What You’ll Learn
The following guidelines provide background information on the most common types of filings and the related exemptions in Louisiana.
Getting to Know the State Nonprofit Corporation Law
State Nonprofit Corporation Law
For Religious Nonprofits
Understanding Religious Liberty in this State
Religious Liberty Protections
Other Relevant State Laws and Regulations
Key Employment Laws and Regulations
Conducting Activities or Programs in this State
Understanding the Business Registration Requirement
Depending on the type and volume of activities an organization has in this state, the organization may also need to register as an out-of-state business (sometimes called a “foreign business”) with the secretary of state. These foreign business registration requirements are separate from the charitable registration. Not every out-of-state organization needs to register. An attorney can assist the organization in determining whether its connections with this state are significant enough to trigger the foreign business registration requirement. Examples of activities that might trigger this requirement include having employees physically located in the state, conducting programs in the state, and having an office in the state.
If the out-of-state or foreign corporation is required to register in Louisiana, it files an “Application for Authority to Transact Business in Louisiana” and pays the filing fee through the Louisiana Secretary of State’s online portal: geauxbiz.sos.la.gov. (See La. Rev. Stat. §12:304, 12:1364, and 49:222 and https://www.sos.la.gov/BusinessServices/FileBusinessDocuments/Pages/default.aspx)
Business Registration Statute
Fundraising and Charitable Registration in This State
How to Know (And What to D0) If You're Fundraising In This State
In Louisiana, organizations are not required to submit a charitable fundraising registration unless the organization is working with a professional solicitor. A professional solicitor is generally a person who solicits contributions for or on behalf of a charitable organization in exchange for payment.
In Louisiana the authority for the oversight of charitable fundraising by professional solicitors is assigned to the Louisiana Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, Public Protection Section. (La. Rev. Stat. § 51:1901-1909.1.) This department has legal authority over unfair and deceptive acts and practices in trade and commerce.
Charitable Registration Exemptions
The Unified Registration Statement is not required for the following organizations if they use a professional solicitor. (LA Administrative Code, Title 61, Pt. III, §515). However, they are required to file by mail with the Office of the Attorney General the Charitable Exemption Form and the Charitable Exemption Checklist with the required information attached.
- Religious institutions
- Educational institutions recognized and/or approved by the State Department of Education
- Any Hospital, or
- Any voluntary health organization.
If You're Fundraising In Multiple States, Make Sure You Understand the URS
In this state, organizations that are required to register have the option of registering through the Unified Registration Statement, which is a standardized charitable registration accepted in many states.
The Public Protection Section of the Attorney General’s Office requires the filing of the Unified Registration Statement, the Charity Registration Requirement Checklist with the required information attached, and the appropriate fee, which are submitted by mail.
On its website the Public Protection Section lists the “Initial Charitable Registration Form,” but it is not required to be filed until an organization hires a professional solicitor. The organization and the professional solicitor each have a filing requirement. (La. Rev. Stat. § 51:1901.1).
Evaluate Whether You'll Need a Registered Agent
Follow the Rules About Communicating with the Public
This state does not require organizations to post specific language when conducting charitable solicitations.
Charitable Registration Statute
Charitable Registration Exemption Statute
Annual Report Requirement
Get Acquainted with State and Local Taxes and Exemptions
State and Local Taxes
Business Registration with LA Dept. of Revenue
When an organization files its Articles of Incorporation with the LA Secretary of State through the portal--geauxbiz.sos.la.gov, it is prompted to create a business account to be used with the LA Department of Revenue. The organization is assigned a Revenue Account Number to be used on its tax filings. If the organization did not create this business account at the time of filing its Articles of Incorporation or its needs additional revenue accounts, it can register on the LA Department of Revenue’s website (https://latap.revenue.louisiana.gov/_/
The IRS requires a nonprofit organization to file an informational return annually---Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-N. Several states also have filing requirements for an informational return, but Louisiana does not.
LA Corporate Income & Franchise Taxes
In this state, organizations that have received recognition of federal income tax exemption under IRC Sec. 501(c)(3) are automatically exempt from state income and franchise taxes. (LA Revised Statutes § 47:287.501 and § 47:608). Organizations must send a copy of their IRS determination letter to the LA Department of Revenue to qualify for the exemption.
