Last Updated on August 27, 2020

The Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a popular business entity choice structure for many businesses starting in Louisiana 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.

Related: How Does an LLC Protect You?

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 is something most people can do on their own, but it’s nice to have some support in case you have questions or get stuck.  IncFile and Inc Authority provide LLC formation guidance for only the cost of the state fees!

Related: Should you use a Formation Service, Hire an Attorney or Do it Yourself?

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”. 

Related: What’s the Difference Between a Domestic and Foreign LLC?

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
  • L.L.C.
  • L.C.

Before finalizing a name, learn more about LLC Name Requirements in Louisiana. You may also want to see if a domain name is also available to have a matching website address.

A comma may be used after the business name and before the designator.  “Cowboy Cleaners L.L.C.” and “Cowboy Cleaners, L.L.C.” 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.

Related: What is the Difference Between a Member-Managed LLC and Manager Managed LLC?

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 LLC 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 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.

Tasks After Forming Your LLC

Once the LLC has been formed, there are a few additional steps to take care of. Below is a list of the most common tasks.

Prepare an Operating Agreement

The operating agreement is a document that governs the framework of an LLC.  This document covers items like ownership rights, member responsibilities, how profits and losses are distributed and more.

Most states do not require an LLC to have an operating agreement but it is still worth considering. Without an operating agreement:

  • The LLC could be subject to generic state rules that may be detrimental in the event of a lawsuit
  • Member’s personal liability protection may be diminished
  • Members may not have a full understanding of their roles and responsibilities which could lead to costly disputes in the future

Related: Louisiana operating agreement template

Open an LLC Bank Account

Opening a bank account for your LLC is important for liability protection as the account separates the business’s funds from the member’s personal funds.

Several documents will be needed to open a business bank account such as:

  • A banking resolution is a document that authorizes the members to open a business bank account on behalf of the LLC.
  • Copies of the original formation paperwork from the state showing the creation of the LLC.
  • Driver’s licenses of the members.
  • Depending on the age of the LLC, a Louisiana Certificate of Good Standing may be needed to prove the LLC is active and in good standing with the state.

Related: How to Open a Business Bank Account for your LLC 

Apply for Business Licenses and Permits

Depending on what your business does and where it is located, there will likely be a variety of business licenses and permits to register for before starting. Some common registrations include:

  • Business License – Some cities require businesses to obtain licensing before they can start. In some cases, even home-based businesses must have licensing in order to legally operate. 
  • Professional License – Certain services such as barbershops, accountants, salons and others must be licensed.
  • Sales Tax Permit – In order to sell products and certain services, registration with the Louisiana Department of Revenue will be necessary.

Related: What Business Licenses are Needed in Louisiana?

File Annual Reports

LLCs are required to file an annual report with the Louisiana Secretary of State.  The annual report costs $30 each year and updates ownership information and other details.

Related: How to File a Louisiana LLC Annual Report