Louisiana Business Formation Terms Explained

You didn't got to law school and probably don't even care about Louisiana business structure terminology. The easiest thing to do is just to hire a business lawyer in Slidell to do everything for you and let them explain it all to you.

But, it's 2024, and I know yall are probably going to use an internet resource to try to save some coins on the front end. I don't advise it for a plethora of reasons, but I still think you should know what all the LLC formation words mean.

Buckle up, yall. Here comes the 25 cent words for yall to bust out next time you're watching "Shark Tank".

Business Entity Types

This is the legal structure you pick out for your business. It's very important you pick the right one at the startup of your business. It helps determine what documents you need and the "rules" that will govern what you do in it. Some businesses can convert to others, but some can't.

  • Sole proprietorship: one person owns and operates the business.
  • Partnership: two or more individuals (or companies) share ownership and management responsibilities.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC): combines elements of a corporation and a partnership while providing limited liability for its members.
  • Corporation (C-Corp or S-Corp): business structure that is separate from its owners, providing limited liability and perpetual existence.
  • Nonprofit

Now, here are some more business terms you need to know before starting a business in Mandeville, LA (or wherever you live):

Registered Agent

An individual or company designated to receive legal documents and official correspondence on behalf of the business. Basically, this person (or law firm, wink wink) has the Sheriff serve them papers so they aren't going to your house or business. They are also responsible for filing your annual report with your secretary of state.

Annual Report

A yearly filing required by many states to update information about your business. In Louisiana this is due on the anniversary of your initial filing. In some states like Mississippi, it's due for every business on April 15. Learn more about Louisiana annual reports and legal issues when you don't renew on time here.

Angel Investors

Individual who provides financial support to startups in exchange for ownership equity.

Articles of Incorporation

The legal document filed with the state to establish the existence of your business entity.


Everything a business owns with monetary value, including cash, equipment, and property.

Business License

Requirements for obtaining the necessary licenses and permits to operate a business in the state. Some parishes have additional requirements and permits.

Business Plan

Written document outlining budgets, the company's goals, marketing strategy, and financial forecast. Investors and financial institutions usually require one before agreeing to financing.


Internal rules and procedures of the corporation governing the operations. This is just for a corporation (and nonprofit, a form of a corporation). It includes details about meetings, roles, and decision-making processes. It explains how meetings are called, when they happen, and what the bord of directors needs to do to "act right".

Board of Directors

Folx that oversee the management and strategic direction of a corporation and nonprofit.


 The total amount of funding (equity and debt) that a business has.

Cash Flow

Movement of money into and out of a business. Or as I like to refer to it as: "Cash money records takin' over for the 99 and 2000s" (Juvenille).

Corporate Veil

 Legal separation between the business and its owners/members. This protects personal assets from business liabilities like court judgments for damages.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

The cost associated with acquiring a new customer.

DBA (Doing Business As) or Fictitious Business Name

 A name used by a business that is different from its legal name.

Department of Revenue

State agency responsible for tax administration, including business taxes.


Individual elected by shareholders to serve on the board of directors and make major decisions for a corporation or nonprofit.


The process of formally ending the business.


Employer Identification Number or tax ID number. It's a unique nine-digit number assigned by the IRS to identify a business entity for tax purposes. Think of it as your business' social security number. Don't get fooled by online scammers. You never have to pay for one. Only apply with the IRS.


Residual interest in the assets of a business after deducting liabilities.


An agreement (in writing) where an established company allows individuals to operate its business under their brand in exchange for a set amount of funding and revenue percentages.

Stick with me. If I can remove wallpaper from 1981 that I swore was part of the structural integrity of this home, then you can learn a few more business terms before you spend cash opening your Louisiana business.

Foreign Business

Any business not initially incorporated or doing business in that state. For example, if you formed Tubbs Law firm in Delaware, but wanted to do business in Louisiana, then you would be considered a foreign business in Louisiana.


Negative financial result when a business's expenses exceed its revenue. It's also what happened to the Atlanta Falcons in the Superbowl.

Member (for LLCs)

Owners of the business who have a financial stake in the company.

Operating Agreement

A legal document outlining the structure and regulations of an LLC. This includes member roles, voting rights, and profit distribution. It also includes what happens at a member's death or when they leave (or voted out of) the company. You can dive deep in another article on operating agreements.


Your business plans to last "forever" with no end date. Aka you'll close it up when you want to, no when three years pass.


Positive financial gain a business makes after subtracting all expenses. Make sure yall talk to a CPA because accountants, we are not.

Registered Office

The official address of a business.

Return On Investment (ROI)

Measure of the profitability of an investment. It's usually calculated as a percentage.


The income generated by a business.

Secretary of State

State office responsible for business entity registration and maintenance. In Louisiana, visit this site.

Seed Funding

Initial capital provided to start a business.

Need help with a LLC formation in Mandeville, LA?

Feel free to give our assistant Brielle a call or text us at 985-265-7069 to get pricing information or schedule an affordable paid consultation meeting request here. We can handle forming your business, getting your EIN, and drafting your operating agreement or bylaws. We offer packages for every budget.

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This article was originally published 01/17/2024 and is copyright and intellectual property of Amber Sheppard and Sheppard Law PLLC. Please do not take action or refrain from taking action without first speaking to a licensed attorney who knows your set of facts.

You did it! You read all the business terms just like how I removed the 1981 wallpaper from my home and added 2023 wallpaper. Did I add wallpaper because some sections wouldn't come off? Maybe. Did I use peel and stick rather than concrete glue? Yes.