How to Start an LLC in Louisiana (2024 Guide)
Wondering how to start an LLC in Louisiana? We’ve got you covered.
To get started, you'll need to pick a suitable business name, choose a registered agent, and file your Articles of Organization with the Louisiana Secretary of State ($100 processing fee).
You can do this independently, consult with a business attorney for specialized legal guidance, or join the other 65% of our readers and hire a specialized Louisiana LLC formation service (recommended).
Northwest ($29 + State Fees)
LegalZoom ($249 + State Fees)
How to Form an LLC in Louisiana in 6 Steps
In order to form your LLC in Louisiana, there are certain steps you’ll need to complete:
- Name Your Louisiana LLC
- Choose a Registered Agent
- File the Articles of Organization
- Create an Operating Agreement
- Get an EIN
- File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report
Step 1: Name Your Louisiana LLC
Before you get started, you will need to pick a suitable name for your Louisiana LLC.
This will need to comply with all applicable naming requirements under Louisiana law and be both succinct and memorable, as this will make it easily searchable by your potential clients.
1. Important Naming Guidelines for Louisiana LLCs:
- Your name must contain the words “limited liability company” or the abbreviations “L.L.C.” or “L.C.” The names of low-profit LLCs are required to contain the words “low-profit limited liability company” or the abbreviations “L3C” or “l3c.”
- Your name cannot contain any language that suggests that it was organized for any purpose that is contradictory to the purpose stated in its Articles of Organization.
- Your name must be sufficiently distinguishable (i.e., unique) from all business names registered in the state of Louisiana.
- Your name cannot contain words that suggest that it is partnered or sponsored by a government body (e.g., Department, Treasury, etc.). It also cannot contain certain professional words without prior approval from the relevant state body (e.g., bank, architect, lawyer, etc.).
We recommend checking out Louisiana’s statutory naming guidelines for more information.
2. Is the name available in Louisiana?
To check whether your desired name has already been taken by another business entity in Louisiana, you can perform a name search on the Louisiana Secretary of State’s business website.
If you’re not going to start your LLC right away, it might be a good idea to consider reserving your name for up to 120 days with the Secretary of State ($25 filing fee).
For more information, have a look at our Louisiana LLC Name Search guide.
3. Are you registering your LLC online?
If you are registering your LLC online, you'll need to reserve your name first. We will cover this topic in Step 3.
4. Is the URL available?
You should check online to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don’t plan to make a business website right away, this is an extremely important step as it will prevent others from acquiring it, potentially saving you both time and money in the long term.
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Once you have verified your name is available, you may now select a professional service to complete the LLC formation process for you.
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If you need additional information before getting started, you can have a look at our in-depth comparison of the Best LLC Services in 2024 instead.
FAQ: Naming a Louisiana LLC
LLC is short for “limited liability company.” It is a simple business structure that offers more flexibility than a traditional corporation while still providing legal protection for your personal assets. Read our What is a Limited Liability Company guide for more information.
Or, watch our two-minute video: What is an LLC?
You must follow the Louisiana LLC naming guidelines when choosing your LLC's business name:
- Include the phrase "limited liability company" or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
- Do not use words that could confuse your business with a government agency (FBI, State Department, CIA, etc.).
- Receive the proper licensing when using the words such as lawyer or doctor.
If you are having trouble coming up with a name for your LLC, use our LLC Name Generator. That will not only find a unique name for your business but an available URL to match.
Most Louisiana LLCs do not need a DBA, known in the state as a trade name. The name of the LLC can serve as your company’s brand name and you can accept checks and other payments under that name as well. However, you may wish to register a DBA if you would like to conduct business under another name.
To learn more about DBAs in your state, read our How to File a DBA guide.
Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent in Louisiana
After you find the right name for your LLC, you will need to nominate a Louisiana registered agent. This is a necessary step in your Articles of Organization, which is the document used to file and register your LLC with the Secretary of State).
What is a registered agent? A registered agent is an individual or business entity responsible for receiving important legal documents on behalf of your business. You can think of your registered agent as your business’s primary point of contact with the state.
Who can be a registered agent? A registered agent must be a resident of Louisiana or a business that has the authority to operate in the state. This can be an individual (e.g., yourself, an LLC member, etc.), a registered agent service, or a business attorney.
