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What Do I Need to Start a Business in Texas?

You’ve had the “ah ha!” moment and now you want to start your own business. What information and documentation should you prepare before you start building your dream?

A strong business plan

This is the stage where you’ll learn if your idea needs more work, or worse, doesn’t work at all. You’ll especially need a strong business plan if you are seeking outside funding.

There are many elements to a business plan, including a competition analysis, long term goals and a financial forecast.

A name

This can be more complicated than it seems and requires research. You may have your heart set on the perfect name, only to find out another business in Texas is already using it. You can search the SOSDirect website to see if your desired name is available. You can even reserve the name for a short period, if you have more than one name in mind and need more time to think.

Select your legal structure

Also known as a “business entity,” this is how you will classify your business with the government. It will determine liability and tax ramifications. You may want legal counsel for this step.

It’s not impossible to change your legal structure later, though this process can be difficult and should be avoided.

Register your business with the state (when applicable)

If your business is a sole proprietorship or a general partnership, you don’t need to file organizational information with the state. However, corporations and LLCs do need to file paperwork.

Bank account

Though this isn’t required for all businesses in Texas, a dedicated bank account will make tracking revenue and expenses much easier.

Apply for the necessary licenses and permits

This can be a lengthy process, so brace yourself. What you need depends entirely on the type of business you’re starting. Check with the state.

Understand your tax situation

Again, the paperwork and taxes you must submit will vary depending on your business. Talk to the state or seek legal counsel.


You should do this for your own protection. Shop around for an insurance agent.

This may all feel like an insurmountable mountain of paperwork, but you don’t have to face it alone. A variety of legal and business consultants can ease this process and make certain you are in compliance.