Louisiana Articles of Organization

You have a big idea, truckloads of ambition, and dreams of a thriving Louisiana LLC, and you’re mentally prepared to make it happen.

But the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” and for you, that first step is filing the Articles of Organization.

With such grand plans, the last thing you might want to do is file paperwork, but completing the Articles of Organization is what authenticates your LLC, making it official in Louisiana. It’s perhaps the most important step in starting your Louisiana LLC. Following this guide will help take the tedium out of paperwork and get your business started quickly.

But before you dive into the Articles of Organization, you should have a few pieces of information ready to help streamline the process.

Choosing an LLC Name

Before anything else, you will need to decide on an LLC name. You must include a business name on your Articles of Organization, and if the Secretary of State deems that name unacceptable or unavailable, the document will be rejected, so make sure you nail down a good name right away.

Before settling on a name, ensure that it complies with the state’s LLC name requirements. This means that it must contain the words “limited liability company,” the abbreviation “L.L.C.,” or the abbreviation “L.C.,” and avoid using words/phrases that “comprise immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter,” imply government affiliation, or misrepresent the business purpose. Plus, your name cannot include the words “insurance” or the words “bank,” “banker,” “banking,” “savings,” “safe deposit,” “trust,” “trustee,” “building and loan,” “homestead,” or “credit union” without written approval from the commissioner of the office of financial institutions.

On top of all this, your name must also be distinguishable from every other name reserved or registered with the Secretary of State. Perform a business name search to find out if your name is available.

Once you’ve found your perfect name, include it on your Articles of Organization to automatically register it. In the event that you’re not quite ready to file an LLC, you can place a 120-day hold on your name by submitting a name reservation request.

Business Name Search


Powered by ZenBusiness

Choosing a Louisiana Registered Agent

A registered agent is your LLC’s liaison to the state, the mediator who takes care of all your important legal, tax, and compliance documents, keeping your business in good standing. When you go to file your Articles of Organization, you’ll notice that you must include registered agent information to complete it.

Your agent must fall into one of two broad categories: individual or business entity. If you appoint an individual, that person must be a Louisiana resident with a physical in-state address. And if you go with a business entity, like a registered agent service, it must be authorized to do business in the state.

Quick Note: If your first choice doesn’t work out, don’t worry. You can always change your registered agent in the future.

Preparing to File Your Louisiana Articles of Organization

Want to form an LLC for free? ZenBusiness will file all LLC formation paperwork for $0 + state fee. No catch, just savings.

Get Deal

Now for the main event: the Articles of Organization. Here’s your opportunity to get your LLC officially on record and authorized to conduct business in Louisiana.

The Articles of Organization is the driving force behind your LLC’s formation, the document that makes your business official. But considering its importance, the form itself is surprisingly simple. In fact, if you collect all the necessary information beforehand, you’ll have no problem breezing through it. Here’s what it requires:

  • State and parish/county
  • The LLC name
  • A business purpose
  • The LLC’s duration (may be perpetual)
  • Other necessary provisions (optional)
  • Signature(s) of your LLC’s organizer(s)

That’s not bad at all. As part of your Articles of Organization, you must also submit an Initial Report, which requires:

  • The LLC Name and address (not a P.O. box)
  • The registered agent’s name, address, and signature
  • Names and addresses for every member or manager

Keep in mind that both the Articles of Organization and the initial report must be notarized before you submit them.

Got all that? Great. Like most other government forms, the Articles of Organization comes with a cost – $100 to be exact. So, have your credit card or checkbook ready when you file.

Filing Options

You’ve collected your information and prepared your payment. Now it’s time to file. When you’re ready, you have four options, so choose the one that works best for your business.

Online

You can complete the whole process through the geauxBIZ filing portal. If you don’t already have an account, you’ll need to create one. As your business progresses, this page will be your go-to spot for filings.

Some parishes are now required to file documents online. According to the Secretary of State: “Effective January 1, 2018, business owners in the following parishes will be required to file all available business documents online through geauxBIZ: Ascension, Bossier, Caddo, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Lafayette, Livingston, Orleans, Ouachita, Rapides, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Terrebonne.”

Mail

If your parish/county doesn’t require online filing, you can use a hard copy instead. Download and complete the paper application, then include your payment and sent it all to:

Louisiana Secretary of State

Commercial Division

P.O. Box 94125

Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125

In Person

If you’re local to Baton Rouge and you’re out running errands, you can also hand-deliver your documents and payment to 8585 Archives Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70809.

Fax

If faxing is your thing, you can send your materials to (225)932-5314.

Processing time varies depending on which option you choose. Online filing is the quickest option – documents are processed in 24-48 hours. Hard copies, on the other hand, typically take 3-5 business days. Not fast enough? The Secretary of State offers two expedited processing options: 24-hour service for an extra $30 and immediate service for $50.

What About Foreign LLCs?

The process outlined above works for domestic LLCs (those formed in Louisiana), but what if your business is expanding to Louisiana from another state? In this case, don’t worry about the Articles of Organization. Your LLC will take a different route.

Out-of-state businesses are instead required to foreign qualify by filing an Application for Authority either online or as a hard copy. Instead of the Articles of Organization’s $100 fee, the Application for Authority comes with a $150 filing fee. Resist the temptation to skip this filing and start doing business right away. If you’re caught, the state will have some serious penalties and fines for you.

