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Start an LLC in Louisiana

Use our free business tools below to complete your Louisiana LLC Articles of Organization. This is the document you file directly with Louisiana’s Secretary of State to form your LLC.

If you want more, hire us to form your LLC in Louisiana for just $39 + state fees. We’ll get your business stood up in minutes with a free domain, website, email, business phone, and more.

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How to Start an LLC in Louisiana

A Louisiana LLC is formed in three simple steps: naming the business, selecting a Louisiana registered agent, and filing formation paperwork along with the $100 state filing fee ($105 online).

Let’s go over how to successfully navigate the swamp of Louisiana LLC formation.

 

 

1. Name Your LLC

First, you need to name your LLC. LA Rev Stat § 12:1306 lists out all the rules for naming an LLC in Louisiana. Basically, your LLC’s name must:

  • Contain an indicator such as “limited liability company,” “L.L.C.,” or “LLC.”
  • Not include words that could spell confusion around your entity type, like “incorporated” or “limited partnership.”
  • Be unique among business names in Louisiana.

Already have a business name in mind? Check to see if it’s available. If it is, you can reserve it for 120 days by filing the Reservation of Limited Liability Company Name application and paying the $25 fee.

Want to do business under a second (or third or fourth) name? Register a Trade Name (also called a DBA) with the Secretary of State. Just complete the Application for Registration of Trade Name (or file on Louisiana’s online business portal) and pay the $75 registration fee.

2. Designate a Registered Agent

Registered agents—sometimes called just “agents” in Louisiana—are required by law. A registered agent can be an individual or a business and must be available during regular business hours to accept legal mail, like lawsuits, on your behalf.

When filling out your LLC paperwork, you’ll need to include the name and address of your registered agent. According to Louisiana business statute §1305, you’ll also need to include a signed affidavit where your agent acknowledges their responsibility to your business. (Part of your formation documents, this statement holds as much legal power as a court testimony.)

You can change your registered agent in Louisiana at anytime for $25 by filing the “Notice of Change of Registered Office and/or Change of Registered Agent” with the Louisiana Secretary of State.

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3. Submit LLC Articles of Organization & Initial Report

To register your Louisiana LLC, you’ll need to file your Articles of Organization and Initial Report with the Secretary of State and pay the $100 filing fee (plus $5 if you file online). The Articles of Organization may need amending from time to time, but never needs to be re-submitted. However the Initial Report functions as your first ever annual report, so this information will need to be re-submitted annually.

You cannot form your LLC without filing both these forms. All of the information on these forms will become part of the public record.

Because Louisiana requires both your Articles of Organization and the Initial Report to be submitted together, the information below is be required in order to properly fill out both.

  • Transmittal Information. Paper filing only. Indicate if payment is enclosed and whether the documents should receive standard or expedited processing. You’ll also need to provide contact information.
  • Tax Information. Online filing only. You have the option to register with the state tax and employment departments.
  • LLC Ownership Type. Online filing only. How your business is classified for taxation by the IRS. A multi-member LLC is classified as a partnership and a single-member LLC as a sole proprietorship.
  • Company Name. This is your legal business name, not a DBA.
  • Purpose. Most people check the box “engaging in any lawful activity.”
  • Duration. Unless you have an end date for your LLC, you can leave this blank.
  • Registered Office. This is the physical address where you will receive legal documents.
  • Registered Agent. Name your registered agent here.
  • Registered Agent Affidavit. A notarized affidavit is required to confirm your agent knows their duties and responsibilities. This is a part of your Articles of Organization document.
  • LLC Management. If your LLC is managed by its members, include their names and addresses. If your LLC is managed by managers, include their names and addresses.
  • Louisiana Organizer. Your organizer is the person who is actually filing your formation paperwork with the state.
  • Notarization. Paper filing only. You will need to have a notary sign your Articles and Initial Report.

How much does it cost to start an LLC in Louisiana?

It costs $100 to file your formation paperwork (or $105 if filing online). If you file via paper form, you’ll also need to account for notary fees, which vary.

How long does it take to get an LLC in Louisiana?

Generally speaking, it takes between 4-6 weeks for the Louisiana Secretary of State to process your formation paperwork. However, you can get 24 hour expedited processing for an additional $30.

How do I file my Louisiana LLC Articles of Organization?

