What should I know about business licenses in Louisiana?
Louisiana is home to over 4.6 million people and more than 420,000 small businesses. Moreover, the state shows signs of significant growth in the years ahead.
Louisiana processes business licenses for new enterprises at a fast clip, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a bottleneck that can slow things down. Sales tax registrations in particular have created a persistent problem for some business owners.
At issue with sales tax registrations is the fact that many counties and local governments in Louisiana rely on Revenue Discovery Systems (RDS). Along with Alabama, they utilize this 3rd party service to collect and maintain all sales taxes for the state. There’s often no way to know if a sales tax license is required only at the state level, or if it’s required at the county and local level as well.
How many business licenses do you need?
The number of business licenses you need in Louisiana depends on a number of unique factors.
These factors include...
- Within which city/county will you operate your business?
- What business activities will you be conducting?
- How heavily regulated is your industry? Etc.
To put it in perspective, we ran the following queries through our own business license research tool. Here are some authentic results:
This may include a state-specific Louisiana meat license.
This may include a local Baton Rouge business license.
This may include a parish-specific Lafayette sales tax permit.
Common Louisiana business license questions
Hoping to start a business in the Bayou State? It pays to know how Louisiana handles business licenses. These common questions should help you get started.
Whether or not you need a business license in Louisiana depends on your business. There are a number of potential federal, state, and local licenses you may need. Check with your town or city to find out which licenses they require.
Where your business is located and your industry can impact the cost of your business license. An occupational license starting at $50 is needed to start a business in Baton Rouge, but the same license could be $25 if you open your business between July 1 and December 31.
In New Orleans, license fees are dependent on your kind of business. The fee for a retailer in New Orleans could range from $50 to $6,200 and is based on how much you do in gross sales.
Louisiana is trying to make it easier to apply for business licenses, and much of the process can be done online. It’s still worthwhile to reach out to your local offices to learn which licenses your business needs and if there are any other required permits.
You can also simplify the process by letting Avalara help determine the licenses you need.