Louisiana LLC Formation – Basics & Helpful Information
How to Start a Louisiana LLC
This article is meant to be a general overview of the Louisiana LLC formation process; including information about how to start a Louisiana LLC and other basic issues related to Louisiana LLCs.
Louisiana Filing Fees
To start a Louisiana LLC, you must file Articles of Organization with the Louisiana Secretary of State. The filing fee charged by the Louisiana SOS to file the LLC’s Articles of Organization is $100 (+$5 if you pay with a credit card). You can expedite the filing for an additional $30.
Louisiana Filing Time
Regular processing time generally takes 3-5 business days. Expedited processing for extra fees can reduce the turn-around time to either “while you wait” for $50.00 or 24-hours for $30.00.
Louisiana Annual Compliance Requirements
The Louisiana Secretary of State requires an LLC to file Annual Reports each year by the anniversary month of formation for a fee of $30.00. You can now file the annual report online.
Unlike corporations, Louisiana LLCs are not required to pay a Louisiana franchise tax.
Form an LLC in Louisiana
You can use this checklist to help guide you through the process of forming a Louisiana LLC:
Step 1: Decide on a Business Name
The first step in creating an LLC in Louisiana is naming your business. You’ll need to check with the Louisiana to make sure the name you’ve chosen is available. You can do this online via the Louisiana Business Name Search or you can all in the name available inquiry at (225) 925-4704. You can reserve a business name (not required) for 60 days for a fee of $25.00.
It is also highly recommended that you check the US Patent and Trademark Office to see if someone has a federal trademark of the business name you want (the Louisiana will not check other state’s databases or the federal trademark database). You can click here to have a comprehensive name availability search performed for you.
Your LLC name must contain the words “limited liability company” or the abbreviation “L.L.C”, or “L.C.”. The name of the LLC may not contain the phrase “doing business as” or the abbreviation “d/b/a”.See Louisiana LLC Naming Criteria →
Louisiana Trade Names
An trade name is similar to a “doing business as” (DBA) name. The fee to register your trade name is $75.00. Louisiana trade names are only applicable in Louisiana and are not substitutes for a national trademark filing.See more info on Louisiana Trade Names →
Step 2: Register your LLC with the State
Louisiana Articles of Organization
Your Louisiana LLC is formed by signing and filing Articles of Organization with the Louisiana Secretary of State. You can also e-file the Louisiana Articles of Organization. An initial report (Form 973) must accompany the Articles of Organization. The Louisiana Secretary of State staff will examine the initial report and the Articles of Organization for statutory compliance and will either approve the articles for filing or reject the articles with instructions on how to resubmit the document.
The Articles of Organization and Initial Report must include at a minimum:
- Name of the Louisiana LLC
- Street address and county of the LLC’s registered address
- Purpose of the LLC
- Duration of LLC
- Organizer’s name and signature
- Registered agent’s name and signature accepting the appointment
- Initial managers’ or members’ names and addresses
- Notary’s seal with signature
Louisiana Registered Agent Information
Louisiana requires that the LLC have a Registered Agent, which is an individual of legal age and a legal resident, or a business entity, that the LLC appoints for the purpose of accepting service of process (lawsuit papers or legal documents) on behalf of the LLC. The business entity may not be the LLC itself, and must be qualified to transact business in the state of Louisiana. The LLC can appoint one of its members, employees, organizers, an attorney, or an accountant as the registered agent. The registered agent’s name and street address are publically available and displayed on the Louisiana Secretary of State’s website. A post office box cannot be the only address used. The registered agent must accept the appointment by the LLC.Read more about Registered Agents →
Step 3: Create and Sign the LLC’s Governing Document
The governing document for an LLC is called the “company agreement” or sometimes the “operating agreement”. The company agreement is to an LLC like a partnership agreement is to a partnership (or bylaws to a corporation). The company agreement governs the internal operation of the LLC and is typically a private document that is kept in the company book and the principal place of business (it is NOT filed with the state). The company agreement can address many issues, some of the more common concepts found within a company agreement are:
- Limitations on the members liabilities
- The level of consent needed to take various actions (i.e. simple majority required to add new members)
- The percentage of the LLC that each member owns
- How profits and losses are allocated between the members (typically based on ownership percentages)
- Limitations on transferability
- What each member is contributing to the LLC and what happens is such contributions are not made.
- The authority of the members, officers, managers, committees, etc.
- How meetings are conducted
One of the reasons we recommend using an LLC formation company like IncFile is that they can provide you with a company agreement in connection with their LLC formation services.
Step 4: Get an EIN
After you form an LLC in Louisiana, you can get the EIN. There are a few different ways to get an EIN:
- Apply Online Yourself: The IRS has an online EIN Application you can use to get an EIN. The turn around time on the EIN using this method is only a few minutes.
- Use Form SS-4: You can get an EIN the old fashion way by completing Form SS-4 and mailing or faxing into the IRS. How long does it take to get the EIN this way? According to the IRS: if you mail in Form SS-4, it will take 4-5 weeks to get your EIN. If you fax in Form SS-4 you should have the EIN back in a week if you provide a fax number or 2 weeks if you don’t have a fax number.
- Have a Third-Party Obtain: All of the LLC formation companies have the ability to get the EIN for you. The EIN obtainment charge varies by company, but it is generally between $50 and $100. If you get one of the higher priced packages, they will sometimes throw in the EIN for free.
Step 5: Get Licenses and Permits
After you create your new Louisiana LLC, you’ll need to determine if your business/profession requires any licenses or permits to conduct business.Read more about Louisiana Licensing and Permitting →
Registering a Foreign LLC in Louisiana
If you have a non-Louisiana LLC (aka Foreign LLC) and you are doing business in Louisiana, you may need to register the Foreign LLC in Louisiana. Each state has a different definition of “doing business”. In Louisiana, the kinds of activities that would not constitute “doing business” are outlined in the Louisiana Statutes Annotated, Section 12:1343.
The filing fee for the Application for Authority to Transact Business in Louisiana is $150.
Helpful Tips & Information
Use an LLC formation service like IncFile to help you form an LLC in Louisiana. IncFile has FREE LLC formation packages (you only pay the state filing fee).
Louisiana Secretary of State
Louisiana Business Name Criteria
Louisiana Business Name Search
Louisiana Online Services
Louisiana Articles of Organization – Online Filing
Louisiana Annual Report – Online Filing
Louisiana Business Permits and Licenses
Online EIN Application (for the LLC’s Federal Tax ID)
USPTO (Federal) Trademark Search