Resources

When starting a new business, it helps to follow some basic steps to ensure you have a sound plan and required documentation.  The following information will direct you to helpful resources to get you started. If you are in the import/export trade business click HERE

Step 1: Self-Assessment

Is business ownership right for you?  Learn more about the steps involved in starting and running a business and take a quick self-assessment to determine if entrepreneurship is right for you, right now.  Take the free online assessment: (https://eweb1.sba.gov/cams/training/business_primer/assessment.htm) from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Step 2: Research Your Idea and Develop a Business Plan:

A business plan transforms a great idea into a viable business.  Research is an important step in this process; you will want to determine as much information as possible about aspects of your potential business, including:  customer demand, industry trends, target market, and completion.  A business plan will also help you develop a strategy and a plan for marketing, financing, and managing your new enterprise.  Business plans are usually requested by financial institutions, investors, creditors, and partners.  You owe it to yourself to design a comprehensive business plan before investing your hard-earned time and revenue into any new venture.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides articles, guidance, and templates on business plans and related topics:

Step 3: Select Your Legal Business Structure:

You will want to determine which form of business structure is most appropriate for your operation:  Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership, Corporation, Benefit Corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership, or Non-Profit.

Each Structure has certain advantages and disadvantages.  Before choosing your structure, learn as much as you can about various operating structures here:

Step 4: Register Your Small Business:

Step 4:  Register Your Small Business:

Before you select and reserve a name for your new business, we suggest that you do some research to determine whether and how your name is already in use.  If there is another business by the same name already in operation, you may want to choose another name to avoid complications.

Step 5: File Articles of Incorporation in the State of Louisiana:

Step 5:  File Articles of Incorporation in the State of Louisiana:

    • If you know which type of business you will be incorporating, here is a link to incorporate your business online:

http://www.sos.la.gov/BusinessServices/FileBusinessDocuments/FileOriginalDocuments/Pages/default.aspx

Step 6: Obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number:

Step 6:  Obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number:

Step 7: Register for Tax Accounts with Louisiana:

Step 7:  Register for Tax Accounts with Louisiana:

Step 8: Research and Obtain Required Licenses and Permits:

Step 8:  Research and Obtain Required Licenses and Permits:

  • Discuss occupational and/or general business licenses with your business counselor.  Depending on where your business is located, business licenses may be required for specific business licenses and occupations.  Additionally, if your business will own or lease commercial property, you must ensure that you are in compliance with local laws regarding the acceptable activities for that location.