How to Start a Business in Texas

WIth the 3rd Lowest business costs in the country, Texas is a great place to launch your business. Start your business today with our simple step-by-step guide and get on the fast track to financial and personal independence. If you get stuck along the way, connect with a business resources in your local area for help.

To Start a Business in Texas, follow these steps:

Step 1: Choose the Right Business Idea

The first step toward business ownership is deciding what kind of business to start. Look for an idea that suits your interests, your personal goals, and your natural abilities. This will help you stay motivated when the going gets tough and will greatly improve your odds of success. Need inspiration? Here were the most popular ideas among our Texas visitors in 2017:

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Find the Right Business Idea for You

Our free Business Ideas Tool will help you identify great businesses that match your interests and lifestyle.

Business Ideas

Step 2: Plan Your Business

Successful businesses are built through careful planning. Before committing a significant amount of money and other resources toward your business, critically analyze your idea and create a game plan. At a minimum, you should have good answers to the following questions.

Product Development
What problem does your business solve? What will set your product or service apart from the competition?

Sales & Marketing
Who are your potential customers? How will you get their attention and convert them into buyers?

People and Partnerships
What roles will you need to hire and what professional relationships will you need to form in order to succeed?

Financial Planning
How many clients or sales will you need in order to break even? How much money will it take to get there, and where will you get the funding?

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Start Planning

Our Business Planning Guide helps you analyze your business idea and gets you access to free planning tools.

Need Help? Find organizations in your local area that can assist you with planning.

Step 3: Form your Business

Registering your company as an Texas business entity, such as an LLC or a Corporation, has two major advantages:

  • Increased credibility
  • Protection from personal liability in the event your business is sued

For most small businesses, registering an LLC is a great option. In comparison to other business entities, LLCs are easier to set up and manage and they have favorable tax treatment. You can set up an LLC in Texas for $300.

If you choose not to register your company as a business entity, you will be held personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of your business. In addition, unregistered business owners may need to file a Trade Name, also known as a "DBA." Find out if your business is required to file a DBA.

Secure your Domain

We recommend that you check to see if the business name you are planning is available as a web domain. Even if you aren't ready 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 ( 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

Step 4: Register for Taxes

With limited exceptions, most businesses require an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Tax ID Number. An EIN is used to identify a business in its federal tax filings. Without an EIN, you can't hire employees or open a business bank account.

Obtain an EIN

You should also be aware of important texas taxes that may apply to you business:

  • If you are selling a physical product, you’ll typically need to register for Texas Sales Tax.
  • If you hire employees in Texas, you will have to register for Unemployment Insurance Tax on behalf of your employees.
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Register for Texas State Taxes

Sales Tax | Unemployment Insurance Tax

Step 5: Create Business Banking and Credit Accounts

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.

You can protect your business with these two steps:

1. Opening a business bank account:

  • Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.
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Recommended: Get $200 when you open a business checking account with Chase. Learn more.

2. Getting a business credit card:

  • Helps you separate personal and business expenses.
  • Builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise capital later on.

Step 6: Set Up Accounting

An accounting system helps you track the performance of your business and simplifies annual tax filings. Quality accounting software lets you download your bank and credit card transactions, making accounting fast and easy. Learn more about the importance of accounting and how to get started with accounting today.

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Recommended: QuickBooks has all the accounting features your small business will need.

Try QuickBooks for free

Step 7: Obtain Permits and Licenses

To operate your new business legally, you will need to comply with federal, state, and local government regulations. In many cases, this involves obtaining one or more business permits and/or licenses. For example, a restaurant will likely need health permits, building permits, signage permits, etc.

Step 8: Get Insured

Business insurance helps you manage risks and focus on growing your business. The most common types of business insurance you should consider are:

We recommend that all small businesses, including home based businesses, purchase a general liability policy. Businesses selling professional advice or services, such as consulting and accounting firms, should also consider a professional liability policy.

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Our recommended insurance provider can set you up with an insurance policy that is right for your business

Get a Quote

Step 9: Define Your Brand

The strongest and most memorable businesses are built on a solid brand.

When developing your brand, think about what your business stands for. What are the core values that drive your business? Customers and clients are looking for companies that have a compelling brand, as much as they are shopping for high quality products and services.

Your business name is the cornerstone of good branding and a successful business. To learn more about creating the best name for your business, read our How to Name a Business guide.

