File Business Documents
The Secretary of State is aware that many transactions in the business and financial world are time sensitive. To better serve the public, GeauxBiz.com provides online filings; forms for downloading; accepts filings by regular mail, express mail and fax; expedited filings; online certificate validation and a range of payment methods.
The Commercial Division offers online document filings for all original filings, several amendments and annual report filings for all entity types. Please visit our website as directed below:
A Charter Number must be entered to file amendments online. A Charter Number and Renewal ID Number are required to file an annual report online. Please call the Commercial Division at 225.925.4704 for assistance in filing online or to obtain a Charter and/or Renewal ID Number.
Walk-in Customer Service
The Secretary of State offers customers the convenience of walk-in service. Documents may be processed while the customer waits for a $50 priority expedite fee or processed in 24 hours for a $30 expedite fee. All expedite fees are in addition to the required filing fee. The forms furnished by the Secretary of State, and the publications which are compiled by the Secretary of State are available. Documents may be delivered for processing on a non-expedited basis. The customer may leave a mailing address or a telephone number for notification when processing is complete.
The office is at 8585 Archives Avenue, Baton Rouge, LA 70809 and is located in the building behind the Louisiana State Archives. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please try to arrive by 4 p.m. to give the employees enough time to complete the filing.
The Commercial Division accepts facsimile filings for business entities. The original document must comply with the appropriate statutes, including signature requirements. A cover sheet or letter must be included containing the name and contact person, their phone number, the mailing address, the credit card number and expiration date for payment of the filing fee, and special instructions, if any. Fax filings for business entities should specify whether expedited handling is requested.The following fax number can be used for transmitting Business organization filings 225.932.5314.
The Secretary of State expedites the filing of business organization documents as well as the issuance of certified copies and certificates relating to those documents. Expedited service means that the documents are processed before other documents received the same day.
- Check (personal or business) All checks should be made payable to the Secretary of State
- Money order
- Cash (Cash should not be sent in the mail)
- Credit Card (Visa, Master Card, Discover and American Express)*
*Credit card payments are subject to an additional statutory convenience fee of $5
Prior to submitting documents to the Secretary of State for filing, check that the following are complied with, if applicable. The document must meet all requirements:
- contain the correct entity name;
- be dated;
- have all the required signatures;
- be notarized (when required by statute);
- contain municipal street addresses, not post office box numbers (mailing purpose only);
- have the required adjustment in the corporate name such as Inc., Corp., Ltd., or Co., Incorporated, Corporation, Limited, Company;
- have the required adjustment in the Limited Liability Company name such as L.L.C., L.C. or Limited Liability Company;
- have the required adjustment in the partnership name such as Registered Limited Liability Partnership or L.L.P. when applicable;
- be accompanied by the required filing fee;
- be accompanied by the certificate of good standing or existence when qualifying a foreign corporation or Limited Liability Company;
- be accompanied by an affidavit of registered agent if a registered agent is being appointed;
- be accompanied by a description of the logo if a logo is attached to a trade name registration; and
- contain the notary number and printed or typed names of the notary and witnesses.
Before submitting articles of incorporation, articles of organization and trade names, a preliminary check of the name is advisable. Preliminary checks may be made by phone by calling 225.925.4704, by fax 225.932.5314, or by mail to P.O. Box 94125, Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125. Reservation of names are available for a fee of $25. The name may be reserved for a period of 60 days. Two 30 day extensions are available upon request.
Corporate, limited liability company, trade names, trademarks and service marks must be checked for availability. A preliminary check may be made by phone at 225.925.4704, by fax to 225.932.5314, or by mail to P.O. Box 94125, Baton Rouge, LA 70804.
Names may be reserved for a period of 60 days. Two 30-day extensions are available upon request. The fee for reservations is $25 each. If you are reserving a trade mark or service mark, they must be reserved under a class number. The class numbers are listed on the back of the reservation application. The fee is $25 per class.
Names checked for availability must be distinguishable from corporate, limited liability company and trade names already on file, or reserved, in the Secretary of State's office. In addition to checking names by various spellings (Cajun vs. Kajun), names are checked phonetically (excellent vs. x e lent). (Partnership names do not conflict and are not considered when checking name availability for the above listed entities. Trademarks and service marks are only conflicted with other trademarks and service marks registered in the same class.) No corporate or limited liability company name shall contain the phrase "doing business as" or the abbreviation "d/b/a". The names of revoked Louisiana corporations and limited liability companies are not available for a three year period after the date of revocation.
