Louisiana Filing Fees

What are the Business Filing Fees in Louisiana?

Starting a business in Louisiana means paying a variety of government filing fees. We’ve compiled the most common ones here so that you’ll know what to expect.

FILE YOUR BUSINESS

If you are on the road to starting your own Louisiana business, it’s an exciting and nerve-wracking time. Now that you have decided on some of the basics of your company, it’s time to get the ball rolling on the formation process and beyond. It’s important to take into consideration that there will be filing fees for your new business, no matter how small or large it may be. If this sounds overwhelming, don’t worry.  Let’s walk through the Louisiana filing fees you might need to pay and how we can help.

Step 1: Pay your Louisiana business’s initial filing fees

Each statutory business entity must register with the Louisiana Secretary of State. Formation documents are different for each entity type. 

Louisiana offers standard processing, 24-hour expedited processing, and 2-4 hour priority expedited processing. Expedited options require an additional fee. Use our expedited filing service to get your business up and running faster. 

Step 2: Reserve your Louisiana business’s name

Your business name is a very important part of your company. It’s the way people find you and the way they spread the word about you. Once you have made a decision on a name, make sure it adheres to all Louisiana naming regulations. These stipulate that the name must be distinguishable from other businesses. 

Once you reserve a name for your Louisiana business, the reservation is valid for 120 days. You need to file your Louisiana Business formation documents within that time period. We can take care of the name reservation process for you, including making sure that the name you want isn’t already taken. 

Step 3: Reserve a “doing business as” name in Louisiana

A DBA (doing business as) or trade name is a name that’s used when a company wants to go by a different name than the one they are registered as. This is often the case for sole proprietors or businesses that branch off into different industries or product lines under the same company umbrella. 

In Louisiana, you must actually be using your trade name before you can register it. To register, you’ll need to file an Application to Register Trade Name. If you haven’t yet started using the name, Louisiana allows you to reserve a trade name before registering it. Head over to our dedicated page to learn more about the DBA process and see if it is right for your business.

Step 4: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

​​An Employer Identification Number makes it easier for businesses to file federal and state taxes, quarterly or annually. Some small businesses and sole proprietorships use personal accounts for their business and taxes, but statutory businesses should have an EIN. We can obtain your EIN for you and take that step off your plate. 

Step 5: Draft an operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or partnership agreement for your Louisiana business

Though these documents don’t need to be submitted to the state, they’re extremely important to the success of your business because they establish expectations and help avoid confusion. It’s best to document how the business is supposed to operate. Depending on your type of business entity, these documents might include information such as shareholder rights, member responsibilities, conflict of interest procedures, transfer of ownership procedures, profit and loss allocation, exit agreements, and more. Your business may benefit greatly by taking the time to draft the appropriate procedural and operational documents:

  • Corporations create corporate bylaws
  • Limited liability companies use an operating agreement 
  • Limited liability partnerships and limited partnerships use partnership agreements

If you’re forming an LLC and want to make sure nothing slips through the cracks, check out our operating agreement template, which allows you to use our framework to customize one for your business.

Step 6: Apply for your Louisiana business’s necessary licenses and permits

The Louisiana filing fees for licenses and permits are determined by your industry, activities, and location. A tomato farmer will need a different set of licenses and permits than a dentist. There is a lot of research that goes into determining which licenses and permits you need to operate. These usually involve an initial fee and have to be renewed. 

If hours of internet research and phone calls aren’t how you want to spend your valuable time, use our Business License Report to determine what you need to stay compliant in your field. 

Step 7: Pay registration fees for out-of-state businesses

Out-of-state companies must register with the Louisiana Secretary of State before doing business in Louisiana. Businesses incorporated in another state submit an Application for Authority to Transact Business in Louisiana and pay the fees for registration. A Certificate of Good Standing (no more than 90 days old), or its equivalent document, must also be provided. 

Step 8: Check Louisiana’s Annual Report requirements and fees

Louisiana requires all statutory business entities to file an annual report with the Secretary of State. This document helps verify that the information the state has on file about your business is accurate, and requires a fee upon submission. One of the issues with annual reports is keeping track of when it’s due and remembering to file. We can help keep you on task and compliant with all your upcoming reports using our annual report service. 

Step 9: Keep your Louisiana business legally compliant

From time to time, your business information may change. This could include your address, registered agent, members, and even purpose. Depending on what changes need to be made, there may be multiple forms to complete all amendments and remain compliant. This can be stressful and time-consuming. Our Worry-Free Compliance service can help you stay on top of all your paperwork, and includes services like annual reports, amendments, and more.

Let us help keep your Louisiana business state compliant!

Keeping track of filing fees can be overwhelming, but you’re not alone. We can help you avoid costly mistakes and fines with services like Worry-Free Compliance, as well as many other formation and compliance tools and services so that you can focus on your business. Contact us today to see how we can help make your small business dreams a reality.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

FAQs

  • Are there penalties for paying my fees late in Louisiana?

    Failure to pay required fees means that you aren’t compliant and can’t receive a Certificate of Good Standing in Louisiana.

  • What happens if I can’t pay my fees to the Louisiana government?

    You may receive penalties and be unable to receive a Certificate of Good Standing.

  • Who receives the fees for forming my Louisiana business?

    The Louisiana Secretary of State.

  • What is usually the biggest fee I will pay when I form my Louisiana business?

    Louisiana business filing fees depend on the type of business and documentation required. Cost for licenses and permits depends on your industry, activities, and location.

  • What payment methods can I use to pay my LLC or corporation filing fees to the Louisiana government?

    Pay online with a credit card, or by check or money order if sending by mail.

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