Enterprise Zone
K&B Industries, Schriever
Enterprise Zone
Not all changes effective April 1, 2016 are reflected below. Please check again, as updates are ongoing.

The Enterprise Zone, or EZ program is a jobs incentive program that provides Louisiana income and franchise tax credits to a new or existing business located in Louisiana creating permanent net new full-time jobs, and hiring at least 50% of those net new jobs from one of four targeted groups. The benefit provides:
  • Either a one-time $3,500 or $1,000 tax credit for each net new job created.
  • A 4% rebate of sales and use taxes paid on qualifying materials, machinery, furniture, and/or equipment purchased or a 1.5% refundable investment tax credit on the total capital investment, excluding tax exempted items. The 4% or 1.5% rebate shall not exceed $100,000 per net new job.

Eligibility

This incentive program is open to Louisiana businesses (new or existing) that will:

  • Create a minimum of five permanent net new full-time jobs within 24 months of their project start date or increase their current nationwide workforce by 10% within the first 12 months.
  • Hire 50% of the net new jobs created from one or more of the certification requirements from these targeted groups:
    1. Residents: someone living in Enterprise Zone within the state.
    2. People receiving an approved form of public assistance.
    3. People lacking basic skills. A person performing below a ninth grade proficiency in reading, writing or mathematics.
    4. People unemployable by traditional standards.

The following employers or persons shall not be eligible to participate in the program:

  • Employers engaged in the gaming industry or residential developments
  • Churches
  • Retail employers assigned NAICS Code Sections 44 and 45
  • Employers assigned NAICS Code Sections, 721, 722 and 5613

Program Statutes & Rules:

All incentive program rules are in the Louisiana Administrative Code maintained by the Office of the State Register.


Getting Started

Getting started is a click away. Submit your advance notification and pay online before you start construction, hire, and/or make purchases towards the project's capital investment.

You may submit your advance, application and fees online using FastLane. If you have appointed a representative other than a company official as your contact designee, a Disclosure Authorization is required. 

View fees associated with this incentive.


Next Steps

After the department receives your advance notification and fee, you are ready to start your project following these steps:

1. Begin your Project. This includes construction, purchase of equipment, building and materials, hiring, and other capital investment transactions.

2. Apply for Local Benefits. If you are seeking local sales tax incentives in the parish where your project is under way, contact the local governing authority to request an endorsement resolution.

3. File for a Sales/Use Tax Certificate Registration if applicable. Contact the Louisiana Department of Revenue to apply for a sales and use tax registration certificate and taxpayer account number.

4. File for an Unemployment Insurance Identification Number. Contact the Louisiana Workforce Commission to apply for an unemployment identification number.

5. Submit your Program Application and Fee. After the completion of your project, submit your application with fee no later than 90 days after your project completion date.

6. Review of Application. Once LED receives your application and fee, the office staff will review your application for compliance with the program rules, verify submitted information, and make a recommendation to the Board of Commerce and Industry (unless the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) issues an objection against the project and/or owners. If LDR issues an objection, you will have six months to contact LDR and resolve the objection. If objection is not resolved, the application can be canceled.) Applicants will be notified within 14 days of the board meeting and provided with instructions and the time and location of the meeting.

7. Board Review. Your application is presented to the Board of Commerce and Industry for approval. The board convenes every other month, meeting six times a calendar year.

8. Issue Contract. After application is approved by the Board of Commerce and Industry, a contract will be sent to you for your signature. Submit three original signed and witnessed contracts to LED within 60 days. 

9. Submit Project Completion Report and Fee. File with LED within six months of the date the Governor signed the contract.

10. Submit Affidavit of Final Cost and Fee. File with LED within six months of the date the Governor signed the contract.

11. File Employee Certification Report and Fee. Reports are to be completed and filed by May 31st after the contract has been signed by the Governor.

12. File for Sales and Use Tax Rebate or Refundable Investment Tax Credit. Once all documentation has been filed and LED has certified compliance, submit rebate claim or refundable ITC request to the Louisiana Department of Revenue. Contact Office Audit Division at 225.219.2270 for additional information.

13. Contract Amendment. Once under contract, if any changes are made (such as Change in Name, Change in Ownership) the appropriate contract amendment and fee must be submitted within 90 days of that change to LED. The contract amendment must be approved by the Board of Commerce and Industry. 


Eligibility Scenarios

Q: If I am an existing business in Louisiana with multiple facilities located throughout the state and I reduce the workforce at one site and increase the workforce at another site with an Enterprise Zone (EZ) contract, would those jobs created at the EZ site be eligible as net new jobs?
A: Possibly. A business has to create net new jobs for the state of Louisiana. A net new job is a position created on or after the contract effective date, which is in addition to the number of jobs in the employment baseline established statewide including affiliates. For example:

  • If a business reduces its workforce by 50 employees at one site and adds 50 jobs at another site, then there is no new net gain of jobs to the state.
  • On the other hand, if a business reduces its workforce by 25 jobs at one site and increases the workforce by 50 jobs at the EZ site, then there is a net increase of 25 jobs to the state.

Q: Production at my company fluctuates due to our business industry. How do I know if I am creating permanent net new jobs during our various seasons of production? 
A: A net new job is a job created on or after the start date of the Enterprise Zone project with no anticipated end date and falling within the period commencing 45 days prior to the contract effective date and ending five years after the contract effective date. For example:

  • Thibodeaux Candy Manufacturers Inc. is starting a new line of candy. They will invest in manufacturing equipment to produce their new candy line. Each candy manufacturing line needs five employees, thus their new line will call for the creation of five new jobs. The new jobs created and filled will be considered permanent jobs since the company is expecting to make this type of candy for a long time and intends to maintain their statewide employment levels.
  • Thibodeaux Candy Manufacturers Inc. needs additional employees to fill their Valentine's Day orders. They hire 20 employees to complete their special orders. After the Valentine's Day orders are filled and shipped, Thibodeaux Candy Manufacturers Inc. will dissolve the new positions and the 20 employees hired to complete the special order will no longer have jobs. These are not permanent net new jobs because there is not a continuing need for the jobs to be filled.

