Steps To Starting A Business In Texas – Starting an LLC in Texas involves the process of choosing a business name, appointing a registered agent, filing a certificate of formation, and complying with other state-specific requirements to operate and operate your business. Discover the essential steps that will help you efficiently set up your LLC in the Lone Star State today.
Want to start your business as an LLC? Texas is a business-friendly state, just as the limited liability company (LLC) is a business-friendly concept. This allows entrepreneurs to obtain liability protection without the cumbersome structure of a corporation. It’s like getting the best plate of barbecue in town without waiting in a long line.
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However, forming an LLC in Texas requires you to follow certain steps and meet certain requirements, which can be intimidating if you have never started your own business before. That’s why we’re here to walk you through the entire process.
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If you want to form your limited liability company smoothly, quickly, and without costly penalties, there are some rules to follow from the Texas Secretary of State. To show you how to start an LLC in Texas, we’ve put together five basic steps (think of it as Texas two-step plus three):
If that sounds overwhelming, don’t worry. We will tell you how to start an LLC in Texas in this article. What’s more, for those who aren’t fond of government bureaucracy (and who is?) we’ll show you how our services help you start, run, and grow your business, including filing the paperwork to set up your LLC with the state. How can they help? of Texas.
Note that these guidelines are for starting a domestic LLC, which starts in the state in which you live. A foreign LLC is one that is located outside of the state. To register a foreign LLC in Texas, you will fill out an application for registration of a foreign limited liability company and follow a separate process.
If the purpose of your proposed business is to provide a licensed professional service (such as medicine, architecture, accounting, etc.), a Texas professional LLC (PLLC) may be an option for you. We do not offer PLLC formations, and they follow a slightly different process than other Texas LLCs. However, you can visit our Texas PLLC page for more information.
Register Your Business
The first step is to find a name for your LLC. Texas is a unique state, and your Texas limited liability company needs a unique name. It must be different from any other existing business name in the state. It must also follow the Texas Limited Liability Company Nomination Guidelines.
How do you know if the name you want is available? Follow the directions on our Texas business entity search page and search for the LLC name you need. If no one took it, great! If not, keep watching.
Once you find a name that isn’t claimed on the website, it’s a good idea to call to confirm that the name is actually available because unfortunately the system isn’t perfect. The Secretary of State can give you an initial determination of whether your name is available if you call (512) 463-5555 or e-mail email@example.com. However, they caution you not to spend any money or do any business under the name until your formation certificate is approved.
Note that Texas law requires your name to be “distinguishable” from other business names, which means minor changes like punctuation, capitalization, or adding a “the” before your LLC name won’t cut it. are Sounding similar is also a problem (eg, “Express Auto” vs. “Express Auto”) unless there is a clear difference in meaning (eg, “Jones Tires” vs. “John Tire”). Common sense will likely guide you here, but you can also review state naming regulations on the Secretary of State’s website.
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Some Texas business naming laws are meant to protect the public. You may not use wording that implies that your LLC is a government agency or was formed for an illegal purpose.
Certain words can only be used in your company name if you have the appropriate paperwork. If you are a banker, lawyer, engineer, doctor, college, architect, insurer, or in any other profession that requires a license of some kind, the state must provide proof of this before putting such words on your Texas Limited Liability Company. Will want you to be appropriately licensed. Name of the liability company.
Texas disallows any business name that is “grossly offensive.” State law doesn’t say what qualifies as this (but we’re curious, of course). See what we said above about common sense guiding you.
Ever wonder what those words or abbreviations (for example, “Inc.”) after a business name are called? They are redesigns, and they reflect what kind of legal business entity you are. You must have one after your LLC name through Texas.
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You can use “limited liability company,” “limited company,” or an abbreviation of any of these phrases. “LLC” is the most common, but you can also use LC, L.C., L.L.C., Ltd. Co., Ltd. Company, Ltd. Liability Co., or Ltd. Can also use Liability Company. Note that Texas code does not allow you to use the words “limited” or “company” in the name of your LLC.
Having a distinct designator is not enough to distinguish one business name from another in the eyes of the state. If Kramer wants to call his LLC “Kramer’s Kolaches, LLC,” but already has a Kramer’s Kolaches, Inc. If there is, he will have to be more creative. Likewise, you can’t settle on a misleading designator, such as adding “inc.” If you are an LLC or “non-profit”, if you are a for-profit business.
State-level searches do not take trademarks into account. The state may approve your LLC name and you may spend a lot of money on signage, business cards, advertising, etc. to get someone to give you notice that you are infringing on their trademark.
To see if any words in your LLC name are trademarked nationally, check the U.S. Search the Patent and Trademark Office website. You can also try to apply for your own trademark, but this can be a lengthy process.
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To see if your name is trademarked at the state level, visit the Trademarks and Service Marks section of the Texas Secretary of State website. For a fee, the office can conduct a state trademark search for you. For more information call 512-463-9760 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also apply for your own state trademark. This type of trademark will only apply within the borders of Texas, but is easier to obtain than a federal trademark.
We should mention here that none of the above methods are a guarantee that no one will file a trademark infringement suit against you. The more research you can do beforehand on the business name you want (Googling, looking in phone books, or even consulting a trademark attorney, etc.), the better.
If you settle on the perfect name for your LLC but don’t want someone else to grab it before you officially launch your company, you can reserve the name for 120 days. Visit the Secretary of State’s website, complete the application, and pay the required fee.
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Even if your business has nothing to do with the Internet, an online presence is still important. When your customers look for your business or businesses like yours, they will usually be looking online. So, when you are deciding on a name for your LLC, consider choosing one that pairs well with an available domain name that you can use for your website.
In fact, if your first choice name has no available domain names but your second choice does, you might want to seriously consider using your second choice.
When weighing your business name options, consider whether your desired name is available on the web as a domain name. Having a business name that is also available as a URL means you will have a website that is easy for potential customers to find and remember.
Our domain name search tool can help you see if the name you want is available as a URL. When you find an available domain name you like, it’s wise to reserve it before someone else does.
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You may also want to consider social media and see what handles are available. Many businesses market on Facebook, Instagram and similar sites, so having the right social media name can help with your online marketing.
If you need assistance, we have a domain name service to help you find and purchase a domain name for your company. We can also help you create a business website and provide domain name privacy.
If you plan to do business under a different name than your company’s legal name, you’ll need a DBA or “doing business as” name, known as an “assumed name” in Texas.
You can register a DBA by completing an assumed name certificate and submitting it to the Texas Secretary of State for a small fee.
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Businesses sometimes use a DBA if they want to open a new store or launch a new product line under a different name. We can handle the process for you with our DBA service.
Still having trouble coming up with the right name for your new venture? See How to Name Your LLC for more guidance.
Next, appoint a registered agent for your business. The government should be able to access your LLC. They require a contact (a person or business entity) and a Texas street
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