How to Form an LLC in Texas

7 Simple Steps

How to Use this Guide

Use our free guide below to form an LLC in Texas or have a reliable service do it for you:

IncFile ($49 + state fee) for basic & quick LLC formation.

LegalZoom ($149 + state fee) for the most popular LLC service available.

Step 1) Verify & Secure Your Brand Name

Choose a Business NameTo 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.

Quick Note: Before you commit 100% to a name, you may also want to check that there’s a decent URL available for your business. Use GoDaddy to search your options. If there’s a quality domain name for purchase, we advise buying it right away.

 

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Step 2) Appoint A Registered Agent

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

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

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 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 have verified your brand name and are ready to set up shop. 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 to have a smooth tax season, set up a business bank account, legally hire employees, etc. All legal business entities need one like individuals need a social security number.

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

Step 5) Setup A Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountThere are two main reasons to open a unique business bank account. The first is the many perks, incentives, and kickbacks that banks and lending institutions offer. Shop around with local, state, and national banks as well as credit unions to find the best deal for your business.

Secondly, a business bank account simplify your finances by allowing you to sync the account with your accounting software.

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 it is very important because it will protect all parties, as well as your brand. Even solopreneurs should have this document.

Check out a savvy online Operating Agreement template and customize it according to your LLC’s needs to get started.

Step 7) Handle LLC Taxes & Licensing/Permits

Small Business TaxesPaying state and federal taxes can be much simpler with help. Variables such as the type of your business and your location will determine what kind of licenses you will need and what fees you will need to pay.

To get started, bookmark the Dallas/Fort Worth district office (or whichever is closest to you) of the Small Business Administration, and the Sec. of State’s SOSDirect site. If you need help with this step, consider a resource such as the Business License Research packages that can handle the legwork for you.

Need Help Forming an LLC?

How To Form An LLC OnlineIf you’d like help forming an LLC in Texas, feel free to read our reviews of the two most popular services available.

  • IncFile Review: Pricing starts at $49 + state fee. Best for basic & quick LLC formation.
  • LegalZoom Review: Pricing starts at $149 + state fee. Best if you’re looking for the most popular LLC service available.