How to form an LLC in Louisiana in 6 easy steps
If you are starting a business in Louisiana, you may want to set up your new entrepreneurial venture as a Louisiana Limited Liability Company (LLC). This business ownership structure separates your business assets from your personal assets. The great thing about an LLC is if you accrue debt, your home, car, and personal bank account will be protected. This makes for a whole lot fewer headaches and hassle, and who doesn’t want that?
Forming an LLC in Louisiana is fairly simple, but it is important to note that you will need to appoint a Louisiana registered agent for the service of process. This agent is an individual or business entity that agrees to accept legal documents on behalf of an LLC if they are sued. The registered agent must also reside in Louisiana, be an attorney, or a corporation authorized to be a registered agent service. Once this agent is established, there are 6 more steps in the process to get your business off on the right foot and operating flawlessly.
1) Check if your business name is available
One of the most important parts of forming a Louisiana LLC is the LLC name. This is how you are distinguished from your competition. An LLC name can be time-consuming to change, so make sure it is exactly how you want it.
First, you will need to conduct a business name search on the Louisiana Secretary of State website. We recommend that you type your desired business name in full, as well as a few relevant keywords to see if there are companies with similar names. It is important to note that your Louisiana LLC must contain “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviations “L.L.C” or “L.C.”
If your heart isn’t set on a name, you can always put in for a name reservation. You can reserve the business name you choose for up to 60 business days once a Reservation of Limited Liability Company form is mailed to the Secretary of State or sent via the geauxBIZ online portal.
2) Claim your name
Once you are ready to move forward with your desired business name, you must file Articles of Organization. Keep in mind, if you file the Articles of Organization online, you will need to provide the LLC’s Employer Identification Number (EIN). When required by statute, the Articles of Organization and Initial Report must be notarized before they are sent to the Secretary of State office in Baton Rouge.
In Louisiana, the fee for filing for Articles of Organization is $100, and you can take on an additional fee of $30 for expedited filing.
You will need to provide the following information for the Articles of Organization and the Initial Report:
- LLC name
- Purpose of formation
- Duration of LLC
- Business address
- Name and street address of registered agent(s)
- Names and addresses of LLC members
If you already have an established LLC in another state and want to expand into Louisiana, you must form a foreign LLC. If you are transacting business (collecting state sales tax) in Louisiana, you must register for a foreign LLC. Some business activities are not recognized as “transacting business,” however. These include: having an agency handling securities, selling through independent contractors, and collecting debts. The filing fee for a foreign LLC is $150.
3) Write your operating agreement
Not every state requires business owners to develop an LLC Operating Agreement. While Louisiana is one of those states, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have one in place anyway. Operating Agreements give your business more legal credibility and will help your organization’s members adhere to a set of rules and visions.
Your Operating Agreement should address the following points:
- Organization: Date of LLC formation, list of members, and details on how the ownership is divided. Make sure to add what type of business formation you are in—there are single-member LLCs, General Partnership LLCs, multi-member LLCs, and sole proprietorships.
- Distributions: How profits and losses will be distributed amongst members.
- Management and Voting Power: Who will manage the LLC, and how members will vote on business decisions.
- Dissolution: An outline of how the business will be dissolved should the collective of members decide not to continue doing business.
There are a variety of templates available online to help you plan and write your Operating Agreement. However, one thing you must include is how you want your LLC to be managed. Additionally, make sure to express in clear terms that you are free from any personal liability in the event of a lawsuit—because no one wants to deal with that.
4) File your Statement of Information
In the state of Louisiana, a business’s annual report is referred to as a “Statement of Information.” The purpose of this statement is to ensure that an LLC complies with state laws and regulations. This can be filed online or by mail, but it is important to note that the filing fee is different for each—$30 by mail and $35 online. The Statement of Information is due every year, and should be sent to the Secretary of State before the date that your LLC was initially approved. So, if your LLC was approved on June 20, 2021, you will want to submit your next statement before June 20, 2022.
5) Pay your taxes
A Louisiana business will be required to register with the Louisiana Department of Revenue. Louisiana LLCs pay various taxes, including self-employment tax, state tax, income tax, and payroll tax. However, it has been said that you can operate as an S-Corporation in the state of Louisiana to pay less self-employment tax. Find out more about this here.
You must obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) in Louisiana if you have more than one member in your organization. An EIN is also required if you are filing for an Articles of Organization, so keep that in mind. You can apply for an EIN through the IRS website.
It is important to note that each member of the LLC will be required to pay a self-employment tax. The current rate for this in Louisiana is 15.3%. If you are the only employee, your income tax rate in the state will range from 2% and 6%—depending on which income bracket you belong to.
6) Wrap up other regulation and sales tax requirements
Depending on the industry you’re operating in and the location of your business, you may need to take some additional steps. In Louisiana, LLCs must have a business license and/or permits. The Louisiana Secretary of State office has a Business License Checklist to help you navigate this process.
There are a variety of permits you may need for your business. These include, but are not limited to, building permits, tax permits, occupational permits, and zoning permits.
If you are a business that is a corporation—either an S corporation or a C corporation—you will need to pay a franchise tax. This is only filed if you pay federal income tax, and the filing fee is $50. One benefit to being an S-corp or C-Corp is “pass-through” treatment. This is when profits are taxed once on each LLC member’s income tax return. Additionally, as a pass-through business owner, you may be allowed a tax deduction equal to the amount of Louisiana state tax paid.
It may not also hurt to obtain a Certificate of Good Standing. There’s a $20 filing fee, and you can obtain this certificate through the Secretary of State. If you are on top of your taxes, permits, and annual reporting, you are eligible to apply for this certificate. It’s not a must-have but is certainly nice to have.
Get LLC insurance in minutes by following these steps
After forming your LLC, it’s time to protect it with LLC insurance. Huckleberry offers several options, making it easier than ever to get the coverage you need.
Here’s how to get started:
- Visit Huckleberry.com and click on the “Instant Estimate” button. In just minutes, you can get quotes for various insurance coverage types.
- Type in your industry, so Huckleberry knows exactly what insurance is right for you.
- Answer a few questions about your LLC, including payroll estimates, revenue projections, and more.
In less time than it takes to eat a box of beignets, Huckleberry will provide you with quotes for multiple small business insurance options.
Check out our Quick Rate Estimator for a ballpark figure of what you’d pay for business insurance. In need of workers’ comp coverage? Use our worker’s compensation calculator to get a free, no-commitment cost estimate.
Establishing a Louisiana LLC isn’t too tedious, but it does require you to complete some important forms and pay some state fees. You likely chose to establish your business as an LLC for its liability protection, so it’s smart to continue to protect your valuable new venture with small business insurance. It is an attractive business formation that can offer great protection and flexibility to busy entrepreneurs. Hopefully, we have answered all of your burning faqs about doing business as an LLC, and we wish you all the luck in the world as you embark on this next chapter as a new business!
Whether you’re in the market to enroll in workers’ comp coverage online or you need a general liability policy for your storefront, Huckleberry can help. Many business owners can get a quote for coverage in as little as 60 seconds! Now that your LLC is up and running, it’s time to offer yourself the ultimate peace of mind and enroll in the small business insurance policy that works best for you and your needs.