What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in Louisiana?

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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.

Business License – There is no general state of New Orleans 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.  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

Employer Identification Number (EIN) – Many businesses will register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for an EIN or Employer 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.

State Registration – 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 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, 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.

Assumed Name Registration – While not a business license, it’s common for Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships operating under a 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 or DBA) with the Parish Clerk or Court in the parish where the business is located.

These are a few of the most common business licenses, but there are way too many licenses and permits in Louisiana for us to keep track of. Before starting your business, check with the City Hall, County Clerk, Chamber of Commerce and/or Economic Developer in your area to get more information regarding business licensing.  Additionally, there are companies like IncFile or CorpNet that can do the research to ensure you have the proper federal, state and local licenses.