How to File for an LCC in Louisiana

Updated on January 22, 2024

Starting a limited liability company (LLC) in Louisiana can be a great way to legally structure your small business or startup. An LLC offers liability protection and tax flexibility for business owners in Louisiana. There are a few key steps you’ll need to take to establish your Louisiana LLC. First, you’ll need to choose and register your LLC name by filing articles of organization with the Louisiana Secretary of State. Next, you’ll put together an operating agreement to outline ownership and rules for your LLC. Finally, you’ll need to comply with Louisiana’s licensing and permit requirements relevant to your industry in order to legally operate.

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Understanding LLCs

An LLC, or limited liability company, is a business structure that combines aspects of partnerships and corporations. LLCs provide liability protection like a corporation, so the LLC owners’ personal assets are generally protected from business debts and claims. However, LLCs are taxed like partnerships or sole proprietorships based on how many members the LLC has.

Some key things to know about LLCs:

  • LLCs limit personal liability for business debts and lawsuits.
  • LLCs have fewer regulations and formalities than corporations.
  • LLCs allow pass-through taxation for members.
  • LLCs require articles of organization to be filed with the state.

Understanding these LLC basics will help when starting your Louisiana LLC.

Choosing a Name for Your LLC

When starting an LLC in Louisiana, one of the first steps is choosing a business name. Here are some tips for choosing an LLC name:

  • Make sure the name is available by checking the Louisiana Secretary of State’s commercial database. The name must not already be registered to another business entity.
  • Include words like “Limited Liability Company” or abbreviations like “L.L.C.” or “LLC” at the end of the LLC name per Louisiana’s naming standards.
  • Choose a name that reflects your brand and is easy for customers to remember and search for online. Using keywords can help with SEO.

You’ll also need to register your chosen LLC name with the state by filing Articles of Organization.

Selecting a Registered Agent

When starting an LLC in Louisiana, you must designate a registered agent. This agent receives important legal and tax documents on behalf of your LLC. When selecting your registered agent, consider the following:

  • They must have a physical address in Louisiana where they can receive official mail and legal notices.
  • Choose a professional service or an individual you trust since the agent’s address is on public record.
  • Make sure they are organized and responsive, since missing legal notices can lead to your LLC losing good standing status.
  • Consider cost – registered agents charge an annual fee but it is often under $100 per year.

Doing your due diligence on a registered agent is crucial, as you are trusting them to manage sensitive legal and financial documents for your small business.

Filing Your LLC Paperwork

Once you have chosen a valid name for your Louisiana LLC, the next step is to file your Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State’s office. This form establishes your LLC as a legal business entity in the state. Here’s an overview of completing this important paperwork:

  • Your Articles of Organization form must include key details about your LLC, such as the company name, registered agent and address, and the names and addresses of your members/managers. You’ll need to create an account on the Secretary of State’s geauxBIZ portal to fill out and submit this form electronically.
  • There is a $100 filing fee to submit your Articles of Organization, although you may qualify for a $25 discount if meeting certain requirements as a small business. You can pay fees online via credit card or eCheck when completing your filing.
  • Once your paperwork has been reviewed and approved, you will receive a confirmation email and officially establish your LLC. Processing time is typically 1-2 business days.
  • You may also need to complete additional business license registration requirements with Louisiana’s Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control if your LLC will involve these industries.

Ensuring your Articles of Organization are filled out completely and accurately is vital for smoothly registering your Louisiana LLC. This establishes the legal formation of your business.

Drafting an LLC Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is a document that outlines the ownership structure, financial and functional details, rules, and regulations of your Louisiana LLC. While an operating agreement is not legally required in Louisiana, it is highly recommended for all LLCs to have one. Here are some tips on drafting an effective operating agreement:

Decide on your management structure. Will your LLC be member-managed where all members participate equally? Or manager-managed where you appoint certain members or non-members as managers to oversee operations? Outline the management structure clearly in your operating agreement.