Step 10: Establish a Web Presence

A professional website is critical to the long-term success of your business, regardless of what industry you are in. A website allows potential customers to find your business online and discover the products or services you offer, and it also enhances your business’ credibility.

In addition to a website, you should also consider other avenues for promoting your business online:

  • Setting up social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, etc)
  • Creating accounts on review sites (Yelp, Google Reviews, etc)
  • Registering for a local Google profile
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More than ever, people are looking for reviews before doing business. Yelp is an important aspect of social validation for your business, claim your page today and get $300 in Yelp advertising credit.

Sign up for our Business Center

Sign up for a free Business Center account for access to tools, legal documents, and discounts that will help you start and grow your business

Signup Now

Get Help From Local Resources

To help you start your business, we have identified the best resources across the state of Texas that can support you in your entrepreneurial endeavors.

Select your Region

Austin Local Resources

BiG Austin

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Fundraising
  • Financial

Offers Free Service

Accepts Walks In


BiG Austin is a non-profit organization providing local entrepreneurs with the tools they need to successfully launch a business. They offer three broad categories of services: entrepreneurship classes, business counseling, and funding via flexible loans. BiG Austin offers several recurring classes for people planning to start a business, as well as several one-time classes for entrepreneurs at any stage of the process. Most classes are available to the public for a nominal fee. The business counseling is free, by appointment only, and covers a variety of topics from marketing to business plans. The microloans are available to small businesses in operation for at least three months.


5407 N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd, Suite 200
Austin, TX 78723
(512) 928-8010


MON-FRI: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm

SAT-SUN: Closed

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See more business resources in Austin

Austin Resources

Dallas Local Resources

Fort Worth Business Assistance Center (BAC)

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning

Accepts Walks In


The BAC is a one-stop-shop for local entrepreneurs, offering free counseling and free or low-cost workshops on a variety of small business related topics through its suite of organizations. They also host a business plan competition that teaches you to create a business plan and the five winning business plans receive counseling and workshops to help advance their plan.


1150 South Freeway
Fort Worth, TX 76104

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See more business resources in Dallas

Dallas Resources

El Paso Local Resources

The Hub of Human Innovation

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Coworking


The Hub offers incubation and mentorship for member companies in the pre-revenue and early growth stages. A range of both resident and affiliate memberships are available: resident plans offer private offices while affiliate plans are for mostly remote work. All plans grant member companies access to dedicated mentoring, conference rooms, and general facilities use. Mentorship is facilitated through Hub, which works to connect interested mentors with companies that have compatible needs. The free One MIllion Cups program is also a great way for people with just an idea, business plan, or the like to pitch their ideas and then receive 50 minutes of feedback.


500 W. Overland Ave., Suite 230
El Paso, TX 79901

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El Paso Resources

Houston Local Resources

The Office of Business Opportunity Solutions Center

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Networking


The Solutions Center is a City of Houston program designed to spur economic development by providing personal assistance to local entrepreneurs. Specifically, the center has on-site staff that can answer questions related to permits and licensing, as well as SCORE counseling. The center maintains an extensive referral network of local incubators, trade organizations, and universities.


Some services are not available to businesses outside of the city of Houston.


611 Walker St.
Houston, TX 77002

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Houston Resources

Lubbock Local Resources

Texas Tech SBDC at Lubbock

Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning
  • Financial

Offers Free Service


The greatest strength of the SBDC is their free, confidential, 1-on-1 business mentoring for anyone who seeks it. Sometimes in order to be considered for mentoring from one of their professional business advisors, you may have to attend a class/workshop or at least present your business plan. SBDC's are located all throughout the state and you should use the SBDC closest to your location if possible, but you can often transfer to a different location if they do not fit your needs.


2579 South Loop 289, Suite 114
Lubbock, TX 79423

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Lubbock Resources

San Antonio Local Resources


Here are the Principle Service Areas:

  • Mentoring
  • Business Planning

Offers Free Service


LaunchSA is a partnership between several organizations housed in the San Antonio Public Library. They offer an impressive range of entrepreneurial support services for those at any stage of the process; from developing an idea to growing an existing business, LaunchSA can provide tailored assistance. Their programs include pitch competitions, entrepreneurship weeks, and venture challenges. LaunchSA also has an incubator-like social innovation lab, offering 5 weeks of entrepreneurship workshops and interactive activities.


600 Soledad St.
San Antonio, TX 600 Soledad St.


MON-FRI: 9:00am — 5:00pm

SAT-SUN: Closed

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See more business resources in San Antonio

San Antonio Resources