Note: Your registered agent will need to sign an Agent’s Affidavit and Acknowledgement of Acceptance section (included in the Initial Report part of your Articles of Organization) in order for your formation documents to be accepted by the Secretary of State.
FAQ: Nominating a Registered Agent
Yes, as long as you are a resident of the state of Louisiana.
Alternatively, you can use a different LLC member, hire a business attorney, or purchase a registered agent service (recommended).
Read more about being your own registered agent.
Using a professional registered agent service is an affordable way to manage government filings for your LLC. For most businesses, the advantages of using a professional service significantly outweigh the annual costs.
Step 3: File the Louisiana LLC Articles of Organization
To register your Louisiana LLC, you'll need to file Form 365: Articles of Organization with the Louisiana Secretary of State. You can do this online, by mail, by fax, or in person.
Before filing, you will need to make sure that you have completed your Articles of Organization correctly. You will need to have filled out the following sections:
- Your transmittal information
- The state, county, and name of your LLC
- The purpose and duration of your LLC
- The signature of your LLC’s organizer
- The completed initial report, which must include your registered agent’s information and signature
Note: Keep in mind that Louisiana law requires that your Articles of Organization and initial report are notarized before being submitted to the Secretary of State.
File the Articles of Organization
OPTION 1: File Online With Louisiana geauxBIZFile Online
- OR -
OPTION 2: File by Mail, by Fax, or In PersonDownload Form
Filing Fee: $100, payable to the Secretary of State (Nonrefundable)
State of Louisiana Secretary of State
P.O. Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
8585 Archives Ave.
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
Fax: (225) 932-5314
For help with completing the form, visit our Louisiana Articles of Organization guide.
Note: If you're expanding your existing business to the state of Louisiana, you'll need to register as a foreign limited liability company (LLC).
FAQ: Filing Louisiana LLC Documents
Filing LLC formation documents in Louisiana typically takes two to three business days for both online filing and paper filing, according to the Secretary of State’s website.
Having said that, expedited processing is available for an additional fee:
- 24-Hour Processing: $30
- Two- to Four-Hour Processing: $50
An LLC is referred to as a "domestic LLC" when it conducts business in the state where it was formed. A foreign limited liability company must be formed when an existing LLC wishes to expand its business to another state.
Read our What Is a Foreign LLC article to learn more.
The minimum cost of starting an LLC in Louisiana is $100, which includes submitting your formation documents (i.e., your Articles of Organization) to the SOS independently.
To learn more, read our guide on the cost to form a Louisiana LLC.
Step 4: Create a Louisiana LLC Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is not required in Louisiana, but it's a good practice to have one.
What is an operating agreement? An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC.
Why are operating agreements important? A comprehensive operating agreement ensures that all business owners are on the same page and reduces the risk of future conflict.
For more information on operating agreements, read our Louisiana LLC operating agreement guide.
FAQ: Creating a Louisiana LLC Operating Agreement
No. The operating agreement is an internal document that you should keep on file for future reference. However, many other states legally require LLCs to have an operating agreement.
Step 5: Get an EIN for Your Louisiana LLC
You can get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for free. It is used to identify a business entity and keep track of a business’s tax reporting. It is essentially a Social Security number (SSN) for the company.
If you are filing your LLC online, getting an EIN is included in the registration process on geauxBIZ.gov.
Why do I need an EIN? An EIN number is required for the following:
- To open a business bank account for the company
- For federal and state tax purposes
- To hire employees for the company
Where do I get an EIN? An EIN is obtained from the IRS (free of charge) by the business owner after forming the company. This can be done online or by mail.
FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS: You do not need an SSN to get an EIN. Learn more here.
Get an EIN
Option 1: Request an EIN from the IRS
- OR -
Option 2: Apply for an EIN by Mail or Fax
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: (855) 641-6935
FAQ: Getting an EIN
An SSN is not required to get an EIN. You can simply fill out IRS Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. Then call the IRS at (267) 941-1099 to complete your application. Learn more about applying as an international applicant.
All LLCs with employees, or any LLC with more than one member, must have an EIN. This is required by the IRS.
