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Frequently Asked Questions

If you know which type of business that you want to start (i.e. corporation, Limited Liability Company, partnership, trade name, etc.), you can find those forms on our website. You may also file online.

If you are unsure as to what type of business (i.e. corporation, Limited Liability Company, partnership, trade name, etc.), you may need to contact an attorney, as this office is unable to assist in that determination. You may also contact a local SCORE office or Counselors to America’s Small Business office for assistance.

SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) is a non-profit association that provides free business counseling. Louisiana Small Business Development Center (LSBDC) offers advice about business plans, grants, etc.
Yes. We will do a preliminary search for name availability. Please call our office for this information. You can also check name availability on our website. From the Homepage, you can access the Commercial Database. Type your proposed business name (without the corporate ending, i.e. L.L.C. or Inc.) and click search. A list of business names or similar business names will appear. If a domestic or foreign corporation/company has been revoked, the name will not be available until 3 years following the revocation date. Keep in mind that these are preliminary searches. There are many rules that govern name availability and a more thorough search will take place once you submit your documents for filing.
You can reserve a name by sending in a name reservation form by fax (with credit card information) or by mail (with a check or money order). This will reserve your name for 60 days. Prior to the expiration of this reservation, you may request (by fax or mail) to have the reservation extended for 30 days for no additional charge. This reservation can only be extended twice.

You would only need to reserve the name if you were waiting for an extended period of time to file your documents and/or if you were concerned that someone else may immediately file for the same name. In filing your Articles or Trade Name, the name becomes unavailable to others.

If you are registered to do business in another state and wish to qualify here, you will need to submit either the Application of Foreign Corporation for Certificate of Authority or Application of Foreign Limited Liability Company for Certificate of Authority. Along with this form, and the fee, you will need to submit a certificate of good standing or existence from the Secretary of State of your home state. This certificate must be less than 90 days old. All of this documentation can be submitted via fax (with credit card information), mailed to this office (with check or money order) or filed online.
A trade name, by definition, is a word or group of words, name, symbol, device or any combination thereof used by a person to identify his business, vocation or occupation and distinguish it from the business, vocation or occupation of others. Trade names do conflict with limited liability companies and corporations. The applicant for a trade name can be a person, corporation, limited liability company or partnership. DBA’s are not filed with this office. They are filed at the parish level by the local Clerk of Court’s office. Any questions regarding DBA’s can be addressed to the Parish Clerk of Court.
All business registrations with the Secretary of State require, by law, an agent with a physical address in Louisiana. An agent, or as it is sometimes called, registered agent, can be almost anyone of legal age and a legal resident of Louisiana. An agent is someone that is designated to receive legal documents served on the business in the event of administrative or legal action. An agent has an obligation to forward the “legal documents” to the business. An agent’s name and address are publically available and are displayed on the Secretary of State’s website.

Individuals that can be designated to be an agent include, but are not limited to, an organizer of a business, a member of an LLC, an employee of the business, an attorney or an accountant.

Foreign businesses may need to employ a business that supplies agent services. Send us a message requesting a list of Service Companies registered in Louisiana.
Federal tax identification numbers are issued by the Internal Revenue Service.
State sales tax identification numbers are issued by the Louisiana Department of Revenue.
You can obtain certificates and/or certified copies online. There will be a code at the bottom of the certificate/certified copy which will allow you to print numerous certificates/certified copies (with the same date) for a period of 120 days.

You can also request certificates or certified copies by fax (with credit card information) or mail (with check or money order).

The Commercial Division has several fax machines. It may take an hour or two to have the faxes hand delivered to the appropriate individual. The employees in telecommunications are unable to tell if a fax is received until it is entered into our computer system. Please allow adequate time for faxes to be delivered and entered into the computer before calling to check the status.
You may add or delete a registered agent by filing the Change of Registered Office or Agent form. You may add or delete a manager/member or officer/director by filing either the Notice of Change of Member/Manager form or the Notice of Change of Officer/Director form.  If your annual report filing is due or past due, you may make these changes on your annual report filing. These documents can also be filed online.
From the Homepage, you can access the Commercial Database. From there, you will type in the business name (without the corporate ending, i.e. L.L.C. or Inc.) and click “search”. A list of businesses will then appear. Click on the “details” button next to the name of your business. All of the information regarding your business will appear on your screen. If the annual report is due to be filed (or up to 4 weeks prior to the due date), you will see a bar at the top of the page that says “Print Annual Report Form for Filing”. You may also file the Annual Report online.
Yes. The yearly filing of an Annual Report is a requirement. Make sure the report is signed by the appropriate individual. It can then be returned to this office by fax or mail. The Annual Report can also be filed online.
If you have received a Notice of Intent to Revoke, you must submit a completed annual report to this office within 30 days of the date of the notice (or within 60 days if it is a foreign corporation/LLC). Failure to do so will result in the revocation of your charter. If the charter is revoked, a reinstatement form will be required and filing fees will be significantly higher than that of an annual report. You may also file your annual report online. You will then be prompted to enter your charter number and renewal ID (both of which can be obtained by calling our office).
You can request certified or plain copies of documents in writing to this office either by fax (with credit card information) by mail (with a check or money order) or online through our Commercial Database. See Get Forms & Fee Schedule for more information.
If your corporation/company is no longer doing business, owes no debts, has no assets, and has no immovable property, it can be dissolved by Affidavit. The Affidavit to Dissolve form can be found in Get Forms & Fee Schedule or the Affidavit to Dissolve can be filed online.

If your corporation/company is no longer doing business but owes debts, has assets or has immovable property, a long form dissolution must be filed. Please consult an attorney or see our website for statutes pertaining to dissolution.
No. The Secretary of State's Office does not keep tax ID numbers. Please contact the Department of Revenue for tax ID numbers and any other tax related information.
The physical address of our building is 8585 Archives Avenue. We are located behind the State Archives Building, which is on Essen Lane between I-10 and I-12.
All documents can be mailed to:
Mailing address
Louisiana Secretary of State
Commercial Division
P.O. Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125

Physical Address
Louisiana Secretary of State
Commercial Division
8585 Archives Ave.
Baton Rouge, LA 70809

If faxing:

Annual Reports and Reinstatements: 225.932.5312
Original Filings and Amendments: 225.932.5314
Certified Copy Orders: 225.932.5313
GeauxBiz.com: 225.932.5319
Name Reservations: 225.932.5314
You may view a list of business types for each industry.
Select the industry your business would relate to and then select "Other" as the business type to produce a basic checklist for your industry.
A city and parish are required to produce the checklist. Some of the licenses included in our checklist are based on the location of your business.
The Louisiana Insurance Commissioner authorizes insurance companies to do business in the State of Louisiana. If the insurance company is domiciled in Louisiana, the Insurance Commissioner will have the name and address of the agent(s). If the insurance company is domiciled outside Louisiana, the Secretary of State is their agent. The telephone number for the Insurance Commissioner is 225.342.5900.
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