If you are starting a small business in Louisiana, choosing to organize your new business as a limited liability company, or LLC, may be the right option for you. Louisiana LLCs enjoy the benefits of pass-through taxation and limited liability, and require less extensive reporting than Louisiana corporations. The Louisiana Secretary of State regulates the formation and maintenance of business associations chartered in the state. Starting a Louisiana LLC requires filing a document, called an “articles of organization,” with the Louisiana Secretary of State.
Name your LLC. Under Louisiana law, the name of your Louisiana LLC must contain the phrase “limited liability company,” or the abbreviation “LLC” or “L.L.C.” If you wish to use a word pertaining to banking, architecture or engineering, you must obtain written permission from the appropriate Louisiana government agency. The name must also not be identical to or likely to be confused with the name of an existing Louisiana business association. The Louisiana Secretary of State maintains a free online searchable database of all business associations registered in Louisiana, which can be used to check whether the desired name for your LLC is available (see Resources). You may also contact the Louisiana Secretary of State via phone to determine whether the desired name for your LLC is available.
Designate a registered agent in your articles of organization. Your registered agent is the person or business who will receive service of process if your LLC is ever sued. You may serve as the registered agent of your Louisiana LLC if you are a Louisiana resident. However, your corporation’s articles of organization is a public record. If you do not wish to have your name and home address associated with your LLC, hire a registered agent service to serve as the registered agent of your LLC.
Choose your method of filing your LLC's articles of organization. The Louisiana Secretary of State allows an individual to file an articles of organization in person, by mail, by fax or online. If you file online, use the application process on the Louisiana Secretary of State’s website. If you use any other method, download and use a Domestic Limited Liability articles of organization form from the Louisiana Secretary of State’s website. In addition to the articles of organization, you must also fill out an initial report for your LLC.
Fill out your LLC’s articles of organization. Supply the name of your Louisiana LLC and select a purpose for forming your LLC -- although there is a default provision of “any lawful activity.” You must also supply the duration for your LLC, although you have the option of selecting a perpetual duration. If you are not filing your articles of organization online, you must have your articles of organization notarized.
Fill out your LLC’s initial report form. Indicate the name of your LLC, and the name and address of the registered agent and registered office, or the official address of your business. Also provide the name and physical address of all LLC owners -- called “members” -- and managers at the time of organization. The initial report form must also be notarized.
Submit your LLC’s articles of organization and initial report form. As of 2010, the fee for filing an articles of organization is $75, made payable to the Secretary of State by either check or credit card. Use a credit card if filing by fax. As of 2010, there is an additional option of 24-hour processing for a $30 fee or instant processing for a $50 fee.