Start a Business in Texas
Texas offers one of the best business ecosystems in the nation. Businesses thrive here because of our excellent geographic location, highly skilled workforce, low tax burden, reasonable cost of living, predictable regulatory environment and our reputation for having a truly business friendly climate.
We’ve broken down the process of starting a business into the seven basic steps. It is advisable to seek the guidance of a professional tax consultant, accountant and/or attorney to help verify that all legal requirements are met before opening up a business.
Step 1 - Write Your Business Plan
A business plan is a dynamic road map for your business. It should outline the main purpose and value proposition of your business, its structure, financing and competitive advantages. The SBA has some great templates
Step 2 - Choose Your Business Location
Choosing a business location will depend on the type of business you operate. Consider looking at area zoning ordinances. Assess how feasible it is to access your supply chain and customers, and if there is an available workforce.
Step 3 - Finance Your Business
There are several ways to fund your new enterprise, including a bank loan or micro loan, securing a federal loan (via the SBA) or applying for credit through personal financing. Other alternatives include crowd funding, angel or venture capital investors or raising money from family and friends. The SBA offers a useful guide to funding your business.
Step 4 - Business Structure and Registration
Determine the appropriate legal structure of the business and file the business name with the state or county. In general, sole proprietorships and partnerships need to register with the county clerk’s office. If you decide to incorporate, register with the Secretary of State’s Office (SOS).
Step 5 - Business Tax Responsibilities
Determine the potential tax responsibilities of the new business with federal, state and local tax authorities. Federal tax obligations are filed through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). State tax filings are done through the Comptroller of Public Accounts. For questions about local business and property taxes, consult your county’s appraisal district or tax assessor-collector. Find your local appraisal district and tax office.
Step 6 - Business Licenses and Permits by Business Type
Determine necessary licenses, permits, certifications, registrations or authorizations for a specific business on the federal, state and local level. The Governor’s Economic Development and Tourism’s Business Permit Office (BPO) provides comprehensive information on state permits and licenses required for business enterprises in the state.
Our Business Permit Office can assist in the resolution of outstanding issues with state agencies, by obtaining a timely and efficient permit review. The office can also facilitate contact between applicants and agencies. In addition, the office provides feedback to agencies and makes recommendations for simplifying permit procedures affecting businesses.
For more information, please refer to our Business Permits Office Handbook.
Step 7 - Business Employer Requirements
Determine federal and state employer requirements. To learn more about Texas employer resources, visit www.twc.state.tx.us/businesses.