Louisiana is a great place for starting your own company — the state has a comfortable business climate, supportive community and the unfurrowed field of opportunities on the market. If you have a competitive idea and aspiration for accomplished business, but you still don’t know how to start a business in Louisiana, you are in the right place at the right time! Follow us to learn the very first and crucial steps of newbie entrepreneurs.
Registering a business in Louisiana
Starting a company requires obtaining all business registrations, licenses, and permits – local and federal – according to your business specification. If you are going to sell some items, provide particular services, work in the environmental or agricultural industry, you definitely will need a regulatory license to do business in Louisiana.
Also, those who are going to sell products in Louisiana have to obtain the Tax Registration. If you are going to hire employees, you must file the employer withholding taxes. The plus is both taxes can be registered online on the Business Registration page of the LDR website.
An Employer Identification Number or EIN is a federal document from the IRS mandatory for companies that have employees and for entities taxed separately from their owners. Some companies are not required to have an EIN, but an entrepreneur decided to get it for some business reasons. For example, banks can ask your EIN when you want to open a business bank account. To register an EIN, you need to fill an online application form on the IRS website, no fee is charged.
To find more information about local licenses and permits in Louisiana check out websites of your city/ county. On the Geauxbiz website, you can make your personal business license checklist. About Professional and Occupational Licenses you will find on the state government’s Louisiana.gov website.
Legal business structures in Louisiana
The first important decision you will make as a businessman is defining a legal business structure for your enterprise. A lot will depend on your choice: management structure of your company, how much taxes you will pay and what type of the liability you will have. There is a lot to be thought over and even more to learn. We want to build for you a complete picture of legal business structures in Louisiana, so you will be able to choose the most suitable one.
For Sole Owners
- Sole Proprietorship is the simplest possible form of business structure, but not the best one: you personal property won’t be protected at all. The plus is no registrations and paperwork, but we recommend to obtain an EIN and Trade name.
- Single Member LLC is a good option for a small business. This type of organization allows the owner to limit the business’ liability and protect individual assets. LLCs have flexible taxation, and you can be taxed as S-Corp or C-Corp.
- A corporation is a common choice for big companies or those who are looking for large investments. Corporations have more complex structure than LLCs, but it offers the same liability protection. In Louisiana, to be a corporation you need to obtain bylaws and maintain minutes of meetings in corporate records. A corporation can be taxed as S-Corp or C-Corp. It’s worth noting, to incorporate as an S-Corp a sole shareholder must be a citizen of US.
Partners a business in Louisiana
- General Partnership that is very similar to Sole Proprietorship: no required registrations — no protection. For General Partnership in Louisiana is mandatory to have a Trade Name and an EIN.
- Multiple Member LLC is an option for small business or new ventures with a couple of owners. This structure is almost the same as the Single Member LLC.
- A corporation is a reasonable option for businesses with partners — it offers easy transferring ownership and the possibilities for many shareholders.
- Limited Partnerships has various forms according to a state: LP, LLP, LLLP.