Start a Business in Texas

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This guide on starting your business in Texas provides step-by-step instructions on the paperwork to file formation documents, obtain tax IDs, and set up company records.

how to start a business

Step-By-Step Startup

Below is an overview of the paperwork, cost, and time to form each of the most popular business structures. Simply click on the link for your desired structure to view detailed step-by-step instructions.

  • If you have not decided whether you want to form an LLC, corporation, or other business structure, click here.
  • If wish to form your business in a different state than Texas, click here.
Structure Paperwork Cost Time

Texas Limited Liability Company

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  • Formation: $300
  • Formation: ~3-5 business days by mail or fax.

Texas Corporation

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  • Incorporation: $300 + optional 2.7% credit card convenience fee
  • Incorporation: ~3-5 business days by mail or fax.

Texas Nonprofit

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  • Form 202: Certificate of Formation - Nonprofit Corporation
  • Bylaws
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • IRS Form 1023: 501(c) Tax Exempt Application
  • IRS Determination Letter
  • Texas Tax Forms, if required
  • Texas Application for Exemption - Charitable Organizations (or similar form)
  • URS Charitable Registration, if applicable
  • FinCEN Beneficial Ownership Report
  • Incorporation: $25
  • 501(c): $275 or $600 IRS fee
  • Incorporation: ~3-5 business days by mail or fax.
  • 501(c): 2 weeks to 3 months

Top 5 Tips on Registering a Business in Texas

  1. The Secretary of State fee to form an LLC or corporation is $300. In addition, Texas charges a credit card convenience fee of 2.7%.
  2. The Texas Comptroller oversees collection of more than 60 state and local taxes, fees, and assessments. They do not offer a consolidated application. Apply for individual tax accounts / licenses / permits as required.
  3. Texas is one of the few states that permit you to conduct a name search by e-mail. If you don't need an immediate answer, this is a real convenience.
  4. The Texas Business Organizations Code (BOC) requires every LLC and corporation to maintain a registered agent and registered office in Texas. Your Texas registered agent is the individual or company that receives notice of lawsuit and other official communications for your business. We'll explain your options if you cannot serve as your own registered agent.
  5. Domestic or foreign Texas LLCs and corporations must file a Public Information Report when they file their annual franchise tax with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. There is no separate "annual report" submission to the Texas Secretary of State, as there is in many states. Nonprofit corporations are an exception and must file periodic reports.