Starting a Business in Texas

This 7-step guide is part of the resources in the Office of the Governor’s Small Business Handbook.

Starting a Business in Texas

Step 1: Write Your Business Plan

A business plan is an essential road map for business success. This living document will serve to outline the primary purpose of your business, its structure, its financing, and its advantages over other market competitors. A solid plan should include a description of the business, market analysis, organization and management structure, and applications for funding.

Step 2: Choose Your Business Location

Choosing a business location will depend on the type of business you operate and is perhaps the most important decision a business owner will make. It requires precise planning and research. Consider assessing your supply chain, staying on budget, understanding state and local laws and taxes, and much more.

Step 3: Finance Your Business

Understanding your financial needs is a significant step towards business success. There are several ways to fund your new enterprise, including a bank loan or microloan, applying for credit through personal financing, crowdfunding, angel/venture capital investors, securing a federal loan (Small Business Administration), and other alternatives such as raising money from family and friends.

Step 4: Business Structure and Registration

Determine the legal structure of the business and file the business name with the state or county. Sole proprietorships and partnerships need to register with the county clerk’s office. If you decide to incorporate, register with the Secretary of State’s Office (SOS).

Step 5: Business Tax Responsibilities

Determine the potential tax responsibilities of the new business with federal, state, and local tax authorities. Federal tax obligations are filed through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). State tax filings are done through the Comptroller of Public Accounts. For questions about local business and property taxes, consult our county’s appraisal district or tax assessor-collector.

Step 6: Business Licenses and Permits by Business Type

Determine necessary licenses, permits, certifications, registrations, or authorizations for a specific business on the federal, state, and local levels. The Texas Economic Development and Tourism Business Permit Office (BPO) provides information on state permits and licenses required for business enterprises in the state. For more information, please reference the Business Permits Office Comprehensive Permit Guide, which provides information on permits required for businesses in Texas and individuals looking to establish, operate, or expand a business in Texas. 

Step 7: Determine Federal and State Employer Requirements

There are various laws relating to the employment of personnel. To learn more about Texas employer resources, visit the Texas Workforce Commission website.