Frequently Asked Questions related to the Enterprise Zone Program.
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 35% 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: 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:
- Public Assistance
- Lacking Basic Skills
- Unemployable by Traditional Standards
Q: What type of business is eligible to participate?
A: A new or existing business to the state of Louisiana, which is not engaged in gaming or residential development, is eligible. Churches are not eligible to participate.
Q: How do I apply to participate in the Enterprise Zone Program?
A: Submit an Advance Notification form and a $100 filing fee prior to beginning the project (before starting construction, purchasing, or hiring new employees). The Office of Business Incentives Services (BIS) will acknowledge receipt and send you a URL link to download your application packet, which will include program instructions, procedures, due dates and a timeline of the program steps.
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 with the Advance Notification form or with the program application that confirms the intended number of permanent net new full-time jobs the applicant will create.
Q: What benefits are available by participating in the Enterprise Zone Program?
A: Benefits include a one-time $2,500 tax credit for each net new job created during the contract period and either a rebate of State sales/use taxes paid on construction materials, machinery, equipment and furniture, or a 1.5% Refundable Investment Tax Credit on qualified expenditures.
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 of 1 permanent net new job) within the first 12 months of the effective contract period; or create 5 jobs within the first 24 months of the contract period.
*** 35% of all permanent net new jobs must meet one of the four Certification Requirements. ***
Q: How do I determine the number of existing employees I have?
A: To determine the number of existing employees (baseline): Take your monthly ES4 totals for the four months prior to the EZ contract effective date. Disregard the highest and lowest months and average the remaining two months to determine your baseline.
Q: What is considered a full-time job?
A: A full-time job is a position filled by an employee regularly scheduled for a minimum of 35 hours of work per week and reported on the company's ES4.
Q: What is considered a qualifying part-time job?
A: A qualifying part-time job is a position filled by an employee who works a minimum of 20 hours a week for at least 26 consecutive weeks and reported on the company's ES4.
Q: Who is a qualified employee?
A: A qualified employee is a U.S. citizen living in Louisiana or relocating to Louisiana within 60 days of hire.