Prepare to Launch.

Interested in starting a new Downtown business? We’ve organized all the resources you’ll need to get going, from licensing and inspections to common services and available economic incentives. If you have questions, please let us know.

Step 1: Available Lease Space, Market Data, and Economic Incentives

Please contact the DDD office when starting up a new business for information regarding available lease space and economic incentives. Aerial photos and other information regarding Downtown is also available. Check for Available Economic Incentives or Available Lease Space.

Visit the Data Center to use the Business and Investment Assistant

Downtown Development District
247 Florida St.
Baton Rouge, LA 70801
Ph. (225) 389-5520

Step 2: Occupational Licensing and Taxes

You must contact The Secretary of State if you wish to incorporate your business.

The Secretary of State
8549 United Plaza Boulevard
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
Ph. (225) 925-4704

If planning to operate as a sole proprietor, please start at the Finance Department/ Revenue Division

To expedite the process, please visit the office with:

1. A new business application that can be found at this website
2. A valid picture ID

Finance Department/Revenue Division
222 St. Louis Street
Government Building, Room 404
Ph. (225) 389-3084

All new businesses must contact the Louisiana Department of Revenue and Taxation for sales tax registration, State I.D. Number, State Income Tax Withholding.

The following information is needed:

  1. Picture I.D.
  2. Legal name, location, and mailing address of your business.
  3. Federal Identification Number (if applicable).
  4. Charter Number (if applicable).
  5. Louisiana tax account number (if it is an existing business).
  6. Name and address of owners, partners, or officers.
  7. Social Security Number(s) of owners, partners, or officers.
  8. Tax Deposit (if applicable).

Louisiana Department of Revenue and Taxation
617 North Third Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70801
Ph. (225) 219-7318 Sales tax
Ph. (225) 219-0102 Income tax

Step 3: Alcohol Permits (If applicable)

(*If alcohol is to be sold/served)

Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control
State of Louisiana
Ph. (225) 925-4041

Alcoholic Beverage Control and Gaming Enforcement Office
10500 Coursey Boulevard, Suite 202
Ph. (225) 389-3114

Step 4: Inspections

Department of Public Works Permit and Inspection Division

300 North Tenth St.

Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Ph. (225) 389-3205

Has the Dept. reviewed the location based on intended use? Has the Dept. given you an overview of codes that apply? Has the Dept. given you the necessary steps to comply w/ codes? Dept. of Inspections can assist w/ regulations pertaining to the following potential renovations: Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing, Signage, and Occupancy Permit. In addition, if your business plans an outdoor sidewalk cafe utilizing the public right-of-way, please review the Sidewalk Cafe Ordinance and inform the Dept. of Public Works Permit and Inspection Division.

Step 5: Board of Health Review (If applicable)

(*Can have high and hidden costs, i.e. additional bathrooms)

Please contact the Board of Health if food will be served.

EBR Board of Health
Ph. (225) 242-4860

Step 6: Baton Rouge Fire Prevention Inspection

Baton Rouge Fire Department – Fire Prevention (Inspections)
8011 Merle Gustafson Dr.
Ph. (225) 354-1425

Step 7: State Fire Marshall

The Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office
Inspections: Baton Rouge Headquarters
Ph. (225) 925-4784 or (800) 256-5452

May require handicap ramps, widened hallways, sprinkler additions, etc.

Step 8: Cost Estimate

It is advisable to have a general contractor review the site and prepare cost estimates based upon the recommendations by the Dept. of Inspections, Board of Health, Fire Marshall, etc.

Step 9: Lease Negotiations

Contact the DDD office for information on available lease space Downtown.

Step 10: Garbage Service

Commercial waste is the responsibility of the property/owner. Several waste collection companies are available to service area businesses. If your property is located in the Central Business District (CBD), please review the CBD Waste Ordinance and discuss the regulation with your service provider.

Step 11: Louisiana Department of Labor

(*Unemployment and Workers Compensation)

Louisiana Workforce Commission
1001 N. 23rd Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Ph. (225) 342-3111
Visit Website for More Info

Step 12: Parking

Plan for parking. While the Central Business District is predominantly C-5 Zoning, which does not require dedicated parking spaces, you should assess parking in the areas adjacent to your proposed location. The DDD has a parking guide with contact names and numbers for downtown surface lots. Metered parking has also been instituted along many of the downtown corridors to assist with customer parking.

Click for Parking Guide