What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in Louisiana?

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What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in Louisiana?

Starting a business in Louisiana will mean potentially registering with a number of federal, state, and local agencies. Let’s take a look at common licenses and permits a business will register for in Louisiana.

Before applying for any licenses, the legal structure of the business will need to be established. Learn more about the differences between the sole proprietorship, general partnership, corporation, and Limited Liability Company (LLC). Corporations and LLCs will register with the Louisiana Secretary of State‘s Commercial Division.

Related: Comparison of Business Entities

Learn more about forming an LLC in Louisiana

Also see: Steps to starting a business in Louisiana

Business Licenses

There is no general state of Louisiana business license, however many parishes/cities require businesses to be licensed in order to operate. Rules for business registration vary depending on location and what the business does. Below are a few cities that have licensing requirements.

New Orleans – Businesses operating in the Orleans Parish will need to get an Occupational Business License or a General Business License. New businesses can register with the One Stop Shop at City Hall to get assistance with the potential licenses they may need.

The cost of the Occupational License varies depending on the annual sales but starts at $50.

Baton Rouge The City of Baton Rouge requires businesses to obtain an Occupational License from the Baton Rouge Finance Department. The fee for this license varies between $25 and $50.

Shreveport – All businesses operating in Shreveport will need to obtain an Occupational/Business License from the City of Shreveport’s Revenue Division.

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Building & Zoning Permits

Zoning – Depending on the location of the business, it’s important to verify whether the business needs an occupancy permit or has specific zoning regulations to follow. Depending on city requirements, home-based businesses may need to apply for a home occupation permit.

Building PermitA building permit may be needed from the city or parish’s building and planning department if there is any construction or renovations to a facility.

Signage Permit Some municipalities require a permit before adding signage.

Louisiana Tax Account Number

All new businesses will need to register with the State of Louisiana. The State has simplified the registration process by centralizing the sign-up process, which allows a business to register a Louisiana Tax Account Number to get for their sales tax license, employer registration, and more. To register a new business in Louisiana, visit GeauxBiz.

Resale Certificate

Businesses purchasing merchandise to resell will usually want to obtain a Louisiana Resale Certificate in order to not pay sales tax for merchandise that is being resold to customers.

Professional License

A variety of professions in the state are regulated and need to be registered before offering certain services. A few common professions that require licensing in Louisiana include; physical therapists, interior designers, detectives, cosmetologists, barbers, massage therapists, and many more. Additional information, filing fees, and licensing requirements for professions are available from the State of Louisiana.

In addition to professional licenses, businesses in a variety of industries such as food establishments, daycares, salvage yards, and many others require licensing.

Liquor License / Tobacco License

Businesses selling liquor or tobacco products will need to be licensed. Visit the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control for more information on licensing requirements.

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Many small businesses will register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for an EIN (also referred to as a FEIN, Federal Employer Identification Number, or Federal Tax Identification Number). The EIN is the business equivalent for a Social Security Number for an individual. Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships, and Sole Proprietorships with employees will all need to register for one. Sole Proprietorships without employees can use the owner’s Social Security Number.

There is no cost for an EIN, and it only takes a few minutes to get.

Learn how to apply for an EIN

Assumed Name Registration

While not a business license, it’s common for Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships operating under a business name that is different from the full name of the owner(s) to register for an Assumed Name (also known as a Doing Business As, DBA, or Trade Name) with the Parish Clerk of Court in the parish where the business is located.

These are some of the most common business licenses, but there are far too many licenses and permits for us to keep track of. Before starting your business, be sure to check with the State of Louisiana‘s geauxBiz website, City Hall, Chamber of Commerce, and/or Economic Developer in your area to get more information regarding business licensing.

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