How to File the Texas LLC Certificate of Formation

The Articles of Organization, known as the Certificate of Formation in Texas, is the document you file with the state to register your LLC in Texas

We will give you all the steps to successfully file your LLC Articles of Organization and officially form your limited liability company.

Recommended: For under $40, you can hire an LLC service to form your LLC and get a free year of registered agent services. Check out our best LLC services review to learn more.

Get Help Filing Your Articles of Organization:

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Filing Your Certificate of Formation in Texas is Simple!

diagram showing the steps for how to file the L L C Articles of Organization


 

Step 1: Get Your Certificate of Formation

You can download and mail in your Texas Certificate of Formation OR you can create an account and file online. For this first step, choose your preferred method below.

Get Your Certificate of Formation

Option 1: Create an account to file your Certificate of Formation on the Texas Secretary of State website. Login and choose "Business Organizations" from the main toolbar.

Select "Domestic Limited Liability Company (LLC)" under the "Reservation*Formation*Registration Documents" dropdown.

Create Online Account

- OR -

Option 2: Access the Certificate of Formation PDF from the Texas Secretary of State. This form will need to be mailed in or delivered in person.

Download PDF


Step 2: Fill Out the Certificate of Formation

In this step, we will help you complete the Texas Certificate of Formation. There are 4 main “Articles”. 

You will need to know the following information to complete each Article:

  1. Entity Name and Type
  2. Registered Agent Name and Registered Office Address
  3. Governing Authority Type
  4. Business Purpose

Article 1: Entity Name and Type

Having a creative and smart business name is important but not as important as having a legally correct name.

When you choose a name for your business, you have to make sure the name:

  • Meets Texas naming guidelines. 
  • Is not already in use by another business in Texas.


Follow the Texas Naming Guidelines:

  • Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or “limited company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC, L.L.C., LC, or L.C.).
  • Your name cannot imply that the LLC is organized for an unlawful purpose.
  • Your name cannot include the words “lotto” or “lottery.” 
  • Your name cannot imply that the LLC was created by or for the benefit of war veterans or their families. The following words are expressly prohibited: veteran, legion, foreign, Spanish, disabled, war; and world war.
  • Your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
  • Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state. This includes Texas reserved names. We will help with this step in the search for your business name section below.


Check Name Availability:

Is your name available in Texas? Make sure the name you want isn't already taken by doing a name search on the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts website.

To learn more about naming your business, including best practices and creative branding, visit our How to Name a Business in Texas guide. 

Not sure what to name your business? Check out our Business Name Generator.

Register Your Domain Name:

We recommend checking to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to make a business website today, you may want to buy the URL in order to prevent others from acquiring it.

Find a Domain Now

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After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free

Article 2: Registered Agent and Registered Office

A registered agent accepts and sends legal documents on your LLC’s behalf. When you register your Texas LLC, you are required to list your registered agent and your registered office. 

Your registered agent can be anyone 18 years or older that lives in Texas. Your registered agent must always be available at the registered office during normal business hours.

To learn more about choosing a Texas registered agent, read our How To Choose a Texas Registered Agent guide.

To learn more about what a registered agent does and how to choose one, read our What is a Registered Agent guide.

Article 3: Governing Authority

When filing the Articles of Organization you will need to decide if your LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed. Before you file, read our Management by Members or Managers article to determine the best structure for your LLC.

Article 4: Purpose

In Texas, you can form a limited liability company for any legal or non-prohibited activity. You can state “General Purpose” under Article 4. 

Keep in mind that a business purpose that involves licensing, tax-exemption, or tax-deductible status requires special language from the IRS or a professional license.

Step 3: File the Texas Certificate of Formation

To register your LLC in Texas, you will need to file the Certificate of Formation with the Texas Secretary of State. 

There are two ways to file your Certificate of Formation:

  • Complete the forms online.
  • Submit a hard copy by mail or in person.
File the Texas Certificate of Formation

Option 1: Create an account or login to file your Certificate of Formation on the Texas Secretary of State website. Choose "Business Organizations" from the main toolbar.

Select "Domestic Limited Liability Company (LLC)" under the "Reservation*Formation*Registration Documents" dropdown.

File Online

- OR -

Option 2: File by mail or in person with the Texas Secretary of State's downloadable form.

Download PDF


State Filing Cost: $300

Mail to: Secretary of State, P.O. Box 13697, Austin, TX 78711

Submit In Person: James Earl Rudder Office Building, 1019 Brazos, Austin, TX 78701

Fax: (512) 463-5709

Turnaround Time: 3 business days online, 5 to 7 by mail.

Steps After Your LLC Is Officially Formed

Once you’ve filed your Certificate of Formation, you should take the following steps:

Create an Operating Agreement

A Texas LLC operating agreement is a legal document that outlines the ownership structure and member roles of your LLC.

In Texas, you aren’t required to have an Operating Agreement to officially form an LLC, but it's still a good idea to have one. You can start your operating agreement before, during, or after you file your Articles of Organization.

Your operating agreement will be kept in your LLC’s private business records, you do not file it with the state.

Use our free Operating Agreement Tool to draft a customized operating agreement for your LLC.

Get an EIN

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a social security number for your LLC. You will need an EIN if you want to hire employees or open business bank accounts.

You can get your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our What is an EIN article.

Open a Business Bank Account

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential to protect your business' corporate veil. When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your LLC is sued.

For reviews on some of our most trusted business banks, visit our Best Banks for Small Business review.

Get Licenses and Permits

When you are registering an LLC, you need to determine if your business needs any licenses or permits in order to remain compliant. On the federal level, there are a handful of business activities that require licenses and/or permits.

Find out how to obtain necessary licenses and permits for your business or have a professional service do it for you:

Brand Your Business

The strongest and most memorable businesses are built on a solid brand. When developing your brand, think about what your business stands for. Customers and clients are looking for companies that have a compelling brand, as much as they are shopping for high-quality products and services.

Creating a logo for your business is vital for increasing brand awareness. You can design your own unique logo using our Free Logo Generator. Our free tool can help you design your own unique logo for your new business idea.

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