Louisiana Secretary of State LLC guidelines must be followed in order for your LLC to remain in good standing with the state. These include naming guidelines, correct filing of required documentation, and appointing a registered agent among other things.

Guidelines for LLC Names

Louisiana LLCs must adhere to certain rules with regard to choosing the name for their business. These include:

  • Names must include the words “limited liability company” or “LLC.”
  • Low-profit LLCs must use the words “low-profit limited liability company” or “L3C.”
  • The name selected for your LLC must be different than any other business registered with the state of Louisiana and not similar enough to cause confusion with another entity. You can check to see if your desired name is available online, and if it is, you may reserve it for up to 60 days.
  • Make sure your desired LLC name is appropriate to your type of business and easy to find by potential customers.
  • You may not use the words “bank,” “attorney,” “doctor,” or other restricted words unless you have proper paperwork and licensing in place.
  • You may not use words such as “treasury” or “FBI” which may confuse your business with an official federal or state agency.

Articles of Organization

The most important document that needs to be filed with the Louisiana Secretary of State is the LLC's articles of organization. This creates the LLC. Here are some things you need to know:

  • You must include your LLC's name and address, the type of business it will be conducting, and its expected date of dissolution if any.
  • You must list all LLC members' names and addresses, and the names and addresses of the managers, which may be different.
  • You may file the form either online or by mail for a $100 fee.
  • Expedited service is available for an additional $30.
  • You must have the signed articles notarized.

Your LLC's Registered Agent

The state of Louisiana requires every LLC to have an agent to receive service of process, which means accepting legal documents and other official communication. This registered agent may be an individual who lives in the state, an attorney who is licensed in the state of Louisiana, or a corporation that is registered to transact business within the state. The appointed agent must have a Louisiana address that is not a post office box. You may serve as your own company's registered agent, or you can appoint another person who works with or owns a share in the company, as long as they are a Louisiana resident.

Operating Agreement for your LLC

The state of Louisiana does not require an LLC to have an operating agreement, but most LLCs should create this document anyway. It does not need to be filed with the Secretary of State. The operating agreement is a document that lays out the procedures for administration, ownership, dissolution, and other issues the LLC might deal with.

Tax Requirements for your LLC

LLCs with more than one owner, or member, need to get their own Employer Identification Number from the IRS. This is necessary even if you do not have any employees. Single-member LLCs may obtain an EIN if desired, but do not need one unless it will hire employees or choose to be taxed as a corporation.

Obtaining an EIN is a simple process and may be completed online on the IRS website; there is no fee to do this. An EIN is the equivalent of a social security number for a business. It is required when your business files federal and state taxes. You may also be required to provide an EIN to open a business checking account at a financial institution.

Other taxes your business may have to register and pay include unemployment insurance, employee withholding, and sales tax. You must register with the Louisiana Department of Revenue if you need to collect and pay sales and use tax.

Licenses and Permits for Your Business

You may need to obtain other permits and licenses with local and state agencies, depending on what type of business your LLC conducts. Federal, state, and local regulations must be followed. The U.S. Small Business Administration provides a guide that will help you determine what types of permits and licenses your business needs, and tell you how to get them. You can also get this information from the Secretary of State website.

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