Louisiana Business Corporations
The name shall not imply that the corporation is an administrative agency of any parish or of this state or of the United States. The following are words which are prohibited from use in Louisiana business corporate names, except for bank holding companies: bank, banker, banking, savings, safe deposit, trust, trustee, building and/or loan, homestead, insurance, casualty, redevelopment corporation, electric cooperative, and credit union. No corporation shall use the word insurance in its name except for an independent insurance agency or brokerage.
Written waivers from two state boards are required for use of certain words in corporate names. If "engineer", "engineering", "surveyor" or "surveying" will be part of the corporate name, a waiver must be obtained from the Louisiana Professional Engineering & Land Surveying Board, 9643 Brookline Ave., Suite 121, Baton Rouge, LA 70809-1443, 225.925.6291. In order to include "architect," "architectural" or "architecture," a waiver must be obtained from the Louisiana State Board of Architectural Examiners, 8017 Jefferson Highway, Suite B2, Baton Rouge, LA 70809, 225.925.4802. In order to include the form of the words "bank" or "trust," a waiver must be obtained from the Office of Financial Institutions, P.O. Box 94095, Baton Rouge, LA 70804, 225.925.4548.
Louisiana Nonprofit Corporations
The corporate name shall not imply that the corporation is an administrative agency of any parish or of this state or of the United States. It shall not contain any of the following words: bank, banking, banker, savings, trust, deposit, insurance, mutual, assurance, indemnity, casualty, fiduciary, homestead, building and loan, surety, security, guarantee, cooperative, state, parish, redevelopment corporation, electric cooperative or credit union.
If you are forming a nonprofit corporation and intend to apply to the Internal Revenue Service for tax exempt status, additional information will be required in the articles of incorporation. Exemption information must be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service website or call toll free at 877.829.5500. If the required information is not included in the articles of incorporation the Internal Revenue Service will direct you to amend the articles. This office, as well as the Clerks of Court’s offices, will require an additional fee to file an amendment to the articles of incorporation.
Foreign Business and Nonprofit Corporations
If the corporation applying for a Certificate of Authority contains the word "engineer", "engineering", "surveyor" or "surveying" in its name, a waiver must be obtained from the Louisiana Professional Engineering & Land Surveying Board, 9643 Brookline Ave., Suite 121, Baton Rouge, LA 70809-1443, 225.925.6291.
Louisiana Limited Liability Companies
The name shall not imply that the corporation is an administrative agency of any parish or of this state or of the United States. The LLC name shall not contain any word or phrase which indicates or implies that it is organized for any purpose not lawful for a limited liability company or contrary to its articles of organization. A limited liability company shall not be formed for the purpose of banking or insurance underwriting in all of their several forms or for the purpose of operating homesteads or building and loan associations.
Conversion of Business Entities
Business corporations, limited liability companies and general and limited partnerships can convert to another type of business entity by filing a conversion application with the Secretary of State. The requirements of the application vary according to the type of organizational form of the converted entity. A thorough reading of the statute is suggested (Louisiana R.S. 12:1601). Please call the Commercial Division for additional information at 225.925.4704.
Collection Agency Registration
Collection agencies that do business in Louisiana are registered with the Secretary of State. Registered Agencies will be listed alphabetically in the Commercial Database.
Trade Names, Trademarks and Service Marks
The laws governing registration of trade names, trademarks and service marks are extensive. A thorough reading of Louisiana Trade and Commerce Law is advisable.
Louisiana Professional Corporations
A business corporation may be formed in compliance with the laws governing several types of professions. The professional corporations generally are limited to their particular type of business, and may hold property for investment or in connection with their practice. The following professional corporations must contain the full or last name or names of one or more voting shareholders, former voting shareholders or members of a predecessor firm: law, dental, accounting, chiropractic, nursing and optometry. The following professional corporation names may comply with the above, or may consist of any name approved by the Secretary of State:
- occupational therapy
- social work
With the exception of architectural-engineering, all professional corporation names must end with a "professional" ending.