Louisiana has strong resources to help small businesses succeed, with 99.5% of total businesses qualifying as small businesses in the state. Encouragingly, 80% of Louisiana businesses survive their first year. In addition, Louisiana has the 6th lowest average unemployment insurance prices. If you’re ready to start building your LLC, read on to understand how to start an LLC in Louisiana. 

What Is a Louisiana LLC?

A limited liability company or LLC is a legal business entity that offers limited liability along with pass-through taxation of a sole proprietorship or partnership. A Louisiana LLC is an LLC based in Louisiana or doing business in the state. All Louisiana LLCs must file their articles of organization with the Secretary of State. 

What to Consider Before Forming an LLC in Louisiana?

Before forming an LLC in Louisiana, you’ll want to consider business structure, vision and mission, and long-term company goals. A corporation may be the best business structure if you plan to take the company public or want to have shareholders in the future. On the other hand, if you need a simple setup, liability protection, and minimal annual filings, an LLC is a business entity that will protect your personal assets and add credibility to your business.   

Once you’ve settled on creating an LLC, you’ll want to consider target customers and perform market research to identify opportunities and hone in on your target market. You’ll also want to create a business plan, including profitability analysis and cash flow. 

8 Steps to Start an LLC in Louisiana

If you’re ready to start an LLC in Louisiana, here are the steps to take:

Step 1: Decide on a Business Name

A business name is the unique point of interest for your business that should both express the nature of the business and be easy to remember. Your business name should be unique and different from the existing business entities in the state. In some cases, businesses will choose a DBA or fictitious name.

Once you have some name options, you can also search the US patent and trademark office to ensure the name isn’t trademarked. Then, you can check with the Louisiana Secretary of State’s database to confirm your chosen business name isn’t already taken. You can also search for businesses with the same name nationwide. 

Most businesses will also check possible names and web domains during the name selection. A Google search of possible names will show you which websites exist with the same or similar names so that you can secure a web domain for the business. Remember that the name must include “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations like LLC.

Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent

A registered agent is an individual or business entity designated to receive and accept legal documents on behalf of the business. A Louisiana registered agent must have a physical address in Louisiana and be available during normal business hours to accept service of process if the business is sued.

All LLCs and businesses in Louisiana must have a registered agent. If you are a Louisiana resident and are available during regular business hours, you can be your own registered agent.

Step 3: Prepare and File LLC Articles of Organization 

Filing articles of organization is essential to form an LLC. The articles of organization is a legal document that provides the necessary information about the LLC, such as its name, address, purpose, and the names of its members or managers. 

You can get the Louisiana articles of organization here. You’ll also need to pay the $100 Louisiana filing fee. You can pay a $50 expedited fee to get same-day processing or $30 for 24-hour processing. 

After filing, the LLC becomes a legally recognized entity separate from its owners. This protects the owners from liability, as their personal assets are generally separate from the company’s debts and liabilities.

Step 4: Draft an LLC Operating Agreement 

An LLC operating agreement is a legal document that outlines the rights, responsibilities, and operating procedures of the members of an LLC. It is a legal contract between the members and is used to govern the company’s internal affairs, including the distribution of profits and losses, management structure, decision-making process, and dispute resolution.

Common elements of an operating agreement include:

  • Equity structure
  • Capital contribution
  • Allocation of profits, losses, and distributions
  • Management
  • Voting
  • Dilution
  • Transfer
  • Buyout
  • Dissolution
  • Additional agreements or points of management

What’s Next After Filing an LLC in Louisiana?

After you’ve filed your LLC with the Secretary of State and set up an operating agreement, it’s time to establish the structures that allow your business to operate. Here are the next steps:

Step 5: Apply for EIN

If you plan to open a business bank account or hire employees, you’ll need to apply for an employer identification number (EIN) using IRS form SS-4. You can also apply online or mail the application to the IRS. 

Multiple LLCs cannot share an EIN; each LLC or business entity needs its own EIN. If you have already applied for an EIN but lost it, there are a number of ways to recover it, including directly with the IRS.

Step 6: Open a Business Bank Account

Once you have the EIN, you’ll need to open a business bank account. Opening a bank account for your LLC is an important step in managing your company’s finances and separating personal and business expenses. When opening a business bank account, ask banks about interest rates, monthly fees, and additional fees. 

Researching and opening a business bank account also helps protect your personal assets and ensures that you comply with legal and tax requirements. It can facilitate tracking your business transactions, maintaining accurate financial records, and demonstrating the legitimacy of your business to clients, suppliers, and financial institutions. 

As a small business owner, keep your business bank account separate from your personal bank account to protect yourself from liability and make bookkeeping easier. 

