What to Know About Opening a Small Business in Louisiana
Opening a small business in Louisiana is as daunting as it is in any state. So it’s essential that you thoroughly plan and set yourself up for success in every way possible. That will allow your business to have the best chance of success, which means you can stay around Louisiana for longer.
To assist you in opening a small business in Louisiana, we’ve put together a list of essentials that will serve as a baseline for what you need to know before you open.
Getting Your Essentials in Check
In your opening checklist, you should have a mix of things to consider related to both legal requirements for opening a small business in Louisiana and recommended steps to help you be as successful as possible. You must take all of the necessary steps to ensure your business is starting strong.
Draft Your Business Plan
Your business plan is the foundation that all of the following steps will build upon. Good business planning is a strong indicator of business success, and ineffective business planning is one of the primary reasons businesses don’t succeed. It isn’t necessary, but it is prudent. There are more comprehensive guides for writing a good business plan, but we have a few essential tips when beginning the process.
Your business plan should be grounded in reality. You mustn’t craft your business plan into a reflection of fantasies and hopes for your business. Instead, your business plan should offer a blueprint for yourself and potential investors of precisely what your plan is and where your business is headed. At the core of the business plan is extensive research and evidence. You should be as objective as possible in your plan and ensure your data justifies the business endeavor.
Your business plan will also help you determine how much capital you will need to run your business. You can then supply that capital yourself, raise it, or borrow the required amount. It is also crucial that you routinely review your business plan. The plan is foundational, but it also needs to be flexible to adjust when needed.
Choose a Business Name
Naming your business has two components. First, you should choose a name that reflects your business and values, and then you need to verify your business name is not already in use. It’s essential to ensure you will not run into legal trouble for the name you pick down the line and that you can obtain other assets like a website domain name for your business website.
Register Your Business
Registering your business is essential both for legal requirements as well as securing your business name. Registering is where your business becomes a legal entity, and you should determine what kind of business structure is right for your needs.
There are generally five business structures, and your state may have various requirements associated with registering each type of entity. Therefore, it’s important to do your research on exactly what kind of structure is necessary for your business to make sure you register correctly.
If you plan to hire employees, Louisiana law requires that business entities hold workers’ compensation insurance, and your specific industry might require you to hold other insurance policies in addition to workers’ compensation.
Insurance is also one of the primary ways that small businesses can manage risk. Depending on your business structure, insurance may also help protect you and your assets. Though many view insurance as an additional cost, when you weigh it against the costs that could result from a simple slip and fall, it’s almost universally recommended that you hold additional insurance above what is legally required.
Permits and Licenses
Your business might require specific permits and licenses depending on your industry. There may also be additional recommended permits or licenses that your business could benefit from or provide additional services with. Therefore, your business plan must include specific information about your industry that will later inform what permits and licenses are needed to operate.
Set Up Banking
After you have the proper registration and paperwork, a business checking account and relevant credit cards will help you separate your business finances from your finances. This may be required based on the type of entity you register as, but a business checking account will also help you organize your finances for tax and legal purposes.
Hiring employees is, in most cases, one of the final steps before officially opening your doors. It also carries additional legal responsibilities in addition to the aforementioned insurance requirements. You need to both be registered for employee taxes with the IRS and report your new hires to Louisiana. You should also familiarize yourself with the relevant employment and labor laws in Louisiana if you hire employees. Many employee benefits are required by law, and you’ll need to make sure you’re compliant if you plan to hire employees.
Open a Small Business in Louisiana With Canal HR
Opening a small business in Louisiana is an exciting endeavor, but it carries many legal requirements. Staying on top of all of your paperwork and requirements will ensure you open your small business legally and efficiently. This can save you time and money in the long run.
You’ve also likely picked up on how much depends on your circumstances when opening a small business in Louisiana. One of the best ways to ensure you’re meeting legal requirements is to outsource requirements such as payroll preparation, workers’ compensation, benefits, and other HR services to a qualified professional employer organization like Canal HR.
Canal HR is your Louisiana PEO that has been operating in Louisiana for almost 30 years. We have the resources to ensure you get the best rates for all aspects of human resource management. The research shows that outsourcing services to a PEO is a strong indicator of business success, and that’s primarily true because a PEO allows you to focus less on paperwork and more on growing your business.
Contact Canal HR today about opening a small business in Louisiana.