What Is an LLC in Louisiana?

An LLC Louisiana is a limited liability company that is started and run in the state of Louisiana. Specifically, the LLC is one that has been registered through the office of the Secretary of State in Louisiana.

Guidelines for Starting an LLC in Louisiana

If you or someone you know wants to start a LLC in Louisiana, there are some basic guidelines you will need to follow. First and foremost, the business must contain the abbreviation LLC or it must contain the full Limited Liability Company distinction.

Also, you cannot include any words that are considered restricted by the state of Louisiana. These include official words like “bank,” “university,” “attorney,” or any other word that makes it seem as though the business is an official one. In other words, you cannot include language that is meant to confuse or mislead the public. This means you cannot include a government agency or their initials in the business name either. For example, “FBI” and “Treasury” cannot be used.

Other requirements may apply, but it is pretty easy to create an LLC in the state of Louisiana. You simply need to fill out the appropriate paperwork and file it with the Secretary of State. You will need to pay a fee, and the office will need to look over documents to make sure that you have followed naming requirements.

Choose A Name for Your LLC

When you do start your LLC, you should know that under state law, the business needs to include the abbreviation LLC or the full name limited liability company. If the entity you create is something called a low-profit limited liability company, then this wording must be included in the business name. You also have the option of using the L3C distinction.

Also, the name you choose will need to set your business apart from other LLCs that have already been registered in the state. These businesses will be ones that have already filed their paperwork and have become accepted LLCs by the Secretary of State in Louisiana.

When you reserve a name specifically for your business — and you should do so as soon as your come up with the entity name — you will need to file paperwork with the state saying so. This allows you to keep the specific name for up to 60 days. Form 398 should be used, and the fee is typically $25.

Before you start looking at names and thinking of the appropriate one, you should make sure that someone has not taken it already. You can search the registered business names in your state through the Louisiana state government website.

Once you find the name, make sure to reserve it, the matching domain, and an email address that matches. You may have no interest in using the email or starting your own website. While this is true, you may want to do so in the future. Also, if someone acquires the website or email, then potential customers and clients may become confused. This can lead to legal battles down the road.

There are few other things to remember when you come up with the LLC name. You cannot pick any wording that suggests your business is a charity or nonprofit if it is not. For example, you should not include charity in the name. You should not imply that the business is a church, administrative sort of business, or any official government agency either. For example, you cannot say that your business is an “entity” of the United States. This implies an official capacity.

Names must be approved by the Secretary of State as well, and you can call the professional’s office to see if your ideal name is one that is available and acceptable. You can fax and email as well, and all of the contact information can be found on the Louisiana Secretary of State website. You should know that official name queries do require you to pay a small $25 fee.

Appoint a Registered Agent

A registered agent is an individual person or a business who is appointed to accept legal documents and tax papers on behalf of your LLC. The person or agent must be someone who lives in the state of Louisiana and is able to do business in the state. Also, attorneys and legal practices are able to become registered agents if you desire this.

Not only will the registered agent receive paperwork, but they will also be able to send documents on the behalf of your business. You can appoint an outside individual, someone within the company, or yourself to act as the registered agent.

File Articles of Organization

If you want to create your LLC Louisiana, then you will need to file special paperwork either online or through the regular postal mail. The document you need to fill out and file is called the Articles of Organization Limited Liability Company form. This form is number 365 form.

When you fill out and file the articles of organization, you should understand that you will need to decide if the LLC will be one that is member or manager managed. Also, you must include the following information on the paperwork:

  • LLC name
  • Business address
  • The purpose of the business
  • How long the LLC will last
  • The members or manager of the LLC that includes their names and addresses

When it comes to the member information, you will need to fill out form 973. This is called the initial business report.

What Is an Operating Agreement?

When starting your LLC, you will also need to draft the operating agreement. This is legal paperwork that defines who owns the business and also how the LLC will operate. There is not a requirement with the state of Louisiana to have a specific LLC operating agreement. However, it is wise, especially if there is more than one member involved in the business itself.

The Employer Identification Number (EIN)

When the LLC is established, you will need something called an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or a tax identification number that is supplied by the federal government. This EIN is something that you will need to properly fill out and file your federal and state tax documents. In some cases, the number may be one that must be supplied to banks before they allow you to open any business accounts.

The IRS is the government agency that supplies EIN numbers to LLC and other business entities. The business owner must send paperwork to the IRS to receive the EIN, and it is free. While an EIN is not always required when an LLC is formed, you will need one if there is more than a single member of the organization.

Do I Need Business Licenses and Permits?

Operating your LLC in good standing means following all of the regulations and laws that are set up by the state, local, and federal governments. This means that you will need to file for and obtain permits that include building, signage, and health varieties.

If you want to know more about these permits and regulations and how to keep your business in good standing, then you can use the guidelines provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA has a guide that can be found online through the Louisiana Business Portal.

In many local districts, you can also find a great deal of information through the Chamber of Commerce when it comes to permits, licenses, and other official documents. Professional services are available as well to help you meet your regulation needs.

Do I Need to Register for State Taxes?

If you want employees to work for you or if you already have individuals on your payroll, then you will need to sign up for unemployment insurance, and you also must take out state and federal taxes from the paychecks of your employees. You also may need to register for the sales tax in your state if you are selling any goods.

You will need to follow tax requirements in terms of EIN numbers and IRS employer identification numbers. Specifically, you will need an EIN if you decide to file taxes as a corporation. This means that the number must be acquired even if there are no employees or if there is a single member of the LLC.

Comply With Other Tax and Regulatory Requirements

There are other things that you need to do, like obtaining licenses depending on the type of business that you start. For example, if you are selling products or goods, then documentation will need to be filed with the Department of Revenue so that the sales tax can be collected. Filing paperwork is fairly easy and can be done either online or through the mail.

You will need to create and file an annual report with the state as well, and you must pay a $25 fee when submitting the document.

Operating a Business Bank Account

A business bank account separates your personal finances from the business assets. This is one way that you are able to gain protection from liability. The account also allows for easier accounting practices and the filling out and filing of tax documents.

The account also separates expenses and lets your LLC build its own credit. This can be incredibly important when it comes to loans and other types of money-raising in the future.

Do I Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Workers’ compensation insurance is required in Louisiana for any company that employs one or more persons, either full time or part time. Sole proprietors with no employees aren’t required to carry it, though.

What About General Liability Insurance?

While general liability insurance does offer a great deal of protection, it’s not required in Louisiana. Louisiana is a pure comparative negligence fault state, meaning that a plaintiff can recover even if they’re at fault. If you own property or other valuable assets, you should get general liability coverage.

Most small businesses need only $500,000 to $1 million in coverage, but high-risk businesses like construction should get more.

How to Maintain Your LLC

To maintain your LLC and to also keep it in good standing, you must file periodic paperwork with the state. This allows you to minimize any penalties.

Foreign LLC in Louisiana

If you already have an LLC and want to start doing business in Louisiana, then you will need to develop something called a foreign LLC. The benefit of this is that you can do business in many different states under the same name. You can file paperwork with the state to become the foreign LLC much in the same way that you do when creating a brand-new LLC Louisiana.

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