Why Incorporate in Texas?
Considered one of the most business-friendly states in the nation, Texas offers several business and tax incentives, provided your corporation meets certain criteria.
For example, the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) awards “deal-closing” grants to companies considering a new project in Texas and other out-of-state sites. The company must be well established, financially sound and must operate in an advanced industry that affords it other feasible location options nationally and/or internationally.
For most entrepreneurs looking to start a larger business, creating a Texas corporation may be the best choice. As a corporation, your business is able to buy and trade stock, and when it comes to excess profits, corporations offer more flexibility than a limited liability company (LLC). A corporation is allowed to pass income and losses to its shareholders, who report taxes on an individual tax return at ordinary levels.
Is an LLC Better Than a Corporation?
It all depends on your goals. Limited liability companies are usually better for smaller businesses. An LLC is easier to set up, and you receive many of the same benefits as a corporation, but with less regulation.
Learn more about forming a Texas LLC so you can decide which business entity is right for you.
Benefits of Forming a Texas C Corp
Benefits of Forming a Texas S Corp
In this guide, you’ll find information on naming your corporation, getting a Registered Agent, the fees you’ll need to pay, business taxes and much more. We also cover what you'll need to register your corporation and how you'll interact with the TX Secretary of State.
Start a Business in Texas Checklist
To help you along the way, use our Starting a Business checklist to keep track of everything you need to do to get your business up and running.
How to Form a Texas Corporation Yourself in 6 Steps
Step 1 - Choose a Unique Business Name and Complete a State Business Search
Step 2 - Provide an Official Address for Your Corporation
Step 3 - Assign a Registered Agent
Step 4 - File Your Certificate of Formation with the TX Secretary of State
Step 5 - Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service
Step 6 - Write Your Bylaws
Choose a Unique Business Name and Complete a State Business Search
Every Texas business must have a unique name that hasn't already been claimed by another business in the state. If you’re having trouble coming up with a name, try using our Business Name Generator to gather ideas. You'll need to follow a few naming rules, which you can read about in detail on the Texas Corporation Names page.
Once you’ve chosen a name, you’ll need to make sure it’s available in Texas. To learn whether another company in the state is using your desired business name, use our tool to do a Texas entity search.
You can also carry out a name search on the TX Secretary of State website. You'll need to log in to the state's online portal to take advantage of this service.
Provide an Official Address for your Corporation
Every Texas corporation must have a designated address. That could be your home address (if you’re running the company from your residence), a building where your office is located or any physical address of your preference. The address can be outside the state of Texas and can be a P.O. Box.
You may also be able to use a virtual mailbox for your business address. Incfile can provide you with a Texas virtual mailbox where we'll receive your mail, and scan it for your online review. This can be especially convenient if you run a home-based business and don't want your home address published as part of your business public record.
Assign an Registered Agent
Someone who receives official correspondence and is responsible for filing reports with the Secretary of State is known as a Registered Agent. Every Texas corporation is required to have a Registered Agent.
You can fill this position, assign another manager in your business or use a Registered Agent service. If your Registered Agent in Texas is a person, they must have a physical street address in Texas and must be present during business hours to receive important documents on behalf of your company.
You'll appoint your Registered Agent when you file your Texas Certificate of Formation to create your business, and they must formally accept the appointment by filing an Acceptance of Appointment and Consent to Serve as Registered Agent form with the Secretary of State.
All of Incfile’s business formation packages include Registered Agent service. It’s free for the first year and just $119 per year after that. You can also access a digital dashboard to view any document we've received on your behalf.
File Your Certificate of Formation with the TX Secretary of State
Once you've gathered all the information for your corporation, you’ll need to file a form with the Secretary of State to receive your Texas Certificate of Formation. This will officially create your business.
Your Certificate of Formation can be filed online via the state's digital portal for an additional $5 fee. You can also mail or fax the form to the Office of the Secretary of State, or Incfile can file it on your behalf. The Texas corporation filing fee is $300.
File by Mail
Secretary of State
P.O. Box 13697
Austin, TX 78711-3697
Submit in Person
James Earl Rudder Office Building
Austin, TX 78701
You only need to file your Texas Certificate of Formation once, but every year after, you'll also need to report and pay TX franchise tax (if applicable to your business) and file a public information report. Incfile can remind you about this every year, or we can do it for you if you have us handle the paperwork.
What are the fees and requirements to incorporate in Texas?
Public Information & Franchise Tax Report
Both reports are due between January 1st and no later than May 15th.
There is no charge for the Public Information Report. The Franchise Tax Fee is based on the revenue of the Corporation.
Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service
You'll need an EIN to identify your business to the IRS. You use this number when filing and paying taxes, when submitting payroll information and payments for your employees and for opening a business bank account. You can obtain one directly from the IRS, or Incfile can get one for you as part of the Texas corporation formation process.
A set of rules that govern how a corporation will be run, bylaws detail how many directors the corporation will have, whether the board of directors will have annual meetings and
what the voting requirements are, among other things.
Some states require companies to create bylaws. You're not legally required to have them in Texas, but it’s a good idea to write them to protect your business from any future changes and events.
Texas Corporation Types
Check with the TX Secretary of State to confirm whether your business should and can be a Professional Corporation.
Helpful Resources from the State of Texas
More Information in This Guide
You’ll find plenty more insight and guidance on the other pages of this guide, including:
How to search the state business registry and find the right name. Includes information on naming rules, assumed names, reserving a corporation name and more.
How to appoint, change and search for Registered Agents. Also includes the duties they fulfill and the rules they’re required to follow.
Details the various fees you’ll need to pay, as well as the state and federal requirements you’ll need to meet. Includes details about Employer Identification Numbers (EINs), state and federal business licenses, public information reports and more.
Covers the various taxes you’ll have to pay to the state and federal governments. Includes details about state taxes such as sales and franchise, and federal taxes such as income and self-employment.