How to Create a Louisiana LLC: A Step-by-Step Do It Yourself (DIY) Guide | Inc Authority

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How to Create a Louisiana LLC: A Step-by-Step Do It Yourself (DIY) Guide

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Forming an LLC (Limited Liability Company) in Louisiana involves a series of steps in compliance with the state laws. Here’s a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you establish an LLC in Louisiana:

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STEP 1: Choose a Name for Your LLC

Compliance: Your LLC name must include the phrase “Limited Liability Company,” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).

Uniqueness: The name must be distinguishable from the names of other business entities already filed with the Louisiana Secretary of State.

Prohibited Words: Certain words may be prohibited or require additional paperwork, such as “Bank,” “University,” or “Attorney.”

Name Reservation (Optional): If desired, you can reserve your LLC name for 120 days by filing a Name Reservation with the Secretary of State and paying the applicable fee.

Name Search: Check the Louisiana Secretary of State’s business name database to ensure your desired LLC name isn’t already in use: https://coraweb.sos.la.gov/CommercialSearch/CommercialSearch.aspx

Time it Takes to name an LLC

Researching and deciding on a name: 1-2 hours

If opting for a name reservation: The act of filing can take about 10-15 minutes.

If opting for a name reservation: Filing can take minutes, but approval might take a few days to a week.

STEP 2: Appoint a Registered Agent

Agent Role: Your registered agent can be an individual resident of Louisiana or a business entity authorized to do business in Louisiana. They will receive official papers and legal documents on behalf of your LLC.

Requirements: The agent must have a physical street address in Louisiana.

Time it Takes to be a Registered Agent

Registered Agents MUST BE at the Business Address everyday during business hours. This is why Home Addresses Are Not Accepted.

If you already have someone in mind (like an attorney or a service), this can be quick. If you need to find and appoint a registered agent: 1-3 hours.

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·       Legal Compliance: Avoid fines, penalties, and possible dissolution

·       Convenience: Serves as your public & legal business address

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STEP 3: File Articles of Organization

Prepare the Articles: This is the document that officially creates your LLC in Louisiana. It includes important information about your LLC, such as its name, duration (if not perpetual), address, and the name and address of the registered agent.

Submit and Pay Fees: File the Articles with the Louisiana Secretary of State. This can be done by mail or online, and will require a filing fee.

Effective Date: You can specify an effective date for your LLC; otherwise, it’s the date the Articles are filed.

Time it takes to write the Articles of Organization

Preparing the document: 1-2 hours

Filing online: 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Waiting for confirmation/approval: This can range widely, but typically, online filings can be processed in a few days to a couple of weeks.

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STEP 4: Create an Operating Agreement

Internal Rules: While not legally required in Louisiana, it’s highly advisable to create an Operating Agreement. This internal document outlines your LLC’s ownership, operating procedures, and financial and functional decisions, including provisions for managing, assigning responsibilities, and how profits and losses are distributed.

Conflict Prevention: It helps prevent misunderstandings by setting clear rules and expectations.

Time it takes to write an Operating Agreement

If using a template and making minimal changes: 1-3 hours

If drafting from scratch or having extensive negotiations among members: Several days to weeks.

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STEP 5: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for tax purposes.

You can apply for an EIN online at no cost through the IRS website: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-number-ein-online

The EIN will be used for tax filings, opening bank accounts, and hiring employees.

Time it takes to get an EIN / Tax ID

Filling out the online form and receiving the EIN: Approximately 0.5 to 1 hour (the online process is relatively quick if there are no complications).

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SO HOW MUCH TIME WILL IT TAKE TO FORM AN LLC MYSELF? DO IT MYSELF (DIY) an LLC?

Total Time Investment (Minimum): 5 hours (if you exclude the higher range estimates and name reservation)

Total Time Investment (Maximum): 11.5 hours (if you include the higher range estimates and name reservation)

This gives a ballpark range of 5 to 11.5 working hours for an individual, excluding all waiting times. It’s worth noting that these times can vary based on the person’s familiarity with the processes and any specific details or challenges related to the business being set up.

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