Do you own a business operating in the state of Louisiana? If so, you may need to acquire licenses and permits to ensure that your company operates in a compliant fashion.
But how do you determine which permits and licenses you need (if any), and where do you acquire them? In this guide to Louisiana business licenses and permits, we’ll answer all the tough questions about this process.
Are There Federal Licenses That My Business Needs?
First off, let’s discuss the matter of federal licenses and permits. There are many business activities that are regulated by various federal agencies, from agriculture to transportation and logistics. We recommend taking a look at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s guide to federal licenses and permits to make sure you’ve got your bases covered.
In addition, most businesses should acquire a federal tax ID number, also known as an EIN (employer identification number). This is essentially a social security number for your business, and it enables you to hire employees, pay business taxes, open business bank accounts, and more. You can acquire an EIN from the IRS for free.
What State-Level Licenses and Permits Apply in Louisiana?
While some states require you to apply for a general business license before conducting any business in the state, Louisiana does not. However, there may be other kinds of licenses and permits that your business needs to acquire to be in compliance with state and local regulations.
According to the Louisiana Economic Development website, all small businesses should look at GeauxBiz to determine if their business has any special licensing requirements. Additionally, you can consult the Louisiana.Gov website to see if your profession or occupation necessitates acquiring one or more permits in the state.
Finally, the state of Louisiana has several Regulatory Permits administered by the Department of Environmental Quality. These permits regulate various commercial activities, from petroleum pipeline maintenance to concrete manufacturing. You can learn more about the requirements and application processes right here.
Which Tax Registrations are Required for Louisiana Businesses?
In addition to occupational licenses and permits, there are a number of state-level tax registrations, which are based on the industry you operate in and which business structure your company uses.
Every Louisiana business will need to register for a Department of Revenue business account. You can start the registration process here. Once you have a business account, you will need to apply for any tax type that pertains to your business. Most businesses will need to register for sales tax and withholding tax.
The Louisiana Department of Revenue outlines all of the tax regulations for specific industries, from motion picture tax credits to motor fuel taxes. You can find out which taxes and tax credits apply to your industry here.
Are There Local Licenses, Permits, or Registrations in Louisiana?
The answer to this question obviously depends on where in Louisiana you’re operating your business, but there are indeed quite a few licenses, permits, and tax registrations required by Louisiana localities.
The requirements for businesses vary by location, so you will need to contact your local city or county clerk for more information. Many districts, cities, counties, and municipalities in Louisiana also offer websites with resources for small businesses. For example, you can easily learn more about the licensing requirements in the following cities: New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, and Lafayette.
If we were to break down the exact rules and regulations regarding permitting in every locality in the state of Louisiana, this article would become excessively lengthy. With that in mind, we’ll simply say that every business owner should check with their local government to determine whether there are licenses, permits, or tax registrations required to operate in compliant fashion.
Can I Hire Someone to Research Licenses and Permits for My Business?
If this process sounds like a bit of a hassle, that’s because it certainly can be. If you would rather hire a reputable business services provider to handle this for you, that is always an option.
Companies like Incfile can research the necessary licenses and permits for your company on the federal, state, county, and municipal levels. They will then send you the applications you need to acquire these permits and licenses, meaning all you need to do is fill them out and mail them in.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer for the question of which licenses and permits your business might require to operate in the state of Louisiana. Instead, it’s important that you know how to access the resources to determine which permits your company needs to operate in a compliant fashion.
We hope this article helped you to do just that, and we wish you good fortune in your business future!