NOTICE As of July 1, 2021, we provide expedited and preclearance services for business filings under the fee structure shown on the Business Entity Forms & Fees page. If you want to take advantage of these services, documents can be delivered via our online portal Business Entity Filings or you can deliver in person at our Lucas Building filing office.
Duties of the Office

About the Office

Duties of the Office

The Office of the Secretary of State holds a unique position in the history of Iowa's statehood. The Secretary of State was created by the United States Congress for the Iowa territory. Over the past 170 years, the Office has evolved and is ready for the challenges of the new millennium.

The responsibilities of the Secretary of State have grown dramatically since Elisha Cutler, Jr. served as the first Secretary of State. The Office of the Secretary of State is now a service center for businesses in Iowa, the nation and the world and is committed to making sure Iowa remains a gateway for the world by being an advocate for Iowa business and products and making government more business friendly.

Each business day the Office receives over 200 telephone calls and emails with business services related questions. In 2011, the Office processed over 215,000 corporate and commercial documents and more than 132,000 UCC filings. The Office also keeps a registry of the commissions for approximately 57,000 active notaries public and processed approximately 20,000 notary filings in 2011.

The Secretary of State also holds critical positions on a number of state boards and commissions in Iowa. Including the Voter Registration Commission, the State Insurance Committee, the Iowa Executive Council and the State Records Commission. The Secretary co-signs with the Governor all commissions, proclamations, extraditions and land patents.

The Secretary of State is the state commissioner of elections and supervises Iowa's 99 county auditors in the administration of our election laws and administrative rules. Candidates for all statewide offices, federal offices, legislative offices, and certain judicial offices also file their nomination petitions with the Secretary of State.

The Office of Secretary of State also preserves many original documents including the Constitution of the State of Iowa and the Acts of the General Assembly.