But if you’ve successfully foreign qualified and received authority from the state, you’re free to kick off your business activities in Louisiana!

Want Help Filing Your Articles of Organization?

Let’s be honest: you’ve got a lot on your plate. Filing paperwork can take time away from your other tasks, ones more focused on setting your budding LLC up for success.

The good news is that you don’t need to file the Articles of Organization yourself. But if an attorney is out of your price range, hiring an LLC creation service is a great option.

There’s no shortage of business incorporation services out there, but not all of them are equal. Each one offers different packages, costs, and processing times, so it’s important to find the right fit for your LLC.

While each service has optional upgrades and feature packages, on the most basic level, they will review your business information, prepare your formation documents, and submit them to the Louisiana Secretary of State. They will complete everything outlined in this guide and notify you when your Articles of Organization have been filed. You won’t have to lift a finger.

There are other benefits too. Some services will include a year of free registered agent service when you hire them. Other services offer order tracking, notifications on future documents (like annual reports), assistance drafting your operating agreement, or coverage of certain LLC formation costs.

 

Important Post-Formation Compliance Issues

Once you’ve successfully filed your Articles of Organization, your LLC is an official business entity in the state of Louisiana. However, this doesn’t mean that your responsibilities have come to an end. There are several other steps you’ll need to take if you want to operate a compliant LLC for years to come.

Acquire a Federal Tax ID Number (EIN)

While an EIN isn’t a requirement for Louisiana LLCs, we strongly recommend that every entrepreneur obtains one. An EIN enables your LLC to hire employees, open business bank accounts, file taxes, and take care of several other important aspects of LLC maintenance. Even if you operate a single-member LLC with no employees, you should still have an EIN for your business.

Set Up a Financial Infrastructure

One other crucial step is to solidify the financial aspects of your LLC, first by opening a business bank account. You must have separate bank accounts for your personal use and for business purposes, as this will help you keep your personal and business assets separate, a vitally important consideration for any entrepreneur. If you commingle these assets, you leave yourself wide open for lawsuits, as it would be easy for someone to claim that your business is simply an extension of your own personality and not a separate entity from you as a person.

The other portion of this step is to set up an accounting system. This can either mean that you hire an accountant to take care of your LLC’s bookkeeping, or you could acquire high-quality accounting software like QuickBooks. Either way, you need a reliable means of keeping detailed records for each financial transaction your LLC executes. This is another vital part of keeping your personal and business assets separated, and it will also be enormously helpful come tax time.

Acquire Licenses and Permits

The next step involves obtaining any industry-specific licenses and permits your LLC may need to operate in compliance with state laws. Depending on the nature of your LLC’s business, you may require several permits or you may be able to operate your LLC without any state-level licenses.

Thankfully, Louisiana makes it very easy to figure out your business’ licensing needs. All you need to do is visit the state’s geauxBIZ portal and you’ll find the license and permit applications you require. Make sure to check with your county and locality as well, as there may also be licensing requirements for your business on these levels.

Obtain Business Insurance

This step isn’t a requirement, but it is a strong recommendation. The exact insurance policies your business needs will vary based on the type of products and services you offer, but most LLCs should at least have a general liability insurance policy to protect against common perils like slip-and-fall accidents. In some industries, you might need several different insurance policies to cover all of your financial bases, so do your research ahead of time to determine which types of insurance you should purchase.

File Your Annual Reports

Each year, every LLC in Louisiana must file an annual report. This report includes some basic information about your business and keeps the state updated regarding any important changes to your LLC’s structure. The information you’ll need to file this report typically includes your LLC’s name, mailing address, registered agent name and address, names and addresses of each LLC member or manager, and your contact info (phone number, mailing address, and email address).

Frequently Asked Questions

About Filing the Louisiana LLC Articles of Organization

How long does it take Louisiana to form an LLC?

This all depends on how you choose to file your formation documents. Online filing is the quickest option – documents are processed in 24-48 hours. Hard copies, on the other hand, typically take 3-5 business days. Not fast enough? The Secretary of State offers two expedited processing options: 24-hour service for an extra $30 and immediate service for $50.

Should I file my own Articles of Organization, hire an attorney, or use an online service?

This question largely comes down to personal preferences, but we do have some general insights. The DIY route can be quite a bit of work, as you’ll need to complete each step of the formation process on your own with no assistance. As for hiring an attorney, this can be prohibitively expensive for new businesses, as a lawyer can charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars to form your LLC.

You can think of business services companies as a middle ground between these options. While most of these companies charge a fee to form your LLC, that fee will be significantly less expensive than an attorney’s fee. At the same time, you still aren’t going it alone. Instead, you have an experienced professional guiding you through the entire process.

What does Louisiana require for LLC formations other than the Articles of Organization?

First off, Louisiana requires all entrepreneurs to file an initial report that goes hand-in-hand with the Articles of Organization. Secondly, it’s vital that you remember to have both of these forms notarized. If you fail to get them notarized, the state will reject your formation filing.

How many small businesses are there in Louisiana?

Today, Louisiana has more than 450,000 small businesses. Clearly, entrepreneurs in many different fields find Louisiana to be a great place to own and operate a business entity.

About Us | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use

BestLLCServices.com is a website now owned by ZenBusiness Inc. BestLLCServices.com reviews products and services that the ZenBusiness family of sites sells. Readers should be aware of this when evaluating service providers, reading reviews, and making purchase decisions.