How to start an LLC in Texas?

Start an LLC in Texas

Do you want to know how to start an LLC in Texas? This is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to forming your own Texas LLC (limited liability company).

There’s an easy way and a less easy way to form your own Texas LLC.

The easier route would be using one of the many company services that offer this service for filing online by answering their user-friendly questionnaire. Check out our reviews for these LLC Services with pricing offers to get yourself started on forming your Texas LLC today!

Zenbusiness offers great LLC formation packages. You can form your LLC in minutes.

A more difficult but still possible approach entails completing all work necessary such as gathering specific information before being able to start your new business in Texas. Follow this guide to filing your LLC in Texas to get started.

Start an LLC in Texas – Table of Content

Step 1: Choose a name for your Texas LLC

It must contain LLC. According to Texas law, the name must contain the words “limited liability company” or abbreviated as LLC.

It must be unique. Whichever name you choose, it must be unique – no one else in the state can have that same name. If you would like to use a similar name to an existing LLC, you will need to request consent from the existing LLC using this form. ex. If you want to register an LLC name such as Brown Brothers Bikes LLC, you must get consent from Brown Bros Bikes LLC.

Not similar to government agencies. It must be confused for government agencies such as FBI, CIA, State Department, IRS, Treasury, etc.

Certain words may require licenses. You may be asked for additional paperwork depending on the name you choose. Ex. if you choose any of the restricted words such as University, Lawyer, Attorney etc., you might need a license.

No funny characters. Texas doesn’t allow special type treatments like subscript characters in company names.

No offensive name. Try not to choose a vulgar or derogatory company name to avoid any potential legal issues. Although the law is still unclear and confusing, it’s best if you steer clear of anything with profanity for fear of getting into trouble later on.

Check domain availability. Make sure the domain name that you want to use for your company is still available. If not, there’s nothing worse than finding this out when it’s too late.

Check the domain availability for your new company name through Namecheap.com for free.

Step 2: Choose a registered agent

After you have found a name, the next step is to register with the Texas secretary of state. This process starts by choosing and appointing an active agent for your LLC in Texas.

What is a registered agent?

Registered agents are your official contact for the state, and an active registered agent is required by law. A registered agent receives all of the legal documents on behalf of your LLC, acting as a liaison between you and a government agency.

The agent’s entire job will be to accept the service of official documents on behalf of the company. If there are any legal proceedings against your business, then these documents will be delivered to the agent.

The registered agent should therefore be accessible through a mailing address, as well as a street address. The Texas secretary of state will require this information to register your company name and appoint its registered agent.

Who can be a registered agent?

There are a number of different registered agent options to choose from.

You can be your own registered agent. By using yourself as the official company contact, you will have full access to your own information at all times.

An employee of your Texas LLC can be the registered agent as well. By doing this, the employee will be responsible for delivering any state documents received by your company to you.

You can appoint an individual or a business, but it must be someone in Texas that is active and available at all times. Some businesses provide their own service as the registered agent, while others will offer this service for a small fee.

You will need a written or electronic statement of consent from the selected Registered Agent which must include:

  • Their name (Registered Agent’s name)
  • The name of the LLC
  • Their physical address
  • A statement that they agree to act as the registered agent for your Texas LLC.
  • The certificate must be dated(date of execution) and signed.

You do not need to file the consent statement with the secretary of state.

Registered agent services

Many business owners choose a registered agent service because of privacy, comfort, and flexibility. These services will act as your registered agent on your behalf. This means that your address will be confidential and that you won’t have to worry about any government documents being sent to your home address. As a registered agent service is more than just an address, they are able to handle many other tasks for you as well.

Get one year of registered agent service from ZenBusiness with any package for free.

Step 3: File The Certificate of Formation for your Texas LLC

Once you have chosen your registered agent and their signed written statement of consent, the next step is to file the Certificate of Formation with the state of Texas.

First of all, you will need to decide and state between and member-managed or manager-managed LLC.

If you are registering a member-managed company, then all members must be listed on the certificate of formation. If it is manager-managed, only the person who signs the document needs to be registered.

There are two ways you can file the certificate, electronically or manually.

Online Option: You can fill the form 205 online and file it directly there.

If you choose this option, you will have to use a credit card or electronic funds transfer service, and your filing will be processed immediately upon submission. You may also receive an email confirmation of the filing.

Mail Option: You can download this form, fill it and sent it by mail to P.O. Box 13697, Austin, Texas 78711-3697; or fax it to (512) 463-5709; or deliver it to the James Earl Rudder Office Building, 1019 Brazos, Austin, Texas 78701

There is a filing fee of $300 to form an LLC in Texas. You may pay by cash, check, money order, credit card or electronic funds transfer service. The filing fee may be paid by personal check or business account.

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement for Your Texas LLC

The operating agreement is not required, but it’s a good idea to create one. This document will set the ground rules for how owners (shareholders) in your Texas LLC conduct business.

A good operating agreement can help avoid expensive disputes and protect the assets of your Texas LLC. It can also make it easier to transfer ownership interests in a Texas LLC because it spells out how profits and losses are shared, how meetings are conducted, when new owners may be admitted (and under what conditions), and other rules.

Step 5: Get an EIN (Employer Identification Number)

Your Texas business will need a federal employer identification number, called an EIN. You can apply for an EIN online at the IRS website. The information is entered on Form SS-4 and mailed to you.

The EIN is required in order to open any kind of bank account (e.g., checking or savings) and to apply for a tax identification number from the state of Texas.

That’s it!

Congratulations! You have successfully registered your Texas LLC. A certificate of formation will be mailed to you within 4-6 weeks from the date of filing, and you can start doing business right away.