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Iowa LLC Operating Agreement Template
Written by: Coralee Bechteler
Coralee is a business writer with experience in administrative services, education, and software testing.
Edited by: David Lepeska
David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.
Updated on May 7, 2023
Iowa LLC Operating Agreement Template
In Iowa, your limited liability company (LLC) is not required to have an operating agreement in place. But it’s highly recommended, as an effective operating agreement can help avoid disputes and lawsuits that could threaten the stability of your LLC.
What is an LLC Operating Agreement?
An Iowa LLC operating agreement is an important legal document that details who owns the business and provides essential information pertaining to member duties. An LLC operating agreement establishes the financial relationship between members and the basics of the working relationships between those members and the managers who oversee daily operations.
The operating agreement is not filed with the state of Iowa, but instead remains private. It’s advisable to hire an attorney to ensure your operating agreement is thorough and legally binding.
We’ve provided two operating agreement templates for your use. One is for a single-member LLC if you are the sole member, and the other is for a multi-member LLC if your LLC has two or more members. The documents are customizable and should be adjusted for Iowa state and your business. These documents are for your internal use and are not filed with any governing body.
Download FREE Operating Agreement Templates
Disclaimer: These documents may need to be adjusted based on your circumstances and may not cover all situations. Your document also may need to be adjusted over time as your business evolves. These documents should not be considered legal advice. You should have your version of the document reviewed by your attorney to make sure that all necessary provisions are included to fit your business situation.
What Should Your Iowa LLC’s Operating Agreement Include?
The operating agreement should clearly define:
- Company Information: Begin the operating agreement by stating the LLC’s full legal name, principal place of business, and the purpose for which it was formed.
- Formation and Term: Specify the date of the LLC’s formation and the duration of its existence (e.g., perpetual or a specific term).
- Members: List the names and addresses of all the initial members of the LLC. If the LLC allows for future members, outline the process for admitting new members and the rights and responsibilities associated with membership. If the LLC has a board of directors, the operating agreement will also include the role and responsibilities of the board members and how they are compensated.
- Capital Contributions: Describe the initial contributions made by each member, whether in cash, property, or services. Include details about the valuation of non-cash contributions.
- Allocations and Distributions: Explain how profits, losses, and distributions will be allocated among the members. This section typically outlines the percentage or proportional interests of each member and how they will share in the LLC’s financial outcomes.
- Management and Voting: Specify whether the LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed. For member-managed LLCs, clarify the decision-making authority and voting rights of the members. In manager-managed LLCs, identify the managers and describe their powers and duties.
- Meetings and Voting Procedures: Establish guidelines for conducting meetings, including regular and special meetings, quorum requirements, voting procedures, and any other relevant rules for decision-making.
- Roles and Responsibilities: Define the roles and responsibilities of the members and managers, including any limitations on their authority. This section can also outline procedures for member and manager resignation, removal, or replacement.
- Transfer of Interests: Address the process and restrictions, if any, for transferring membership interests in the LLC. This section may include rights of first refusal, approval requirements, and procedures for valuing membership interests.
- Dissolution and Liquidation: Describe the circumstances under which the LLC may be dissolved, as well as the process for winding up its affairs and distributing assets.
- Dispute Resolution: Outline mechanisms for resolving disputes among members, such as mediation or arbitration, to avoid potential litigation.
- Amendments: State how the operating agreement can be amended, including the majority or unanimous consent required for modifications.
An LLC operating agreement provides legal and financial recourse for a number of situations. If conflicts arise between LLC owners pertaining to any of the above issues, the operating agreement will provide clarity. The specific language of the operating agreement lays out exactly how such conflicts will be resolved, how the business is structured, the dynamics of operations, and more.
Though Iowa has default rules on the books that address some of the issues that might arise between LLC members, your LLC operating agreement would override these default laws and give you greater control. Since the creation of an operating agreement involves legal and business considerations, it’s advisable to consult with an attorney experienced in Iowa LLC laws to ensure compliance with state regulations and address any specific needs or circumstances of your LLC.
How Much Does an Operating Agreement Cost?
Creating an operating agreement is free if you just draw it up yourself. Alternatively, you can pay for guidance from an online business advisory like ZenBusiness.
This is an extremely important document, so it’s recommended that you hire a professional service or law firm. If you choose to use an attorney to help you create this document, the price will be around $500 for a single-member LLC and $2,500 for a multi-member LLC.
Who Needs my LLC Operating Agreement?
One of the key reasons to have an operating agreement in place is that it makes your LLC more appealing to financial backers. Banks are likely to request to see your operating agreement when you apply for a loan. If you seek funding from investors, they will also want to see your operating agreement.
Though not legally required in Iowa, an operating agreement is a crucial document for LLC operations, ensuring your company is able to access adequate financing and settle any disputes. Keep in mind, you do not need to file your operating agreement with any state body. You simply need to take certain steps to ensure it’s legally binding and keep it in your records.
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