How to Form an LLC in Louisiana

The Process of Setting Up an LLC in Louisiana

If you are thinking of starting up a company in Louisiana, the best option is likely to be an LLC or Limited Liability Company.

LLCs are business models that are perfect for new start-ups and small to medium-sized operations.

They give you many of the protections and advantages that the larger corporations expect but with fewer rules and regulations and compliance issues about which to worry.

Six things you need to consider when starting an LLC in Louisiana:

  • What the name of your new company will be
  • Which Louisiana registered agent you will choose to work with
  • The process of filing your LLC formation paperwork and the associated costs
  • Whether or not to create an operating agreement
  • Obtaining a unique IEM or Employment Identification Number
  • Researching any other information that will affect your application
So let's get started with the first step in the process - the name of your new business venture.

1st Phaze - Naming Your New Business Venture

The first port of call is to decide on a name for your new company. It needs to be a unique identifier with which clients will be able to associate.

It must also comply with Louisiana's specified naming protocols which are:

  • The name you register has to include the phrase "Limited Liability Company", or one of its recognized abbreviations - L.L.C. or LLC - (with or without periods).

    It's also important that your sought-after name doesn't create any confusion with any other government agencies like the FBI, the Treasury, or the State Department.

  • Does your business operation require a special license? Certain professions such as accountancy, architecture, and practicing medicine must be supported by a relevant license.

    If your business is a bank, a clinic, or a university, you may need to file some additional documentation.

  • The company name you wish to register must be noticeably different from any other Louisiana company, corporation, LLC, limited partnership, or limited liability partnership.
In order to double-check that your preferred company name doesn't clash with any other registered business, you can conduct a business name search on the Secretary of State of Louisiana website.

Claiming a Domain Name for your Company

Claiming a domain name for your new company may not be an immediate concern to you right now, but it can be terribly frustrating at a later stage to find out that someone else has already taken the name you seek.

In fact, many people decide on their LLC name or decide to change it, having discovered that the domain name is not available.

To avoid this complication, you should decide on a domain name sooner rather than later.

2nd Phase - Choosing a Louisiana Registered Agent

Choosing a Louisiana registered agent is not an option - it is mandatory. The agent's job is to be the focal point for collecting tax forms, legal correspondence, and any communiqu├ęs from the government that relates to your company.

Who Qualify As Registered Agents

The only people who can qualify as a registered agent have to either reside in the County of Louisiana or be a listed agency with the authority to transact business in the State. It is possible to nominate somebody within your organization to fulfill this position.

What is a Registered Agent?

A Registered Agent is an individual or a business entity that has been designated by the LLC to receive service of process notices, government correspondence, and compliance-related documents on behalf of the LLC. The registered agent must be residing in Louisiana.

3rd Phase - The Filing of LLC Formation Paperwork

The next phase is to file the Articles of Organization with the offices of the Secretary of State for Louisiana. This can be done via post, fax, online, or in-person.

If you wish to file online, which is probably the most convenient method, you will first need to go to the Louisiana geauxBIZ website to create a username and password.

Where an LLC will be conducting business in the State in which it was created, it will be known as a "domestic LLC." If, however, an LLC will be conducting business in the other US States, it must be formed as a foreign LLC.

Under normal circumstances, when a company is referred to as an LLC, it is deemed to be a domestic Limited Liability Company.

The documents for filing include a Transmittal Information Form (for all business filings), and an R.S. 12:1301, Articles of Organization form.

The mailing address for any correspondence is:

State of Louisiana Secretary of State
P.O. Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804

What is the Cost of Starting an LLC in Louisiana?

The filing fee is $100, and payment must be made out to the Secretary of State. If you wish to express your request, you can pay a further $30 to expedite or $50 to priority expedite.

4th Phase - The Creation of an Operating Agreement

This is the only part of the process that is not mandatory. However, it is something that is recommended in terms of best business practices.

An operating agreement is a useful way of helping to control a business's internal procedures. If you don't have one, there will be no official rules or regulations for your LLC's management team to follow.

It is an important document, and as such, you are recommended to employ a lawyer's services to discuss the document's contents.

Bear in mind that once it is completed, your management team will be asked to read it, sign it, and agree to perform their duties by the methods described within it.

What is an Operating Agreement?

An operating agreement is an internal legal document that establishes how your LLC will be run. It sets out the rights and responsibilities of the members and managers, the ownership structure, and operating procedures.

5th Phase - Get Your EIN

Your EIN, or Employer Identification Number, comes in the form of a nine-digit number given to you by the Internal Revenue Service.

The job of an EIN is to clearly identify the company from a taxation point of view. In one way, it is like your Social Security Number. However, rather than relating to an individual, it relates to your LLC.

An EIN can also go under the guise of a FEIN or Federal Employer Identification Number or FTIN Federal Tax Identification Number.

If you decide to send your application online, obtaining an EIN can be done on the IRS website.

What is an EIN?

EIN stands for Employer Identification Number. EIN is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the IRS to help identify your businesses for tax and filing purposes. An EIN is sometimes referred to as a FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number) or FTIN (Federal Tax Identification Number).

Step 6 - Additional Paperwork

Additional paperwork or documentation is normally only necessary when you are registering a Professional LLC.

These are companies such as accountants, architects, doctors, and lawyers, who need to provide the State with copies of any appropriate licenses.