Q: If Company ABC purchased Company XYZ and retained XYZ's employees, are the new jobs acquired considered net new jobs? 
A: NO. When a business acquires another business, the jobs that were at the purchased business are not considered new jobs for the new business owner. They must be net new jobs to Louisiana. For example:

  • Thibodeaux Candy Manufacturers Inc. has acquired Sweet Home Candies LLC, a local company with 33 existing jobs. Thibodeaux Candy Manufacturers Inc. plans to make some modifications to the structure of Sweet Home Candies LLC and retain the jobs. The 33 jobs retained by Thibodeaux Candy Manufacturers Inc. are not net new jobs.

FAQS

Q: What is the Enterprise Zone Program?
A: The Enterprise Zone, or EZ program is a jobs incentive program that provides Louisiana income and franchise tax credits to a new or existing business located in Louisiana creating permanent net new full-time jobs and hiring at least 50% of those net new jobs from one of four targeted groups.

Q: What are Enterprise Zones?
A: Enterprise Zones are economically distressed areas within the state that have high unemployment rates, low per capita income and/or a high number of residents receiving public assistance.

Q: Do I have to locate my business in an Enterprise Zone?
A: Generally, businesses participating in the program are not required to locate in an Enterprise Zone. When a company is not located in an EZ and is using residency as a certification requirement, the employees must reside in a Louisiana Enterprise Zone or meet one of the other certification requirements.

Q: What are the four certification requirements?
A: The certification requirements are specified targeted groups from the following areas:

  • Residency
  • Public Assistance
  • Lacking Basic Skills
  • Unemployable by Traditional Standards

Q: For advance notifications filed on or after April 1, 2016, what determines whether I can earn either the $3,500 or $1,000 tax credit? 
A: The $3,500 tax credit is available if the net new employee is hired by a participating business that is located in an Enterprise Zone.  Additionally, the $3,500 tax credit is available if the net new employee was receiving an approved form of public assistance, such as SNAP, WIC, unemployment benefits, or Medicaid within 6 months prior to their hire date. 

Q: How do I apply to participate in the Enterprise Zone Program?
A: Submit an Advance Notification form and a $250 fee prior to beginning the project (before starting construction, purchasing, or hiring new employees). Business Incentives Services (BIS) will acknowledge receipt of the advance via email and will include instructions on filing the application through Fastlane.

Q: What is an Advance Notification form?
A: An Advance Notification form is a document notifying Louisiana Economic Development (LED) of an intended project before any construction, hiring, or capital expenditure has been made.

Q: Where can I find the Advance Notification form?
A: The Advance Notification form should be completed through Fastlane, LED's secure online filing system.

Q: What is the difference between an Application and Advance Notification?
A: An Advance Notification provides an estimate of your project's total investment and expected new jobs. An Application is submitted after your project is complete and gives actual figures of the expenditures and investments associated with your project.

Q: What is a Qualification Certification form?
A: The applicant's Qualification Certification form is a document submitted within the application that confirms the intended number of permanent net new full-time jobs the applicant will create.

Q: Are there any local benefits?
A: Rebate of some local sales/use taxes paid may be available, at the discretion of the local governing authorities in the parish the project is located. An Endorsement Resolution from the local governing authorities must be received prior to the Board of Commerce & Industry approval of the company's application. For more information on local rebates, please contact the local governing authority where your business is located.

Q: What is an Endorsement Resolution?
A: An Endorsement Resolution is a written motion issued by the local governing authority acknowledging a company's participation in the Enterprise Zone Program, and stating if a rebate of the local sales taxes will be issued.

Q: Who is the Board of Commerce and Industry?
A: The Board is composed of individuals appointed by the Governor of Louisiana and reviews and approves applications for Enterprise Zone, Industrial Tax Exemption, Quality Jobs and Restoration Tax Abatement incentive programs.

Q: Do I have to hire the new employees within a certain time period?
A: YES. A business must create permanent full-time net new jobs under the following conditions: must increase existing nationwide workforce by 10% (a minimum average of 1 permanent net new job) within the first 12 months of the contract effective date; or create an average of 5 jobs within the first 24 months of the contract effective date.

*** 50% of all permanent net new jobs must meet one of the four Certification Requirements. ***

Q: What is the Employment Baseline?
A: The Employment Baseline is the median statewide number of employees of an employer, including affiliates during the payroll periods including the twelfth day of the month in the last four months completed prior to the contract effective date. The median is calculated by discarding the months with the highest and lowest number of employees and averaging the number in the remaining two months. There must be at least four months of operation to use the median average, otherwise if there are three or less months of operation with employment prior to the contract effective date, average only the months with employment.

Q: What is considered a full-time job?
A: A full-time job is a position filled by an employee hired to work for a minimum of 35 hours a week and reported on the company's ES4.

Q: Are part-time jobs eligible?
A: No, the only jobs eligible are the ones filled with employees hired to work at least 35 hours a week.

Q: Who is a qualified employee?
A:  A qualified employee is a citizen of the United States and who is domiciled in Louisiana or becomes domiciled in Louisiana within sixty days after employment in such position, performing duties in connection with the operation of the business enterprise as a regular, full-time employee.