how to start a small business in texas

How To Start A Small Business In Texas: The Ultimate Guide

Elena Hudgens
By Elena Hudgens 17 Min Read

In today’s economy, starting a small business is a vital step in being successful. Whether you’re starting your own restaurant, small business marketing your products, or setting up your own online store, there are a number of Step-by-Step guides available to help you get started. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to start a small business in Texas – from the basics of setting up your business structure to the ins and outs of running a successful business.

Read more: 75 Small Business Tools That Will Empower Your Business

Learn about the different steps on how to start a small business in Texas

When it comes to starting a small business in Texas, there are a variety of different steps that need to be taken. You’ll need to get organized, set up your business structure, and determine your business goals. In addition, you’ll need to learn about the different types of businesses in Texas and what type of Small Business License (SBL) is necessary to start one.

Step 1: Get started with business concepts

If thinking about how to start a small business in Texas is confusing you, the first step is to understand business concepts. This will help you better understand the process of starting a small business in Texas and what steps need to be taken in order to achieve success. Once you have a basic understanding of business concepts, it’s time to move on to the specific guides that will help you start your own small business in Texas.

Step 2: Raise funds for your business

Startups need financial backing in order to get off the ground, but before getting that money you’ll first have to calculate and understand your business costs. This will help you choose the right funding source for your Texas business’ needs. Next, be smart with your spending and get organized by creating a detailed financial plan.

Click here to know more about raising funds for your business. 

Step 3 : Setting up your business structure

Setting up your business structure is one of the most important steps in starting a small business. It’s important to choose a business model that will fit your specific business goals and requirements. There are many different business structures available, so it’s important to find one that is right for your business. You can set up a company in a number of ways, including:

As an individual proprietor: This option is perfect for businesses that are new to the business world and want to start from scratch. You’ll be able to manage all the details of your business, such as setting up your own accounting system, choosing your own employees, and choosing your own marketing strategy.

As part of a franchise: A franchise is a great option for businesses that have been in the market for a while and want to expand their reach. Franchisees can use a franchise model to get access to higher-quality customers who are already familiar with their products or services. They also don’t have to worry about starting from scratch – franchisees can often take advantage of franchising programs that offer additional benefits, like immunity from patent litigation.

As part of an alliance: An alliance is a type of business structure that works best when two or more businesses work together. This type of structure allows you to combine the resources of multiple businesses into one entity. This allows you to reach larger markets with greater efficiency because each company can specialize in specific areas. alliances can be beneficial for businesses that have a strong relationship. 

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How To Start A Small Business In Texas: The Ultimate Guide 3

These are common alternatives for business structures: 

  1. Sole proprietorship: A sole proprietorship is a perfect business structure for one person who owns all the assets. This person is 100% liable for the business, and their sole proprietorship assumes their name unless they want to create a “DBA certificate” (a document giving another name to their business) in order to file it in different counties where business is conducted. These structures are not subject to state franchise taxes.
  1. A LLC or Limited Liability Company: A LLC is an unincorporated business entity generated by filing a certificate of formation with the Texas secretary of state. It has more flexibility than a limited liability partnership, providing owners with limited liability and pass-through tax advantages. State franchise tax can be levied on LLCs, and the charge for the certification of the formation of an LLC is $300. A limited liability partnership, which is a general partnership registered with the secretary of state and costing much less money to form (just $200), and it is often confused with a LLC.
  1. For-profit corporations: They have limited liability, centralized management, perpetual duration (they can last forever), and ease of ownership transferability. Owners of corporations must register with the Texas secretary of state and pay a filing fee for the certificate of formation (a $300 purchase). They also must comply with state Franchise Tax laws.

Step 4: Choose your business’s name

It’s important to choose a business name after knowing how to start a small business in Texas. If you don’t have a business name, the Assumed Name (which comes via the DBA certificate) will do. Your name can act as your business’s name in case it is a sole proprietorship. 

The name of your business may not be too good to be true, but make sure it does not have any conflicts with your Texas business name in your location. Do a preliminary search to find any potential conflicts and consider a new name for your company. The name should be easy to pronounce and spell and it should also be very searchable.

You need to find a name that isn’t already registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, for which you’ll need to sift through the trademarks currently registered with the agency. This database can help you determine which names have been assigned to a particular classification and which ones are being used by another business or organization.

To ensure your business name is not the same (or too similar) to another registered corporate name in Texas, check the Texas Department of State: Division of Corporations database. This will ensure that your business name is not a copyrighted term or otherwise protected by state law.

Step 5: Acquire an EIN or employee identification number

An EIN is the business social security number and is used to monitor your business dealings. It’s vital for establishing business credit, setting business checking accounts, and, if you have employees, filing their tax withholdings. Click here to apply for your EIN with the IRS. The application process is completely free. However, you can also use third-party agencies to get your EIN. 

