Louisiana Business License: What Is It?

You'll need a Louisiana business license to start a business in the state, and you'll need to obtain a business license from the Secretary of State. Depending on which corporation form you would like to register, you will need to provide additional information for permits and register your business for taxation. If you are in doubt, you should get in touch with the Louisiana Secretary of State to find out what you need to do to obtain a business license

  • You can write the Secretary of State to obtain information about the Louisiana Business License requirements at the following address: 

Secretary of State, P.O. Box 94125, Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125

Registering Your Business in Louisiana

When you start the process of registering your business in the state of Louisiana, you need to follow a certain order:

  • Tax registration
  • Business licenses application
  • Applying for local permits
  • Filing your incorporation details
  • Name or “Doing Business As” application
  • Filing for withholding taxes

When you register your business for taxes in Louisiana, you need to obtain a tax identification number for your company. There are different tax identification numbers you might be required to obtain, such as:

  • Permits
  • Income tax withholding 
  • Sales and use tax
  • Unemployment insurance tax

To start applying for all the above identification numbers, you first have to obtain a Louisiana tax account number. To register for taxation, you need to contact the U.S. Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-4933.

What You Need for Tax Registration in Louisiana

To register for taxation in Louisiana, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Legal name
  • Location
  • Business mailing address
  • Charter number (if you have one)
  • Federal ID (if you have)
  • Louisiana tax account ID when registering an existing entity
  • Owners', officers', and partners' information, including social security numbers and email addresses
  • General tax information
  • Your application or Louisiana Revenue accounts
  • Instructions 

The Business Licenses Application Process in Louisiana

After you have registered for your Louisiana tax, you will need to submit your application for Business Licenses. The number and type of licenses will depend on your business profile and organization form. You should get in touch with the Louisiana Secretary of State, or consult with a business license attorney for advice.

You will also need to apply for local permits. Contact the local government to find out more about the regulations and registration requirements of your municipality. The most commonly required local licenses and permits are:

  • Alarm permit
  • Signage permit
  • Zoning permit
  • Tax and business license permit
  • Health permit
  • Building permits

Incorporate in Louisiana

Once you have all your tax ID numbers and licenses, you can file your incorporation documents with the Louisiana Secretary of State. 

If you register a sole proprietorship, you are exempt from registration with the state. 

After filing your incorporation documents, you need to complete your Louisiana Doing Business As registration. This involves registering a fictitious name as the legal name of the business. 

Your business name will be your assumed name, or trade name. To choose your assumed name for the business, you will need to conduct a Louisiana Secretary of State Business Search

Get Help with Louisiana Business License Application

You will need to obtain several licenses, ID numbers, and registration documents before your business can trade in Louisiana. The state and local municipalities have complicated and confusing requirements, so you might want to get in touch with the Louisiana Secretary of State for advice or consult with an experienced business license attorney. Below you will find some useful resources:

  • If you need immediate answers from the state, you can visit the resources section of the Secretary of State at www.sos.louisiana.gov
  • You might also get help from the Louisiana Small Business Development Center (SBDC) on how to start your business and take care of several aspects of running it, including creating a business plan or marketing strategy. 
  • Visit the New Orleans office of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and ask for a resource guide. 
  • Check which government services are available for your business at USA.gov.

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