Step 7: Obtain Licenses or Permits

Licenses vary by state and even local requirements. You can check Louisiana’s checklist for business licenses. Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to register for specific licenses with the Secretary of State or apply for a local business license in the city or county. 

Step: 8: Get Business Insurance

Louisiana state law requires businesses to have workers’ compensation insurance. You might choose additional business insurance, including general liability insurance. Depending on the type of business, additional coverage may be necessary.

Other types of business insurance to consider include: 

  • Professional liability insurance
  • Umbrella insurance
  • Directors and officers’ liability insurance
  • Liability insurance
  • Property insurance
  • Commercial vehicle insurance
  • Business owner’s policy
  • Cyber insurance

4 ​​Types of LLCs to Consider in Louisiana

There are four types of LLCs you can consider in Louisiana. Below, you’ll get the info on each and what they offer for your business to find the best fit. 

Single-member LLC

A single-member LLC is formed with a single owner or member. A single-member LLC offers the same legal protection for your personal assets from business liability as any other LLC. While the LLC is a separate business entity, this type of LLC also offers simplified administration and management and pass-through taxation, so you can easily get the business up and running. 

Multi-member LLC

A multi-member LLC is a great option for business partners or several individuals planning to form a business together. A multi-member LLC is any limited liability company with two or more members. 

The great news? There’s no upper limit on how many members you can add. With a multi-member LLC, you gain a legal business entity, personal liability protection, and other LLC benefits like pass-through taxation and simplified administration. But you can start a business with as many partners as you choose. 

L3C

An L3C is a low-profit limited liability company for social outreach and charitable activities. A L3C has the same liability protection and pass-through taxation structure as a standard LLC. An L3C is relatively simple to set up and maintain. L3Cs and LLCs have the same legal structure. 

Compared to a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, which must adhere to strict requirements, an L3C is simpler to set up and maintain but allows you to focus on the betterment of society with the LLC.

PLLC

PLLCs are professional services businesses with the same legal protection as a standard LLC. A PLLC is intended for licensed professionals to offer their unique services. Louisiana law only allows the formation of a PLLC to practice dentistry.

Building Your Louisiana LLC

With attention and market research, you have the tools to launch and grow your business. A Louisiana business is a big undertaking that requires an exceptional team and good resources to succeed. When required, doola’s LLC formation services are there for you to help with business formation, getting an EIN, and opening a business bank account. Partner with doola for fast and easy business formation services so you can focus on building your business. 

FAQs

Why should I file an LLC in Louisiana?

Filing an LLC in Louisiana creates a legal business entity that can offer personal asset protection and give legitimacy to your business. An LLC simplifies administration and is fast to open. Louisiana also offers a supportive business environment to help the company grow.  

How long does it take to get an LLC in Louisiana?

If you file online, you can get an LLC in Louisiana in 3-5 business days. If you file by mail, you can expect the LLC formation to be completed within two to three weeks. In Louisiana, you can pay for expedited filing and have the LLC formed within four hours. 

How much does an LLC cost in Louisiana?

The initial filing fee for an LLC in Louisiana is $100. After the first year, you’ll need to pay $30 to file the annual report. You can also reserve an LLC name in Louisiana for $25 while preparing to create the LLC.

How is an LLC taxed in Louisiana?

An LLC in Louisiana is treated and taxed in the same way as it is treated and taxed for federal income tax purposes. That means that if the LLC is taxed as a corporation for federal income tax purposes, it will be taxed as a corporation in Louisiana as well. On the other hand, all LLCs have pass-through taxation, and you can report LLC income on your income tax return.

Can I change the name of my LLC in Louisiana after it’s formed?

Yes, you can change the name of a Louisiana LLC. You must file a name change amendment with the Louisiana Secretary of State. 

Can an LLC in Louisiana be taxed as an S-Corporation?

A Louisiana LLC can be taxed as an S-corporation by filing Form 2553 with the IRS. LLCs can be taxed as either an S-corporation or a C-corporation or use pass-through taxation. Note that only US-originated companies can become S-corps.

Do I need a physical office for my LLC in Louisiana?

You must have a physical office, called a registered office for the Louisiana LLC, along with a Louisiana registered agent. For the registered office, someone must be available during regular business hours. You could use a registered agent service if you don’t have a physical office for your LLC. 

Can I dissolve or close my LLC in Louisiana if I no longer need it?

Yes, you can dissolve or close a Louisiana LLC by filing an affidavit to dissolve the LLC with the Louisiana Secretary of State Commercial Division. When dissolving an LLC, you must follow the procedures laid out in the LLC’s operating agreement. You can also hire a professional agent to help you dissolve the LLC. 

Alison K Plaut
Alison K Plaut
Content Specialist
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