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Start a Business in Louisiana

Starting a business in Louisiana is easy. All you need to do is file a few forms with the Louisiana Secretary of State and start running your business. Below, we show you how to get started and walk you through some of your options.

One option is, of course, to stop reading and just hire us to start your business for you. At Northwest, we form businesses and provide registered agent service throughout the US. That’s our business, and obviously we recommend starting your business in a certain way. We call it “Starting a Business the Right Way."

Starting your business the right way means hiring a registered agent to form your LLC or corporation so you can protect your privacy and receive the care your business needs to stay active. If you hire us to start your Louisiana business, we’ll be your registered agent, provide Privacy by Default®, a business address, mail forwarding and local Corporate Guide® service for life.

All You Need

Hire us to start your Louisiana LLC or corporation and get all the tools you need to start fast:

  • LA registered agent service

  • Louisiana business forms

  • Online client account

  • Easy access to all our business services & answers to your business questions

Start Your Business the Right Way

As your registered agent, when we start your business, we give you what other filing services can’t:

  • Privacy by Default®
  • Business address
  • Free mail forwarding
  • Lifetime support from local Corporate Guides®

Start Your Louisiana Business

$225 + State Fees
Rated 4.7 / 5 stars by 123 clients on Google

How to Start a Business in Louisiana

1
Articles

You file articles of incorporation for a Louisiana corporation or articles of organization for a Louisiana LLC with the LA Secretary of State (remember to include the initial report).

2
Federal Tax ID

You obtain a federal tax ID number (FEIN or EIN) with the IRS after you have confirmation and filed articles from the State of Louisiana showing your approved Louisiana business.

3
Bank Account

Opening a business banking account under your new Louisiana business name should be easy with these two items.

4
Department of Revenue

Register with the Louisiana Department of Revenue and the Louisiana Workforce Commission if you are going to withhold taxes or hire employees.

5
Trade License

Louisiana Secretary of State has an online system that can tell you what licensing agencies you need to contact while starting a business. Use GeauxBiz.com to learn about your licensing requirements. We also provide helpful links and information in your online account.
You obtain a Louisiana trade or occupational license, if you actually need one. (Most businesses don’t.)

6
Local License

You obtain a local city or parish general license, if you need one.
You obtain a local trade license, if the city or county you’re going to be working in requires it.

7
Zoning

If you’re going to have an office or shop you might need additional approval from the city zoning for your type of business in that location.

8
Get Going

If you get overwhelmed, just get your business pulling in money and worry about regulations later.

Are You A Do-It-Yourselfer?
You Can Save Some Money:

If you want to start a business in Louisiana yourself, you can just hire us as your Louisiana registered agent, and you’ll instantly have the Louisiana LLC or corporation forms to file along with filing instructions on the quickest, cheapest, and most efficient way to incorporate a Louisiana corporation or form a Louisiana LLC. You’ll get the ongoing support of our online tools, reminders and the support of a professional Louisiana registered agent service.

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Louisiana LLC vs Corporation

LLCs are very common among small business owners. Because LLCs offer flexible management, great tax options, and fewer annual requirements, they’re generally easier to maintain. Corporations are popular for large businesses that want to sell stock to potential investors. The well-established, defined management structure can also be appealing.

But, what about Louisiana? Any pros and cons for a Louisiana LLC vs a Louisiana corporation?

The initial filing fee for Louisiana corporations is slightly less than LLCs—$75 versus $100. However, both entities are required to file an annual report, pay a $35 filing fee, and list director/officer or member/manager information. LLCs and corporations are also subject to very high sales tax rates. In fact, Louisiana’s average tax rate (state and local combined) sits at 9.45%. Definitely something to keep in mind when selling services and products.

Louisiana corporations not only pay corporate income taxes, they’re also subject to a franchise tax—LLCs are not. The corporate income tax rate begins at 4% and tops out at 8%. Plus, the franchise tax applies $1.50 for each $1000 of assets in the state, and then increases to $3 per $1000 after $300,000 of equipment. By comparison, LLCs have it much easier come tax season.

In addition, Louisiana enacted SB 223 in 2019, allowing pass-through entities to pay the state income tax at the entity level—thereby avoiding the $10,000 federal limit for individual itemized deductions set forth by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Essentially, LLCs with default taxation and S corporations won’t be hindered by the new deduction cap. Also, personal income tax rates only go up to 6%, keeping tax payments for most LLCs lower than corporations.

If you want a corporation, you file Louisiana Articles of incorporation:

It will cost $60 to file LA articles of incorporation with the Louisiana Secretary of State. We custom draft your Louisiana articles of incorporation and initial report when you hire Northwest to start your Louisiana business. The basic requirements of Louisiana corporations are:

LA Articles of Incorporation:

  • An incorporating Louisiana ending such as Inc, corporation, or incorporated
  • A general or specific corporation purpose
  • The duration may be limited or perpetual
  • The amount of Louisiana corporation shares you would like to authorize
  • The class of the corporation shares
  • The par value of the shares
  • The name, address, and signature of the Louisiana incorporator(s)
  • Louisiana requires the articles of incorporation be notarized

LA Corporation Initial Report:

  • The name of the corporation
  • The location of the corporations registered office in Louisiana
  • The name and address of the Louisiana registered agent
  • The initial director(s) name and address
  • The LA corporation incorporator signature
  • The initial report must be signed by the registered agent and notarized

Louisiana does not require original signatures on new articles of incorporation and the initial report must be notarized. After filing, your document will be mailed to the address on the coversheet.

Start Your Louisiana Business!

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If you want a LLC, you file Louisiana Articles of organization:

It will cost $100 to file LA articles of organization with the Louisiana Secretary of State. We custom draft your Louisiana articles of organization and initial report when you hire Northwest to start your Louisiana business. The basic requirements of Louisiana LLCs are:

Louisiana LLC articles of organization requirements:

  • The business name must have a limited liability company ending or variation of it
  • New Louisiana LLCs name must be different than already registered Louisiana companies
  • Duration of the Louisiana LLC is perpetual unless you list a dissolution date
  • The Louisiana registered agent and the physical address
  • The Louisiana organizer’s name and signature

Louisiana LLC initial report requirements:

  • The name of the LLC
  • The location of the LLC registered office in Louisiana
  • The name and address of the Louisiana registered agent
  • The names and physical addresses of the first managers or members
  • The signature of any person who signed the articles of organization
  • The initial report must be signed by the registered agent and notarized

Louisiana does not require original signatures on new articles of organization and the LLCs initial report must be notarized. After LA SOS approves your Louisiana LLC filing, they will send a copy to the address on the coversheet.

Do Business The Right Way