A Quick And Easy Guide On Starting An LLC In Louisiana

The limited liability company (LLC) structure is a popular choice for many Louisiana startups.

The limited liability company (LLC) structure is a popular choice for many Louisiana startups. That is because it combines the asset protection features of a corporation with the lack of formalities and flexibility of partnerships and sole proprietorships. Companies that apply for an LLC in the state for the first time may feel overwhelmed with the process. It requires an understanding of each task and attention to detail to prevent any mistakes that could lead to bigger issues.

Here is a quick and easy guide on starting an LLC in Louisiana:

Step 1: Pick an appropriate name for the LLC.

While having a memorable name for the company is important, it is equally necessary to ensure that it complies with state regulations. Under the law, all LLCs should include the phrase “Limited Liability Company” or any of its abbreviations like “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” or “L.C” in the company name. The name should also not have any term that could confuse the company for a government agency.

Additionally, companies should ensure the business name is distinguishable. That means that a new LLC can not use a name if another entity in Louisiana has already taken it. To prevent any issues, it is best to conduct an online Business Filing Search on the state’s database.

A company may file a Name Reservation form with the Secretary of State and pay the corresponding fee. Normal processing costs $25. The 24-hour expedited filing requires an additional $30, while another $50 is necessary for the 2- to 4-hour processing. Filing this document will allow you to reserve a name for up to 60 days.

LLCs also have the option to use a different name other than the one stated in the formation documents. In such cases, the company will have to apply for a trade name. This is also known as doing business as (DBA) or a fictitious name. For this application, the LLC should submit an Application to Register Trade Name Trademark or Service Mark to the Secretary of State and pay the $75 filing fee. Keep in mind that companies can only apply for DBA after the successful registration of the business.

Step 2: Select a registered agent.

All companies operating in the state will have to nominate a registered agent for services of process. This can be an individual or another business entity willing to receive legal correspondence and government mail on behalf of the company. For a complete list of the qualifications in the state, check out our article on the Louisiana Registered Agent.

Step 3: File formal paperwork.

To formally apply for an LLC in Louisiana, a company has to file a completed Articles of Organization Limited Liability Company form with the Secretary of State and pay the $100 fee.

Online filing is necessary for companies located in the following parishes:

    • Ascension
    • Bossier
    • Caddo
    • Calcasieu
    • East Baton Rouge
    • Jefferson
    • Lafayette
    • Livingston
    • Orleans
    • Ouachita
    • Rapides
    • St. Tammany
    • Tangipahoa
    • Terrebonne

To complete the Articles of Organization online, companies will have to disclose the following information:

    • Type Of Tax Treatment
    • LLC Name
    • Business Purpose, Which Can Be General Such As “Any Lawful Activity”
    • Office Street Address
    • Business Mailing Address If Different
    • Name And Address Of The Registered Agent
    • Management Structure
    • Electronic Signature Of A Member, Manager, Or The Organizer
    • Description Of The LLC’s Business, Including Its NAICS Code
    • EIN

For paper filings, the following pieces of information are necessary to fill out the form:

    • LLC Name
    • Purpose Of The Business
    • Duration Of The Company, Whether Perpetual Or Limited
    • Original Signature Of The Organizer

Paper applications also require the submission of a completed Initial Report form, which includes the following:

    • LLC Name
    • Office Street Address
    • Name And Address Of The Registered Agent
    • Names And Addresses Of Initial Members And Managers
    • Signature Of Everyone Who Signed The Articles Of Organization
    • Signature Of The Registered Agent

Step 4: Create an operating agreement.

While the state does not require the preparation of an operating agreement, having one is advantageous for LLCs. This document establishes the processes on how to run the LLC and its management structure. It also sets out the rights, powers, duties, and responsibilities of the owners and managers. Additionally, it helps preserve the limited liability feature of the structure as it proves that the LLC is a separate entity. State laws on LLCs will govern the operating procedures of those that do not have operating agreements.

Step 5: Ensuring compliance with tax and regulatory requirements.

Depending on the industry the company is in, its business activities, and the location of its primary place of business, there may be additional tax and regulatory requirements.

LLCs that filed in paper form will have to obtain an EIN for tax filings in case they elect to be taxed as a corporation. Other reasons for acquiring an EIN are hiring employees and opening a bank account under the name of the business.

Business entities should also check with the clerk for the county, parish, or city where their primary place of business is located to see if any permits are needed. For state licenses, companies can check the website of the Secretary of State.

LLCs that sell products requiring the collection of sales taxes or those that have employees will have to register with the Department of Revenue. This can be done at the same time as filing the Articles of Organization online. Alternatively, companies may apply online using the Taxpayer Access Point or on paper using Form R-16019.

Step 6: Submit annual reports.

Louisiana requires LLCs to file annual reports with the Secretary of State. The deadline is on or before the anniversary date of the company’s organization in Louisiana.

This quick and easy guide can help companies get started. But those that may not have time to apply for an LLC can get help from a reliable third-party organization like DoMyLLC.

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