Iowa is at the red hot center of America's Corn Belt. Besides its vast agrarian accomplishments producing much of the nation's and the world's foodstuffs, Iowan industry turns those crops into some of people's favorite processed foods like cereals, cookies and crackers. As a result, Iowa is both a great place to eat and to do business. Entrepreneurs will find that most business licenses and permits are issued by the state, not local cities and towns -- and that the Iowa keeps business licensing and permitting light and easy -- like corn oil.
In Iowa, any business that serves food can endanger public health. That’s why restaurants are some of the most regulated businesses out there. Multiple state, county and city environmental health permits are common for restaurants. Those that serve alcohol need even more licensing. Prospective restaurateurs should expect to apply for at least five licenses and permits and in many cases much more.