Conducting an Iowa Business Search

Whether you’re starting a business in Iowa, researching potential partners, or simply looking for information on a local company, conducting an Iowa business search is a crucial first step. Luckily, the state provides several resources to make this process easy and efficient.

1. Iowa Secretary of State’s Business Entity Search

The Iowa Secretary of State’s website offers the most comprehensive resource for business searches in the state. This free-to-use tool allows you to search by business name or entity number, providing details such as:

  • Business status (active, inactive, etc.)
  • Registered agent information
  • Business address
  • Filing history

2. Targeted Small Business Directory

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) maintains a Targeted Small Business Directory. This directory allows you to search for businesses by industry type, product or service category, and location.

This is a valuable resource if you’re:

  • Looking for specific types of businesses in your area.
  • Identifying potential vendors or suppliers.
  • Researching competitors in your industry.

3. Local Government Websites

Many Iowa cities and counties maintain their own online business directories. These directories may include information not found in the statewide resources, such as:

  • Local business licenses
  • Contact information for chambers of commerce
  • Permitting information

Searching local government websites can be helpful for finding:

  • Brick-and-mortar stores and restaurants in your area.
  • Small, locally-owned businesses.
  • Businesses that cater to specific needs.

4. Business Review Websites

Websites like Yelp, Google My Business, and Angie’s List allow you to search for businesses by name, location, and industry. These platforms often include customer reviews, ratings, and photos, providing valuable insights into a business’s reputation and services.

5. Professional Licensing Boards

If you’re looking for a specific type of professional, such as a doctor, lawyer, or accountant, you can search the website of the corresponding licensing board in Iowa. These websites typically allow you to verify licensure status and search for professionals by name or location.

6. Social Media Platforms

Many businesses have a presence on social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Searching for businesses by name on these platforms can provide you with information about their products or services, company culture, and current promotions.

Social media can also be a good way to:

  • Get a sense of the brand personality.
  • Read customer reviews and comments.
  • Connect with the business directly.

7. Business News Websites

Local and regional business news websites often publish articles about new businesses, mergers and acquisitions, and industry trends. Following these websites can help you stay up-to-date on the Iowa business landscape.

8. Networking Events

Attending industry events, conferences, and trade shows can be a great way to connect with businesses in person. These events offer opportunities to learn about new companies, network with potential partners, and gain insights into the local market.


By utilizing the various resources available, conducting an Iowa business search is a straightforward process. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting your research, a thorough business search can provide valuable information to help you make informed decisions.


  • Is there a fee to conduct an Iowa business search?

The resources mentioned above are mostly free to use. However, some advanced features on specific platforms may require a paid subscription.

  • What information should I have before conducting a business search?

If you know the exact business name or entity number, your search will be more efficient. However, even with limited information, you can still conduct a successful search using keywords or browsing directories.

  • How can I verify the legitimacy of a business?

The Iowa Secretary of State’s Business Entity Search is a good starting point for verifying a business’s legitimacy. Additionally, you can check with relevant professional licensing boards or consumer protection agencies.

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