Whether you’re researching the availability of a business name or checking the status of a business entity, find the information you need from the Louisiana Secretary of State website.
The Secretary of State Business Entity Database provides information for corporations and LLCs registered in Louisiana . The names of sole proprietorships or general partnerships are not centralized. Instead, they are registered with the Parish Clerk of Court where the business is located.
There is no fee to search the database.
What information can be looked up?
The database search can find several pieces of information about the business. Some of the highlights include:
- Business Name
- Registration Date –
Date the entity was filed with the Secretary of State
- Domicile Address – This could be the physical address of the business or it could be an address where business records are stored.
- Status – Active means the entity is in good standing and all reports and filing fees are up to date. Inactive means the business entity is no longer legally operational.
- Type – Corporation, Limited Liability Company. Etc.
- Registered Agent’s information – A Registered Agent is the singular point of contact for the entity should a legal or tax notice need to be sent to the business. This is often one of the owners and if their home address is used, that address becomes public information. Many people find this concerning and use a Registered Agent service like Northwest Registered Agent or IncFile so their home address isn’t listed.
- Officers – Name, title and address of the entity’s members.
How to do a Louisiana Business Name Search
Visit the Louisiana Secretary of State website.
Enter the name you would like to use in the “Entity Name” field. In this example, we will look up “The Pool Guys” and click “Search”.
Searching the registered names, we get a list of all the businesses with the words “The Pool Guys”. To be able to register a corporation or LLC name in Louisiana, the name must be distinguishable from the other names registered. If you were looking to form a corporation or LLC with this name you wouldn’t be able to since there they are both already registered.
To find more information about each of the registered business names, click on the link in the “Name” column. In this example, we will look up “The Pool Guys, LLC”.
While the name “The Pool Guys, LLC” has a result, when looking at the detailed report, we see that the status is “Inactive” which means it is no longer in use. It is possible the name is available to register.
To see the result of a name that isn’t being used, we will search for “Cowboy Cleaners”. With a search with no results, while final approval is still with the Secretary of State, it is likely available to register.
These are the basics of searching for a business name in Louisiana. Even when the name of the business you want is available, the Secretary of State will make a final determination at the time of filing to ensure the name you picked isn’t too similar to other registered names.
How do I form an LLC?
Before starting your business and forming an LLC, be sure to do the business entity search first to make sure the name is available to use. Once you know the LLC name is available, learn how to form an Louisiana LLC by reading our step-by-step guide on filing the Articles of Organization.
While not required in Louisiana, an Operating Agreement, which are the rules for how the LLC operates, may be a document worth considering especially for multi-member LLCs.
After forming a Limited Liability Company, be sure to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This is a “social security number” for the business. There is no cost to get one through the IRS.
After forming the LLC, Louisiana business licenses and permits may still be necessary.