How to start a business in Texas

Do you want to start a business in Texas but you aren’t sure where to start?  Below are the 10 steps (in sequential order) I took to start my business.

One question startups often ask is if they should incorporate. While incorporating isn’t required, it does help minimize your personal risk and has other benefits. If you are an entrepreneur, who wants a for-profit business AND wants to serve a greater good, i.e., a hybrid of both for-profit and non-profit motives, you might want to consider incorporating as a Social Purpose Corporation. 

I recommend meeting with an attorney, and also an accountant, to determine which legal entity is best for you and your unique business.

10 Steps to Start a Business

Step  Action Time

File for an LLC, preferably through an attorney.

2 – 7 days

Find out which of your services are taxable by calling the Texas State Comptroller’s office at 800-252-5555.

TIP: Take good notes, get the name and email of the person you talked with, then email him/her a summary of your conversation, and ask them for a confirmation…in writing.

< 1 hr
3 Apply for an EIN with the IRS
     a. File online at
     b. Or you can call 800-829-4933 to file by phone
< 1 hr
4 Get your NAICS code; look up online here: < 1/2 hr
5 Apply for a Sales Tax Permit: < 1 hr

File for a DBA (Assumed Name) with the Tarrant County Clerk office.

Tip: You can download the form online, but you must pay in person and sign the form in person.

< 1 hr
7 Set up a business bank account. < 1 hr
8 Set up an accounting system, preferably with the advice of an accountant. I use Quickbooks Online which allows my clients to pay me electronically. < 2 hrs
9 Schedule dates on your calendar to pay your quarterly state and federal taxes. < 1/2 hr
10 Conduct business, have fun, and make a lot of money!