Filing your formation paperwork can be tricky in Louisiana. First, you need to decide if you’re filing via paper or online.

Filing by paper requires an additional form—the Transmittal Information—and must also be notarized. Even more complicated, not every county allows for paper filing. Because of this, it’s often easier to file online via GeauxBIZ. The Secretary of State lets you use the same portal for your tax registration, Workforce Commission registration, and business registration.

If you file by paper instead, here’s where it goes:

Mail:

Louisiana Secretary of State
Commercial Division
P. O. Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125

In-person:

Louisiana Secretary of State
8585 Archives Ave.
Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Do I need a Louisiana Business License?

It’s pretty likely. Which licenses you need depends on the type of business and entity you choose, but most businesses in Louisiana will need to get a business license on the state, city, or county level. You can check to see what licenses you need in Louisiana’s online business portal after making an account. License cost varies a ton, so make sure to do this prior to filing your articles and initial report.

How can I keep my personal information off the public record?

Any information put on your Louisiana articles/initial report become part of the public record. There’s no getting around that. But you can be picky about who you put on those records. For example, when you hire Northwest as your registered agent, you can put our information on your formation documents as applicable. Likewise, if we form your company our information will go on the organizer line.

Your Louisiana LLC Is Formed. What's Next?

Write an LLC Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is basically a user’s manual for your business. It should offer clear definitions of ownership percentage, voting rights, distribution of profits and losses, as well as rules for buying out a member.

Operating agreements are not legally required in Louisiana, but without your own, you’re subject to the “default rules” set by the state. Plus, you’ll likely need one to open a business bank account.

Contact a lawyer or use our free Louisiana LLC Operating Agreement Template.

Does a single-member LLC need an operating agreement?

Yes. Even when you’re the only boss, an operating agreement still comes in handy and can serve as a reference guide in an emergency. Plus, operating agreements are often needed to open a business bank account, which is key to your liability protection.

Get an EIN, Bank Account & Funding

If you’re going to make money, you’ve got to let Uncle Sam know. You can get an EIN (a unique number that acts like your business’s social security number) by filing an application with the IRS.

From there, you can open a business bank account (crucial for your limited liability protection) and fund the business. Generally speaking, each member should make an initial contribution to pay for their membership interest.

Do I need an EIN for an LLC in Louisiana?

It depends. If you have more than one member or plan to hire employees, you’re legally obligated to have an EIN. You also need one if you want to change your default tax status. But more than needing an EIN, you probably want one. An EIN is the only way to not use your own social security number when conducting business.

File Taxes & Reports

Though it might feel like a big hurdle, Louisiana taxes and reports are nothing to be afraid of. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Taxes: Louisiana LLCs are taxed as “pass-through entities” which means the members report the profits on their personal tax filings. Instead of paying corporate taxes on the earnings, the members pay the federal self-employment tax rate of 15.3%.
  • Annual Reports: Once a year, you must file and submit an annual report for your Louisiana LLC. This needs to be submitted by the LLC’s anniversary date. It costs $30 to file by mail and $35 to file online. (Worried you’ll forget? Let us file your annual report for you.)
  • BOI Report: Most Louisiana businesses are required to file a Beneficial Ownership Report within 90 days of formation. You’ll include information on who runs your business, both on paper and in practice. This information will go in a private federal database. You can file your BOI Report on the BOI E-Filing System for free. Any update (like if you get a new manager) can be made on the same filing system. (Sick of paperwork? For a one time $9 fee, we can file your BOI Report for you.)

Are LLCs subject to Louisiana Franchise Tax?

It depends. All Louisiana LLCs are taxed by the state in the same way they are taxed by the IRS. This means if the LLC has elected to be taxed as a C-corp, it will have to pay the franchise tax. However, the default pass-through status means most LLCs do not need to pay the Louisiana Franchise Tax.

How do I pay my LLC annual fee in Louisiana?

Louisiana LLCs must file an annual report and pay a $30 annual fee every year on the anniversary of their formation. (Credit cards are charged an additional $5 convenience fee.) If you file online via GeauxBIZ, you must pay with credit card. If you file via paper form, you can pay with a check or money order.

 

 

*This is informational commentary, not advice. This information is intended strictly for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel. This information is not intended to create, nor does your receipt, viewing, or use of it constitute, an attorney-client relationship. More information is available in our Terms of Service.

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