State Matrix



The following guidelines provide background information on the most common types of filings and the related exemptions in Iowa.

Fundraising in this State

how to know (and what to do) if you're fundraising in this state

In this state, charitable solicitation registration for religious organizations is not required, as of the date of this publication (March 08, 2021). Be sure to review other state registration and tax requirements, and stay apprised of updates by visiting the applicable state agency’s website (see “Helpful Links” below).

if you're Fundraising in Multiple states, make sure you Understand the URS.

evaluate whether you'll need a Registered agent

Some states require organizations to appoint a “registered agent” in the state as part of the organization’s charitable registration. This state does not currently have this requirement as there is no charitable registration requirement, but foreign (i.e., non-Iowa) entities doing business in Iowa must generally appoint a registered agent in accordance with the above-referenced business registration statutes.

follow the rules about communicating with the public

This state does not require organizations to post specific language when conducting charitable solicitations. However, if donors request financial information about a soliciting organization, the organization should provide the financial information within five days of the request.

Charitable REgistration statute

Charitable registration exemption statute

Not applicable.

After you've registered–the Annual report requirement

Not applicable.

Conducting Activities or Programs in this State


Depending on the type and volume of activities an organization has in this state, the corporation or organization may need to register as an out-of-state business (sometimes called a “foreign corporation”) with the secretary of state or another state agency. (See Iowa Code § 504.141(18)). An attorney can assist the organization in determining whether its connections with this state are significant enough to trigger the foreign corporation registration requirement. Examples of activities which might trigger this requirement include having employees physically located in the state, conducting programs in the state, and having an office in the state.

Business registration statute

(Registration Statute for Foreign Corporations Conducting Business in Iowa) Iowa Code § 504.141(18); Iowa Code § 504.1501

Get Acquainted with State and Local Tax Exemptions

State and local taxes

In this state, organizations which have received recognition of federal income tax exemption under IRC Sec. 501(c)(3) are automatically exempt from state income tax. Some organizations may choose to send a copy of their IRS determination letter to the state department of revenue to indicate the organization’s position that it qualifies for the exemption. Note that, although an organization may be exempt, if it has unrelated business taxable income (“UBTI”) that is subject to federal taxation, that UBTI may be subject to state income tax. (See Iowa Code § 422.34).

It is also important to consider whether applying for sales and use tax and property tax exemption would be appropriate for your organization. Iowa does not have a blanket sales and use tax exemption for nonprofits or exempt organizations, but some specific exemptions are available. The Iowa Department of Revenue website provides a guide to exemptions which may be helpful. Information regarding Iowa’s Religious, Educational, and Charitable property tax exemption is also available through the Iowa Department of Revenue. An accountant or attorney can provide specific answers to questions about your organization’s eligibility for exemption.  

Corporate Income Tax Statute


This state does not have a corporate franchise tax.

what you need to know about sales tax

What This State Says about Nonprofits



state nonprofit corporation law

Corporate governance

For Religious Nonprofits

Understanding Religious Liberty in this State

Case Study

Religious Liberty Protections

Other Relevant State Laws and regulations

KEy employment Laws and regulations


useful links

Reviewed by

Elisabeth A. Archer

Legal disclaimer

This resource contains general educational information related to legal concepts, but this information does not constitute legal advice. Anyone seeking legal advice is strongly encouraged to consult with a licensed attorney regarding any of the matters discussed herein. Although licensed attorneys work with Napa Legal, Napa Legal is not a law firm and does not undertake legal representation on behalf of any clients. Further, no licensed attorney working with or on behalf of Napa Legal agrees to undertake legal representation on behalf of any client unless the terms of such representation are set forth in a separate, written representation agreement.