Starting a business in Texas requires you to complete a number of basic steps and make some key decisions. As part of your overall plan, you’ll need to select a location, decide on a business structure, and obtain the necessary licenses and permits.

Here are some quick steps on how to get started.

  • Step 1: Business Structure and Name
    Determine the legal structure of the business and properly file the business name with the state and/or county.  You are not required to obtain an Assumed Name (DBA) but if you want to protect your business name from being used by anyone else you should do so in your county and in all counties in which you plan to operate.
  • Step 2: Business Tax Responsibilities
    Determine the potential tax responsibilities of the new business on the federal, state, and local level.  All Corporations and Partnerships (including most LLC’s) will need to file a business tax return in addition to your personal tax return.  In addition, all businesses registered in Texas must file a Texas Franchise Tax Return.
  • Step 3: Business Licenses and Permits by Business Type
    Determine necessary licenses, permits, certifications, registrations, and/or authorizations for a specific business on the federal, state, and local level.
  • Step 4: Business Employer Requirements
    Determine federal and state employer requirements. There are various laws relating to employment of personnel.  If you have employees, including treating yourself as an employee, you will be required to file and pay both Federal Unemployment Tax and State Unemployment Insurance.

For a comprehensive introduction on conducting business in Texas, please view the Governor’s Small Business Handbook.