Business Startup Guide

The Economic Development Department has compiled this information packet for prospective businesses. This packet contains licensing information needed to start a business in our community.

Choosing a Business Structure

An important step in forming a new business is to determine the type of business structure that you will use. There are several business structures to choose from, including sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, and limited liability partnership.

Each has advantages and disadvantages as well as tax consequences of which you should be aware. In deciding which of these structures best suits your business objectives and needs, it is advisable to seek both legal counsel and advice from an accountant and/or a tax consultant.

Business Structures

Individual or Sole Proprietorship - A business where only you, or your spouse, own the business even though you may have employees.

  • Partnership - A business where two or more people own the business jointly.
  • Corporation - A business, which is treated by law as an entity. It has a life separate from its owners or stockholders. Many corporations begin as a sole proprietor or partnership.
  • Limited Liability Corporation - An entity that is an unincorporated association having one or more members organized and filing articles with the Secretary of State.
  • Foreign Corporations - A corporation organized outside the state may obtain a certificate of authority to transact business in Louisiana by filing an application with the Secretary of State's Corporation Division by appointing a registered agent to accept service of process. For more information about trade names, trademarks, service marks or the various types of corporations contact the Secretary of State's Commercial Division at (225) 925-4704.
  • Non Profit Corporations - If you are forming a nonprofit corporation and intend to apply to the Internal Revenue Service for tax exempt status, additional information will be required in the articles of incorporation. To obtain exemption information visit, or by call the IRS toll free at (877) 829-5500. If the required information is not included in the articles of incorporation, the IRS will direct you to amend the articles. This office, as well as the Clerk of Court's office, will require an additional fee to file an amendment to the articles of incorporation.

State Of Louisiana Fee Schedule

For a complete Fee Schedule or additional information, please contact the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office, Commercial Division @ Telephone: (225) 342-4479 Facsimile: (225) 342-0513 E-mail:

Resource Organizations

You can contact these organizations for guidance and advice about your prospective business.

Louisiana Secretary of State
First Stop Shop

P. O. Box 44279
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-4279

Telephone: (225) 342-4479
Facsimile: (225) 342-0513

Louisiana Department of Economic Development –You may call the department for information concerning new and expanding businesses. This office is located in Baton Rouge. Visit the web site at for the latest information for new or expanding businesses.

Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) offer advice about business plans, grants, etc. A full listing of all SBDC offices in Louisiana is located at the back of this booklet. Visit their web site at

Internal Revenue Service - An IRS Dedicated to Small Businesses and the Self-Employed - If you run a small business or are self-employed, go to and see why the Small Business Self-Employed community web site is for you. The site offers industry and/or profession-specific information to help you work with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
IRS Web Page - The address for the main IRS web page is The FreePatentsOnline search engine is one of the most powerful, fastest and easiest patent search engines on the web. Our search allows advanced search techniques such as word stemming, proximity searching relevancy ranking and search term weighing to help you find exactly what you are looking for. Latent semantic searching is also available, and our account features let you organize, annotate and share documents, along with other helpful work-flow features. website:

Local IRS Offices:

New Orleans 600 South Maestri Place, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130 (504) 558-3344

Baton Rouge 2800 CitiPlace Court, Room 375, Baton Rouge, LA 70808-2712 (225) 923-4113

Houma 423 Lafayette Street, Houma, Louisiana 70360 (985) 876-0949

Occupational License (Application) Forms available @ these (3) locations:
Economic Development Department
1801 West Airline Highway
LaPlace, LA 70068
(985)652-9569 Phone
(985)652-4131 Fax

St. John Sheriff’s Office *Occupational License – Issued By & License Fee – PAID HERE
1801 West Airline Highway
LaPlace, LA 70068
(985)652-9513 Phone

Planning & Zoning Department
* Occupational License Application Fees – PAID HERE
102 East Airline Highway
LaPlace, LA 70068
(985)651-5565 Phone

Local Sales Tax ID Number
ACI, St. John, LLC

421 West Airline Highway
LaPlace, LA 70069
(985)359-6600 Phone
(985)359-6602 Fax

State Sales Tax ID Number
LA State Department of Revenue and Taxation

P. O. Box 3863
Baton Rouge, LA 70821
(225) 219-7356

Department of Revenue and Taxation Regional Offices

Baton Rouge - (225) 922-2300
New Orleans - (504) 568-5226

Health Permit – Food or Alcohol

Louisiana Department of Health
Health Unit
473 Central Avenue
Reserve, LA 7084

Liquor License
St. John Sheriff’s Office

1801 West Airline Highway
LaPlace, LA 70068
(985)652-9513 Phone

Assumed Business Name (Must Be Registered With)
St. John Clerk of Court’s Office

Edgard Courthouse
River Road
P. O. Box 280
Edgard, LA 70049
(985)497-3331 Phone

Hiring Employees For Your Business

  • Unemployment Tax ID Number
  • Worker’s Compensation

Louisiana Department of Labor

1001 North 23rd Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9094

LA Department of Labor *Local Office for Information

LaPlace Job Service Office
2701 Highway 51

Additional Permits

Additional permits and/or certificates needed to comply with local zoning ordinances are issued by the Planning & Zoning Department.  Businesses can visit the Planning and Zoning Department webpage to view additional permit information.

Planning & Zoning Department

102 East Airline Highway
LaPlace, LA 70068
(985)651-5565 Phone

  • Certificate of Occupancy
  • Building Permit
  • Zoning Change
  • Resubdivision
  • Water Permit
  • Sewer Permit

*This list contains does not represent all possible permits/certifications that are required. This list represents some of the basic permits/certificates that may be needed to start your business. Please contact the Planning & Zoning Department so they may determine your needs.

Small Business Development Centers

SBDC Local Visits
Prior to starting your business, stop by or call the Economic Development Department for an appointment with the LSU Small Business Development Center. LSU’s SBDC has committed to meet with prospective businesses by appointment at the P. D. Hebert Bldg, 1801 West Airline Hwy, LaPlace, LA. You can contact the SBDC located nearest you for assistance with management, financing and business plan development. Seminars and workshops are also provided.

Baton Rouge

Denham Springs - Dixie Business Development Center, (225) 665-0809

Hammond - Southeastern Louisiana University, (985) 549-3831

New Orleans

Thibodaux - Nicholls State University, (985) 448-4242

Contact for more information:

St. John the Baptist Parish
Economic Development Department
1801 West Airline Highway
LaPlace, LA 70068
(985)652-9569 Phone
(985)652-4131 Fax

This packet may not include all permits/licenses required by state and local governments. This packet represents some of the basic needs of general business. Please contact the various departments of government for assistance in determining your complete business needs.