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LLC Cost in Louisiana

How much does an LLC cost in Louisiana?

Written by Nikki Winston – CPA, updated on

Louisiana is a state with a rich history – unique culture, amazing cuisine, fabulous music events.

But the Creole State is also home to some prospering companies. Louisiana-born CenturyLink and Entergy are on the Fortune 500 list, and many more small business owners run profitable operations in this state!

So if you too plan to start your limited liability company (LLC) in Louisiana, you’re probably wondering about the costs of doing business in this state. Below is an overview.

Louisiana LLC formation cost: $100

To begin company incorporation, you need to complete and file the Articles of Organization form to the Louisiana Secretary of State.

On this form, you’ll need to include your new business name and registered address, LLC’s purpose, and your registered agent’s information.

The filing fee is $100 for routine filing, processed within several business days.

But you can also opt for expedited services. The costs are:

  • $130 for one-day processing
  • $150 to process your request within four hours

You can file your formation documents online, in-person, or by mail to the Secretary of State’s office at:

Louisiana Secretary of State
8585 Archives Avenue
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70809

If your LLC is registered in a state other than Louisiana, it’s considered a foreign LLC here.

In this case, you’ll have to file the Application for Authority to Transact Business in Louisiana. The fee is $150 and can be done online, by fax, mail, or in person.

Extra Louisiana LLC costs to account for

State LLC registration fees aren’t the only costs you’ll carry. You may also need to budget for the following extras.

Registered agent costs: vary

Every Louisiana LLC must appoint a registered agent.

A registered agent is a person or legal entity designated to serve as the main point of contact for your business. You need to list their name and physical street address (P.O. boxes are not accepted) on your company formation documents.

Afterward, they must be available at that registered office address during standard business hours to receive service of process in case of lawsuits and handle other business correspondence.

Louisiana doesn’t charge a fee for appointing a registered agent.

However, if your registered agent changes their office address or resigns, you’ll have to pay a $25 state fee to update your information with the state.

You can serve as your own registered agent or hire a commercial registered agent service.

A professional service provider will provide their contact details to the authorities. Then accept all important documents on behalf of your LLC and forward them to you. And do some extra admin work like help with LLC operating agreement creation, tax planning, and compliance business filings.

Commercial registered agent services typically cost between $100 to $300 per year.

Trade name registration: $75

If you choose to operate your LLC under a name that’s different from the LLC’s legal name, you’ll have to file a trade name registration, also known as doing business as (DBA) registration.

Trade name registration in Louisiana costs $75 for in-person or online filing.

You can pay an extra $30 to expedite an online request to be processed within 24 hours or pay $50 for in-person requests, which will be processed within 4 hours.

Louisiana LLC name reservation: $25

If you’re not yet ready to form an LLC, but there is a business name you want, you can reserve that name for $25.

Louisiana business name reservations are valid for 120 days. It should give you a good runway to get your business up and running!

Remember: Your legal company name must include either ”Limited Liability Company” or some version of its abbreviation like: “L.L.C,” or “L.C.” The Secretary of State has other rules for naming business entities on the Name Reservation Form.

You must also verify that the selected name is sufficiently different from existing businesses by doing a name search on the SOS website.

Certified document copies: $15 per document

Louisiana charges a flat $15 fee for obtaining any type of certified document copy. Or $25 for requesting more than one document for the same entity.

You’ll need certified copies of legal documents such as your Articles of Organization when applying for a business bank account, credit card, or working with new vendors.

Business permits and licenses: costs vary

There’s no statewide business license in Louisiana. But many cities and parishes require you to obtain general business licenses and occupational permits based on the industry you operate in.

For example, in New Orleans, you’ll need an Occupational Business License or a General Business License. The license cost varies based on your industry and revenue.

For example, a retail license can cost small business owners $50. But goes as high as $6,000 per year if you gross at least $5 million annually.

Hotels, on the other hand, pay a flat fee of $2.00 per sleeping room.

