How Much Does Starting an LLC in Texas Cost?
Legal business registration — and keeping your business in good standing — involves necessary expenses and investment. Some of these costs are payable to the TX Secretary of State, while others are due to additional state entities or the federal government. Here are some common requirements and fees.
Please note that Texas business license and permit fees may be due when you first form your business, on an ongoing schedule or on an ad hoc basis. Find more details below.
Initial Texas LLC Filing Fee
When you register a business in Texas, you’ll need to file as an LLC with the TX Secretary of State and pay a filing fee. Here are the current Texas LLC fees and filing times:
When you use Incfile to create an LLC in Texas, we charge you the state filing fee and forward it to the TX Secretary of State when we file your formation paperwork.
Employer Identification Number
Every LLC in the country should have a unique EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the Internal Revenue Service. You'll use it when you open a business bank account, file taxes and pay employees. You can get one directly from the IRS, or Incfile can get one for you.
If you want to do business in a state other than the one where your business is based, you must create a Foreign LLC.
Texas Foreign LLC Registration
Before you can bring an arm of your business from another state into Texas, you must request Texas Foreign Qualification. The state will then give you permission to conduct business there by issuing a Certificate of Authority in Texas.
To request registration of a Foreign LLC in Texas, you must complete an Application for Registration of a Foreign Limited Liability Company and pay a processing fee of $750. The state may have additional registration requirements, so contact the TX Secretary of State directly for more information and to ensure you're in compliance with state law.
Foreign Qualification to Operate in Another State
If you plan to expand your Texas LLC into another state, you’ll first need Foreign Qualification or a Certificate of Authority from that state. This is necessary before you can create a physical presence, hire employees, or bank in that state.
You'll likely have to complete at least one application and pay a filing fee, but each state has its own requirements. Before you start the process, compare state filing times and state filing fees so you can plan accordingly.
Above all, contact the state government entity that administers business (usually the Secretary of State) to confirm their requirements and for specific instructions.
If you need assistance, Incfile provides a complete Foreign Qualification service for all states.
Texas Annual Report Requirements
Most states require business entities to file an annual (or other periodic) report. Texas is a little different in that it has two annual report requirements:
The Public Information Report is actually part of your franchise tax reporting. You'll find more information about the necessary Texas Secretary of State forms and reporting requirements in the Texas franchise tax section on the business taxes page of this guide.
Texas Business License and Permit Requirements
Before you start doing business, you must secure the necessary state, federal or local business licenses and permits to operate your LLC. Some of the fees will only need to be paid once, while others may be ongoing charges.
Permits and licenses vary based on:
Operating your LLC without the required business license in Texas can leave you vulnerable to risks, such as fines from local, state and federal governments.
You can research these permits and licenses yourself, or use Incfile’s Business License Research package, which includes:
- A complete report on all the licenses, permits and tax registrations your LLC will need
- The applications you'll need to file with the local, state and federal licensing authorities
You're not legally required to have an LLC Operating Agreement in Texas.
This document covers how your business will be run, how managers and members will be chosen, rights and duties of members and several other key areas.
Creating a Texas LLC Operating Agreement can be extremely helpful in making sure you’re organized and prepared for any future events that may affect your business.
You can make changes to the template based on your unique requirements.
Other Texas LLC Fees and Requirements
You may need to pay and meet several other fees and requirements during the life of your LLC. These ad hoc fees will only be payable in specific circumstances, as listed below.
Obtaining an Assumed Name or DBA
If you want to establish a DBA in Texas (assumed name), you must file a form with the Secretary of State and pay a filing fee of $25.
Reserving a Name for Your LLC
If you're not quite ready to start your business, you can reserve a name for 120 days with the TX Secretary of State by filing a form and paying a fee of $40. First, conduct a Texas business search and learn the state's business naming rules to ensure you choose a name that meets legal requirements.
Amending Facts About Your LLC
Your business formation paperwork states certain facts about your business at the time it's formed. Over time, some or all of this information may change. If it does, you'll need to file a Certificate of Amendment with the TX Secretary of State along with a filing fee of $150. You can do this yourself or Incfile can do it for you.
Getting a Certificate of Good Standing in Texas
Some organizations may request that you prove your LLC’s compliance with laws and tax requirements. In most states, this proof is provided with a Certificate of Good Standing or Certificate of Existence. In Texas, it's called a Certificate of Fact - Status.
If you need to prove you have met your commitments, you’ll need to request a Texas Certificate of Fact - Status from the TX Secretary of State. You can do this via the state's online portal for a fee of $15.
Note: The state no longer uses the term "Texas Certificate of Good Standing." They now refer to that document as a "Texas Certificate of Account Status," which is issued by the state Comptroller, not the TX Secretary of State, and provides information about an entity's franchise tax account status. However, "Texas Certificate of Good Standing" is still sometimes used by the state's Comptroller of Public Accounts in reference to an entity's Texas franchise tax status.
The information listed above details many of the fees a standard LLC will be required to pay in Texas. In some circumstances, there may be other one-off, periodic or ad hoc fees not listed above.
Of course, your LLC will also probably need to pay self-employment, payroll, federal, state and other taxes. More information about taxes can be found on the Texas Business Tax page.