You will also need to research your state and local taxes if you are expecting to pay federal income taxes. The Comptroller of Public Accounts collects several state taxes, though most small businesses are exempt from this.

Businesses that own fixed assets such as equipment and machinery are assigned the business inventory tax. This tax is paid by your local county appraisal district to help ensure you know exactly how much you invested in this type of asset. You’ll want a quality inventory management system- like those used by professional nanny firms or real estate agents- in order to keep track of all the different types of assets ( Equipment and Machinery) on your property.

Step 6: Get licenses and permits

A common point businesspersons miss when asked how to start a small business in Texas, In Texas, you don’t need a “general business license” to open a business. However, depending on the kind of business you are opening- like a restaurant or bar- you might require a specific license or permit. You can check out the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to see if your specific profession qualifies for this kind of licensure. If unsure, contact your local county or city government to get more information!

There are a variety of small fees for obtaining various business filings and trademarks, such as a change of registered agent or a limited partnership periodic report. Click here for the full list – it works as an effective checklist when starting out!

Step 7: Set up your business bank account

Businesses are a great way to start building credit and provide a safety net in case of emergencies. However, it’s important to separate personal and business banking accounts if you want to avoid hefty fees or have more control over your financial life. 

There are different free business banking accounts available, as well as plenty of high-rated banks that offer businesses their own credit cards. Before making any decisions about which bank is best for you, take some time to research the company and its services in order to determine whether they would be a good fit for your business.

You should also open up an accounting system. An accounting system is a helpful tool for businesses. This can be done using two methods: through the use of software or by downloading and managing bank and credit card transactions. quality accounting software lets you do this easily, making it fast and easy to get your business up and running with all its financial data. Or, if you’re looking for help navigating all your business accounting needs- from payroll to sales tax- an accountant is the perfect option!

Step 8: Obtain business insurance

There are a number of legal obligations related to starting a business in Texas. One such obligation is to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). This law requires businesses that have employees to make reasonable accommodations for employees who are disabled. You might want to hire an ADA lawyer to help you out during this process.

Most private businesses in Texas don’t require workers’ comp insurance, though those that do, acquire helpful legal protections such as immunity from lawsuits by injured employees. Those that do not have workers’ comp must also file an annual notice with the Texas Department of Insurance.

Many small businesses in Texas don’t require health insurance for their employees, but those that do need to offer it. Insurance companies generally are supposed to have 75% of eligible employees participate in their health plans. However, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires all small employer group plans to cover essential benefits like emergency services and prescription drugs. Click here for more information on small employer health care. 

In Texas, it is not necessary for businesses to obtain many common types of business insurance. However, it is recommended for businesses to acquire workers’ compensation insurance, professional liability insurance, and general liability insurance.

Step 9: Hire your team

To start a successful business, you need a strong team. However, it’s not just about finding the right people- you need to ensure that you are in compliance with all the requirements of hiring employees legally. This includes making sure that you are registered with the IRS for employee taxes and reporting new hires to the State of Texas.

Step 10: Create your business website

Web technology has developed a lot in the past few years, making it much easier for small business owners to create websites. Back in 2015, this was not an option for many people. However, the advances made in web technology have led to a world where creating websites is no longer out of reach for anyone!

There are numerous website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder which make creating a basic website extremely simple. To build a website, all you need to do is enter your desired content and dimensions for the web page. Next, you can choose from several alternatives of templates or designs to suit your needs. Once you have selected an available design, just drag and drop it into place on your web page.

Step 11: Marketing your small business in Texas 

There are a number of different marketing strategies you can use when starting a small business in Texas. You can use traditional marketing methods like advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), and internal link building to reach your target market. You can also use digital marketing techniques to reach your target market, such as using pictures in your ads or using social media to promote your business. Click here to know more. 

Step 12: Running a successful small business in Texas

If you know how to start a small business in Texas, you have finished the first step. In Texas, there is a low barrier of entry for starting your own business. You can find resources like advice and support from government officials to help you succeed. It may be really hot in the summer, but that’s just another price to pay for getting your foot in the door of the small business world! Despite this effort by state officials, it can still be hard enough to stay afloat in today’s economy and make it through even when things are tough. Click here for tips to become a small business owner. 


With this guide, you will know everything you need to know about how to start a small business in Texas. From starting with business concepts to marketing your business, this guide will take you from start to finish in no time!

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Posted by Elena Hudgens
Elena Hudgens is an entrepreneur with 10+ years of experience. She started her journey by building her own e-commerce website on Shopify and turned her $1000 savings to millions in just 2 years. Soon she started different ventures in which she failed and succeeded. And now, she's on a mission to help other entrepreneurs with her life and business lessons.
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