How to Start an LLC in Louisiana – Step By Step Guide

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Are you looking to start your LLC in Louisiana?

Here is everything you need to know on how to start an LLC in Louisiana.

A limited liability company is a way to structure a business legally.

However, it relates the limited liability of a corporation with the flexibility and lack of customs provided by a partnership or sole proprietorship. 

Also, any business owner who seeks to limit their liability for business debts and lawsuits should consider forming an LLC.

In this regard, this article will provide you with the steps you need to know to start an LLC in Louisiana.

How To Start an LLC in Louisiana

Here are the steps you need to follow to start your LLC in Louisiana. 

  • Choose a Name for Your LLC
  • Appoint a Registered Agent
  • File Articles of Organization
  • Prepare an Operating agreement
  • Obtain an EIN
  • File Annual Reports

Choose a Name for Your LLC

The first step you need to take under Louisiana law is to choose a name for your LLC business. 

An LLC name must contain the words “limited liability company” or the abbreviation “L.L.C.” or “L.C.” 

The name of a low-profit SMLLC must contain the words “Low-Profit Limited Liability Company,” the abbreviation “L3C”, or the abbreviation “l3c.”)

Also, your LLC’s business name must be different from the names of other business entities already on file with the Louisiana Secretary of State. 

However, you may check for name availability online.

You may also reserve a name for up to 60 days by filing a Name Reservation form (Form #398) with the Secretary of State

The reservation may be filed by mail or online. Kindly note that if the Articles of Organization are filed online, the LLC’s IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN) must be provided. Meanwhile, it is reasonable to reserve the name before obtaining the EIN to ensure the name is available.

Furthermore, you don’t have to use your LLC’s official legal name registered in your Articles of Organization when you do business in the real world. 

Instead, you can use a trading name, an assumed name, “DBA” (short for doing business as), or a fictitious name. 

To do this, you must register your trade name with the Louisiana Secretary of State. 

You may also register online or by postal mail by filing an Application to Register Trade Name Trademark or Service Mark.

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Most importantly, online filing is required for LLCs in the following parishes: Ascension, Bossier, Caddo, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Lafayette, Livingston, Orleans, Ouachita, Rapides, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Terrebonne. 

Moreover, the filing fee is $75.

Appoint a Registered Agent

Every Louisiana LLC must have an agent for the service of process in the state. 

A registered agent is an individual or business entity that agrees to accept legal papers on the LLC’s behalf if it is sued. 

However, it may be an individual who resides in Louisiana, a Louisiana individual attorney or a partnership, or a domestic or foreign corporation approved to act as a registered agent for other organizations. 

More so, the registered agent must have a physical street address in Louisiana.

File Articles of Organization

An LLC in Louisiana is created by filing Articles of Organization Limited Liability Company with the Louisiana Secretary of State. 

These articles and initial reports may be filed online. 

However, online filing is required for LLCs: Ascension, Bossier, Caddo, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Lafayette, Livingston, Orleans, Ouachita, Rapides, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Terrebonne.

LLC is not located in those parishes; paper copies may be filed by postal mail, email, or fax. 

Moreover, if paper copies are filed, the organizers’ signatures on the Articles of Organization and the registered agent’s signature on the Initial Report must be notarized.

If you file online, the articles must include:

The type of LLC tax treatment, either sole proprietor, corporation, or partnership

The LLC’s name

  • The LLC’s purpose includes any lawful activity or another purpose
  • The street address of the LLC’s office
  • The LLC’s mailing address, if it is different from the street address
  • The name and addresses of the LLC’s registered agents
  • State if the LLC is member-managed or manager-managed
  • The name and street address of the LLC’s members or managers
  • An electronic signature of a member, manager, or organizer
  • Also, a description of the LLC’s business, including the NAICS Code
  • The federal EIN – Employers Identification Number 

If you file a paper application, the articles must include

  • The LLC’s name
  • The LLC’s purpose
  • The LLC’s duration is perpetual or limited, and
  • The signature of the organizers.
  • The paper articles must be supported by an Initial Report (Form #973) which must include:
  • The LLC’s name
  • The LLC’s street address
  • The names and street addresses of each of the LLC’s registered agents
  • The names and street addresses of each of the LLC’s initial managers or members
  • the signature of each person who signed the Articles of Organization, and
  • The signature of the LLC’s registered agent.
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Prepare an Operating Agreement

Even though an operating agreement is not required for LLCs in Louisiana, but is highly advisable. 

The operating agreement is an internal document that establishes how your LLC will be run. 

Also, it sets out the rights and responsibilities of the members and managers, including how the LLC will be managed. 

Also, it can help preserve your limited liability by showing that your LLC is a separate business entity. 

However, in the absence of an operating agreement, state LLC law will govern how your LLC operates.

Obtain an EIN – Employers Identification Number

You must obtain an IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN) if your LLC has more than one member or has no employees. 

However, if you form a one-member LLC, you must obtain an EIN for it only if it will have employees, or you elect to have it taxed as a corporation instead of a sole proprietorship.

Meanwhile, If you file the LLC’s Articles of Organization online, an EIN is required. 

You may collect an EIN by completing an EIN online application on the IRS website. 

Here is no filing fee for doing this. 

File Annual Reports

In addition, all LLCs doing business in Louisiana must file an annual report with the Secretary of State every year on or before the anniversary date of organizing or qualifying in Louisiana. 

Meanwhile, the annual report must be filed online with the Secretary of State. 

How to start a Foreign LLC In Louisiana

If your business is already operating in another state and you want to expand to Louisiana, you’ll need to form a Foreign LLC.

This is because forming a foreign LLC allows your company to operate as one entity in multiple states. 

Also, if you have an existing LLC and want to do business in Louisiana, you must register as a foreign LLC. 

Conclusion

To start an LLC in Louisiana, you need to choose a unique name for your business, appoint a Registered Agent, prepare an operating agreement, file your article of organization and get your Employer’s Identification Number, and file biennial reports. 

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However, if you find these processes daunting, you can choose to seek professional services at a cost. 

We hope you find the article on how to start an LLC in Louisiana advantageous.

How to start an LLC in other states of the United States

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