Starting A Business? Let Us Help.

Like many Americans, you may either want to start a new business or are currently in the process of getting one going. There are tips and tricks that can save you time now and headache later when it comes to successfully starting up a new business venture.

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 taking 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.

Great Resources for Starting a Business

Here are some of the key steps in forming a company in Louisiana from the Louisiana SeSecretaryf State. Pretty much any state will have business start-up and formation regulated by the Secretary of State’s office.

Due to the rates of failure, there are a number of other good resources. The SBA has a post regarding “10 Steps to start your business.” This is a good quick read on the essentials for business start up.

Legal Zoom’s “start your business” tab and Rocket Lawyer’s “business organization” tab are also good resources to find content and forms, some paid some free, on business start up. Again these are great places to start when gathering information abotu your new business venture.

However, business owners must be careful because these one-size-fits-all documents may not be applicable for individual states rules. Even the trusted SBA in its ten steps, discusses local laws in steps 7, 8, and 9. The devil is in the details.

Three Major Steps In Louisiana For Starting A Business

Step 1

Decide which business structure you will use when you start a business. 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.
    • This is more of an older way of doing things.
    • Lawyers love when they see a business owner is operating as a sole proprietor because both the busienss assets and personal assets of the owner are subject to seizure and collection.
  • 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.
    • Again, this is an older type.
    • This is the default type if there is more than one business owner and no formal business has been filed.
    • Again, lawyers love this one as well.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
    • By far the most popular business formation as of the writing of this post.
    • 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.
    • Most new businesses will want to file this type of company unless they are trying to create the next great corporation.
  • Corporations (Inc.)
    • At one time this was the most popular entity to file, however, since the rise of the LLC, Inc’s have fallen slightly.
    • 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.
    • This is comprised of shareholders, a board of directors and officers of the corporation.

Step 2

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.

There is a way to reserve your name before you start filing all of the required documents. Reservation can be helpful to make sure you get the name you desire when you start a business.

Step 3

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.

Other cities will have similar guides and there are resources out there to help businesses. The localities benefit by having compliant businesses and they get the revenue generated by the permits and tax collection.

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.

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