If an organization has unrelated business income and is required to file Federal Form 990-T with the IRS, it must file a LA corporate income tax return (Form CIFT-620 and CIFT-401W) with the LA Department of Revenue and pay taxes at the corporate level on this income (LA Administrative Code, Title 61, Pt. I, §1140, CIFT-401W, Revenue Information Bulletin 13-009, and http://www.revenue.louisiana.gov/LawsPolicies/RIB%2013-009.pdf). The return is due on or before the 15th day of the fifth month following the close of the taxable year.
Sometimes organizations make investments that generate unrelated business income in other states. In these circumstances, the organization should check to determine whether the other states impose a tax on unrelated business income and the requirements to file a tax return.
State Sales Taxes
Louisiana Sales Tax Statutes: LA Revised Statutes § 47:301-340.1
Sales tax exemption
The sales tax statutes in Louisiana are complex (https://www.revenue.louisiana.gov/SalesTax/GeneralSalesAndUseTax). It is best to seek the advice of an attorney or accountant to help understand which sales tax provisions apply to the organization and whether an exemption can be requested (See the LA Dept. of Revenue’s summary of sales tax statutes through 6/30/2025. http://revenue.louisiana.gov/Publications/R-1002(10-19)FINAL%20combined.pdf). However, if the organization owes sales taxes, it must set up a LATAP account with the LA Department of Revenue (https://latap.revenue.louisiana.gov/_/).
Sales in other states
After the U.S. Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair in 2018, many states have issued guidance for remote sellers for the threshold level of sales that trigger a requirement for the collection and payment of sales taxes. If an organization is making sales in other states, they should determine whether they have a filing requirement in that state (https://www.taxadmin.org/remote-seller-state-information; https://www.taxadmin.org/state-tax-agencies). It is best to seek the advice of an accountant or attorney to help understand these requirements.
Sellers from other states
Louisiana Department of Revenue has a LATAP Remote Retailers User Guide to explain the filing process for out-of-state sellers, which did not collect LA sales taxes from LA residents at the time of sale (https://latap.revenue.louisiana.gov/webfiles/Remote%20Retailers%20User%20Guide.pdf).
Parish/City Sales Taxes
It is best for an organization to consult an attorney or accountant to determine whether it is subject to parish and city sales taxes. If the organization is required to collect and remit the tax, it is filed through the LA Department of Revenue portal: Parish E-file (https://parishe-file.revenue.louisiana.gov/default_1.aspx).
Property taxes are assessed and collected by the local parish (county) or municipality (http://house.louisiana.gov/housefiscal/DOCS_TAXREV/2014_Louisiana%20Property%20Tax%20Basics.pdf). However, nonprofit organizations are exempt from property and ad valorem taxes in LA, unless it is used for commercial purposes unrelated to the exempt purposes of the organization (LA Const. Art. 7 §21(B)(1)(a)(i); LA Administrative Code, Title 61, Pt. V, §103). The organization can file for the property tax exemption with the Parish Assessor’s Office in the parish where the property is located.
Corporate Income Tax Statute
Corporate Franchise Tax Statute
What You Need to Know About Sales Tax
State-Specific Special Requirements
Special Reporting Requirements for Political Organizations
Political organizations are required to file certain reports with the Louisiana Ethics Administration Program. (See http://ethics.la.gov/CampFinanHome.aspx; http://ethics.la.gov/Pub/Laws/pacsum.pdf; and http://ethics.la.gov/Pub/Laws/Title18.pdf)
Foreign Business Registration (called “Certificate of Authority”): https://www.sos.la.gov/BusinessServices/PublishedDocuments/326ApplicationofForeignCorporationforCertificateofAuthority.pdf
This resource contains general educational information related to legal concepts, but this information does not constitute legal advice. Anyone seeking legal advice is strongly encouraged to consult with a licensed attorney regarding any of the matters discussed herein. Although licensed attorneys work with Napa Legal, Napa Legal is not a law firm and does not undertake legal representation on behalf of any clients. Further, no licensed attorney working with or on behalf of Napa Legal agrees to undertake legal representation on behalf of any client unless the terms of such representation are set forth in a separate, written representation agreement.
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