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:
- 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.