Do I need a business license to operate a small business in Des Moines, IA?
Most businesses operating in Iowa must obtain a business license, also called an Iowa Self Tax Permit, from the State of Iowa.
Are there any permits or licenses I must get from the City of Des Moines?
If your business is a sole proprietorship, you may have additional requirements. To find out more about these requirements or if you need to register your new business name, you should contact your County Recorder. Go here to find the contact information for officials in your county.
Certain businesses are required to obtain additional permits or licenses from the City of Des Moines before beginning operations. Some examples include businesses that sell alcohol or cigarettes, pawnshops, and street vendors. For more information on these permits and for a full list of permits offered through the City Clerk’s office, go here. For a full list of permits and licenses offered through the City of Des Moines and information on where to go for more details, go here.
How do I obtain a business license from the State of Iowa?
Small businesses might need to register their business with the State of Iowa by filling out the Iowa Self Tax Permit. You can use this form to apply for sales tax, use tax, automobile rental tax, withholding tax, corporations, and/or partnerships. You may fill out this form online or print the form out, complete it by hand, and mail it to Registration Services, Iowa Department of Revenue, P.O. Box 10465, Des Moines, IA 50306-0465. There is no fee associated with this permit unless you plan to sell hazardous materials.
To fill out these forms, you will need to know basic information about you business such as its name, location, the FEIN number (to find out if you need a FEIN number, go here) or a Social Security Number, and the type of ownership. You will also need to know information about the nature of your business, including the number of employees, tax collection details, and the permitting requirements for your business. You will also need to know the name and social security number of each owner. For more information about the tax status of your business, you can go here. If you have any questions about this form, you can call Taxpayer Services at 515-281-3114 or 800-367-3388.
It is important to note that your business may be exempt from taxes or may be eligible for additional taxes. For more information about these options, go to the Starting a Business section of the Iowa Department of Revenue website.
Is there anything else I must do at the state level before opening a small business in Des Moines, IA?
If you will have employees, you have additional requirements. For more information on these additional requirements, go here.
Certain businesses, such as corporations and Limited Liability Partnerships, must register with the Secretary of State. For more information on this requirement, go here.
Your business may also require a Certificate of Authority if it is regulated by anything other than Iowa Law. To find out if you must obtain a Certificate of Authority for your business, go here.
There are many types of businesses that require additional licenses and permits from the State of Iowa before opening to the public. Some common examples include:
- Child and day care services
- Business that involve automobiles
- Retail stores
For more information about the businesses listed above and for a full list of permits and licenses that your business may need, go here. If you have questions about environmental permitting, you can go here for more information.
Where can I go if I have more questions about starting my small business in Des Moines, IA?
If you have questions, there are many places you can go for help:
- Resources for Small Businesses and Starting a New Business sections of the Iowa Department of Revenue’s website.
- You can contact the Iowa Department of Economic Development by calling 1-800-245-4692 or 515-725-3107.
- Iowa Small Business Assistance Gateway
- For more information on permits and licenses required for the City of Des Moines, contact the City Clerk at 515-283-4209. You can also visit the City Clerk at 400 Robert D. Ray Drive, Des Moines, IA 50309.
Disclaimer: This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.