Iowa Business Licensing Information for Contractors


Iowa independent contractors

Contractor Registration in Iowa

The state of Iowa does not offer licenses to general contractors, but it does require construction contractors earning less than $2,000 per year to register with the state’s Division of Labor. Registration must be renewed on an annual basis and can be done using the Iowa Workforce Development website.

Applications can be taken online through the Division of Labor.

To apply, you must:

  • Fill out and sign the application form.
  • Include a check or money order for $50.00 as a registration fee.
  • Provide proof of having an unemployment insurance account number.
  • Provide a copy of the Workers’ Compensation certificate, if applicable.

Note: Self-employed contractors may be exempt from paying the $50.00 fee, but restrictions apply.

The completed application, the required documentation and fee must be sent to the following address:

Division of Labor

Contractor Registration

1000 E. Grand Avenue

Des Moines, IA 50319

You may reach them by telephone with any questions: 515-242-5871.

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Iowa Business Licensing Information for Plumbers

Iowa Contractor Registration

In the state of Iowa, plumbers are required to register with the Division of Labor and must also receive licensure from their local jurisdictions. The application for plumbing licensure is the same as the application provided above for construction contractors in the state of Iowa. As such, the same rules and registration fee of $50.00 applies.

Additional Business Licensing Information for all Iowa Businesses

Iowa Business Licensing Information

In the state of Iowa, there are no general business licenses issued and instead the state regulates the activities performed by your business. For more information on licensing requirements, business permits, registration of a sole proprietorship and more can be obtained using the Iowa Business License Information Center.

Licensing and assistance resources are provided for small businesses using the linked document. Included is information on tax requirements, registrations required by employers, unemployment insurance and more.

All businesses operating in the state of Iowa must register with the Secretary of State.

Professional and Occupational Licenses in Iowa

For information on how to obtain any number of licenses or permits in the state of Iowa, the Iowa Professional Licensing Bureau provides a wealth of information.

Iowa Business Tax Information

Business Tax Registration

The Iowa Department of Revenue allows employers to use their online portal in order to register for: sales tax, automobile rental tax, hotel/motel tax, household hazardous materials, consumer’s use tax, out-of-state retailer’s use tax, withholding tax, corporation income tax, and partnership income tax.

The portal also allows the following types of businesses to be registered: sole proprietorship, government, association, corporation, partnership, LLC, or LLP.

In order to move forward, you must provide the company’s Federal Employer’s Identification Number along with the names of the business owners and their Social Security Numbers.

General Tax Information and Forms

Companies operating in the state of Iowa are required to obtain the necessary forms for their business taxes, where applicable. The Department of Revenue provides a resource for businesses online in order to allow business owners to determine their responsibility with regard to taxes, withholdings and other tax related items.

Iowa Insurance Requirements for Businesses

Unemployment Tax Requirements for Iowa

Businesses operating in the state of Iowa with more than one worker are required to pay unemployment insurance taxes. The payments remitted for these taxes fund the state’s unemployment insurance system. To determine your financial responsibility with regard to unemployment insurance taxes in Iowa, research the information provided by the Iowa Workforce Development website.

Workers’ Compensation Requirements

Companies conducting business in Iowa with more than one worker are required to carry or self-insure for Workers’ Compensation.

To determine your responsibility, search through records, verify coverage or find information on settlements, the Workers’ Comp section of Iowa’s state website can be used.

New Hire Reporting Requirements for Businesses in Iowa

Reporting New Hires in Iowa

For businesses, newly hired or re-hired employees must be reported to the state’s New Hire directory. In Iowa, employers must report all new hires using the website for the Department of Human Services: Child Support. Newly hired workers must be reported to the regulating department within a time frame of 20 days from the date of hire.

Licensed Contractors in Iowa

In Iowa, you may use this website to search for contractors who are registered in this state. The state does not require licensure or testing for contractors. As such, there is no guarantee that the work provided will be of good quality. In Iowa, registration provides proof that the contractor is compliant with the requirements for unemployment and workers’ compensation insurance.