How to Start an LLC in Louisiana
How to Start an LLC in Louisiana
Limited liability companies (LLCs) in Louisiana are affordable and easy to form. And as with other states, the State of Louisiana has some specific requirements that are unique to the state.
Interested parties must register with the Secretary of State by filing the necessary forms, paying the necessary fees and meeting all naming and formation requirements.
The short list of requirements for forming a Louisiana LLC is as follows:
Registration. File the Articles of Organization (Form 365) with the Secretary of State. The form must include:
- Name and registered address of the LLC
- The LLC’s purpose
- Duration, if applicable
- Dissolution date, if applicable
- Name and address of registered agent
- Name and address of organizer
- Signed and notarized Initial Report (Form 973) with:
- Names and addresses of all members and managers
- Name and registered address of the LLC
- Signature of the registered agent
Remember to include all necessary fees.
Forms and fees. LLC registrants must file a signed and notarized Articles of Organization form and Initial Report along with the applicable filing fee of about $100. Payments may be made by check, money order, credit card or cash. Expedited processing services are available for minimal fees: To expedited processing within 24 hours, the applicable fee is about $30, while expediting while you wait is around $50. Fees can change, check with the Secretary of State for the most recent fees.
Timeline. Processing times depend on how many applications have been submitted ahead of you. However, forms and documents are usually processed within three to five business days and may be expedited for an additional fee.
Naming requirements. LLC naming requirements are stringent in all 50 states and require that the LLC name be distinguishable from other LLCs and be cleared by certain state agencies and departments. The name must also include certain words in order to qualify and be approved by the Secretary of State.
You may opt to have a preferred name checked for availability before filing the necessary formation documents with the Secretary of State.
Formation requirements. To form an LLC, a registrant must file the Articles of Organization along with an Initial Report with the Secretary of State. In the State of Louisiana, new businesses are also required to apply for a state sales tax identification number with the Louisiana Department of Revenue. This number is necessary for state taxing purposes, such as income tax, sales and use tax, severance tax or withholding tax. This number is necessary if your LLC will have employees.
An LLC with more than one member is strongly advised to have a limited liability operating agreement among its members.
Starting an LLC in Louisiana
Before you begin the registration process, it’s important to know what an LLC is and whether or not it is a viable business structure for your company, so be certain to read up on the definition and benefits of an LLC.
These steps will guide you through the LLC registration process with the Louisiana Secretary of State:
1. Decide on a name for your business. Choose any name as long as it ends with “Limited Liability Company” or any variation of its abbreviation—e.g., L.L.C. or L.C. Also note that the name:
- Cannot include words that may suggest that it is a nonprofit or charitable organization
- Cannot suggest that the LLC is an administrative agency of any “...parish, [agency] of the state or of the United States”
- Must be approved by the Secretary of State.
You may check if the LLC name you want is available by calling the Secretary of State at 225-925-4704, faxing the Secretary of State at 225-932-5314, mailing your query to the Secretary of State or checking the commercial database on the Secretary of State’s website.
A name may be reserved by filing a Name Reservation for Corporation or Limited Liability Company (Form 398) with the Secretary of State. This is usually done online or by mail and has a non-refundable filing fee that is about $25. Reserved names are initially given 60 days and up to two 30-day extensions without charge. A written name reservation extension request must be filed in order to take advantage of the free extensions.
2. Assign an agent for service of process. Registered agents are individuals or corporations authorized to do business in the state and which have permanent addresses in Louisiana. Registered agents accept legal documents on behalf of the LLC and make sure its members are notified.
3. Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. If there are two or more members in your LLC, your company will need to obtain an EIN from the IRS, for tax purposes.
4. File for a state sales tax identification number. All new businesses in Louisiana are required to get a state sales tax identification number with the Louisiana Department of Revenue. This number is needed for state taxing purposes as well as for hiring employees that earn more than about $375 per week. This amount could change, check with the Department of Revenue for the current amount.
5. Create an operating agreement. Although LLCs in Louisiana are not required to have a limited liability company operating agreement, it is wise to have one in place with other members should your LLC have more than one member.
6. Familiarize yourself with the LLC’s continuing legal obligations, specifically annual reports. Annual reports are due every year on the anniversary date of the LLC. This report is typically filed online with the Secretary of State and is accompanied by a $25 filing fee. You will need the Charter Number and Renewal ID, which can be obtained by calling the Commercial Division at 225-925-4704.
If you’ve managed to put all these requirements together, you are now ready to fill out the Louisiana state registration forms for a domestic LLC.
Filing an LLC and Fees
Following are the forms and fees that are required when starting a Louisiana LLC:
1. Forms. Complete and submit signed and notarized Articles of Organization and Initial Report forms to the Louisiana Secretary of State.
2. Fees. The processing fee for the Articles of Organization form and Initial Report form is about $100. This may be expedited to 24-hour processing for about $30 and same-day processing for $50. Fees can change, check with the Secretary of State for the most recent fees.
3. Limited liability company operating agreement. Although this is not required in Louisiana, it is highly advisable to have an operating agreement among members. This agreement should be kept on file by the registered agent.
4. Taxes. LLCs in Louisiana are treated as corporations, limited liability partnerships or single-member LLCs and are subject to federal income tax classifications. Depending on the type of taxation you opt to have for your LLC, you will have different federal tax responsibilities.
All LLCs in Louisiana are required to submit annual reports. This is due by the anniversary date of the LLC every year and may be done online at the Secretary of State website. The filing fee is $25.
Start an LLC online in Louisana in three easy steps. LegalZoom provides LLC formation and filing services, including providing a registered agent in Louisana.