How To Start An LLC In Louisiana
To start an LLC in Louisiana, you must file Articles of Organization with the Louisiana Commercial Division. You can file the document online or by mail. The Articles of Organization cost $100 to file. Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Louisiana LLC. However, to actually ready the LLC to do business, you must complete several additional steps.
Starting a Louisiana LLC Guide:
Louisiana LLC Filing Options
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Louisiana LLC Articles of Organization free download. When you're done filling out the form, submit it to your state.
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Louisiana LLC Articles of Organization Requirements
To form a Louisiana LLC, you must complete and file the Articles of Organization with the Louisiana Commercial Division. See the document below and click on any number to see what information is required in the corresponding section.
Louisiana requires both Articles of Organization and an Initial Report to be submitted together. The requirements below are spread out over both documents. If filing online, you also have the option of including additional tax information so that you can register with the state tax and employment departments.
Your name must include “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC” or “LC.” Most businesses go with “LLC.”
You can either tick the box with the general purpose that says your business is formed for “engaging in any lawful activity,” or you can choose to limit your LLC’s activities. Most businesses go for the general purpose.
Most LLCs don’t have a set expiration date—they continue unless they are dissolved. If you’d like to include a self-destruct timer for your LLC, however, you can include an end date in your Articles.
This Louisiana street address will become a part of the permanent record for your LLC. When you hire Northwest, our address will go here.
You can list either an individual person or a business that offers registered agent service. Northwest Registered Agent offers expert registered agent service—it’s even in our name!
If your LLC is managed by its members, you’ll include the names and addresses of the members. If your LLC is managed by managers, you’ll include the names and addresses of the managers.
Two people need to sign your Articles: your registered agent and your organizer. An organizer is just the person filling out and submitting your Articles. It doesn’t actually have to be anyone in the LLC. When you hire Northwest, we’ll be your organizer. (If you sign up online, your organizer electronically signs, and your registered agent will confirm their position by replying to an email auto-generated when submitting your Articles.)
How much does it cost to start a Louisiana LLC?
The state filing fee is $100. If you file online, there’s a $5 credit card processing fee and an optional $50 fee for 2-day expediting.
Or, skip the whole filing process entirely and hire us to file online for you. When you hire Northwest, your total out-the-door cost is $330, including all the above fees, a full year of registered agent service, as well as cool forms and tools to help you maintain your Louisiana LLC.
How long does it take to start a Louisiana LLC?
Louisiana LLC filing times vary depending on your filing method. The fastest method (2 days) is filing online using geauxBIZ, the state’s online filing system. Filing by mail takes 3-7 days.
Filing online is supposed to be easier and simpler than mail, right? Not for Louisiana filings. If you file online yourself, you’ll be directed through a huge process, as geauxBIZ tries to combine tax registration and Workforce Commission registration together with your business registration. You don’t actually have to complete these other registrations at the same time that you file your Articles, but many people find the whole process confusing. Filing by mail is certainly easier than filing online—but you’ll need your documents notarized AND the processing time is slower.
If you hire Northwest to start your LLC, we file online and typically have your Louisiana LLC formed within 2 business days.
Does a Louisiana LLC need a registered agent?
Yes, you are required by law to have a Louisiana registered agent. You can be your own registered agent if you plan to stay in your office all the time and don’t mind your address becoming a part of the permanent public record for your LLC. If you’d prefer a little more freedom and a lot less junk mail, hire a registered agent service like Northwest Registered Agent. We’ll be available to accept your legal notifications so you can focus on running your business. Our address will go on your Articles, so you don’t have to worry about address updates, spam, or unwanted visitors on your doorstep.
Create the Louisiana LLC Operating Agreement
Do I need an Operating Agreement?
You don’t submit your operating agreement to the Secretary of State, and there’s no law specifically requiring you to have one—but of course you should have an operating agreement.
Why is an Operating Agreement important?
Not only is an operating agreement expected—banks, investors, members, managers, and partners will all ask to see your operating agreement—but an operating agreement puts into writing how your business really works. It lists how much each member invested, how profits and losses are allocated, and what happens if you shut it all down. Business is as unpredictable as Louisiana weather—and when the storms come (and storms always come eventually), you want to be prepared.
Do I have to write the Operating Agreement?
When you hire us to form your Louisiana LLC, you get an operating agreement specific to your company’s management style. We include an operating agreement because it’s important—it’s your LLC’s most critical internal document. We want your business to stay in business—it’s a point of pride for us, as are our forms. We’ve spent years refining and improving our operating agreements, resolutions and other free online forms. We were the first website to hand out free LLC forms online, and our forms have been used by over a million LLCs to help form and maintain their businesses.
Get a Louisiana LLC EIN
Do I have to get a tax ID number (EIN)?
Pretty much every Louisiana LLC will need a federal tax ID. You’ll need your EIN before you can register with Louisiana’s Department of Revenue—so if your LLC has to file any state taxes, like sales taxes, you’ll need an EIN. On the federal level, you’re required to get an EIN if you have employees or file certain federal excise taxes (like Alcohol/Tobacco/Firearms returns). Getting an EIN is free if you apply directly from the IRS website. Or, hire Northwest to apply for you when sign up for our formation services.
Open a Bank Account for Your Louisiana LLC
To open a bank account for your Louisiana LLC, you will need to bring the following with you to the bank:
- A copy of the Louisiana LLC Articles of Organization
- The LLC operating agreement
- The Louisiana LLC’s EIN
If there are multiple members in the LLC, you may also want to bring an LLC resolution to open a bank account that states that the person going to the bank is authorized by the members to open the account in the name of the LLC. Northwest can help with this as well—LLC bank resolutions are one of the many free legal forms we provide to ensure you can get your LLC started fast.
We recommend calling your bank ahead of time before going in and asking what their requirements are. Most banks don’t open business accounts nearly as frequently as personal accounts, so some bankers may be unfamiliar with their own bank’s requirements. As frustrating as that may be for you, calling ahead will help save you from being super annoyed when you walk into the bank.
Obtain a Business License
Does a Louisiana LLC need a business license?
There’s no statewide general business license, but you may need a local business license from your city or parish. Orleans Parish, for example, requires an Occupational or General Business License for all businesses operating in the parish. A good place to start is with the parish or city office or clerk.
If your license application requires an EIN or a certified copy of your formation docs, Northwest can help. You can add on items like these during checkout or order them later on from inside your free account.
File Louisiana LLC Reports
What is a Louisiana LLC Annual Report?
Every year, you have to file a Louisiana LLC Annual Report to update the state on your LLC’s ownership and contact information. There’s no avoiding this $30 a year fee. While there’s no late fee penalty, the state will dissolve your LLC or revoke your registration after three years of delinquency. At Northwest, we’ll help you remember to file by sending you report reminders. You can even hire us to file your report for you each year, and you’ll have one less thing to worry about.
How much does an LLC in Louisiana cost each year?
The filing fee for the Louisiana LLC Annual Report is $30 ($35 online).
Pay the LLC Taxes
What are the Louisiana LLC taxes?
The Louisiana personal net income tax rates for single filers are:
2%: $0 to $12,499
4%: $12,500 to $49,999
The state sales tax is 4.45%. Cities, however, can stack on additional local sales taxes. The average total sales tax is 8.925%. When weighted to consider population as well, the number jumps to a staggering 9.45%—making it the second highest average sales tax rate in the US.
Want a bigger overview of state taxes? Check out our Louisiana business taxes page. We also have many more free resources to explore to help you manage your LLC. Free guides, free forms, and exceptional service—that’s Northwest.