The first step to forming an LLC in Louisiana is to search for your preferred name and ensure it is available. Louisiana LLC names must be unique and meet certain state requirements.
Get your Louisiana business off to a great start. Learn to search and secure a unique business name with our easy-to-follow guide.
Louisiana Entity Name Search (Summary)
To search for business name availability in the state of Louisiana, you can follow these steps:
- Visit the Louisiana Secretary of State website: The Louisiana Secretary of State’s website provides a business name search tool that allows you to check the availability of a business name. You can access their website at: https://www.sos.la.gov/BusinessServices/SearchForLouisianaBusinessFilings/Pages/default.aspx
- Access the Business Search Tool: On the Louisiana Secretary of State’s website, navigate to the Business Services section and click on the “Search for Louisiana Business Filings” link. This will take you to the Business Search Tool.
- Enter the business name: In the Business Search Tool, you will find a search field where you can enter the desired business name. Input the name you wish to search for and click the “Search” button.
- Review the search results: The search results will display any existing businesses that match or closely resemble the name you entered. Take a look at the results to determine if the name you want is already registered or not.
- Check name availability: If the search results show no matches or similar names, it indicates that the name may be available for your business. However, it’s advisable to conduct a thorough search to ensure no conflicts or potential trademark issues exist.
What is a Louisiana Entity?
A Louisiana business entity is a business organization that has been legally formed and is recognized by the State of Louisiana. As with other states, Louisiana has its own set of regulations and requirements for forming, operating, and dissolving businesses within its jurisdiction. These processes are typically handled by the Secretary of State’s office.
The types of business entities you can form in Louisiana are similar to most other states and include:
- Sole Proprietorship: This is a type of business owned and run by one individual where there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business.
- Partnership: This is a business run by two or more persons who share the profits and bear the losses. Partnerships in Louisiana can be formed as general partnerships, limited partnerships (LP), or limited liability partnerships (LLP).
- Corporation: This is a separate legal entity owned by shareholders. It provides limited liability to its owners and is governed by a board of directors elected by the shareholders. Corporations can be for-profit or non-profit.
- Limited Liability Company (LLC): This is a hybrid type of legal structure that provides the limited liability features of a corporation and the tax efficiencies and operational flexibility of a partnership.
Louisiana Secretary of State Entity Name Search
In Louisiana, to form a corporation, LLC, or partnership, you’ll typically need to file certain documents (like Articles of Incorporation for a corporation or Articles of Organization for an LLC) with the Secretary of State’s office and pay any necessary filing fees.
Depending on the type of business, you may also need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS, register for state and local taxes, and get any necessary business licenses or permits.
Louisiana Name Search Links
Louisiana LLC Name Requirements
There are some requirements that you must know before searching for your Louisiana LLC name:
1. The abbreviations “LLC” and “L.L.C. must appear at the end of your Louisiana LLC name. The most commonly used abbreviation is “LLC”.
2. An LLC in Louisiana is not a Corporation. Your desired LLC name can’t use the words “Corporation”, “Incorporated” or their abbreviations (“Corp.” and “Inc .”).).
3. The name of your LLC must be distinctive. It must be distinct from all other Louisiana businesses.
Differentiability is not created by differences in designators (identifiers at end of business names) or in grammar.
- LLC, L.L.C, Inc., Corp.
- Single, plural, and possessive
- A, An, The
- and, or, &
- hyphens, slashes, periods, commas
Louisiana Name Database Search
1. Visit the Database
Visit the Louisiana Business Filings Search Page:
2. Find your LLC
In the search box ” Name“, enter your desired LLC name.
You can leave out the “LLC” ending and punctuation.
It doesn’t matter if capitalization is used, but the state requires that the search box be in all uppercase
To ensure that you are thorough, enter only the first or two words of your LLC name. This will allow you to see all information that could be similar.
You can be more specific by entering a portion of the first word. Ex: If your Louisiana LLC name is Printing Solutions LLC, enter “print”.
3. Check out the Results
To browse the current list of Louisiana businesses, click the ” search” button.
