STEP 1) VERIFY & SECURE YOUR BRAND NAME

Choose a Business Name

To secure and register your brand name it must be unique, not too similar to another registered name, and shouldn’t contain any restricted wording. To check, conduct a Business Entity Search through the state and if there are potential trademark issues conduct another quick search using the TESS System through the U.S. Patent Office.

Keep in mind your LLC name should contain the words ‘Limited Liability Company’ or ‘Limited Company’. Abbreviations for these words like ‘L.C.’ or ‘L.L.C.’ are also acceptable. If needed, file an Application for Reservation of an Entity Name form with the TX Sec. of State that’s good for 120 days.

Filing Fee: $40

STEP 2) APPOINT A REGISTERED AGENT

Choose a Registered AgentA Texas Registered Agent is essential, their job being to receive and help process all critical business documents like tax forms, state filings, notifications, etc. Some requirements include:

  • Must be a legal individual TX resident, or,
  • A legal business entity registered in TX,
  • Must have a physical street address.

That said, you can hire an outside professional service and pay up to $160/yr, or get an agent for free when you have a service like IncFile or BizFilings form an LLC for you.

STEP 3) FILE THE CERTIFICATE OF FORMATION

Register an LLCDownload, fill out and file a Certificate of Formation with the Texas Sec. of State as soon as you’re ready to set up shop and have already verified your brand name. Basic information for the public record includes:

  • Name and address of the Texas LLC;
  • Name and address of the Registered Agent;
  • Name and address of the governing individual(s);
  • Name and address of the LLC organizer;

LLC Filing Fee: $300

STEP 4) GET AN EIN

Get an EIN for Your LLCAn EIN, or Employer Identification Number, is required if you want a smooth tax season, to be able to set up a business bank account, legally hire employees, etc. So it’s not optional by any means. Even solopreneurs need one. All legal business entities need one like individuals need a SS#.

Thankfully you can easily get your EIN free of charge through the IRS Website.

STEP 5) SETUP A BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT

Best Business Bank AccountThe two critical reasons to open a unique business bank account are first, the many perks/incentives/kickbacks banks and lending institutions are offering these days. There’s a decent amount so be sure and shop around with local, state and national banks and credit unions if you aren’t familiar.

The second has to do with making your finances easier by syncing the single account with your accounting software, and adding a HUGE layer of protection by being separated from any other business/personal accounts. If you’re interested, check out this quick breakdown of Business Checking Accounts.

STEP 6) DRAFT AN OPERATING AGREEMENT

Create an Operating AgreementThis is a formal contractual agreement between all owners of a company that outlines financial and managerial responsibilities. It’s not mandatory or required by law, but whenever possible one should be in place to protect all parties, including the brand. And this goes for you solopreneurs as well.

Check out this savvy Operating Agreement Tool and customize it according to your LLC’s needs to get started.

STEP 7) HANDLE LLC TAXES & LICENSING/PERMITS

Small Business TaxesObviously getting situated with state and federal taxes isn’t optional. These days it can be much simpler though with help. How many licenses you’ll need and how many fees and things will be determined by a number of variables including your type of business, whether you work with the public, location, etc.

To get started bookmark the Dallas/Fort Worth (or another closer one) district office of the Small Business Administration, and Sec. of State’s SOSDirect site. If you need help with this step, consider professional Business License Research packages that can handle the legwork for you.

OPTIONAL) START YOUR BUSINESS PLAN

Write a Business PlanIt’s your road map; the game plan! Do you need something super-formal during your initial startup phase? No, not really. They do help a ton but aren’t really necessary because in this phase so many things are changing and evolving so quickly in a more reactionary form.

However, the time will come when a streamlined, presentation-ready plan that focuses on your core fundamentals will be needed. For example when you approach serious stakeholders or potential patterns who want to know you’re a serious operation.

QUICK LINKS TO BUSINESS PLANNING

  • This Business Plan Software Guide is our savvy breakdown of all the best software solutions to help you plan better. (Spoiler: We’re huge fans of LivePlan, plus they offer our readers a special discount.)

OPTIONAL) BUILD A BUSINESS WEBSITE

Build a Business WebsiteA website is more than just an online presence for your business, it provides a vast assortment of benefits that seem to be growing every year as the internet matures. From getting prospective clients to showcasing your goods/services to using it as a sales funnel, a website is a definite must for your Texas LLC.

And, although building a website was difficult in the early 2000’s, now you can just use a customizable and free tool like Wix or Weebly. Regardless, both platforms are easy to use and highly recommended!

Need Help Forming Your LLC?

Have a reliable LLC filing service like IncFile or LegalZoom do the work for you. Just answer a few questions about your business and they’ll take care of the paperwork.

Although both offer virtually the same service, IncFile is $100 less and our top pick. Enjoy!

Visit IncFile Or Visit LegalZoom

Note that this article on how to form an LLC in Texas isn’t a legal document or legal advice. It’s for informational purposes and the information above is subject to change. For specific legal questions regarding how to form an LLC in Texas or business in general, please consult with a lawyer or other accredited professional.