Your first consideration when choosing a name for your LLC is that it be unique from any other business in the state of Louisiana. You can quickly and easily do a name check on the Louisiana Secretary of State website business name database to verify the business name you want is available.For a $25 fee, you can reserve a name for 120 days by filing the Name Reservation form (Form #398) online or by mail.
In order to comply with Louisiana state law, your company’s name must end with some form of the term “Limited Liability Company.” This can appear as the whole phrase written out or one of two appropriate abbreviations, “L.C.” or “L.L.C.” Louisiana forbids LLCs names from having the words “Doing Business As” or any abbreviation thereof as well as any words stating or implying that the LLC is organized for an unlawful purpose or a purpose contrary to its articles of organization. The name also cannot imply that the LLC is a government agency.
The state of Louisiana requires that any LLC have a registered agent for service of process. This means your LLC must have an entity that agrees to physically accept any legal papers on the company’s behalf should it be sued. This entity does not have to be an individual person. The registered agent can be any resident of the state of Louisiana, an organizer of a business, a member of an LLC, an employee of the business, an attorney, an accountant, or a business entity authorized to do business in Louisiana so long as the agent has a physical street address within the state.
You may want to consider preparing an operating agreement to outline the ownership and operating procedures for your LLC.
Though not required by the state, an operating agreement will set the guidelines for running your company. This does not need to be filed with the state, but it can go a long way toward ensuring your company’s success.
An IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN) is required of your LLC unless it is a single-member LLC with no employees. Obtaining an EIN is as easy as completing the application on the IRS website.
It’s possible your company will need to register with the Louisiana Department of Revenue. Whether or not your company needs to follow this step will depend on the exact types of taxes it will be collecting and/or has been collecting from the state and whether you have employees. To register, Form R-16019 can be filed online at the Louisiana Taxpayer Access Point or by mail.
If your LLC will be selling a physical product, you’ll need to register for a sellers permit through the Louisiana Department of Revenue. This will allow you to collect sales tax on taxable sales. Additionally, if you have employees, you’ll need to register for Unemployment Insurance Tax through the Louisiana Workforce Commission and also register for Employee Withholding Tax through the Louisiana Department of Revenue.
If your company is a foreign LLC, also referred to as an out-of-state LLC, wanting to do business in the state of Louisiana, you’ll need to follow all the steps outlined above with a few minor differences.
You will need to file an Application of Foreign Limited Liability Company (Form 972) with the Louisiana Secretary of State as well as an Application for Authority to Transact Business In Louisiana. This can be done online. Additionally, you’ll need to provide a Certificate of Existence or Certificate of Good Standing from your LLC’s home state.
The certificate must date back no more than 90 days prior to filing. The filing fee is $150.
Some industries will require you to secure federal, state, and/or local licenses to legally operate in the state of Louisiana.
Because business licenses and permits are issued at all levels of government and for such a multitude of reasons, there isn’t one central location where you can check to see if your business has everything it needs to be compliant.
You should do careful research to find out what licenses and permits you need or hire a professional service to do it for you.