Occupational license tax dependent on the type of business
Occupational license tax dependent on the type of business. Source: City of Shreveport.

In Shreveport, all companies must get an Occupational Business License from the city. The costs start at $50 for the first 6 months.

Professional license

If you operate in a regulated industry like plumbing, construction, or accounting, you may need to get a professional license. It’s often required on top of a general city business license.

geauxBIZ is your one-stop site for launching your new business in the state of Louisiana
geauxBIZ is your one-stop site for launching your new business in the state of Louisiana. Source: geauxBIZ.

You can generate a checklist of business licenses/permits through the government geauxBIZ portal. Licensing costs vary based on your occupation.

Here are several sample costs:

As you can see from the examples above, your licensing fees can vary greatly.

Check with the state of Louisiana and the cities or parishes where you plan to do business to make sure you cover all bases on licensing.

Does Louisiana have an annual LLC fee?

Yes. Every Louisiana limited liability company has to file an annual report to maintain good standing with the state. The annual fee is $30 – which is small – but make sure you don’t overlook it.

Failure to file and pay your annual fees can cause your LLC to be dissolved, and you won’t be able to do business in Louisiana.

What taxes do LLCs pay in Louisiana?

Companies in Louisiana are subject to several types of state taxes – sales tax, state employment taxes, and state personal income tax.

Sale tax

Louisiana collects tax from business owners who qualify as dealers subject to sales tax requirements. These include transactions such as:

  • Leasing or renting tangible property
  • Using, distributing, or storing tangible property in Louisiana
  • Selling services like printing, laundry, telecommunications, amusement parks, and hotels

The state’s general sales tax rate is 4.45%.

Business owners subject to sales tax requirements must apply for a sales tax certificate, collect the appropriate taxes from customers at the time of sale, and file returns with the Louisiana Department of Revenue.

Also, individual cities may charge extra local sales taxes. For example, Baton Rouge has a combined sales tax rate of 9.95% (4.45% state tax + 5.5% local sales tax).

In some cities, you may end up collecting up to 11% in sales taxes.

Employment taxes

If you‘re planning to hire employees for your LLC, you’ll have to withhold and pay income tax.

The amount you’ll pay varies, and you must file the Employer’s Quarterly Return of Louisiana Withholding Tax (Form L-1) whether you withheld taxes as required or not.

The rate ranges from 0.09% to 6.2% on the first $7,700 in wages paid to each employee in a calendar year. Also, depending upon your industry, new employers may qualify for a reduced 1.16%-2.89% rate.

Personal income taxes

LLC owners can elect how they want the IRS to characterize their LLC for tax purposes.

Your LLC can either report federal taxes as:

If you report your taxes as a sole proprietorship or partnership, you’ll have to pay applicable personal income tax rates in Louisiana. These rates are on a graduated scale of 2% for the first $12,500 and up to 6% for amounts over $100,000.

Louisiana income tax law doesn’t recognize S-corporation as tax classification.

The adobe means that Louisiana will tax LLCs, registered as S-corps, as a C-corporation instead. You’ll then be subject to progressive corporation franchise taxes starting at 4%.

Consult a qualified tax professional before selecting a tax classification for your Louisiana LLC.

Conclusion: How much does an LLC cost in Louisiana?

You can form an LLC in Louisiana for as little as $100 + city business license. Then expect to pay $30 per year for renewal fees. That’s the minimum.

In reality, you may spend more on company formation if you choose to use a commercial registered agent with annual costs of $100-$300. Reserving your name for $25 and registering your trade name, service mark, and trademark for $75 are both excellent investments.

So, your cost for a Louisiana LLC will be between $100 and about $500. It’s a bargain for a business structure designed to protect your assets and limit your personal liability.

Nikki Winston, CPA

Article by:

Nikki Winston

CPA

Nikki Winston is a CPA who enjoys writing about accounting, tax, personal finance, and career advice. Catch Nikki on Twitter @NikkWinstonCPA.

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