LA Business Facts
With its unique cultural identity, affordable cost of living, and a recent economic transformation that led Forbes to rank it as “America’s New Frontier for Business,” the Bayou State of Louisiana is an attractive environment for entrepreneurs and working professionals. Louisiana was also ranked #8 for Business by Area Development Magazine as recently as December 2019.
Major Companies in Louisiana
Louisiana is home to many large corporations, including CenturyLink,
Odyssea Marine, Fairmont Hotel & Resorts, Future Pipe Industries and
Louisiana’s excellent educational opportunities, solid infrastructure, and startup incentives unite to form a competitive environment that enables long-term progress for small businesses across the state.
There are 3 basic options: a DBA, a Corporation, or an LLC. Click here to learn more about business entities.
Choosing a business name is easier said than done – many legal and business problems can arise from picking the wrong name. It’s worth your time to select a name that can grow with your business and is unique from other names. In Step 3 we’ll show you how to search for the name in Louisiana, but we highly recommend you do the following before searching Louisiana state databases:
TIP: search misspellings, plurals, variations of spelling, sound-alikes, and other versions of your chosen name to be sure it’s not already registered.
NOTE: Familiarize yourself with the Louisiana naming guidelines. Louisiana requires companies to have unique names. LLC entity names need to contain the words Limited Liability Company or the abbreviation LLC, and certain words are restricted or prohibited. Louisiana corporation names may be followed by a number of approved designations including Co., Company, Corp., Corporation, Inc., Incorporated, Limited or Ltd. Restricted designations include Architect.
Each state has its own requirements for registering a business. Now that you’ve chosen a business structure and selected your business name, here are the requirements to register your business in Louisiana.
How to form an LLC in Louisiana
How to Incorporate in Louisiana
NOTE: When registering a new company the Secretary of State can take several weeks to file the paperwork. You can expedite the process by hand delivering the documents directly to them or one of their field offices and paying an additional fee.
TIP: Check our order form to see how long North Dakota is currently taking to process regular and expedited orders.
How to File a DBA in Louisiana
Optional Considerations when registering a Louisiana business
Ready to register a business in Louisiana?
Sure, you could do all the steps above or you could spend 5-10 minutes on our order form and let us take care of it while you work on more important things.
Your EIN is like your Social Security Number for your company. It’s required for Corporations and LLC’s and optional for DBA’s (if you don’t have any employees, then it’s required). However, if you are a DBA and don’t obtain an EIN you will be forced to use your Social Security Number on many documents so it’s typically recommended you obtain the EIN to prevent identity theft.
TIP: We will obtain your EIN for you if we form your company.
To keep business and personal expenses separate, you should open a separate account for your business. In addition, getting business credit cards is how you begin to build a company credit profile (corporation or LLC required) and can later qualify for larger loans and lines of credit. To open the account simply call your chosen bank and inquire about the steps to open a business bank account. Typically you’ll need a) your filed paperwork b) your EIN c) a company resolution authorizing your company to open the account (signed by the owners, members, officers or directors, etc.).
Click here to view a list of our recommended banks in our Vendor Network.
TIP: Our business formation service includes a free banking resolution for your use.
Setup your Accounting and Record-keeping system and learn about the taxes your new company is responsible for paying.
Company documents generally are required to be kept for 3 years, including a list of all owners and addresses, copies of all formation documents, financial statements, annual reports, amendments, or changes to the company. All Tax and Corporate Filings should be kept for at least 3 years. View our “Accounting & Financial Management” section for help with setting up an accounting system and purchasing accounting software.
Now that you’ve registered your business name you need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).
TIP: We work with a company that can obtain and prepare business licenses and permits for you. Click here to learn more.
If you intend to hire yourself or others as a full or part-time employee of your company, then you may have to register with the appropriate State Agencies or obtain Workers Compensation Insurance or Unemployment Insurance (or both). View our “Employees & Payroll” section for help with hiring employees and processing payroll.
Review our list of recommended Payroll Providers in our Vendor Network.
There are many types of insurance for businesses but they are usually packaged as “General Business Insurance” or a “Business Owner’s Policy”. This can cover everything from product liability to company vehicles. A decent policy can run as little as $300/year and offers a great extra level of protection.
Click here to view our list of insurance providers in our Vendor Network.
Prepare the business as if someone needed to take it over and run it for you. This means having a method to process orders, pay bills, pay employees, pay taxes, maintain your permits, etc. Basically, try to make the operational aspect of the business as automated and efficient as possible so you can concentrate on growing your business. View our “Manage Your Company” section for help with systemizing and automating your business.
Now that you’ve set up the company for success, you need to get the word out. Create a marketing plan for your products and services that targets your ideal customer. View our “Marketing & Sales” section for help for more information.
DBA: Your Fictitious Business Name should be valid for 5 years (unless you change your company name or other information listed on the FBN) at which point you’ll need to renew it with your parish.
LLC: Louisiana LLCs are required to file an annual report every year by the anniversary of the date the LLC was formed. The annual report can be filed online at the Secretary of State’s geauxBiz portal.
Corporation: Louisiana corporations are required to file an annual report each year by the anniversary of the date you incorporated. File your annual report online at the Secretary of State’s geauxBiz portal. LLCs and Corporations will pay a filing cost of $30.
Click here to view our MyCompanyWorks Premium™ service which can automate most of your ongoing compliance tasks.
geauxBiz (for Corporation and LLC filings)
8585 Archives Avenue
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
Louisiana Taxation Departments
Louisiana Labor and Employment Departments
Louisiana Startup Resources
Small Business Administration (SBA) Louisiana
SCORE Louisiana – providing mentorship, counseling, and advice for new businesses
Louisiana Legal Statutes
Louisiana geauxBIZ – geauxBIZ is your one-stop site for launching your new business in the state of Louisiana.
Louisiana Angel Investors
Louisiana Business News
Louisiana Green Business
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