Welcome to Start a Business’s guide to corporation registration Louisiana. All corporations, foreign or domestic, will first need to file with the office of the Secretary of State, the Department of Revenue and the Louisiana Workforce Commission before conducting business. Fortunately for you, the Secretary of State has consolidated the three registration procedures into one on the geauxBIZ online platform. Those who are less technologically inclined may instead file through the mail by completing the prescribed PDF (found linked in the tutorials below). If opting not to use the online filing system to register with the Secretary of State, you will most likely be required to file with the other two, aforementioned departments separately. The filing fee for a new, domestic corporation is $75 while foreign applicants must provide $125 across the board. All filings must be completed, and all authorized corporations must operate, under Title 12 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes.

How to File

Step 1- Whether you seek authority as a foreign corporation or you’re looking to incorporate your business within Louisiana, you will need to first ensure that your business name is unique. As opposed to conducting a query into the name availability using a Business Entity Search (which doesn’t guarantee availability), the office of the Secretary of State has asked filers to perform a Name Reservation. This reservation will allow representatives of domestic businesses to acquire an Employer Identification Number from Internal Revenue Services (a piece of information required in the online application process). It will also prevent other businesses from filing under the same moniker for a period of either 60 days (non-profit corporations) or 120 days (profit corporations).

Step 2- Now that your name is reserved and you have access to your Employer Identification Number, you will be able to file with the Secretary of State. Below we’ve listed both filing methods for each corporation type. Whether you plan to go with geauxBIZ or you’ve elected to file through the mail, it is essential that all information submitted into the government documents is 100% accurate and complete.

Step 3- Online filers, at this point, will have supplied all the required information to the Secretary of State, the Department of Revenue and the Louisiana Workforce Commission. Paper filers will have completed the transmittal form, the Application for Authority/Articles of Incorporation and will have had the paperwork notarized and signed by the registered agent(s). The payment of the filing fees will be required next. This will involve either supplying your credit card information (applicable for both geauxBIZ and PDF filers) or writing a check made payable to the Louisiana Secretary of State (strictly PDF). The payment total will be $75 for those filing domestically and $125 for out of state entities. Online applicants can expect an additional $5 fee applied to the geauxBIZ application process.

Step 4- The payment of the filing fee will mark the completion of the online procedure. Paper filers will of course need to send their application in to the office of the Secretary of State for processing. Be sure to place all items (transmittal form, filing fee, certificate of good standing [if applicable] and application/articles) into an envelope before sending them to the below address.

Commercial Division

P. O. Box 94125

Baton Rouge, LA 70804

Tips

EIN –  The acquisition of an Employer Identification Number is a vital step in the Louisiana business filing process. This doesn’t  apply to foreign entities already paying federal tax as they will have obtained this number after filing their original articles. Representatives of corporations who have decided to use a geauxBIZ account to create their corporation will need to use their name reservation to acquire an EIN before submitting their Articles of Incorporation online. After the formation of your entity, you will be able to use this identifier to file taxes, apply for loans, hire new employees and otherwise manage the financials of your business. Please review our online and PDF tutorials to familiarize yourself with the application process.

Corporate Bylaws – The financial and managerial practice of your corporation should be relayed in the corporate bylaws, a document which can be drafted before or after your filing with the Secretary of State. The manner in which the board of directors is to be elected, the power that they hold, the capital contributions of the initial shareholders of the company and the allocation of funds are all underlined in this internal set of bylaws. These are not only for organizational purposes, a document of this nature will also allow for you to display legitimacy and efficiency to financial institutions and the like. Click on the heading of this paragraph to access our free template available in Adobe PDF and MS Word formatting.

Renewal– All business entities in the State of Louisiana will be required to file their annual report each year to renew their business with the Secretary of State. To accomplish this, you will need to navigate to the Secretary of State website (linked in heading) and enter your charter number as well as your renewal ID into the empty fields. On the following pages you will be able to edit any applicable information before paying the filing fees and updating the office of the Secretary of State with all changes which have occurred over the previous 12 months. Foreign corporations that fail to renew risk having their business revoked after just one year. This is applicable to domestic entities as well however they are granted a grace period of 3 years.

How to (Video)