Iowa Cleaning Business Start-up Laws

This article provides three key state business startup requirements for self-employed sole proprietors and general partners who run residential house cleaning businesses. Information from the Secretary of State, the Iowa Department of Revenue and selected city and county government sources were used to research this article.

Be aware that sole proprietor and general partner startup requirements in this state are always changing. Some requirements even vary from county to county.  It is important that you call or visit your local county or city government to find out local requirements for residential house cleaning businesses and home-based businesses. This article is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal or tax advice.

Business Name Registration

Fictitious Names or DBA (“doing business as” names) for sole proprietors and general partnerships are registered through local county recorder’s offices. Sole proprietors and general partners who want a business name that does not include the owner(s) full names (for example, Janice Smith’s Cleaning Service or Martha Harris and Tom Graham’s Maid Service) need to find out whether the name they want to use is available in the county where the business will operate. Start with a statewide business name search of names currently in use by incorporated businesses in Iowa to avoid legal problems and customer confusion.

Then do an online search for names similar to the one you plan to use. For example, if you want to use the name, Crystal Clean Maid Service, do Google searches for “Crystal Clean Maid Service+Iowa” plus Crystal Clean Maid Service+your county” and Crystal Clean Maid Service+your town or city”. Search beyond the first page of results. Go at least five pages deep into the search results to see if the name you want or similar names are being used.

Find an Iowa County Recorder.

In the state of Iowa, registering a Fictitious Name does not guarantee a business sole rights to the use of that name. Other businesses in the county and state may also register the same assumed name. Registered businesses are expected to legally defend their trade names.

Business License Registration

Sole proprietors and general partners do not have to apply for a business license with the state of Iowa. Residential house cleaning businesses must apply for a business license at their city clerk’s or county recorder’s office.

In Iowa, a general partnership is created when two or more owners form an oral or written agreement to start a business together. General partners are not required to file any documents with the Secretary of State. It is advisable for general partners to file a Fictitious Name or DBA in the county where the business is based. A written partnership agreement drawn up by a lawyer is important for both or all partners. Partnership agreements do not have to be filed with the state.

Sole proprietors and general partners may apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS even if they do not plan to hire employees. Getting an EIN may make it easier to open a bank account and reduce your risk of identity theft.   You can apply for an EIN online. In addition, some business registration forms will require a a NAICS business classification number for the house cleaning industry.

Business Tax Registration

Residential Housecleaning services do not have to register for a sales or use tax permit. Residential housecleaning services are not taxable in Iowa. Cleaning services do not have to collect and send sales taxes to the Department of Revenue.

Sole proprietors and general partners pay tax on business income on their individual state tax returns. Sole proprietors and general partners are responsible for paying estimated self-employment income taxes in Iowa (on Form IA-1040-ES) similar to the way self employment taxes are paid to the federal government. Get more information about estimated tax requirements by calling the Iowa Department of Revenue at (515) 281-3114 or (800)-367-3388.

Iowa general partnerships that file a Federal partnership information Form 1065, may need to file a Partnership Return of Income is known as Form IA 1065. Get more information from a CPA or qualified tax preparer to find out if your partnership must file those returns.

Selected Iowa City Licenses

Ames Business License: The city of Ames does not require a business license for cleaning services.

Ankeny Business License: The city of Ankeny does not require a business license for cleaning services.

Cedar Rapids Business License: The city of Cedar Rapids does not require a business license for cleaning services.

Council Bluffs Business License: The city of Council Bluffs does not require a business license for cleaning services.

Davenport Business License: The city of Davenport does not require a business license for cleaning services.

Des Moines Business License: The city of Des Moines does not require a business license for cleaning services.

Dubuque Business License: The city of Dubuque does not require a business license for cleaning services.

Iowa City Business License: The city of Iowa City does not require a business license for cleaning services.

Sioux City Business License: The city of Sioux City does not require a business license for cleaning services.

Waterloo Business License: The city of Waterloo does not require a business license for cleaning services.

West Des Moines Business License: The city of West Des Moines does not require a business license for cleaning services.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *