How Much Does It Cost to Form an LA Corporation?
Legal business registration — and maintaining good standing — involves necessary expenses and investment. Some of these costs are payable to the LA Secretary of State, while others are due to additional state entities or the federal government. Here are some common requirements and fees.
Please note that fees for a State of Louisiana business license or permit may be due when you first form your business, on an ongoing schedule or on an ad hoc basis. Find more details below.
Initial Louisiana Corporation Filing Fees
When starting a business in Louisiana State, you’ll need to file a form and pay a filing fee. Here are the current Louisiana corporation filing fees and times:
Louisiana Filing Time & Price
When you use Incfile to register a business in Louisiana, we charge you the state filing fee and forward it to the Secretary of State when we file your incorporation paperwork.
Just pay the required Louisiana corporation filing fees.
Employer Identification Number
Every corporation in the country should have a unique EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the Internal Revenue Service. You'll use it when you open a business bank account, file taxes and pay employees. You can get one directly from the IRS, or Incfile can get one for you.
If you want to do business in a state other than the one where your business is based, you must create a Foreign Corporation.
Louisiana Foreign Corporation Registration
Before you can bring an arm of your business from another state into Louisiana, you must request Louisiana Foreign Qualification. This means the state gives you permission to conduct business there.
To request registration of a Louisiana Foreign Corporation, you must complete an Application for Authority and pay a processing fee of $125. The state may have additional registration requirements, so contact the Louisiana Secretary of State directly for more information and to ensure you're in compliance with LA corporation law.
Foreign Qualification to Operate in Another State
If you plan to expand your Louisiana corporation into another state, you’ll first need Foreign Qualification or a Certificate of Authority from that state. This is necessary before you can create a physical presence, hire employees or bank in that state.
You'll likely have to complete at least one application and pay a filing fee, but each state has its own requirements. Before you start the process, compare state filing times and state filing fees so you can plan accordingly.
Above all, contact the state government entity that administers business (usually the Secretary of State) to confirm their requirements and for specific instructions.
If you need assistance, Incfile provides a complete Foreign Qualification service for all states.
Louisiana Annual Report Requirements
Most states require business entities to file an annual (or other periodic) report. Louisiana requires an annual report to be filed once a year with the LA Secretary of State.
When you complete your annual report, you'll do so by filing it online accompanied with a filing fee of $30.
On or before 1st day of anniversary month of organization.
State of Louisiana Business License and Permit Requirements
Before you start doing business, you must secure the necessary state, federal or local business licenses and permits to operate your corporation. Some of the fees will only need to be paid once, while others may be ongoing charges.
Permits and licenses vary based on:
Unlike many states, you aren't required to have Louisiana corporation bylaws if you form a corporation in the state. That being said, it is recommended that every corporation have them, and by all means, continue to follow them.
The bylaws must then be adopted (and amended, if necessary) by the board of directors and shareholders.
Drafting a set of bylaws can be extremely helpful in making sure you’re organized and can help protect your business from any future changes and events that may affect your business.
Other LA Corporation Filing Requirements and Fees
The State of Louisiana requires you to complete a few more tasks before you can begin conducting business.
Appoint a Director
Some states require corporations to appoint a full board of directors. LA corporation law requires all corporations to have a board of directors consisting of at least one director.
In Louisiana, the board of directors may elect individuals to fill one or more offices of the corporation, but must elect at least one secretary. One individual may hold more than one office or duty at any given time.
Issue Stock to Shareholders
To raise business capital and keep it separate from company owners' money, every Louisiana corporation must sell stock to its shareholders. The Articles of Incorporation must authorize the sale of at least one class of share, and the corporation cannot sell more shares than are authorized.
Hold Annual General Meetings
This is one area where Louisiana differs from other states. You may hold annual meetings, and it's generally a good idea to do so. But should you decide not to, Louisiana Law Revised Statutes Title 12, Part 7, Subpart A, § 1-701 states, "The failure to hold an annual meeting at the time stated in or fixed in accordance with Subsection A of this Section does not affect the validity of any corporate action."
Get a Trade Name or DBA
If you want to register a Louisiana DBA (trade name), you must file a form with the Secretary of State and pay a filing fee of $75.
Change the Registered Agent
If your corporation is based in Louisiana, then you must have a Registered Agent in the state. You'll need to appoint one when you file your Articles of Incorporation. You can also change to a new Registered Agent later by filing a form and paying a fee of $25.
It’s free for the first year if you form your LA corporation with us and $119 a year after.
Reserving a Name for Your Corporation
If you're not quite ready to start your business, you can reserve a name for 120 days with the Secretary of State by filing a form and paying a fee of $25. First, conduct an LA corporation search and learn the state's business naming rules to ensure you choose a name that meets legal requirements.
Amending Facts About Your Corporation
When you incorporate, the Louisiana business forms you fill out include certain information about your business at that time. Through the years, some or all of this information may change. If it does, you'll need to file Articles of Amendment with the Secretary of State along with a filing fee of $75. You can do this yourself or Incfile can do it for you.
Get a Certificate of Good Standing
Some organizations may request that you prove your corporation's compliance with laws and tax requirements. In most states - including Louisiana - this proof is provided with a Certificate of Good Standing.
If you need to prove you have met your commitments, you’ll need to request an LA Certificate of Good Standing from the Secretary of State. You can do this by requesting it online. There will be a code at the bottom of the requested certificate/certified copy which will allow you to print numerous certificates/certified copies (with the same date) for a period of 120 days.
The information listed above details many of the fees a standard corporation will be required to pay in Louisiana. In some circumstances, there may be other one-off, periodic or ad hoc fees not listed above.
Of course, your corporation will also probably need to pay federal, state, self-employment (if it's an S Corp) and other taxes. You'll find more information on the Louisiana taxes page.
We charge you this fee at cost and then pay it to the LA Secretary of State on your behalf when forming your business.
It depends on various factors, including:
- governing organizations in your industry;
- federal, state and local regulations;
- where you're located; and
- the type of business you run.
Many new businesses need a business license, and you may be required to obtain additional licenses and permits. Our Business License Research Package can take the guesswork out of it for you and help you learn what your corporation needs to be compliant.