Long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) plays a critical role in tumorigenesis. How lncRNA regulates laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) progression remains poorly understood. In the present study, we found that LINC01638 was highly expressed in LSCC tissues. And LINC01638 expression was positively correlated with clinical stage and lymph node metastasis. Patients with LINC01638 high expression displayed a low survival rate. Results from CCK8, colony formation, and transwell assays showed that LINC01638 knockdown suppressed the proliferation, migration and invasion of LSCC cells in vitro. Animal experiments indicated that LINC01638 silencing attenuated tumor growth in vivo. In terms of mechanism, LINC01638 was found to sponge miR-523-5p and promote BATF3 expression. In summary, our results demonstrated that LINC01638/miR-523-5p/BATF3 axis plays a crucial function in initiating LSCC development and may be a potential target for tumor therapy.