Why Start an LA Corporation?
The state of Louisiana offers a range of business incentives, giving businesses in Louisiana a competitive edge. Your corporation may be able to take advantage of these incentives, provided it meets qualifying criteria.
For example, the Entertainment Job Creation Program provides a tax credit to approved entertainment companies that create well-paid jobs for Louisiana residents.
For many entrepreneurs looking to start a larger business, LA incorporation may be the best choice. As a corporation, your business is able to buy and trade stock, and when it comes to excess profits, corporations offer more flexibility than a limited liability company (LLC). A corporation is allowed to pass income and losses to its shareholders, who report taxes on an individual tax return at ordinary levels.
Is an LLC Better Than a Corporation?
It will depend on your goals. For smaller businesses, limited liability companies are usually a better option. An LLC is easier to set up and receives many of the same benefits as corporations, but with less regulation.
Learn more about forming a Louisiana LLC so you can decide which business entity is right for you.
Benefits of Forming a Louisiana C Corporation
Benefits of Forming a Louisiana S Corporation
It offers several advantages similar to those provided by a C Corp including, but not limited to:
- Options for creating, transferring and selling stock, though not as many as a C Corp
- The capacity for up to 100 shareholders
- Simpler rules than those applicable to C Corporations
- Easy transfer of ownership simply by selling your stock
- The possibility of saving money by allowing you to pay less self-employment tax
In this guide, you’ll find information on naming your corporation, getting a Registered Agent, the fees you’ll need to pay, business taxes and much more. We also cover what you'll need to register your corporation and how you'll interact with the Department Secretary of State in Louisiana.
How to Form an LA Corporation Yourself in 6 Steps
Choose a Unique Business Name and Complete a State Business Search
Every Louisiana business must have a unique name that isn't already in use by another business in the state. If you’re having difficulty coming up with a name, try using our Business Name Generator to gather ideas. You'll need to follow a few naming rules, which you can read about in detail on the Louisiana Corporation Names page.
Once you’ve decided on a name, you’ll need to make sure it’s available in Louisiana. To see whether another company in the state is already using your desired business name, use our tool to do a Louisiana entity search.
You can also carry out a name search on the Secretary of State's website.
Provide an Official Address for Your Corporation
All LA corporations must have a designated address. It could be your place of residence (if you’re running the company from your home), a building where your office is located or any physical address of your choice. The address can be outside the state of Louisiana and can be a P.O. Box.
You may also be able to use a virtual mailbox for your business address. Incfile can provide you with a Louisiana virtual mailbox where we'll receive your mail and scan it for your online review. This can be especially helpful if you run a home-based business and don't want your home address published as part of your business public record.
Assign a Registered Agent
A Registered Agent is someone who receives official correspondence and is responsible for filing reports with the Louisiana Secretary of State. Every Louisiana corporation is required to have a Registered Agent.
You can fill this position yourself, assign another manager in your business or use a Registered Agent service. If your Registered Agent in Louisiana is a person, they must have a physical street address in Louisiana and must be present during business hours to receive important documents on behalf of your company. You'll appoint your Registered Agent when you file your Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State and formally create your corporation.
All of Incfile’s business formation packages include Registered Agent service. It’s free for the first year and just $119 per year after that. You can also access a digital dashboard to view any document we've received on your behalf.
File Your Articles of Incorporation with the Louisiana Secretary of State
Once you've gathered all the information for your corporation, you’ll need to file your Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State. This will officially create your business.
File by Mail
Louisiana Secretary of State
P.O. Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125
File in Person
Louisiana Secretary of State
8585 Archives Avenue,
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
You only need to file your Articles of Incorporation in Louisiana once, but every two years after, you'll also need to file an annual report with the Secretary of State in LA. Incfile can remind you about this every year, or we can do it for you if you have us handle the paperwork.
What are the fees and requirements to incorporate in Louisiana?
On or before 1st day of anniversary month of organization.
Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service
You'll need an EIN to identify your business to the IRS. You will use this number for filing and paying taxes, submitting payroll information and payments for your employees and opening a business bank account. You can obtain one directly from the IRS, or Incfile can get one for you as part of the LA corporation creation process.
A set of rules that govern how a corporation will be run, bylaws detail how many directors the corporation will have, whether the board of directors will have annual meetings and what the voting requirements will be, among other things.
Unlike some states, companies are not required to create bylaws in Louisiana. However, it's always a good idea to write and follow bylaws to protect your business from any future changes and events.
Types of LA Corporations
Check with the Secretary of State to confirm whether your business should and can be a Professional Corporation.