Specify ownership percentages and distribution of profits/losses. If you have multiple members, detail each member’s initial ownership percentage, capital contribution, share of profits/losses, rights to company assets, etc. This avoids potential conflicts later on.

Outline rules for transfer of membership interests. Include details like rights of first refusal, valuations, transfers upon death, and other terms in case a member wants to sell their interest in the future.

Detail voting and decision-making rules. Will votes and decisions be based on ownership percentage? Unanimous consent? These rules ensure smooth functioning when important business or organizational decisions need to be made.

Set up rules for member additions and withdrawals. Create clear procedures and rules for buying out departing members or adding new members to avoid issues in the future.

Include mediation and arbitration clauses. This allows conflicts between members to be resolved without expensive court battles. You can require disputes to first go to mediation before arbitration.

Cover other important aspects like amending the operating agreement, dissolving the LLC, keeping company records, holding meetings, etc. Consider all potential scenarios and include rules and procedures where needed.

An operating agreement sets up everything your LLC needs to operate smoothly while protecting all members’ rights and interests. Though not legally required, it is highly recommended for all Louisiana LLCs to invest the time and effort to draft this document. Doing so can save you many headaches down the road.

Obtaining Tax Identification Numbers

One of the key steps in forming an LLC in Louisiana is obtaining tax identification numbers from federal and state agencies. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. This number will identify your business for federal tax purposes. You can easily apply online at
  • You’ll also need to register for state tax IDs from the Louisiana Department of Revenue. You can complete the state business tax registration to receive a sales tax ID number and withholding tax IDs.
  • Make sure to include these tax IDs on all your LLC formation documents and tax filings. They connect your business to your tax accounts and ensure you comply with reporting requirements.

Properly setting up tax accounts and IDs ensures your new Louisiana LLC remains compliant while forming. Consult an accountant or the LDR if you have any questions.

Pros and Cons of Starting an LLC in California

Starting a limited liability company (LLC) in Louisiana has several advantages. An LLC protects your personal assets, such as your home and investments, from business debts and legal issues. The LLC formation process is also relatively quick and affordable in Louisiana, especially compared to incorporating. However, there are some downsides to consider as well.

  • Pros:
    • Personal asset protection if the business is sued
    • Lower startup costs than incorporating
    • Owners not personally responsible for business debts
  • Cons:
    • Self-employment taxes on profits
    • More record keeping and reporting requirements
    • No perpetual existence like a corporation

Weighing the pros and cons will help you decide if forming an LLC is the right choice for your new Louisiana business. Speaking with an accountant or attorney can also provide guidance tailored to your situation.

Cost Considerations

When starting an LLC in Louisiana, there are several costs to consider. The Louisiana Secretary of State charges a $100 filing fee to register your LLC. You may also need to pay an annual $100 report fee to keep your LLC in good standing. Additionally, you may need to pay fees for

  • Business licenses and permits
  • Accounting and legal services for setting up the LLC
  • Office space or equipment
  • Inventory and operating expenses
  • Taxes such as income tax, employment taxes, and sales and use tax

You should factor all these potential costs into your business plan and budget. The state also offers several tax incentives that may help lower your operating costs as an LLC in Louisiana.

Economical LLC Formation Options

When starting an LLC in Louisiana, it’s important to keep costs low, especially in those critical early stages of your business. Here are some of the most economical options for LLC formation:

  • Use an online service like LegalZoom to handle all the paperwork and filing with the state. For around $100-$200, they’ll take care of everything you need to legally form your LLC.
  • File yourself using the resources provided by the Louisiana Secretary of State website. You’ll only have to pay the $100 filing fee and you can find all the instructions and forms needed online.
  • Work with a business attorney who provides flat-fee LLC formation packages for those on a tight budget. You’ll get the assurance that everything is being handled correctly legally while avoiding high billable hour rates.

Taking one of these economical routes for the initial LLC setup can help greatly in keeping more working capital available to grow your business in those critical early stages.

