least one licensed professional registered in Iowa to form a professional corporation.
How do I decide what type of professional corporation to form in Iowa?
You can choose between an S-corporation or a C-corporation, both of which have varying tax implications and benefits, according to Iowa law.
Is there a fee to form a professional corporation in Iowa?
Yes, there is a fee required by the Iowa Secretary of State to file the certificate of incorporation for your professional corporation.
Can I form a professional corporation with just a PO box in Iowa?
No, your professional corporation must have a physical address in Iowa, according to state law.
Can I form a professional corporation online in Iowa?
Yes, you complete the state business filing using the mandatory filing online tool provided by the Iowa Secretary of State to streamline the process.
Does each shareholder need to have a professional license in Iowa?
Yes, every shareholder of a professional corporation must be licensed to provide professional services in Iowa.
How long does it take for my professional corporation to be formed in Iowa?
It can take varying length of time such as hours, days or weeks for depending upon your filing speed and content completeness to complete the process.
Are there specific regulations that professional corporations need to follow in Iowa?
Yes, Iowa law sets forth specific rules including close state regulations on clients your corporation serves as well as advertising and marketing strategies that you are permitted to use.
Do I need to bookkeep for my professional corporation separately from my personal accounts in Iowa?
Yes, you must have a separate corporate record and bookkeeping, and observe Iowa regulatory and tax requirements.
How do I register my corporation’s name in Iowa?
You must complete and file a name registration application with the Iowa Secretary of State, and reserves the name of the professional corporation for future use.
Can I use an abbreviation for my professional corporation’s name in Iowa?
Yes, abbreviations as long as it’s unique in its own space can be used for your business’s name.
Are there special tax requirements for professional corporations in Iowa?
Yes, Iowa’s professional corporation state laws matter require different technical tax rules regarding split income, transfer of shares and qualified signing authorities; your tax advisor can assist you accordingly.
Do professional corporations need to hold yearly meetings or file annual reports in Iowa?
Yes, professional corporations in Iowa must hold annual shareholder meetings and file annual corporation reports each year updated.
Why are detailed minutes and agendas required in meetings?
Detailed meeting agendas and minutes is required by Iowa law to defer private governance related discussions to be recorded business.
Can a professional corporation in Iowa hire non-licensed support staff employees?
Yes, only the corporation licenced professionals are restricted to operate.
In Iowa, do professional corporations need a formal board of directors?
Not necessarily, unless until according to state law the company formations meet the 501c filing criteria and the board structure becomes obligatory.
Can professional corporations in Iowa generate any exceptions in necessity to qualify with interstate counterparts?
No, interstate licensed experts must conform to Iowa’s corporate often arrangements even if they’re from a different state since Iowa has unique corporate standards.
Do all professional corporations need to obtain a business insurance policy in Iowa?
No, it is not mandated by law to buy an insurance policy to achieve professional-stature; however, it’s highly recommended for professional corporates to be future-oriented to prioritize purchasing malpractice and/or liability insurance policy to avoid catastrophic damages.
Once filed, how do I track the status of my professional corporation’s formation in Iowa?
If you filed the business incorporation yourself, you can view status codes in the lowa Secretary of State website which acknowledges & monitors compliance level with other legal and technical matters.
What are some initial requirements to form a professional corporation in Iowa?
You first need to establish a name for the organization, compile and file a certificate of incorporation, gather necessary signatures, combine them altogether and pay filing fees to the Iowa Secretary of State.
Are there additional licensing permits needed to run a professional corporation in Iowa?
The written permission of superintend the structures involved in professional enterprises corresponding to In-state either federal regulations covering up things like pollution reporting, safety compliance to Occupational Health and Safety laws, Health and fire Department’s rightful sanctions, treating hazardous material and waste, as well as applicable environmental evaluation approvals for some geographical adverse titles of the company.
What if my intended Iowa professional corporation name already in use?
Iowa Secretary of state’s department allows each business another name – lookalike list for company names in false identities may cause expensive legal disputes.
Are professional corporation shareholders free from legal accountability to clients under Iowa law?
No, your the professional officers meet guidelines for preserving officers liable duties to the companies, anti-corruption regulation standards and personal accountability to Iowa, as their professional status permeates Iowa law regardless.
What is a Professional Corporation in Iowa?
A Professional Corporation in Iowa is a company where licensed professionals such as lawyers, doctors, and accountants provide services to clients and can limit their personal liability associated with the business.
How do I know if forming a Professional Corporation is the right choice for my business in Iowa?
In Iowa, professional businesses interested in limiting personal liability may want to consider forming a Professional Corporation.
What professions are eligible for forming a Professional Corporation in Iowa?
In Iowa, licensed or registered professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, architects and engineers, who offer their services and expertise to their client base may form a Professional Corporation.
What is the process of creating a Professional Corporation in Iowa?
