How to Start an LLC in Louisiana

Last Updated on February 5, 2022

To get started, create an account with the Louisiana GeauxBiz website.

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, and you will need to change the name later 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 a “Domestic LLC” or “Foreign LLC.” In this instance, foreign is an entity filed in another state that intends to physically do business in Louisiana (open another branch, hire employees, etc.). 

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 check for Louisiana LLC name availability.  Names registered with the Louisiana Secretary of State must be unique.  Enter the name of the LLC you want to register to do a name search.  The name of the LLC must also include one of the following phrase or abbreviations at the end of the business name:

  • Limited Liability Company
  • L.L.C.
  • L.C.

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.

If you plan to use a different name from the one that you register (perhaps you want to run multiple businesses under the LLC), you can use a trade name (sometimes referred to as a fictitious business name, assumed name, DBA, or Doing Business As name).  To register a fictitious name, the application for Reservation of Trade Name form, along with the $25 filing fee will need to be sent to the Secretary of State.

In the last field, “Title,” enter Member or Manager.

  • Member-Managed LLCs have members (owners) that are active in the day-to-day operations of the business.
  • Manager-Managed LLCs have managers hired by the members to run the LLC, similar to a CEO of a corporation.

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. 

The EIN or Employer Identification Number (also called a Federal Employer Identification Number, FEIN, or Federal Tax Identification Number) is a unique 9-digit tax identification number assigned to a business by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Similar to a social security number for an individual, the EIN identifies business entities for tax purposes. The EIN will be needed to hire employees, open a bank account, register for business licenses and permits, file federal and state taxes, and more.

There is no cost for the EIN when registering through the IRS. The number is available immediately when applying through the IRS website; however, you can also register by phone, fax, or mailing IRS Form SS-4.

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.

Step 7: 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)

Step 8: Federal Employment Identification Number (FEIN)

Enter the recently acquired FEIN

Step 9: 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 because if you list a specific business activity and decide to change later, additional filings will be needed to update the Articles of Organization.

Step 10: 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.

Step 11: 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.

Step 12: Title

Enter “Member,” “Manager,” or “Organizer.”

  • A member is an owner of the LLC.
  • A manager is an individual 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.

Step 13: 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, which can be the Louisiana Limited Liability Company’s physical address, 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.

Step 14: 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.

Step 15: Registered Agent

A Registered Agent in Louisiana is required to form an LLC for service of process.  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 important 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 Louisiana Registered Agent must agree to be the Registered Agent of the LLC by clicking on a link emailed from the Secretary of State.  If the Registered Agent does not accept, the LLC will not be filed. 

Step 16: 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 LLC members and managers.

Step 17: Review

Review the information to ensure it is all correct.

Step 18: 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 categorizes 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.

Step 19: 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.

Step 20: Pay and File

Pay and file the LLC’s Articles of Organization.  The processing time for LLC approval is typically 1-2 business days when filing online or around 1 week for mailed in applications.

Mailed in forms will be sent to:

State of Louisiana Secretary of State
P.O. Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804