If the message ” Total results: 0” appears in the Louisiana database, your chosen LLC name is unique.
If yours and ‘s names are not too similar (meaning that yours is distinctive), your Louisiana LLC name can be used.
Your desired LLC name search result appears in the list exactly as you entered it, the name won’t be available for use. It is possible to come up with unique names or creative variations.
Your desired Louisiana LLC name cannot be used if the results show a similar name. It is possible to come up with unique names or creative variations.
Tip Don’t worry if your chosen Louisiana LLC name isn’t distinguishable. Just file your paperwork with state. The state of Louisiana will return your filing if your name isn’t available and inform you that it needs to change.
After you have chosen a Louisiana LLC name that is distinctive and unique, you can now choose your LLC’s Registered Agent.
1. Trademark Search
When searching for a business name, it’s important to note that availability doesn’t necessarily mean the name is free to use if it’s already a registered trademark.
To avoid potential complications down the line, it’s wise to conduct a thorough trademark search using the Trademark Electronic Search System before finalizing a business name.
2. Choose a Registered Agent
After you have chosen an LLC name that is distinctive and unique, you can now choose your LLC’s Registered Agent.
3. Check if the Domain Name is Available
To check if a domain name is available, you can follow these steps:
- Go to a domain registrar website, such as GoDaddy.com or Namecheap.com.
- In the search bar on the homepage, type in the domain name you want to check.
- Click on the search button to see if the domain name is available or not.
- If the domain name is available, you will be prompted to purchase it. If it’s not available, the registrar will suggest some alternative options or you can try a different domain name.
It’s a good idea to check the availability of multiple domain name options as your first choice may already be taken.
Additionally, if you are considering registering a domain name for your business, make sure to also check for any existing trademarks that may conflict with your chosen domain name.
4. Check if Social Media Name is Available
To check if a social media name is available for a new business, you can follow these steps:
- Start by choosing a social media platform where you would like to create an account for your business. Some of the popular options include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok.
- Once you have selected the platform, go to the sign-up page and try to create an account using your desired social media name.
- If the name is already taken, the platform will display an error message indicating that the name is not available. In this case, you may need to consider alternative names for your social media account.
- If the name is available, the platform will allow you to create an account using that name.
- It’s important to note that just because a social media name is available, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s free to use. You should still do your due diligence to ensure that the name is not already a registered trademark or being used by another business in your industry.
5. Register Louisiana Business Entity
When you complete the required documents for filing a new business entity, you then register your business and business name with the state. The state of Louisiana will either approve your business name or reject it.
If you hire a good LLC service like Northwest Registered Agent, ZenBusiness or Incfile, these LLC services have business name tools available for you to do a quick search. I recommend using any of these 3 services to assist you with forming a new business. They can save you time and provide you with guidance through the formation process.
6. Register an Employer ID Number (EIN) With the IRS
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify businesses and other entities for tax purposes.
Here’s how you can get an EIN:
- Determine if you need an EIN: You’ll need an EIN if you have employees, operate your business as a corporation or partnership, file employment tax returns, have a Keogh plan, or are required to file any of the following tax returns: Employment, Excise, or Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
- Apply for an EIN: You can apply for an EIN online, by fax, by mail, or by phone. The quickest and easiest way is to apply online through the IRS website.
- Provide the necessary information: When applying for an EIN, you’ll need to provide your legal name, trade name (if applicable), business address, and the type of legal structure of your business (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, LLC).
- Wait for your EIN: If you apply online, you can receive your EIN immediately after completing the application. If you apply by fax or mail, it can take up to four weeks to receive your EIN.
Note that there is no fee to apply for an EIN. Once you receive your EIN, be sure to keep it safe and use it on all tax documents and forms.
7. Create a Brand Logo
Creating a business logo involves several steps. Here’s a general overview of the process:
- Define your brand: Before you start creating a logo, you need to define your brand’s personality, values, and mission. This will help you create a logo that accurately represents your brand.
- Determine the design style: Decide on the design style you want for your logo. Do you want it to be modern or classic, minimalistic or intricate, colorful or monochromatic? Consider your brand personality and target audience when making this decision.