Learn why we recommend always getting an EIN and how to get one for free in our Do I Need an EIN for an LLC guide.
When you get an EIN, you will be informed of the different tax classification options that are available. Most LLCs elect the default tax status.
However, some LLCs can reduce their federal tax obligation by choosing the S corporation (S corp) status. To learn more, read our LLC vs. S Corp guide.
Step 6: File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report
Beginning January 2024, LLC owners will be required to file a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Report with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
The report, which contains information similar to that of your Articles of Organization, such as your LLC name and member information, can be filed online for free. If you fail to file an accurate BOI report on time, you will be subject to a $500 per day fine.
If you already have an existing LLC, you have the flexibility to file your report anytime between January 1, 2024, and January 1, 2025. However, if you are a new LLC, you will need to file your report within 90 days of formation.
Considering Using an LLC Formation Service?
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Maintain Your Louisiana LLC
After you’ve successfully formed your LLC, there are a couple of steps you’ll need to periodically take in order to maintain it, including:
- Submitting your annual report
- Sort out your taxes
Below, you will find more details on each of these steps, including how and where to file them.
File the Annual Report
Your Louisiana LLC will be required to file an annual report with the Secretary of State that keeps the government’s records up-to-date on your business’s important information, such as its current members, contact information, and registered agent.
You can choose to file your annual report online through the Louisiana geauxBIZ platform, where you can fill out the annual report form, pay a $30 fee, and submit your report electronically.
This due date for this report is the anniversary of the initial date your LLC was formed. If you do not file your annual report within 30 days of this date, the state will mark your LLC as "not in good standing,” eventually dissolving it if you fail to file for three years.
Sort Out Your Taxes
Depending on your business type (e.g., industry, niche, number of employees, etc.), your LLC in Louisiana may have to pay different taxes at the local, state, and federal levels.
To help you understand the tax obligations of your LLC, we’ve listed the most common types of Louisiana business taxes below:
There are two primary types of state income taxes that your LLC may need to pay in Louisiana, including:
- Individual Income Tax: This tax, which ranges between 2% and 6% depending on your filing status and taxable income, is imposed on the individual members of your LLC — who must report the share of the business’s income they receive and file a personal tax return using Form IT-540.
- Corporate Income Tax: LLCs that elect to be taxed as C corporations will be required to pay this tax, which ranges between 3.50% and 7.50% depending on a business’s income level. If your LLC can reasonably expect to be liable for more than $1,000 in annual corporate income tax, it will need to make estimated tax payments on a quarterly basis.
Note: You can file your individual income tax returns through the Individual Income Online Tax Filing system. Corporate income taxes can be filed via the Louisiana Taxpayer Access Point (LaTAP) portal instead.
Sales and Use Taxes
All businesses that sell or lease tangible personal property or provide taxable services in Louisiana must collect sales and use tax rate at a statewide rate of 4.45% and remit them to the Louisiana Department of Revenue.
In addition to this base rate, some local jurisdictions in Louisiana may also impose additional taxes, which can mean that the combined sales tax rate can be as high as 12.95% depending on your area.
Your LLC will need to file and pay your sales tax by the 20th day after the end of the month or quarter that you are reporting for via Parish E-File (for sales tax purposes only) or LaTAP.
Note: If your LLC is engaged in selling tangible personal goods and services, you will need to obtain a resale certificate by applying online through LaTAP.
Louisiana LLCs taxed as corporations are required to submit and pay corporate franchise tax, which is currently set at a rate of $2.75 per $1,000 of capital stock employed within the state.
It’s worth noting that you'll need to pay an initial franchise tax of $110 after forming your business entity. Your tax return will then be due on or before the 15th day of the third month following the start of this period.
After this, corporation franchise tax begins accruing from the first day of each accounting year, and you will need to file a return for that period on or before the 15th day of the fifth month of that accounting year.
Note: You can file your Louisiana LLC’s corporate franchise taxes online quickly and easily using the LaTAP portal.
Steps After LLC Formation
After forming your LLC, you will need to get a business bank account and website, obtain the required business licenses, get business insurance, and, if you have employees, register with the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
Visit our After Forming an LLC guide to learn more.