The most difficult part of any business endeavor is often just getting is started. There are a number of companies that have languished because of the worries over creating them. Fortunately, there are many business options, and there are a number of states that are friendly to businesses, as well. For those who want to start up an LLC in Louisiana, it is important to consider the options that are available to them. The more knowledge they have about the requirements and the process, the easier it will be to consider everything they need to know and make a wise decision regarding their LLC.

Getting Started

Naming the LLC

When it comes to finding a name for the LLC, searching online is generally the best method. That should involve seeing whether the chosen LLC name is available, and also whether the domain name is available. Most companies want to have both of those things. In addition to looking to see whether a name is taken, it is important to note that the company name must have Limited Liability Company or the abbreviation in it, and that there are restricted and prohibited words to take into account. Restricted words can be used in some cases with more paperwork, but prohibited words cannot be used at all. They generally belong to federal and state agencies, as allowing an LLC to use them might be confusing to the public.

Selecting a Registered/Statutory Agent

A registered agent, sometimes called a statutory agent, is a person or entity authorized to collect or receive official correspondence on behalf of an LLC. With that in mind, the registered agent is often the company’s owner or someone else who works there. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. The LLC can authorize another person or a company to be their registered agent, as long a the individual is a resident of the state or the corporation is authorized to do business in that state. Without meeting that requirement, the person or corporation cannot serve as a registered agent for the LLC.

Filing Articles of Organization

One of the best ways to form an LLC in Louisiana is through filing the information online. The cost to do this is $100. These Articles of Organization for a Domestic LLC are relatively standard among states, but they are not always called by the same name. Essentially, the articles provide important information about the business for tax and insurance purposes, among other things.

Creating an Operating Agreement

The State of Louisiana, like most states today, does not require an operating agreement in order to form an LLC. However, many people who form this type of company still create this agreement, mostly because it gives them strong documentation regarding what their company offers and how it is structured. While there is no reason not to create this document if it is desired, it is not a requirement for the state or for legally operating an LLC.

Running Your Business

Getting Your EIN

What’s an EIN?

An EIN is an employee identification number, issued by the Internal Revenue service. Sometimes it is also called a Federal Tax Identification Number. It’s a unique number issued to each business.

You’ll need an EIN to

  1. Open a business bank account.
  2. File Federal and State Taxes
  3. Hire employees.

Before you get your EIN:

  1. Make sure your new business has been properly formed before applying.
  2. Be wary of paid sites. EINs are free direct from the IRS.

How do I get an EIN?

  1. Apply online: The easiest way is to apply online for an EIN. Note, the IRS website has office hours, and is only available Monday through Friday, 7am to 10pm. Yes, we also agree this is one of the most ridiculous things we’ve ever seen.
  2. Call: You can call 1-800-829-4933, between 7am to 7pm of your time zone, Monday to Friday.
  3. Snail Mail – You can download the form and mail it in.

Keep Business and Personal Accounts Separate

  1. Get a business bank account for your business. This will help you protect your personal assets from potential creditors and lawsuits, and will also make life A LOT easier come tax time.
  2. Get a business credit or debit card. This will help you keep your expenses separate and easier to track.

Accounting

No matter what business you run, accounting software and processes is a must for any small business. If you have an accountant, ask them which software they work with and recommend.

A good accounting system is necessary to:

  1. Track income and expenses, so you can easily see if you’re making money
  2. Makes filing income taxes so much easier.

Always try and find something that will:

  1. Sync with all of your bank and credit card accounts automatically – not just downloads, but auto sync.
  2. Automatch vendors, customers and other accounts.
  3. Let you accept credit cards and ach drafts with ease.

 Louisiana LLC Taxes

Louisiana has requirements as to what is needed from an LLC when it comes to paying taxes.

Unemployment

Unemployment insurance tax must be paid, as it is required by the state.

Income

The employee withholding tax is a Louisiana state requirement to make sure income taxes are being paid.

Sales Tax

The state sales tax, along with permits and licenses are also important when setting up for taxes in Louisiana. Not every LLC will need the same types of permits and licenses, of course, so it is important to understand which ones will be required for a particular company. Additionally, if an LLC does not sell goods or services that are taxable, setting up for sales tax may not be required. Checking carefully to determine whether something is considered taxable by the state is important to ensure the right filings are handled properly.

Getting Insurance for your LLC

Louisiana allows for filing online for Workers’ Compensation insurance. This is an easier way for many companies to file, and can help ensure that they are in compliance with applicable laws regarding LLCs in that state. However, other types of insurance are not required. That can be detrimental to a company, considering they may not realize that other insurance could be needed. In this case, choosing more than the law requires could be an excellent way to protect the LLC from additional financial risk.

Keeping Your LLC Compliant

Louisiana has specific requirements for hiring. The state also asks that every LLC file an annual report. This is due each year by the date the LLC was formed, and costs $30 to file. Getting a Certificate of Good Standing is also possible for a $15 fee.

How to File a Foreign LLC in Louisiana

A foreign LLC can register in Louisiana online. The fee to register is $150.