- Choose the colors: Pick a color palette that reflects your brand personality and complements your design style. Colors have psychological meanings and can affect how people perceive your brand.
- Brainstorm ideas: Brainstorm several logo design concepts based on your brand personality, values, and mission. You can use online resources for inspiration or hire a professional logo designer to create a custom logo for you.
- Sketch your ideas: Once you have some logo design concepts, sketch them out on paper to visualize how they might look. This can help you narrow down your options and refine your ideas.
- Design the logo: Use a graphic design software program like Adobe Illustrator or Canva to create your logo design. Search on Fiverr for logo designs. Make sure it is scalable and can be used across different mediums.
- Get feedback: Share your logo design with colleagues, friends, or family to get feedback. This can help you refine your design further.
- Finalize the logo: Once you have incorporated feedback, finalize your logo design. Be sure to use high-quality images and files for your logo.
- Protect your logo: If you want to protect your logo, consider trademarking it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This will prevent others from using a similar logo and protect your brand’s identity.
8. Write a Business Plan
Writing a business plan involves a comprehensive process that covers various aspects of your business, including the industry, market research, marketing and sales strategies, financial projections, and more. Here are some steps to guide you in writing a business plan and links to resources that can help you:
- Executive summary: This section provides a summary of your business plan, highlighting key information about your business, target market, products or services, and financial projections. It should be brief but comprehensive.
- Company description: This section describes your company’s mission, vision, values, and legal structure. It also includes information about the management team, business location, and history.
- Market analysis: This section provides a detailed analysis of your industry, target market, competition, and customer demographics. It also includes information about market trends and growth projections.
- Marketing and sales strategies: This section outlines your marketing and sales strategies, including branding, advertising, pricing, and distribution channels.
- Products and services: This section describes your products or services, their features and benefits, and how they will meet the needs of your target market.
- Financial projections: This section provides a detailed financial forecast for your business, including projected revenue, expenses, profits, and cash flow. It also includes a break-even analysis and funding requirements.
Here are some links to resources that can help you in writing a business plan:
- Small Business Administration (SBA): The SBA offers a step-by-step guide to writing a business plan, including templates and sample plans.
- SCORE: SCORE provides free business plan templates and guides, as well as mentoring and counseling services.
- Bplans: Bplans offers a wide variety of business plan templates, tools, and resources, including sample plans for different industries.
- LivePlan: LivePlan is a cloud-based software that provides business planning tools and templates, financial forecasting, and collaboration features.
- Canva: Canva offers a range of customizable business plan templates and design tools to help you create a professional-looking plan.
9. Open a Business Bank Account in Louisiana
A bank account is generally required for a new Limited Liability Company (LLC) or corporation to separate personal finances from business finances and to establish a clear record of business transactions.
Having a separate bank account for your LLC will help you keep track of your business’s income and expenses, which will be useful for tax purposes, accounting, and financial management. It will also make it easier to accept payments from customers and pay bills, suppliers, and employees.
To open a bank account for your LLC, you will typically need to provide the following documents:
- Certificate of Formation: This is a legal document that shows that your LLC has been registered with the state.
- Operating Agreement: This document outlines the rules and procedures for running your LLC and is required by some banks.
- EIN (Employer Identification Number) Confirmation Letter: This is a letter from the IRS confirming your LLC’s tax identification number.
- Identification documents: You will need to provide personal identification documents, such as a driver’s license, passport, or state ID, and proof of address, such as a utility bill.
Note that the specific requirements for opening a bank account for an LLC may vary depending on the bank and state where you are located. It’s best to contact the bank you plan to use to inquire about their specific requirements.
Contact Information for the Louisiana Secretary of State
You can reach the Louisiana Secretary Of State at 225-925-4704 if you have any questions.
Brian Wilson is the content manager and founder of LLC Radar.
Brian grew up in North Texas, just outside of Dallas, and has a bachelor’s degree in business journalism from Southern Methodist University. Since graduating from SMU, Brian has gained over 10 years of experience in business writing for several online publications.
Brian resides in Plano, Texas and he can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org