Filing a Foreign Corporation or LLC in Louisiana

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If your company was not incorporated in Louisiana, but you wish to do business there, you often need to apply for a Louisiana Certificate of Authority.

Known as Foreign Qualification, this process allows a company formed in Delaware or any other state to legally transact business in Louisiana.

Please note: information on this page is accurate to the best of our knowledge. However, requirements and costs can be changed by states at any time and Harvard Business Services cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.

How to Get a Certificate of Authority in Louisiana:

Existing LLCs and Corporations have the same document requirements in this state when applying for Foreign Qualification:

  • Certificate of Good Standing from the company’s home state, dated within 90 days.
    Note: this document is also referred to as a Certificate of Existence in some states.

In addition, Louisiana requires an application to be submitted along with a fee of $150 for LLCs or $125 for corporations.

Lastly, you must appoint and maintain a Louisiana Registered Agent at all times. We can provide this service for just $99 per year.

Note: While we do provide Registered Agent service for Louisiana, we are unable to assist with the Foreign Qualification process for this state. This process can be completed directly with the Louisiana Secretary of State using the official state form for your LLC or corporation.

How Do I Know if I Need a Louisiana Certificate of Authority?

To do business in the state of Louisiana after being incorporated elsewhere, our clients typically need to obtain Foreign Qualification. Typically, “doing business” is defined by activities such as maintaining a physical office or having employees in the state.

Louisiana identifies some specific items that are excluded from their definition of transacting business:

You should also keep in mind that even if the state does not require a Certificate of Authority for a specific activity, a bank, vendor or another party can still require one in order to establish a relationship.

Special Rules and Guidelines for Louisiana Foreign Qualification

The Louisiana Secretary of State website notes the following rule for obtaining a Certificate of Authority:

If the corporation applying for a Certificate of Authority contains the word "engineer", "engineering", "surveyor" or "surveying" in its name, a waiver must be obtained from the Louisiana Professional Engineering & Land Surveying Board, 9643 Brookline Ave., Suite 121, Baton Rouge, LA 70809-1443, 225.925.6291.

[source: https://www.sos.la.gov/BusinessServices/FileBusinessDocuments/Pages/default.aspx]

Louisiana Annual Report Requirements

Once you have Foreign Qualification in Louisiana, you will be required to pay an annual fee of $30 to the state to stay in compliance.

Please note that this annual requirement is independent from requirements you may have in Delaware or other states.

Since 1981, Harvard Business Services, Inc. has helped form 192,654 Delaware corporations and LLCs for people all over the world.

Registered Agent Service

Harvard Business Services, Inc. guarantees your annual Delaware Registered Agent Fee will remain fixed at $50 per company, per year, for the life of your company.