Opening a Business

How To Open a Business

Ouachita Parish is a great place to open a business. Monroe is the birthplace of Delta Airlines, CenturyLink and several other thriving businesses. We invite you to locate your business in Ouachita Parish. For information, call the Monroe Chamber at (318) 323-3461 or call 1-800-531-9535.

For information on Ouachita Parish and the surrounding area click here

Monroe Chamber of Commerce
212 Walnut Street, Suite 100
Monroe, LA 71201
(318) 323-3461
Fax (318) 812-7594

Louisiana Economic Development
The source for information about the State of Louisiana economic development programs and incentives.
P.O. Box 94185
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9185
(225) 342-3000

For specific programs click here.

For site searches, click here.

North Louisiana Economic Partnership
The NLEP formed in 2009, is the principal organization for economic development in the parish. NLEP is the source for information on available sites in Ouachita parish, Renewal Community benefits and various tax incentive programs.
1900 North 18th Street, Suite 440
Monroe, LA 71201
(318) 387-0787

Northeast Louisiana Economic Alliance

For information on available sites in Northeast Louisiana and information on Renewal Community benefits.

P.O. Drawer 746
903 Louisiana Avenue
Ferriday, LA 71334
(318) 757-3033

City of Monroe
Monroe is located at the crossroads of Interstate 20 and U.S. Highway 165.
The staff at the city of Monroe can assist with information on city permits, building codes and other permits.
P.O. Box 123
Monroe, LA 71210
(318) 329-2310

Planning & Zoning (Certificates of Occupancy, Zoning information) - (318) 329-2212
Inspectors (Building, Electrical, Plumbing & Fire) - (318) 329-2351
Engineering (Drainage, Culvert information) - (318) 329-2309
Taxation and Revenue (Occupational Licenses) - 318) 329-2279

Entergy Economic Development
Additional information on sites and incentive programs in Louisiana, click here.
5353 Essen Lane
Suite 120
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
(225) 763-5060 Office

Louisiana Department of Labor
The Department of Labor is the labor exchange for the state of Louisiana serving as the link between employers, job seekers, and training providers.
1162 Oliver Road, Suite 9
Monroe, LA 71201
(318) 362-3058

Monroe Regional Airport
5400 Operations Road
Monroe, LA 71203

Monroe – West Monroe Convention & Visitors Bureau
Your guide to accommodations, dining, attractions, and shopping in northeast Louisiana.
601 Constitution Drive
West Monroe, LA 71292
(318) 387-5691
(800) 843-1872 - Toll Free

Ouachita Parish Police Jury
300 St. John Street
P. O. Box 3007
Monroe, LA 71210-3007
TEL: 318-327-1340
FAX: 318-327-1339

Ouachita Terminals
PO Box 1889
West Monroe, LA 71294
Fax: (318) 361-9474

University of Louisiana at Monroe’s Small Business Development Center

The SBDC provides entrepreneurs and small business owners opportunities to learn more about starting and managing their small business. In addition, the SBDC can provide management and technical assistance.
University of Louisiana at Monroe
Administration Building 2-123
Monroe, LA 71209
(318) 342-1224

US Bureau of Labor Statistics
Dallas: (972) 850-4800
Houston: (713) 718-3753

Guide to Opening a Business in the City of Monroe

Business Proposing to Occupy an Existing Building:

1. Apply for the Certificate of Occupancy in the Planning and Zoning Office.

a. If the building is located in an historic district and there are external changes (including signage) approval by the Heritage Preservation Commission is required before a Certificate of Occupancy and a building permit is issued.

b. If additions to the existing structure are proposed, a building permit is required.

c. If the proposed additions do not meet the setback requirements, a variance may be applied for to the Board of Adjustment.

d. There may be some uses that require Planning Approval (Planning Commission) or Special Exemption (Board of Adjustment) review.

e. If the Certificate of Occupancy is only for the USE of the structure, a building permit is NOT required.

2. The seventy-five ($75.00) dollar application fee is then paid in the Inspections Office.

3. Appointments are then set up in the Inspections Office for the building, electrical, plumbing, fire and engineering (if applicable) inspectors for the inspection site.

4. Once the Certificate of Occupancy is signed off by all inspectors, the form is sent back to the Planning and Zoning Office.

5. The final Certificate of Occupancy is then issued and given to the applicant.

6. The applicant brings the final Certificate of Occupancy to the Tax and Revenue Office to obtain an Occupational License.

Planning and Zoning
3901 Jackson Street
(318) 329-2212
(Certificate of Occupancy, zoning
Information, meeting dates and time)

3901 Jackson Street
(318) 329-2309
(Drainage, culvert information)

3901 Jackson
(318) 329-2351
(Building, electrical, plumbing, fire)

Taxation and Revenue

Street 316 Breard Street
(318) 329-2279
(Occupational Licenses)

These procedures are generalized and may not cover all cases.