A Louisiana business license gives your Limited Liability Company (LLC) permission to operate in a certain location or within a specific industry.
While we can’t walk you through any applicable license applications step-by-step, we do provide helpful resources like:
- information about state licensing rules
- instructions for researching municipal licenses
And if you want to just hire a company to do the research for you, we have a recommendation below.
Louisiana Business License Requirements
After you form a Louisiana LLC, you may need to obtain a business license or permit.
Your requirements are determined by the industry you are in and where your Louisiana Limited Liability Company is located.
Because of the large number of industries and all of the municipalities in Louisiana, it’s not possible for us to explain them all. However, you can use the search tools below, call your local municipality, or hire a company for help.
Need to save time? We recommend hiring MyCompanyWorks (for $99) to handle the business license research for you.
How to get a Business License in Louisiana
You can obtain a business license in Louisiana by applying with the relevant licensing or regulatory agency. The agency you apply with will depend on where your business is located and what business activities it engages in.
The business license application typically requires basic information, such as your LLC name, EIN Number, business address, and contact information. Many also include a questionnaire that asks about your business activity.
There are three main licensing jurisdictions:
- State licensing
- Local licensing, such as county, city, township, etc.
- Federal licensing
Does Louisiana Require a Business License?
That depends on where your business is located, and what it does.
There are two types of state-level business licenses:
- a general business license
- and an occupational license
Louisiana General Business License
Some states have a general license requirement, which means all businesses operating in those states must have the license, regardless of what they do.
But good news: Louisiana doesn’t require a general license to do business in the state.
Meaning, your Louisiana LLC doesn’t need a general state business license. But depending on what type of business you run, your LLC might need an occupational license.
Louisiana Occupational License
Most states have occupational business license requirements. This means a license or permit may be required depending on what your business does or what your occupation is. For example, if you sell used cars, or run a hair salon, you may need an occupational business license. But a license may not be required for other types of businesses.
geauxBIZ Business License Checklist
You can create a business license checklist for your LLC using the geauxBIZ portal.
- Click the “Sign in or Create Account” button
- Login or create a geauxBIZ account
- Click the “Getting Started” button at the top
- Select “Produce a list of possible federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business” and click “Next“
- Click “Start Business Checklist“
- Enter your name and mailing address
- Work your way down the list: select your Sector, then Subsector, and so on
- If you can’t find your specific industry, or need help, check out NAICS Codes for LLCs
- Select your parish and location, then click “Submit Request“
- On the next page, you’ll be able to view/download a PDF which will give you a list of all the agencies and departments you may need to contact
Note: Your PDF checklist will mention “An assumed business name must be registered with” and then it will give you the phone number of your local Parish Clerk of Court. Please disregard this as it’s misleading. If you formed a Louisiana LLC and you’re doing business under that name (and not a different alias), then you can disregard this. You only need to do this if you’re “doing business as” under a name different than your LLC.
You’ll need to contact the board or licensing agency for your occupation or industry if you have questions.
This list of Occupational and Professional Licensing agencies will help you find the right board or agency.
Note: Louisiana business licenses are not issued by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State is responsible for business entity administration, for example Limited Liability Company formation.
How much is a Louisiana Business License?
Louisiana doesn’t have a general business license at the state level, so there are no fees there.
However, your business may need a state-level occupational license or municipal-level license or permit to operate. The filing fee for these licenses will vary depending on where you’re doing business and what industry you’re in. To be honest, we can’t predict your specific Louisiana business license cost.
For example, licenses issued by a county that contains a large city are usually more expensive than licenses in less populated, rural counties. And licenses for regulated industries, like child care facilities, are usually more expensive than generic business licenses.
But your LLC might not need a license or permit at all. So your Louisiana business license cost could be $0.
See LLC Cost in Louisiana to learn about all the possible LLC fees.
Municipal Business License
Municipal business licenses can be issued by the city, town, county, parish, township, borough, etc. We refer to all of these as a “municipality” to keep things simple.