Pre-Formation Steps

Taking the proper pre-formation steps when starting a Louisiana LLC can set your new business up for success. Here are some key things you’ll need to do before officially forming your LLC:

  • Choose a business name – Pick a name that reflects your brand and is available for use in Louisiana by checking the Louisiana Secretary of State’s commercial database. You’ll also need to check that the URL is available if you want a website.
  • File a trade name – If you’ll be operating under a name different than your official LLC name, you’ll need to register a trade name with the state.
  • Select a registered agent – All Louisiana LLCs require an in-state registered agent to accept legal documents on your behalf. Many formation services can act as your registered agent.
  • Create an operating agreement – This document outlines the ownership stakes, voting rights, rules, and regulations for your Louisiana LLC. While not required, it’s highly recommended to have one.
  • Obtain an EIN – You’ll need a federal employer identification number (EIN) to open business bank accounts and file taxes.

Taking care of these key pre-filing items will ensure your Louisiana LLC is properly set up for business. The next step is to officially register your LLC with the Louisiana Secretary of State.

Comparing Business Entity Types

When starting a business in Louisiana, you have several options for structuring your company. Some of the most common business structures include sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies (LLCs). Here is a comparison of some key factors to consider when choosing an entity type:

  • Formation Requirements – Forming an LLC requires filing articles of organization with the Louisiana Secretary of State. Corporations have more complex filing requirements.
  • Ownership Structure – Sole proprietorships have one owner while partnerships and corporations allow for multiple owners. LLCs are flexible allowing single or multiple members.
  • Liability Protection – LLCs and corporations provide personal liability protection however sole proprietors and partnerships do not.
  • Taxes – LLCs and partnerships allow pass-through taxation meaning no taxes at the entity level. Corporations are subject to double taxation.
  • Management Structure – LLCs have flexible management structures compared to the strict shareholder/director requirements for corporations.

As you can see, each business structure has its own pros and cons. LLCs tend to provide liability protection while still offering flexible ownership and tax treatment, which is why they remain a popular choice for many small business owners in Louisiana and nationally.

After Filing Your LLC

Once you have filed your Articles of Organization and paid the filing fee to the Secretary of State, there are some additional steps you need to take to properly establish your Louisiana LLC.

Create an Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is a document that outlines the ownership structure, rules, regulations voting procedures, and profit/loss distributions for your LLC. While an operating agreement is not required in Louisiana, it is highly recommended to have one in place. An operating agreement helps prevent disputes among members and provides guidance in decision-making.

Get an EIN

You’ll need to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS if you plan to open a business bank account or have employees. This number functions like a social security number for your business for tax and identification purposes. Apply for an EIN online.

Set Up Accounting

Choose an accounting system to handle bookkeeping, cash flow, taxes, balance sheets, and financial statements. QuickBooks and Xero are popular accounting software options. Or, consider hiring an accountant, at least in those first years when you’ll need to make estimated quarterly tax payments.

Additional Licensing

Depending on your industry, you may need additional licensing or permits from Louisiana agencies before legally being able to operate. Research requirements for your specific business type.

Following these steps after filing will ensure your Louisiana LLC is properly set up and compliant with state and federal laws. Maintaining accurate financial records and formal business processes from the start will also help set your new business on the path for success.

Business Licenses and Permits

When starting an LLC in Louisiana, you may need to obtain certain business licenses and permits depending on your industry and location. Some common licenses and permits include:

  • Occupational License – Certain professions like contractors, accountants, and architects require an occupational license to operate legally in Louisiana. Contact the Louisiana State Board of Examiners for details.
  • Sales Tax Permit – If selling taxable goods or services, you need a Louisiana sales tax permit to collect and remit sales taxes.
  • Local Business License – Most parishes and municipalities require a local business license to operate there. Check requirements with the local parish/city government office.

In addition, you may need permits and approvals relating to zoning, building codes, liquor licenses, food handling, and so on. Use the Louisiana Secretary of State’s business filings portal which can guide you on licenses needed for your LLC’s activities.

