How to Start a Texas LLC
The Lone Star state is a great place to start a business. A combination of natural resources, lots of land area and culturally diverse cities makes Texas a center of opportunity.
For most business owners, the fastest and easiest way to start a business in Texas is by creating a Texas LLC. A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a type of business entity that’s ideal for startups and small- to medium-sized businesses. You get the advantages and protections of larger Texas corporations but with much simpler rules and regulations.
Briefly, the benefits of starting a Texas LLC include:
- Separating and limiting your personal liability from your business liability and debts
- Quick and simple filing, management, compliance, regulations and administration of your Texas LLC
- Easy tax filing and potential advantages for tax treatment
- Texas doesn’t have a state income tax, so you keep more of your TX LLC earnings
Learn more about the benefits of the LLC business structure.
In this guide you’ll find information on searching for and naming your TX LLC, getting a Texas Registered Agent, the fees you’ll need to pay, TX business taxes and much more. We also cover the various ways you’ll interact with the Texas Secretary of State, filing your LLC and your registration needs.
Forming an LLC in Texas in Six Quick Steps
This guide has plenty of information on how to form your Texas LLC, but you can break down the basics of forming a business in TX into just a few simple steps.
STEP 1: Gather Information for Your Members
First, you’ll need to gather basic information about your LLC, including the names and addresses of the managers or members. The LLC members are typically the people who own and run the business. They are also the ones who can take profits out of the business to pay themselves.
STEP 2: Complete a Texas LLC Search and Choose a Unique Business Name for Your TX LLC
You will need a distinctive and original name for your Texas LLC that’s not used by any other business in TX. To find out if another company is using your chosen business name, carry out a Texas business entity name search on the TX Secretary of State website.
There are a few rules you’ll need to follow when choosing an LLC name. You can find out more in our guide to searching for and naming your Texas LLC.
Learn about Texas LLC business naming rules.
STEP 3: Provide an Official Address for Your TX LLC
Every Texas LLC must have a designated street address. That could be your home address (if you’re running the company from your residence), your company’s office building or any physical address of your preference. The address can be outside the state of Texas and can be a P.O. Box.
STEP 4: Assign a Registered Agent for Your Texas LLC
Every TX LLC must have a “Registered Agent.” This is an official position; the Registered Agent is someone who receives official legal and tax correspondence and has responsibility for filing reports with the Texas Secretary of State.
This position can be filled by you, another manager in the business or a dedicated Registered Agent service. Your TX Registered Agent must have a physical street address in Texas and must be present to receive important documents for your company during business hours.
At Incfile, all of our packages include a Texas Registered Agent service that is free for the first year and just $119 per year afterward. We also have a dashboard where you can log in and easily view any document your Registered Agent has received on your behalf.
Learn more about Texas Registered Agents.
STEP 5: Get an Employee Identification Number (EIN) From the Internal Revenue Service
You will need an EIN to identify your business to the IRS. You use this number when filing and paying taxes or when submitting payroll information and payments for your employees. You can obtain one directly from the IRS, or we can get one for you as part of the Texas LLC business formation process.
STEP 6: File Certificate of Formation With the Texas Secretary of State
Once you've gathered all the information for your Texas LLC, you’ll need to file a formal document with the TX Secretary of State. This document is known as your “Certificate of Formation,” and filing the document creates your Texas LLC. Here’s what is typically included:
- Your business name and address
- Details of your Registered Agent
- Governing authority
- Purpose of the LLC
- Supplemental provisions
- Name of the organizer
You can file your Texas LLC Certificate of Formation online, mail in a form or have Incfile do it on your behalf. There is a fee to file and start an LLC in Texas. You only need to file your Certificate of Formation once.
Form Your LLC Now
Review Information from the Texas Secretary of State
The TX Secretary of State has plenty of additional information on forming and running a business in Texas.
Special Types of Texas LLCs
A regular Texas LLC is suitable for most business needs, but you also have a few other options to incorporate a special type of LLC.
Form a Texas Series LLC
In Texas, you also have the option to set up a “Series LLC” — these are specialized LLCs designed to allow you to manage multiple separate LLCs under one master, umbrella LLC. These can be very useful if you don’t want to set up a separate Texas LLC for every individual business you run.
Decide if a Texas Series LLC is right for your new business.
Form a Professional Texas LLC
Some states, including Texas, allow certain occupations to form “Professional LLCs.” These types of business typically have specialized requirements and licensing. Here are the occupations that the TX Secretary of State allows to form Texas professional LLCs:
- Doctors of Medicine
- Doctors of Osteopathy
- Physician Assistants
- Clinical Social Workers
- Licensed Professional Counselors
- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists
A Professional LLC is also subject to a state franchise tax
Form a Foreign LLC in Texas
Detailed Information for Your Texas LLC
You’ll find plenty more insight and guidance on the other pages of this guide, including:
How to search the Texas business registry of the TX Secretary of State and find the right name. Includes information on naming rules, fictitious names, reserving a Texas LLC name and more.
How to appoint a Texas Registered Agent to your new LLC or change to a different Registered Agent. Includes information on Registered Agent rules and searching for Texas Registered Agents.
How to understand the various fees you’ll need to pay and the requirements you’ll need to meet for both federal and Texas rules. Includes details of Employee Identification Numbers (EINs), Texas and federal business licenses, Texas annual reports and more.
How to understand the various taxes you will need to pay to the federal and Texas government. Includes details of federal taxes like income and self-employment and Texas taxes like sales tax and income tax.