How to Get a Business License in LA
You can get a business license online by applying with the correct licensing or regulatory agency for your business.
Business licensing requirements generally depend on your business’s activity and location (zoning requirements).
There are three main licensing jurisdictions:
State of Louisiana Business Licensing
The main state-level permit or license in Louisiana is the sales tax certificate, also called a seller’s permit.
You must obtain a sales tax certificate if you:
- Are engaged in business in Louisiana
- Intend to sell or lease goods or services that would ordinarily be subject to sales tax if sold at retail.
Visit the Department of Revenue website to obtain a sales tax certificate.
Additionally, businesses in certain professions may be required to obtain separate licenses. The state’s geauxBIZ website provides a business checklist that provides more information about licenses your business may need.
The state also provides a list of licensed occupations and contact information for the relevant government agency.
Local Louisiana Business Licensing
In Louisiana, you may need other licenses or permits from your state and local government depending on your business activity or location.
For example, the City of New Orleans requires all businesses to have an Occupational or General Business license.
Check with your local government office for more information.
Steps for Obtaining a Business License in Louisiana
Sales Tax Certificate
You can obtain a Louisiana sales tax certificate by applying for a Louisiana Revenue Account Number online or by mail.
Other Louisiana Business Licenses
Louisiana sales tax certificates are automatically renewed as long as your business is actively reporting sales. Otherwise, renewal must happen within 60 days of the certificate’s expiration date.
Contact the relevant government office for renewal requirements for other licenses your business may have.
Federal Business Licenses and Permits
You can get a business license by applying with the correct licensing and regulatory agency for your business. Business licensing requirements depend on your business’s activity and location (zoning requirements).
If your business conducts activities that are regulated by the federal government, you will need to apply for the appropriate business license or permit.
Choose a business activity below to learn how to apply:
Firearms, ammunition, and explosives
Fish and wildlife
Mining and drilling
Radio and television broadcasting
Transportation and logistics
LA Business License FAQ
What is a business license?
A business license is a permit issued to businesses by a government office that allows the business to operate in a particular area. They can be issued by federal, state, or local governments. There are typically different licensing requirements for different businesses and different locations.
What are the types of business licenses?
There are many types of business licenses. These include licenses at the local, state, and federal levels, licenses related to sales tax and other taxes, and specific licenses for various professions. There are also environmental licenses, zoning permits, and more.
Is there a national business license?
Most businesses don’t need a federal business license, but some industries, including broadcasting, investment advising, and drug manufacturing, do have federal regulations and licenses.
Is an EIN the same as a business license?
No. An employer identification number (EIN) is issued by the IRS to identify and keep track of businesses, but it does not license them to operate.
Is an LLC considered a business license?
No. An LLC is a type of business structure. While you are required to register as an LLC, it is not a business license.
Who needs a Louisiana business license?
Every business that sells taxable goods or services must have a Louisiana resale certificate. Businesses in certain professions or locations may need additional licenses.
What licenses do I need to open a business in Louisiana?
Most businesses will at least need a resale certificate. Businesses in certain professions or locations may need additional licenses.
What is a seller’s permit?
A seller’s permit is the common name for a license or permit that allows you to sell products or services. In Louisiana, this is commonly called a sales tax certificate.
How much does a Louisiana business license cost?
There is no fee for a Louisiana sales tax certificate. The cost of other licenses varies.
How do I get a business license in Louisiana?
You can register for a Louisiana sales tax certificate online with the Louisiana Department of Revenue. The processes for obtaining other licenses vary.
Do I have to renew my Louisiana business license?
Louisiana sales tax certificates are automatically renewed as long as your business is actively reporting sales. Otherwise, you must renew within 60 days of your certificate’s expiration date. Contact the relevant government office for renewal requirements for other licenses your business may have.