Growth Considerations for Your LLC

As your Louisiana LLC grows, there are some key considerations to keep in mind. Proper planning for growth will help ensure your LLC continues operating smoothly.

  • Evaluate your business structure to determine if you should remain an LLC or transition to another structure like an S corporation as the business scales.
  • Consider hiring employees instead of contractors if business growth supports bringing more roles in-house. Remember Louisiana has employment regulations to follow.
  • Develop a financial strategy and projections for growth phases. Work with an SBA Small Business Development Center for guidance.
  • Look into business insurance needs, like general liability and property insurance, to match your LLC’s size and risk profile.

Planning thoroughly for these considerations will set up your Louisiana LLC for sustainable, managed growth.

Additional Resources

Forming an LLC in Louisiana can seem complicated, but there are many useful resources to help guide you through the process. As you take the next steps to establish your business, the following online tools may prove beneficial:

Louisiana Secretary of State GeauxBiz Portal state business portal to complete LLC filing and other business services
Nolo’s Form an LLC in Louisiana guide for starting an LLC in Louisiana with key legal and tax considerations

With the right preparation and resources, the process of establishing your Louisiana LLC can go smoothly. Leverage these additional tools to support you on the journey.


Starting an LLC in Louisiana provides several advantages such as personal asset protection, tax benefits, and credibility with customers. By following the key steps outlined in this article, you can officially form your Louisiana LLC. First, choose a unique business name and register it with the Secretary of State. Next, file your Articles of Organization and pay the required fees. You’ll also need to create an operating agreement, obtain necessary business licenses and permits, set up accounting procedures, and comply with annual reporting requirements. Operating with proper corporate governance will ensure the continued success of your Louisiana LLC.

Forming an LLC may seem complicated, but taking it step-by-step makes the process manageable. There are many online resources and Louisiana state agencies available to guide you. With a thorough understanding of all legal and operational requirements, you’ll be well on your way to effectively launching and growing your Louisiana limited liability company.


What are the requirements to form an LLC in Louisiana?

To form an LLC in Louisiana, you need to file articles of organization with the Secretary of State, appoint a registered agent, create an operating agreement, obtain an EIN from the IRS, and meet any licensing or permit requirements for your industry. You’ll also need to pay a filing fee.

How many members do you need to start an LLC in Louisiana?

You only need one member to start a Louisiana LLC. An LLC with only one member is called a single member LLC. Multi-member LLCs with two or more members are also allowed.

What are the steps to form an LLC in Louisiana?

The basic steps are: 1) Name your LLC with an available name that ends in a designation like “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.,” or “LLC”, 2) Appoint a registered agent, 3) File articles of organization and pay fees, 4) Create an operating agreement, 5) Obtain an EIN, 6) Comply with licensing and permit requirements for your industry.

How much does it cost to start an LLC in Louisiana?

The filing fee to form an LLC in Louisiana ranges from $75-$200 depending on how quickly you need it processed. You may also need to pay fees for publishing if required. There are also costs for drafting an operating agreement, obtaining licenses, etc.

Does Louisiana have any specific compliance requirements for LLCs?

Yes, Louisiana requires LLCs to file an annual report each year to remain active and in good standing. LLCs may also need to meet certain disclosure and reporting requirements under some conditions. Stay compliant with all state requirements.

Frank Gogol

A seasoned SEO expert, Frank has a long history of working with and for startups. Starting in mid-2018, Frank served as the SEO Strategist for Stilt, a fintech startup that provided fair loans for immigrants in the US and other underserved markets. While with the company, he scaled site traffic from zero to more than 1.5 million unique visits per month, driving the bulk of the company’s lead generation until it was acquired by J.G. Wentworth in December 2022. As employee #5 at Stilt, Frank was witness to, and part of, the successful building and sale of a fintech company, uniquely positioning him to create content for founders about all things startups.