How to get business license in Louisiana

Updated on December 21, 2023


Acquiring the right business license is essential for lawful operation in Louisiana. This guide delves into who needs licenses, the types available, the application process, costs involved, required documentation, maintaining compliance, and unique considerations within the state.

Who Needs a Business License in Louisiana?

Most commercial businesses require licenses in LA, including retailers, restaurants, service providers, rental properties, contractors, and independent professionals.

Penalties for non-compliance include up to $500 per offense, possible business closure after multiple violations, and potential criminal charges.

Understanding Louisiana Business Licenses

Common Louisiana licenses include:

  • Local/parish licenses – Required in most municipalities
  • Sales tax registration – For collecting/charging sales tax
  • Occupational licenses – For specialized trades and services
  • Industry licenses – Hospitality, alcohol, tobacco, etc.

Preparing to Apply for a License

First, use Louisiana Business First Stop portall to determine the licenses, permits and registrations needed for your activities.

You’ll also need to gather business identity documents, commercial lease agreements, etc. Fees vary greatly.

Step-by-Step Guide to Apply

Louisiana offers streamlined online applications for licenses and permits. To apply online:

  1. Access Louisiana’s Business First Stop portal
  2. Run the License Guide and Fee Estimator
  3. Select your required license types
  4. Provide requested business and owner details
  5. Pay all fees
  6. Obtain approvals

After Submitting an Application

Online applications typically process within 10 business days. Check your status on the portal.

If issues occur, administrators will contact you needing clarification or additional documents.

Maintaining Compliance

To remain compliant in Louisiana once licensed:

  • Visibly display license certificates onsite
  • Complete renewal processes prior to expiration
  • Remit timely tax payments
  • Maintain required insurance policies
  • Report changes to ownership, activities, locations

Obtaining Federal Registrations

Essential federal registrations include an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and trademark protections.

Special Considerations

Certain businesses, such as liquor stores, casinos, tour operators, and healthcare providers, have specific licensing rules in Louisiana. Always verify these requirements.

Registering Your Business Name

Trade name registrations in Louisiana can be filed through the Secretary of State’s office.

Louisiana Tax Permits

Common tax permits include Sales Tax Registration, Hotel Occupancy Tax Registration, and Alcoholic Beverage Permits.


Who Needs a Louisiana Business License? Most commercial businesses in Louisiana, including retailers, tourism companies, and contractors, require a license.

What Do Licenses Cost in Louisiana? Licensing fees in Louisiana range from $10 to over $1,000, depending on business activities, with annual renewal fees also applicable.

How long does it take to get a license in Louisiana? The processing time for obtaining a business license in Louisiana is generally 10 business days for online applications, but can vary based on the type of license and specific requirements.

Additional Resources

For further information, explore additional resources available on Louisiana’s official state websites.

Final Thoughts

Properly licensing your business in Louisiana is crucial for legal compliance and avoiding penalties. Take advantage of online application options for efficient processing.

Priyank Singh

Priyank Singh, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Stilt, specializes in technology-driven financial solutions. He is having experience of starting FinTech Company, understanding regulations and coming up with creative solutions to solve difficult problems.