Welcome to Start a Business’s guide to filing in the state of Texas. With the help of our comprehensive tutorials, you will be able to gain a full understanding of what’s in store for you as a business representative whether you are filing a corporation, a partnership or a limited liability company. In this main page, we have provided a brief description of each function and filing covered in our tutorials. We have also provided links to more in-depth guides which, when clicked, will give detailed step-by-step instructions complete with images, links and PDFs. Take the time to peruse the tutorials found throughout our home page to educate yourself on exactly what’s required of you when preparing to transact business in Texas.
Start an Entity
Texas Online Account
Fortunately for you, there is an online filing process which allows business representatives to submit their filing forms through the Secretary of State website. Although it is not required that you use this filing method, we always recommend that filers take advantage of it as it delivers the finished filing forms immediately to the Secretary of State offices. It is necessary, however, that you first create an SOSDirect online account in order to file using the portal. A tutorial for account creation can be found here.
Search for a Name
Texas state law requires all entities to register and operate with a name that is distinguishable from that of any other business on file with the Secretary of State. When registering, it is always a good idea to first perform a name availability search to make sure that your name is indeed available for use. This name availability inquiry isn’t the only purpose of the business entity search however. Filers will be able to use the function to view the filing history and business details of any entity in the Secretary of State public records. Each search will cost $1 which can be payed through your SOSDirect online account.
How to File in Texas
Step 1– We always recommend that filers first perform a Business Entity Search to check the availability of their entity name prior to registration. If you need additional time in which to prepare for filing, you may want to file for a Name Reservation. This filing will will cost a total of $40 and will give you a window of 120 days in which to file.
Step 2– With your name chosen, you will have the choice of then filing your forms online or through the mail with the use of a PDF. We have covered both filing methods for each entity shown below. Click on the link that correlates with the business type you are filing to find out the exact requirements.
- Domestic Profit Corporation
- Domestic Professional Corporation
- Domestic Non-Profit Corporation
- Foreign Profit Corporation
- Foreign Professional Corporation
- Foreign Non-Profit Corporation
- Domestic Limited Partnership
- Domestic Limited Liability Partnership
- Foreign Limited Partnership
- Foreign Limited Liability Partnership
Step 3 – Once you’ve completed the filing form, you will need to deliver it to the Secretary of State with the filing fee attached (amounts shown in list below). If you are registering online, you will be able to accomplish this simply by clicking the Submit Filing button found in the final step of the process. Those filing physical copies of the documents will need to provide two copies of the signed form and pay the fee by check, money order or credit card (made possible with this document). Once all items have been consolidated, you can send them through the mail to the first address below, deliver them by hand to the second or send them via fax to (512) 463-5709.
Secretary of State
P.O. Box 13697
Austin, TX 78711
James Earl Rudder Office Building
Austin, Texas 78701
- Domestic Profit Corporation- $300
- Domestic Professional Corporation- $300
- Domestic Non-Profit Corporation- $25
- Foreign Profit Corporation- $700
- Foreign Professional Corporation- $700
- Foreign Non-Profit Corporation- $25
Limited Liability Company
- Domestic Limited Liability Company- $300
- Foreign Limited Liability Company- $750
- Domestic Limited Partnership- $750
- Domestic Limited Liability Partnership- $200 per partner
- Foreign Limited Partnership- $750
- Foreign Limited Liability Partnership- $200 per partner (max. $750)
If you are concerned that another entity might use your name in the time it takes you to prepare for filing, it may be a good idea to file for a Name Reservation. This reservation, which costs $40, will allow you to secure the rights to your chosen name for a period of 120 days. Like with the business registration process, you can choose to submit this filing online or through the mail, though we always recommend the former over the latter. If you do decide to reserve your name, be sure to perform a Business Entity Search first to make sure your designation is indeed available.
Certificate of Fact
A Certificate of Fact in the state of Texas is the equivalent to a certificate of good standing in most other states. While there is the option to acquire a Texas certificate of good standing, it will not reflect the status held with the Secretary of State but instead will show the status of your franchise tax account. When filing for this document, an operation which should be executed online if possible, you will be required to select the Certificate of Fact option followed by the Status variation in order for the certificate to be used to show good standing with the Secretary of State. The cost of this document is $15.
It is always recommended, though not legally required, that the organizers of an entity draft an agreement to organize the business’s internal affairs. Each of the links below will provide you with a free template available in both MS Word and Adobe PDF formatting to assist you in creating an agreement of your own. With the help of our templates, you will be able to relay the rules and regulations under which your company officials will be required to operate. You will, in short, be able to provide a blueprint for the financial and logistical organization of your business. Because of the complex nature of these agreements, and the legal evidence they provide, it is wise to have your attorney review the document before you have each applicable party sign it thus putting it into effect.
Employer Identification Number
If you are creating a new, Texan business entity, you will need to apply for an Employer Identification Number after you’ve filed your documents with the Secretary of State. This number is used by the IRS to identify your business and, once obtained, will allow you to be seen as legitimate in the eyes of the federal government. Furthermore, without an EIN, businesses are unable to open bank accounts, request financing or otherwise perform any kind of financial transaction while using the company name. For more information on the application process, both Online and through the mail, follow this link to be brought to our comprehensive tutorial.