General Guide to Company Incorporation in Louisiana
Updated on Tuesday 20th August 2019
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Among the most populous states of America, Louisiana is placed on the 25th position. The Pelican State, as it is recognized, has important exits to the Gulf of Mexico and connections to South America and offshore destinations like the Bahamas or the Cayman Islands. The beautiful landscapes and attractive deltas created by the Mississippi River make Louisiana a state with full touristic potential which offers varied business opportunities. We have prepared a general guide to company incorporation in Louisiana in order for you to understand the main steps to follow for business registration in this state. More information can be offered by our team of specialists in company incorporation in USA.
Opening a limited liability company in Louisiana
The regular legal entities through which a business person can set up his/her operations are the limited liability companies, partnerships, sole proprietorships and corporations. Because it has a fast registration with the Business Division of the Louisiana Secretary of State, the limited liability company or the LLC represents the most suitable and convenient form of business in this state. The incorporation procedure starts with a name verification and continues with drafting the Articles of Association that must offer information like:
- the name of the owners;
- the business address;
- the name of the registered agents;
- the board of managers;
- the activities of the company.
Usually, an LLC in Louisiana can be settled once an operating agreement is accepted and signed. This represents a legal document which sets out details about the ownership, the operating procedures and the liabilities of each member.
The Employer Identification Number for companies in Louisiana
To legally operate on the American territory, companies in Louisiana must apply for the EIN which is the Employer Identification Number necessary for tax purposes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is in charge of tax matters for all kind of business entities, and the authority which issues such number. In other words, the EIN represents the social security number of the business. Starting a company in USA is subject to particular conditions, among which the EIN is mandatory. More information can be obtained from our company formation agents in USA.
A business plan for a company in Louisiana
Even though it is not a mandatory request when incorporating a company in Louisiana, a business plan is recommended, in order to properly build the company. You might find interesting the following steps in drawing a business plan for your future company in Louisiana:
- Find out the competitors on the market and see if it’s anything new that you can implement;
- Discover the type of clients your business will have and develop the first marketing plans;
- Set out the primary budget or investments for the business you will develop;
- Is it necessary to hire staff from the beginning? Make sure you understand the business needs right from the start.
In most cases, a correct business plan will protect an entrepreneur from potential business risks that might arise from the beginning. It is good to know from the start if the business idea is viable, hence, a solid plan might be the ideal way to commence the operations. If you would like to know more about how to start a business in Louisiana do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our company formation specialists in USA.
Opening a bank account for a company in Louisiana
The personal assets must be separated from the company ones, so two different bank accounts are needed. Opening a bank account for your company in Louisiana is not complicated, however, if you are a foreign entrepreneur you should talk to our company formation agents in USA and ask for complete support and guidance. You can choose from several banks established in Louisiana, and it is good to know that most of them do not ask for a minimum deposit or monthly fees. Also, you can ask for savings solutions, mobile and internet banking that can sustain your business in Louisiana from this point of view. Among the documents for opening a bank account in Louisiana, we mention that the company’s documents are necessary. Any formality in this matter can be handled by one of our consultants, so do not hesitate to address your inquiries to us at any time.
Can I open a partnership in Louisiana?
Yes, you can create a general partnership in Louisiana and settle an agreement in this sense, even though this is not an obligation, according to the local and federal laws. Such an agreement is normally used or placed in discussion at the time the partners need to solve an issue or a discrepancy in terms of business. Entrepreneurs can choose to set up a general partnership in Louisiana and that because the formalities are quite simple, there are low costs involved and it is the most manageable business form where the partners are personally responsible for the obligations and debts in the firm. However, if the partnership is settled under the rules of a limited partnership, this means that one of the partners has limited personal liabilities while the other one is a passive investor who can lose no more than his/her share of stake in the firm. Partnerships are in many cases ideal business choices for foreigners, and if you would like to know more, feel free to talk to our team.
Taxes in Louisiana
The income tax rates in Louisiana vary in accordance with the registered profit and range between 2% and 6%. The sales tax is set at 4% and it is split into two parts:
- 3.97% as the sales tax for Louisiana;
- 0.03% representing the Tourism Promotion District Sales Tax in Louisiana.
One should also consider the local taxes imposed in each city of Louisiana for any type of company.
Accounting services in Louisiana
Companies in Louisiana which issue invoices and register financial transactions must hire an accounting firm to deal with these matters. Bookkeeping, payroll, tax advice, financial planning, auditing and business consultancy are only a few of the services offered by such firm. Opening a business in USA as a foreign entrepreneur is subject to a fast and reliable incorporation in any kind of state, including Louisiana.
Licenses and permits in Louisiana
According to the type of activity you want to develop in Louisiana, particular licenses and permits must be obtained from the Louisiana Secretary of State, the Licensing Division. Accountants, architects, dentists, contractors, engineers, therapists, pharmacists or real estate brokers must apply for a license before establishing their activities in Louisiana. It is important to know that regulatory licenses and permits are issued for entrepreneurs providing or selling specific items or services or for those having a business in the agriculture field or dealing with the environment.
Sole proprietorships in Louisiana
Sole proprietorships can be easily established in Louisiana if you choose a business name, file the registration application with the entitled authorities, obtain the EIN and the necessary licenses and permits. It is good to know that entrepreneurs can use their own names for establishing their activities as sole traders in Louisiana, however, a name verification is suggested in the first place and made under the rules of Louisiana Secretary of State. A business bank account, the registration for tax purposes and opening a business bank account are the immediate steps to follow when deciding on opening a sole proprietorship in Louisiana.
Economy of Louisiana
The state of Louisiana has a diversified economy, but the main engine is represented by the agriculture sector which generates generous profits. The tourism sector is also well-developed so are the manufacturing, the mining, the real estate and the services sectors in Louisiana. Baton Rouge is the state’s capital and a prolific financial center in USA. New Orleans, Shreveport, Lafayette, Alexandria, Convington or Slidell are among important cities which can be seen as proper destinations for business operations. Below you can find information about the trading sector in Louisiana, a thriving field in the past few years:
- products worth around $ 66.2 billion took the international road, from Louisiana, in 2018;
- in 2018, Louisiana was the 5th largest exporter of products among the American states;
- manufactured products worth $40.8 billion were exported from Louisiana in 2018;
- approximately $11.1 billion represent Louisiana’s exports to the European Union in 2018.
Entrepreneurs who want to enter the American market through a company in Louisiana are invited to contact our team of company incorporation representatives in USA.