Louisiana Business Entity Search is a quick way to check publicly available information related to business entities in the state. This function is very useful for several reasons and circumstances.
As an example, the general public can find information related to business entities, businesses can check their filings and request documents, and those looking to start a new business can check for name availability.
Name availability is worth special consideration. It’s the first step you take when forming a business in Louisiana. The state requires that the business name not be the same as or confusingly similar to previously existing business entities. Using the entity search can dramatically increase the chances of finding the right name.
Accessing And Using Louisiana Secretary Of State Business Search
As with most other states, the business entity search in Louisiana is maintained by the Secretary of State. Since it is so common for the SOS to maintain the search, it’s often also called Louisiana secretary of state business search. Even so, it should be noted that though the SOS maintains the entity database in most states, it’s not necessarily true for all states.
In Louisiana, the entity search is available by visiting the webpage for Business Filings Search on the Secretary of State website.
The search type in this section allows three categories:
- Search by Entity Name
- Charter Number, Trade Registration Number, or Name Reservation Number
- Officer Name or Agent Name
Using Search By Entity Name
Search by Entity Name is a very useful option, especially so if you’re looking for name availability. Most of us know business entities through their name, so it makes perfect sense to use that for searching the entity.
Louisiana’s search system is simple enough, requiring users to enter the entity name for search. There are no additional options to refine the search but it does take into account user requirements. The refinement comes through the user being more descriptive in the search query.
Simply put, if you enter the full name of an entity, it acts as an exact search and provides limited results. However, if the entry has fewer search terms, the results have a greater spread and include more entities.
Charter Number, Trade Registration Number, or Name Reservation Number
This is an exact search where the associated number can be entered to get the specific entity or result. As the name implies, the options are:
- Charter Number
- Trade Registration Number
- Name Reservation Number
Each filing is associated with one of these numbers, therefore finding an exact result is very easy. For those who use name reservation (discussed below), this provides an easy way to manage and handle the name. While we’re on topic, it’s worth noting that name reservation is very useful for setting up a Louisiana LLC or another business entity.
Officer Name or Agent Name
There are two options for this search.
- First Name
- Last Name
As the name suggests, this search lets you look for business entities using the names of associated officers or Louisiana Registered Agent. Since a registered agent can represent multiple entities and a person can be associated as an officer with multiple entities, this search may provide multiple results.
Working With Louisiana Business Entity Search Results
If there are any results to a search, they will be displayed at the results page. This page displays all associated results in a list, with some associated information. This information includes entity name, type, and city. A button for details is also made available on the LA corp search results page.
Clicking on “Details” will take you to a page with more information on the chosen entity. A lot of information is available on this page. Some of these include entity name, previous name (if any), business type, charter number, and registration date.
Going further, you can see the name and addresses of company officers. Name and address of the registered agent, and the various addresses of the entity (mailing, business, principal address, etc.). A section for filings and amendments is available as well.
This page may also be used to print a detailed record of the chosen entity or buy related certificates and certified copies.
How To Reserve A Business Name In Louisiana
Reserving a business name makes a lot of sense. If you hit upon an attractive name, it might be a good option to get a reservation so that you can quickly take charge of the name. Good names are tough to come by, so it becomes all the more urgent to grab them soon as you can.
In Louisiana, reserving a name is important because of the way the business registration process is structured. Although it does have the same classic advantages of reservation. You could use it to prepare for launching your business, setting up administrative requirements, or other necessities. Either way, this is a very useful option.
Is It Mandatory To Reserve A Business Name In Louisiana?
No, but technically yes! That bit of paradox is unique to Louisiana’s name reservation process.
Louisiana doesn’t require you to reserve a name for your business. However, the state does require that you already have an EIN when you file for setting up the business. In most cases, it is recommended that you get an EIN only after the LLC formation is complete.
This is because the EIN will be associated with the name of the entity. Since one can’t be sure of the name approval until it’s officially available, the best practice is to wait for the SOS to approve the Articles of Organization.
In Louisiana, however, you’ll need the EIN to file the Articles of Organization. That creates something of a problem. The best solution to this paradox is to reserve the business name first. You can then use this name to get the EIN and to file the Articles of Organization.
Theoretically, you could still risk it by getting an EIN without reserving the desired business name reservation. But in the event the name isn’t available, you’ll end up dealing with unnecessary problems and complications.
Long story short, yes, reserve a business name in Louisiana.
How Long Does A Name Reservation Last And What Does It Cost?
Once the Louisiana SOS approves the name reservation request, the name is reserved for 120 days. However, keep in mind that the state doesn’t allow renewals. Therefore, it’s important to be strategic with your request and time it well.
Filing a name reservation request in Louisiana costs $25.
Filing A Name Reservation Request In Louisiana
You can file a name reservation request online through the geauxBIZ portal or via postal mail using a paper form.
In most cases, using the online process is best and recommended. However, the geauxBIZ portal has issues and can be very troublesome in some aspects. With that in mind, it is more sensible to file your forms using the good old postal mail.
For postal mail filings, use Form #398 “Name Reservation-Corporation, Limited Liability Company, L3C and Partnership”. Once you have downloaded, completed, and printed this form, mail it along with the filing fee to:
P. O. Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125
When you file for a name reservation, it’s good to check for the state’s naming requirements and restrictions. Additionally, it’s a good idea to use Louisiana Business Entity Search to check for name availability. These simple steps are of great help for a successful filing.