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The Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a smart entity choice for many start-up businesses.  The LLC provides personal liability protection and has the potential to save money on taxes. With a little research, you can learn how to form an LLC in Louisiana without an attorney.

Unlike a sole proprietorship or partnership where the small business owner can be held personally liable for lawsuits against the business, the LLC is a separate legal structure, protecting for the business owner’s personal assets.

Besides the liability protection, the Limited Liability Company provides several other benefits over the sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation because of the multiple tax options, ease of administration and management flexibility.

Forming an LLC in Louisiana can be both affordable and is simple enough for most people to start on their own.  That said, it’s not a bad idea to have a legal professional like While the filing is pretty straightforward, it’s nice to have some support if you have questions, alerts when the annual report is due, forms like operating agreements, banking resolutions and more.  There are companies like IncFile or ZenBusiness and others that do all of this for as little as $49.

To form a Limited Liability Company in Louisiana, file the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State.  The LLC filing fee is $100.

Approval for the LLC typically takes 1-2 days when filing online or around 1 week if filing by mail.

If you have questions, contact the Louisiana Secretary of State.
225-925-7404

HOW TO FILE THE ARTICLES OF ORGANIZATION AND FORM A LOUISIANA LLC

To get started, create an account with GeauxBiz.

After logging in, select “Getting Started”

Step 1: Name the LLC

In the list under “What would you like to do?”, select Reserve a new business name and click next.

Louisiana LLC Register a Business Name

On the next screen, you are asked if you have a FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number).  You don’t want this number yet as if the name you want is already being used, you will need to change the name with the IRS.  Select “Start Name Registration” to proceed.

Step 2: Select Entity

Select the type of business entity you intend to form.  In this instance, we are looking at the LLC (Limited Liability Company).

Then choose whether the entity is “Domestic” or “Foreign”.  Foreign in this instance is an entity filed in another state that intends to physically do business in Louisiana (open another branch, hire employees, etc).  Most LLCs will choose “Domestic”.

Choose your responses and then click “Next”.

Louisiana Secretary of State Select Entity

The Name filing fee is $25.

Step 3: File and Sign the Name Registration

Before filing the name registration, you will want to see if the LLC name you want to use is available.  Names registered with the Louisiana Secretary of State must be unique.  Enter the name of the LLC you want to register.  The name of the LLC must also include one of the following designators at the end of the business name:

  • Limited Liability Company
  • LLC
  • L.L.C.

A comma may be used after the business name and before the designator.  “Cowboy Cleaners LLC” and “Cowboy Cleaners, LLC” are both acceptable.

One question that may be confusing is “Said name is requested to be reserved on behalf of”.  In this field, enter the name of a member or manager in the LLC.

In the last field, “Title”, enter Member or Manager.

  • A Member-Managed LLCs has members (owners) that are active in the day-to-day operations of the business.
  • A Manager-Managed LLCs have managers hired by the members to run the LLC, similar to a CEO of a corporation.

Most LLCs are Member Managed.

Step 4: File and Pay for the Name Registration

You do have an option to expedite the name review process from 1-2 business days to only 3 business hours.  This option costs an additional $50.

Step 5: Register for an EIN

After filing the name registration, register for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  The EIN is basically a social security number for a business and will be needed before opening a business bank account.  There is no cost to apply and it takes about 5 minutes to get.  See how to apply for an EIN.

Step 6: Articles of Organization

After registering the name and obtaining an EIN, go back to the GeauxBiz site.

  • Click on the “My Businesses” link
  • Select your business name
  • At the top, click on the “Convert to New Business Registration” button.

Doing Business As

If you only plan to use the name that was registered, leave this field blank.  Otherwise, enter the name of your DBA (Doing Business As)

Federal Employment Identification Number (FEIN)

Enter the recently acquired FEIN

Business Purpose

The first option lists “Engaging in any lawful activity” and is what most LLCs enter.  The other option is to enter information about what the business does.  It’s usually recommended to stay with the first option as if you list a specific business activity and decide to change later, some work will need to update the Articles of Organization.

Duration of the LLC

Most businesses intend to exist forever and if so would choose “perpetual”.  If you have a specific end date in mind (typically used for investment-related businesses) choose “Indefinite, dissolves on {specific date}” and enter the closing date.

Other Provisions

If there are other operational rules for the LLC to follow that you would like to include in the Articles, add them here.  Most LLCs skip this step.

Title

Enter “Member”, “Manager” or “Organizer”.

  • A member is an owner of the LLC.
  • A manager is someone hired by the members to run the LLC, similar to a CEO of a corporation.
  • An organizer is someone helping form the LLC, sometimes an attorney or accountant.

Click the “Next” button to continue.

Registered Office Location

In this section, enter the street address, city, state, and zip code of the initial registered office.  This address must be located in Louisiana, can be the physical address of the LLC, the address where the business records are stored or the address of the registered agent.  A PO Box may not be used.

Next, enter your phone number and email address.

Mailing Address

If you would rather have mail from the Secretary of State go to another address enter that address in this field.  This address can be a PO Box and does not have to be in Louisiana.

Registered Agent

A Registered Agent in Louisiana is required in order to form an LLC.  The Registered Agent can either be a resident of Louisiana (select “Person”), a commercial registered agent service (select “Service Company”) or an attorney (select “Law Firm”).  The Registered Agent must have a physical address in the state to act as a point of contact to receive legal documents, tax notices, summons, subpoenas, etc on behalf of the LLC.  A PO Box is not allowed.

Enter the contact information for the selected Registered Agent.

Note – The Registered Agent must agree to be the Registered Agent of the LLC by clicking on a link that is emailed from the Secretary of State.  If the Registered Agent does not accept, the LLC will not be filed. 

Even though the business owner can be the registered agent, their name and address become public record and with that comes a loss of privacy. This is more important for some entrepreneurs, especially when they are doing business from home.

Names and Addresses of Managers and Members

Enter the name, social security number, role, physical address (no PO Box) and phone number for all of the members and managers of the LLC.

Review

Review the information to ensure it is all correct.

Describe your business activity

This section is used to classify the industry the business operates in.  If you choose to list your business industry, select a NAICS Code from the drop-down menu.

The NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code is a six-digit number that classifies and categorize the different businesses.  This information is used in reporting statistical data for each of the industries in the U.S.  Remember this number as you will need it when filing annual tax returns.  Find your NAICS number here.

Tax and Employer Questions

The GeauxBix system connects to various agencies for the new business to register with.  For the purposes of this guide, we have skipped them.

Pay and File

Pay and file the Articles of Organization.  The LLC will be approved in 1-2 business days or around 1 week.

That concludes the basics of forming an LLC in Louisiana.  Remember, even though you can do it yourself, there is more to an LLC than just the filing.  If you have questions, work with an attorney or a specialized entity formation company such as IncFile or ZenBusiness to make sure everything is done correctly.

Wrapping Up

While not required, an Operating Agreement is recommended in many cases.  An Operating Agreement is a legal document outlining the roles and responsibilities for the members of the LLC.  Read more about when an LLC needs an Operating Agreement.

Last, before starting a business in Louisiana, you may still need to apply for business licenses, sales tax permits, self-employment taxes and more in Louisiana.  See the Guide to Starting a Business in Louisiana for more information.

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