This article provides three key state business startup requirements for self-employed sole proprietors and general partners who run residential house cleaning businesses. Information from the Secretary of State, the Louisiana Department of Revenue and selected city and parish government sources were used to research this article.
Be aware that sole proprietor and general partner startup requirements in this state are always changing. Some requirements even vary from parish to parish. It is important that you call or visit your local parish or city government to find out local requirements for residential house cleaning businesses and home-based businesses. This article is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal or tax advice.
Business Name Registration
Sole proprietors and general partners who want a business name that does not include the owner(s) full names (for example, Janice Smith’s Cleaning Service or Martha Harris and Tom Graham’s Maid Service) need to find out whether the name they want to use is available in the state of Louisiana. It is important to remember that the name must be different from any other name already registered with the state. Start with a statewide corporate business name search to avoid legal problems and customer confusion:
Then do an online search for names similar to the one you plan to use. For example, if you want to use the name, Crystal Clean Maid Service, do simple Google searches for “Crystal Clean Maid Service+Louisiana” plus Crystal Clean Maid Service+your parish” and “Crystal Clean Maid Service+your town or city”. Search beyond the first page of results. Go at least five pages deep into the search results to see if the name you want or similar names are being used in your state, parish or city.
Special Note: Starting January 1, 2018, business owners in the following parishes will be required to file all available business documents online through the state online business portal, geauxBIZ: Ascension, Bossier, Caddo, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Lafayette, Livingston, Orleans, Ouachita, Rapides, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Terrebonne.
In other parishes, sole proprietors and general partnerships must file a Trade Name or DBA (“doing business as” name) with the Parish Clerk of Court’s office. If the trade name is available, fill out the Trade Name form and have it notarized. Find a Parish Clerk of Court in Louisiana.
In the state of Louisiana, registering a Trade Name or DBA guarantees a business sole rights to the use of that name. Other businesses in the state may not register the same Trade Name.
Business License Registration
Sole proprietors and general partners do not have to apply for a business license with the state of Louisiana. Residential house cleaning businesses must apply for a business license at their city or parish clerk’s office.
Louisiana’s geauxBIZ is a one-stop portal for new business start-ups. For sole proprietors and general partners geauxBIZ is the place to:
• get information
• reserve a trade name
• apply for state, parish or city business licenses
• register for state and local business taxes
In Louisiana, a general partnership is created when two or more owners form an oral or written agreement to start a business together. General partners are not required to file any documents with the Secretary of State. General partners have to file for Trade Names or DBAs in the parish where the business is based. A written partnership agreement drawn up by a lawyer is important for both or all partners. General Partnership agreements do not have to be filed with the state.
Sole proprietors and general partners may apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS even if they do not plan to hire employees. Getting an EIN may make it easier to open a bank account and reduce your risk of identity theft. You can apply for an EIN online. In addition, some business registration forms will require a NAICS business classification number for the house cleaning industry.
Business Tax Registration
Register for state and local business taxes online through the state business portal geauxBIZ.
Residential housecleaning services are not taxable in Louisiana. House cleaning services do not have to collect and send sales taxes to the Department of Revenue.
Sole proprietors and general partners pay tax on business income to the state of Louisiana through their personal state tax return. Sole proprietors and general partners are responsible for paying estimated self-employment income taxes in Louisiana (on Form IT-540ES) similar to the way self employment taxes are paid to the federal government. Get more information about estimated tax requirements by calling the Louisiana Department of Revenue at (855) 307-3893.
Louisiana general partnerships that file a Federal partnership information Form 1065, are not required to file state income tax Form IT–565 if if all partners are natural persons who are residents of Louisiana (R.S. 47:201). Get more information from a CPA or qualified tax preparer to find out if your partnership must file those returns.
Selected Louisiana City Licenses (Occupational Licenses)
Baton Rouge Business License: https://www.brla.gov/684/New-Business-Registration
Bossier City Business License: http://bossiercity.org/FAQ.aspx?TID=16
Kenner Business License: https://www.kenner.la.us/pages/section_2_81.asp
Lafayette Business License: The city of Lafayette does not require a business license for residential house cleaning services.
Lake Charles Business License: https://www.cityoflakecharles.com/department/division.php?structureid=110
New Orleans Business License: https://www.nola.gov/onestop/business/
Shreveport Business License: https://www.shreveportla.gov/286/Occupational-License-Tax