The state of Iowa makes it relatively simple to look up business information through the website of the Secretary of State. Below we’ll walk through the steps for doing this, and show you some additional resources you might not know about.
There are any number of reasons you might need this information. It’s absolutely critical when performing due diligence and for Know Your Client (KYC) purposes. If you’re only performing these kinds of searches occasionally, Iowa’s search portal allows you to find the information you’re looking for fairly quickly and easily. If you’re searching records like these in high numbers, there are some tools you’ll want to know about, but we’ll come back to that in just a moment.
You can find the Business Entities Search page here. The landing page looks like this:
There are no search filters here, you can only choose to look up a business by its name, or its Business Number.
When you perform the search, you’ll be directed to the results page, which looks like this:
The results are delivered 25 at a time, and are sorted by company name in alphabetical order by default. You can reverse the default order, or sort by another field by clicking on the heading. The ‘Print’ button at the top doesn’t print all results, only the list that is visible on the screen at that time.
On the results page, you’ll see each company’s Business Number, its name and the type of the name (legal, reserved, registered, fictitious, or former) and the status of the company (active or inactive).
Clicking on the Business Number for any of the records will bring you to the Business Entity Summary page for that business. By default, the first view is the Summary, which looks like this:
Here you can view more information about the business, including important dates for the business, name and address information for the Registered Agent, and the home office address.
You can view more information by clicking the tabs at the top of the business record. The ‘Address’ and ‘Agent’ tab display the same information as you see on the Summary.
The ‘Filings’ tab displays a list of documents, like so:
Clicking on any of the Certificate Numbers that appears as a link will open a scanned copy of the document, which you can save or print.
Clicking on the ‘Filings’ tab displays a list of filed documents, which you can click to preview, and download.
The ‘Names’ tab displays the same list of former and current names that you see on the Summary tab. The ‘Officers’ tab will display that information:
Likewise for the ‘Stock’ tab:
Need More Information, More Quickly?
Iowa offers a reasonable amount of business information at no cost, and although its functionality is somewhat basic, their search interface makes the process relatively smooth and simple for each search. If you need to search for hundreds – or even thousands – of these records each month, though, this would quickly consume a lot of time. Furthermore, Secretary of State data is different from one state to another, so combining and integrating data from multiple states is complex.
Cobalt Intelligence gives you the ability to quickly access Secretary of State business data from Iowa and all other states via API. If you’re looking for a solution that your engineering team can implement, try it here and let us show you how we can help. If you’re technically minded, watch this short video to see the more advanced features in action.