Like many Americans you may either want to start a new business or are currently in the process of getting one going. Louisiana has seen tremendous growth in the last ten years, in post-Katrina New Orleans and surrounding areas. Opportunities are everywhere, but starting a new business also means taken some serious financial and legal risks.
First-time entrepreneurs and even seasoned business owners are better equipped to handle the challenges that arise in starting a business if they have experienced advisors to guide them. Here at Smiley Law Firm, we have helped hundreds of local start-ups and entrepreneurs to successfully set up and run their businesses. From everything to filing the appropriate paperwork to ensuring compliance with local and federal laws, our clients enjoy peace of mind knowing they have someone watching their back .
Here are some of the key steps in forming a company in Louisiana.
Decide which business structure you will use. The typical business structures include:
- Sole Proprietorship – the easiest to form but the riskiest to run since you have full liability and tax exposure as the owner.
- Partnership – also easy to form but do not offer protection from liability. While partners share many of the expenses, responsibilities and gains they are also personally liable for the actions of all other partners.
- Limited Liability Company (LLC) – requires more filings than above and provides flexibility taxation in the business. This one is great because it is less formal than a corporation, yet has the personal liability protection of a corporation for the owner.
- Corporations (Inc.) – the most expensive and complex option, but provides maximum protection from personal liability. Upon formation the corporation becomes a legal entity that can enter into contracts, own assets, file its own taxes and even bring lawsuits or be sued by others. These include B-Corps, C-Corps, S-Corps.
Decide on the company name. This is more complicated for companies because Louisiana law requires that corporations and LLCs have names that can’t be confused with the names of any other corporate entities registered with the Secretary of State. The name must also meet the standards set forth by the Secretary of State before being filed with that office.
Pay any business taxes and acquire the necessary licenses required for your business. Failure to do this properly could result in your business being fined or worse. If you are starting your business in New Orleans this helpful guide published by the City of New Orleans can give you a good idea of what your obligations are here.
Of course the best thing you can do is consult with a New Orleans Business Lawyer to ensure you cover all the bases. Here at Smiley Law Firm, we give sound business advice because we are not only lawyers, but also business owners. Click here for a free case evaluation today.