The process involves filing Articles of Incorporation with the Iowa Secretary of State and receiving a Certificate of Formation.
What are the requirements for Iowa Articles of Incorporation in Iowa?
Articles of Incorporation for a Professional Corporation in Iowa must include the name of the professional corporation, the address of its principal place of business, and the name and address of the registered agent.
What is a registered agent in Iowa?
The registered agent is an individual or company who is authorized to receive legal documents such as lawsuits or summons on behalf of the corporation in Iowa, and may consider hiring a professional registered agent service in Iowa.
Can a Professional Corporation in Iowa have more than one registered agent?
No, a Professional Corporation in Iowa can appoint only one registered agent.
How much does it cost to incorporate a Professional Corporation in Iowa?
The State of Iowa charges $50 for the filing fee to incorporate a Professional Corporation in Iowa.
What kind of security can a Professional Corporation in Iowa give to their clients?
Professional liability insurance provides an important layer of security for a Professional Corporation in Iowa.
Do I have to serve as the registered agent for my Professional Corporation in Iowa?
No, it’s not necessary. However, as the owner of your Iowa-based corporation, you can take on the role of registered agent, or hire a professional registered agent in Iowa.
Are there any restrictions on naming a Professional Corporation in Iowa?
The name of a Professional Corporation in Iowa should not be misleading and must indicate that it is a company providing professional services, such as appending “PC”, “professional corporation”, or “PA” after its name.
What is a professional association in Iowa?
“Professional association” (PA) in Iowa is a different legal entity used for professionals licensed by a board or licensing authority.
What is the liability of owners and shareholders of a Professional Corporation in Iowa?
In Iowa, owners and shareholders are generally not personally liable for the debts and obligations of the corporation, but some restrictions and requirements apply.
Are there any tax advantages for forming a Professional Corporation in Iowa?
Typically, professional corporations do not receive tax advantages. However, it may be advisable to discuss specific tax implications with a certified public accountant that specializes in tax and accounting laws for businesses in Iowa.
Are Professional Corporations able to solicit capital in Iowa?
Professional corporations usually cannot solicit capital because they do not have shareholders. However, if financial assistance is needed for a particular project, loans could be obtained from banks.
How long does it take to receive a Certificate of Formation from the State of Iowa after filing Articles of Incorporation?
In Iowa, it generally takes four to six weeks to create a Certificate of Formation after filing Articles of Incorporation.
Are there any regulations Professional Corporations in Iowa should be aware of?
Professional Corporations in Iowa must follow state regulations for maintaining professional ethics, prevent conflicts of interest, and maintain relationships that prioritize patients and clients over personal interests.
Should a Professional Corporation in Iowa prepare operating agreements?
Yes, when a company incorporates, it should prepare operating agreements to reflect the organization’s goals and bylaws.
Is first-mover advantage important to consider in establishing a Professional Corporation in Iowa?
Consideration should certainly be given to first-mover advantage in Iowa if there are multiple companies offering similar services within a region.
How can a survey help determine whether an entrepreneurs idea for a Professional Corporation in Iowa is profitable?
Conducting a survey can assist entrepreneurs in evaluating the services they want to offer while creating strategic business plans suitable for the Iowa market.
Should entrepreneurs research investor money before launching a Professional Corporation?
Yes, entrepreneurs should research and obtain an understanding of investor money arrangements before creating a Professional Corporation in Iowa.
How can entrepreneurs protect their intellectual property in Iowa?
Entrepreneurs should utilize copyrights or patents available for a given product or idea and take all available legal measures in Iowa to protect intellectual property.
Should entrepreneurs investigate state grants available for businesses in Iowa?
Yes, take time to research and better understand rebate opportunities, tax programs, and even grants available specifically business in Iowa.
Should solo lawyers clearly define invoicing, administrative work, and delivering minutes in their operating agreement?
Yes, the operating agreement should precisely designate charges rendered for professional services.
What are some measures the owners of the Professional Corporation can take to ensure their Iowa based corporation is successful?
To help a Professional Corporation succeed in Iowa, founders should focus their attention on building a professional image, maintain liability insulation from liabilities, follow government regulations and assess customer needs.
What is the role of a professional registered agent in Iowa?
A registered agent provides legal notifications to a Professional Corporation in Iowa in regard to lawsuits and summons.
How do the owners of a Professional Corporation in Iowa determine if the corporation is operating in a lawful and ethical manner?
As long as corporate owners keep legal provisions communicated from regulatory commissions and adhere to public safety protocols defined by Iowa state regulations, services should remain ethical.
What should a Professional Corporation do if they have legal disputes or challenges with clients?
If a conflict arises with a client, they should first negotiate on remedies, addressing their issue without litigation practices.
Can corporate owners provide independent contractors incorporation under their business umbrella in Iowa?
Corporations cannot regularly provide individuals incorporation under their umbrella unless they provide different types of articles of incorporation which may not be fulfillable by Professional Corporations.

