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Register a Louisiana Foreign LLC

A Louisiana Foreign LLC is an LLC that does business in Louisiana but was not originally formed there. To do business as a foreign LLC in Louisiana, you first need to register with the Secretary of State by filing an Application for Authority to Conduct Business in Louisiana, which costs $150 (plus a $5 credit card fee). The state of Louisiana doesn’t define which activities count as doing business, but your foreign LLC will probably need to register if it hire employees, owns or leases property, opens a store, office, or warehouse, sell products or services, or applies for a professional license in Louisiana.

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How To Register a Foreign LLC in Louisiana

To foreign register your LLC in Louisiana, you’ll need to file an Application for Authority to Conduct Business in Louisiana with the Louisiana Secretary of State. We’ll walk you through the steps.

1. Appoint a Louisiana registered agent

You probably already have a registered agent in your business’s home state, but to register as a foreign LLC in Louisiana, you need to appoint a Louisiana registered agent. Your registered agent’s job is to accept legal notices from the state and pass them on to you. They are required to have a physical address in Louisiana and maintain regular business hours there.

Can I be the registered agent for my Louisiana foreign LLC?

Unless you live in Louisiana year-round, it would be pretty much impossible for you to be your own registered agent there. Most business owners hire a professional registered agent service when they start doing business in a new state.

2. Obtain a Certificate of Existence/Good Standing

The state of Louisiana requires foreign LLCs to submit a Certificate of Good Standing (called a Certificate of Existence in some states) with their Application for Authority. This document shows that your business is active and compliant in its state of formation.  The certificate must be dated no more than 90 days before you file your Application for Authority.

How do I get a Certificate of Good Standing?

You’ll need to request your Certificate of Good Standing from the same state agency where you filed your LLC Articles of Organization. The majority of states let you request a Certificate of Existence/Good Standing online, and most charge a fee.

3. Complete the Louisiana Application for Authority

When you’re ready to foreign register your LLC, you’ll need to file the Application for Authority to Conduct Business in Louisiana with the Secretary of State, which you can do by mail, fax, online, or in person. Here’s the information you’ll need to provide:

  • Whether your LLC is a nonprofit or a for-profit business
  • Business name
  • Any previous name your LLC had, if applicable
  • The date your LLC was formed
  • The length of time your LLC will exist (tip: most LLCs write “perpetual”)
  • Principal office address in home state or jurisdiction
  • Principal office address in Louisiana
  • Registered office address
  • Registered agent name and address
  • A brief description of your business activity
  • Member and manager names and addresses
  • Member or manager’s signature
  • Registered agent’s signature showing they consent to be your registered agent

Don’t forget to attach your Certificate of Existence/Good Standing with your filing. Also, if you file using the paper form, the signatures need to be notarized.

Ready to start doing business in the Bayou State? Register your foreign LLC in Louisiana with Northwest.

How much does it cost to file the Louisiana Application for Authority?

The filing fee for the application for authority is $150 for LLCs. If you pay by credit card, there’s an additional $5 fee. There is a 24-hour expedited option, which costs an additional $30, or a same-day “priority” expedited option for $50.

How do I file my Louisiana Application for Authority?

You can file your Louisiana Application for Authority by mail, fax, online, or in person.

By mail:
Secretary of State
P. O. Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125

In person:
8585 Archives Ave.,
Baton Rouge, LA 70809

By fax: 225-932-5314

Online: Louisiana geauxBIZ

Do I also need to file Louisiana Articles of Organization for my foreign LLC?

No. Only domestic Louisiana LLCs need to file Louisiana Articles of Organization. Foreign LLCs just need to complete the foreign qualification process by filing the Application for Authority.

Foreign qualification is a different process from domestication, in which an LLC becomes a domestic business entity in a state or jurisdiction other than the one where it was formed.

4. Receive verification

The Louisiana Secretary of State’s office will mail you verification that your Application for Authority has been accepted, at which point you can legally start doing business in Louisiana.

How long will Louisiana take to process my Application of Authority?

Online filings will be processed the same business day. Mailed, faxed, or in-person filings take around 4-5 business days. You can pay an extra $30 for 24-hour processing or an extra $50 for same-day processing.

Louisiana FAQ

Louisiana Foreign LLC Registration FAQ

Are there any weird things about registering in Louisiana?

If your foreign LLC name includes the words “engineer,” “engineering,” “surveyor,” or “surveying,” you will need to contact the Louisiana Professional Engineering and Land Surveying Board before submitting the Application for Authority.

What constitutes doing business in Louisiana?

Annoyingly, Louisiana law doesn’t specify which activities count as doing business. Louisiana statute RS § 12:302 lists the activities that DON’T count as doing business, such as having a Louisiana bank account or conducting a single transaction within a period of thirty days. However, to find out for sure whether your business activity DOES count, you may have to consult a CPA or business attorney. That being said, there are certain activities that are almost always considered doing business in a state, which include:

  • Having employees
  • Owning or renting property
  • Selling products or services in repeated transactions
  • Applying for a business license

Read more about what counts as doing business in another state.

How do I amend a foreign LLC in Louisiana?

There isn’t one form for amending an LLC in Louisiana that applies to all situations. However, there are a few ways to make an amendment to your foreign LLC. Depending on what you need to amend, you can do one of the following:

The form you need to file will depend on the specific change you need to make to your LLC.

Do I have to file a Louisiana annual report for my foreign LLC?

Yes. Foreign LLCs in Louisiana need to file an annual report each year. You will need to log into your geauxBIZ account to file your annual report. Once you’re logged into your account, you’ll have the option to file online or print out a paper form and file by mail or fax. The filing fee is $30, plus a $5 credit card fee if you file online.

The due date for the Louisiana annual report is the anniversary date of when your LLC was formed. So if your LLC was formed on May 10th, 2022, your first annual report would be due May 10th, 2023.

How do I withdraw my foreign LLC in Louisiana?

The form to withdraw your foreign LLC in Louisiana has the world’s longest name: Application for Withdrawal of Foreign Corporation/Limited Liability Company from the State of Louisiana. You will simply need to submit this form along with a $125 filing fee to withdraw your foreign LLC.

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