There are two types of municipal business licenses:
- general business license
- industry-specific license
For example, if a municipality has a general business license requirement, all businesses operating in that municipality must have the license, regardless of what they do.
And if a municipality has industry-specific business licenses, a license or permit may be required depending on what your business does. For example, if you operate a food truck, or run a daycare, you may need an industry-specific municipal business license. Or if you’re purchasing or leasing real estate, you may need a zoning permit.
But a license may not be required for other types of businesses, like making wedding invitation templates or offering marketing consulting.
You should contact your Parish Clerk to check on their local licensing requirements:
You should also check with your City Clerk. You can find contact information for your municipality here: Louisiana Municipal Association List of Municipalities.
Louisiana Sales Tax License
If you sell products to consumers in Louisiana, you may need to collect sales tax and file a Sales and Use Tax Return.
If your business activities are subject to sales and use tax, your LLC must register with the Department of Revenue.
Note: This requirement will apply whether you sell products online or in a physical location in Louisiana.
For additional information about the Sales Tax License, check out these resources from the Louisiana Department of Revenue:
Tip: Save time by hiring an expert. We recommend using TaxJar. They'll help you register for, collect, and pay sales tax.
Do I need any federal business licenses?
Most businesses in Louisiana don’t need a federal business license. However, certain industries do need federal licenses:
|If your business…||Contact this agency about business licenses|
|Transports animals, plants or biotechnology over state lines||Department of Agriculture|
|Imports or exports animal products, wildlife, or products derived from wildlife (including fish)||Fish and Wildlife Service|
|Fishes commercially||Fish and Wildlife Service|
|Broadcasts on radio or TV||Federal Communications Commission|
|Makes alcohol and sells it at a retail store||Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau|
|Makes or sells firearms, ammunition or explosives||Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives|
|Transports cargo by sea||Federal Maritime Commission|
|Transports goods or people by air||Federal Aviation Administration|
Check out the Small Business Administration’s Licenses and Permits page for a full list of industries with federal license requirements.
If your business isn’t one of these special cases, then the only federal requirements are that your LLC get an Louisiana EIN Number (aka Federal Employer Identification Number) and that you file taxes.
Louisiana Business License FAQs
How much does a business license cost in Louisiana?
Louisiana doesn’t have a general business license for LLCs, so there are no fees there.
If your business has to get an occupational license or municipal (city or county) permit, the fees are hard to predict. Depending on your LLC’s location, and what type of business or industry you’re in, the fee varies.
And you might not need a business license at all!
Unfortunately, we can’t say what your LLC’s business license costs would be, because it depends on several factors and the cost of Louisiana licenses varies.
Is an LLC considered a business license?
No, an LLC is not a business license. They are two completely different things.
An LLC is a type of business structure created by filing a document with the state government.
And a business license is a document that gives a person, or a company, the right to transact business. It doesn’t create an LLC.
Does a Sole Proprietor need a business license in Louisiana?
Sometimes a new business owner chooses to operate as a Sole Proprietorship in Louisiana instead of an LLC.
Even if you’re just trying out a business idea as a Sole Proprietorship, you may still be subject to license requirements at the state and municipal levels. It just depends on what you will be doing, and where you will be operating your business.
Does the Louisiana Secretary of State provide a business license?
No, the Louisiana Secretary of State doesn’t handle licensing requirements. Instead, they manage business entity formation and registration. For example, depending on business entity type, business owners file different paperwork with the Secretary of State to create their business entity.
For more information, or to determine if there is a Louisiana business license cost for your business, we recommend contacting the relevant licensing board and/or your local government agency. For example, your local county or city government will have information about any local licenses.
How to start an LLC in Louisiana
Here are the steps to starting an LLC in Louisiana:
- Select a business name for your Louisiana LLC
- Choose your Registered Agent
- File the LLC Articles of Organization with the state
- Complete and sign an LLC Operating Agreement
- Get a Tax ID Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- Open an LLC bank account
- Check whether you need a business license or tax permits in Louisiana