Also Read

How to Save Money While Forming Iowa Professional Corporation

First and foremost, aspiring business owners should consider utilizing their own expertise and resources to the fullest extent possible. Many elements of forming a professional corporation can be labor-intensive, such as creating a business plan, designing a website, or drafting legal documents. While seeking professional help may be necessary at times, taking the initiative and capitalizing on personal skills can save significant funds. Additionally, utilizing free or low-cost online tools and platforms for website development, accounting, and document creation can be highly beneficial, ensuring that expenses stay manageable.

Another crucial aspect to focus on while forming an Iowa professional corporation is planned spending. Begin by creating a detailed budget, outlining the necessary expenses for various legal requirements, licensing fees, registration costs, marketing initiatives, and other essentials specific to the business. By being meticulous with budget allocation, entrepreneurs can prioritize spending, identify areas where economies can be made, and prevent unnecessary extravagance during this crucial developmental stage.

In today’s technological era, understanding the significance of harnessing digital solutions to save money is paramount. Utilizing social media marketing platforms, for instance, is a cost-effective method of establishing an online presence and promoting the corporation’s services without substantial expenses. Furthermore, opting for cloud-based software and data storage solutions can significantly reduce IT expenditures while ensuring data integrity and accessibility. Taking advantage of software-as-a-service models not only saves money but also provides flexibility and scalability for future business growth.

Moreover, leveraging networking opportunities and building strong relationships within the professional community can prove advantageous, particularly in terms of sharing resources and reducing costs. Collaborating with other entrepreneurs, sharing office space to split rent, or pooling resources for joint advertising campaigns enhances cost-efficiency. Likewise, attending industry events, engaging in local professional organizations, and participating in online forums allows entrepreneurs to access valuable advice, support, and potential opportunities, often at little to no cost.

Finally, continuous-educated entrepreneurship should never be undermined as an excellent cost-savings strategy. By staying informed and updated on the latest trends, business practices, and legislative changes, entrepreneurs can navigate through potential traps and pitfalls, ultimately avoiding unnecessary expenses. Furthermore, self-educating through online courses, attending webinars, and reading industry blogs can help bridge gaps between the areas of expertise, reducing the reliance on external expensive services.

Forming an Iowa professional corporation should not plunge aspiring business owners into an endless cycle of never-ending expenses. By strategically managing financial resources, leaning on personal skills and experiences, harnessing technology, embracing modern networking techniques, and staying informed through continuous self-education, entrepreneurs can substantially reduce their costs while forging a successful path for their business. With careful planning and adherence to cost-effective strategies, establishing an Iowa professional corporation can be a remarkable venture grounded in financial stability and growth.


Iowa Professional Corporation can offer several benefits for licensed professionals. However, it is essential to carefully consider the proper structure and compliance requirements before proceeding. Seeking professional guidance in forming a professional corporation can help ensure a smooth process and enable professionals to focus on providing their services. Visit LLCBase for more information about starting a professional corporation in Iowa.

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