How To Incorporate In Louisiana
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1. Choose a Name for Your Louisiana Corporation
Check on Available Names in Louisiana: For you to incorporate your small business in Louisiana, your business needs to have a unique corporate name. Before you can file to incorporate, you will need to be sure that the name that you have chosen for your corporation is not already in use. By searching online records and other databases, you can find out if the name that you have chosen is already in use by another corporation. You can search a database of Louisiana corporations online at the official website of the Secretary of State: Lousiana Corporation.
Reserve a Corporate Name: If you would like to reserve the corporate name that you have chosen until the time that you can file to incorporate, you can submit an application to the Louisiana Secretary of State. You can find the application online at Reserve Lousiana Corporate Name. The filing fee is $25.00 and the name will be reserved for a period of 60 days.
Filing Trademarks and Doing a Corporate Name Search: Just the fact that the name that you have chosen for your corporation is not in use by another corporation in the state of Louisiana doesn’t mean that the name is not in use by a corporation in another state. There may be some restrictions on the use of the name that you have chosen for your corporation. It is best to consult with an attorney who can advise you on what these restrictions may be and help you how to take steps to trademark the name that you have chosen. See our article on how to choose a name for your corporation.
Louisiana Corporate Name Requirements: According to state law in Louisiana, the name of your corporation must include the word “corporation,” “incorporated,” “limited,” or an abbreviation of one of these words. Another option is to include the word “company” or “co.” if the word “company” is not immediately preceded by “and” or “&.”
2. Find a Registered Agent in Louisiana
You need to choose a registered agent for your corporation in order to incorporate in Louisiana. Your registered agent acts as an agent for service of process and is responsible for receiving legal and tax documents for your corporation. There are corporate services companies that can provide registered agent services to your corporation for a fee. You need to include the name and address of your registered agent in your company’s Articles of Incorporation.
3. File Articles of Incorporation with the Louisiana Secretary of State
Minimum Requirements: To incorporate your small business in Louisiana, you need to file Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State. You can choose to file online or download the form at File a Louisiana Corporation. The Articles of Incorporation that you file needs to include your corporate name, the purpose of your corporation, the physical address of your main office in Louisiana, the number of shares that your corporation is authorized to issue, the name and address of your registered agent, and the name and address of each incorporator and director. The Articles of Incorporation needs to be signed by the incorporator and the registered agent.
Other Louisiana Legal Provisions: When you prepare to file Articles of Incorporation with the Louisiana Secretary of State, you should consider including additional legal provisions as part of the document. It is strongly advised that you consult an attorney when you are preparing the Articles of Incorporation document so that you can be sure that you include the additional legal provisions that may be appropriate for your company.
Where to Submit Form: You can file Articles of Incorporation online or mail the completed Articles of Incorporation document and payment to the office of the Secretary of State, P.O. Box 94125, Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125.
Filing Fee: There is a $60.00 fee to file Articles of Incorporation in Louisiana. Any checks should be made payable to the Secretary of State.
4. Create Other Louisiana Incorporation Documents (Corporate Kits)
After creating and submitting your Articles of Incorporation document to the Secretary of State, you will be able to begin taking certain actions in your corporation. These actions could include appointing officers and directors, adopting corporation bylaws, issuing stock certificates, obtaining a tax ID number, and acquiring a business license. You could also create other types of corporate documents such as buy-sell agreements, shareholders agreements that determine when stock can be sold, and documents that explain what happens if an owner decides to leave the company. These types of documents can be very useful, especially for corporations that have multiple owners. It is strongly advised that you consult an attorney when you are creating these documents to be sure that you are complying with all the legal requirements that apply to your corporation. You may also want to consult one of the various corporate service companies that help corporations to prepare these types of documents for a fee.
5. Qualify Your Louisiana Corporation to Do Business in Other States
You will need to qualify your corporation in order to do business outside the state of Louisiana if the main office of your corporation is located in another state. Most other states will require your corporation to qualify in order to do business there and will require you to pay taxes in your home state. If you would like to learn more about how to qualify your corporation to do business in other states, visit Doing Business in other states.
6. Make Annual Filings and Pay Annual Fees and Taxes in Louisiana
You will need to file an annual report for your corporation in Louisiana. You will be asked to update information about your corporation, your registered agent, and your officers. The filing fee is $25.00. You can file online at Lousinana Corporate Fee.
Once your corporation is registered in the state of Louisiana, your corporation will be subject to Louisiana state taxes. You will need to file a corporate income tax return and pay the required Louisiana state income taxes. If you would like to learn more about the tax laws that apply to your Louisiana corporation, visit the official website of the Louisiana Department of Revenue: Louisiana Corporate Tax.
When it is time for you to prepare tax documents for your corporation, it is strongly advised that you consult an accountant so that you can better avoid costly mistakes in the preparation of your tax documents.
You will need to make many complex decisions in the process of incorporating your small business, especially if your corporation has multiple owners. However, if you consult an attorney and an accountant when you are in the process of incorporating, you can feel more confident that your paperwork will be processed correctly.
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This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.