Texas LLC

How to Form an LLC in Texas

Quick Start Guide ← you are here
This Quick Start Guide is a brief overview of how to form an LLC in Texas.

Detailed Lessons:
1. Name Search
2. Filing Forms
3. Operating Agreement
4. Tax ID Number (EIN)

Texas LLC Costs:
Texas LLC state filing fee: $300

Need help?
Hire a reliable service to form your LLC:
IncFile ($49 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)


How to Form an LLC in TexasA Texas Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a legal structure used to protect your personal assets (home, car, bank account) in the event your company is sued.

A Texas LLC can be used to operate a business, or an LLC can be used to hold assets (such as real estate, vehicles, boats, and aircraft).

If you’d like to form an LLC in Texas yourself, follow our Quick Start Guide below (the brief overview), or click on the detailed lessons above.

Need to save time? Hire a reliable service to form your LLC:
IncFile ($49 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

1. Texas LLC Name

• Search your desired LLC name to make sure it’s available for use.

• Your name must be unique among the existing businesses registered in Texas.

• Search your Texas LLC name in the state database: https://mycpa.cpa.state.tx.us/coa/

• Call the Corporations Section (512-463-5555) to double-check your name.

• Even if you think your name is available, please call the state to confirm. Name conflicts are the #1 reason LLCs are rejected in Texas.

Designator: your LLC name must include a designator at the end. Texas law allows for the following: LLC (most common), L.L.C., Limited Liability Company, Limited Liability Co., Ltd. Liability Company, Ltd. Liability Co., Limited Company, Ltd. Co., or Limited Co.

• Secure your domain name ahead of time:

GoDaddy Domain Search:

2. Texas Registered Agent

• A Registered Agent is a person or company who receives legal mail (called Service of Process) on behalf of your LLC in case your company gets sued. All Texas LLCs must have a Registered Agent on file.

• Your Registered Agent address must be a street address located in Texas. PO Boxes are not allowed.

• Your Registered Agent must sign a Consent to Serve (Form 401A).

Who can be your Registered Agent in Texas?

– option 1: you can be your LLC’s Registered Agent
– option 2: a friend or family member can be your LLC’s Registered Agent
– option 3: you can hire a Commercial Registered Agent

• If your Registered Agent is going to be an individual, that individual needs to be a resident of Texas. If you don’t have an address in Texas, you’ll need to hire a Commercial Registered Agent.

Commercial Registered Agent: IncFile (for $99/year) or Northwest Registered Agent (for $125/year). IncFile is cheaper, but their support is not as good as Northwest Registered Agent.

3. Texas LLC Certificate of Formation

Texas LLC forms: Certificate of Formation (Form 205) and Consent to Serve (Form 401A)

Texas LLC filing fee: $300

Filing methods: by mail, online, fax, or walk-in.

File online: https://direct.sos.state.tx.us/acct/acct-login.asp
(Click “request for SOSDirect account”, enter contact info, enter credit card, then proceed.)

File by mail: Submit 2 copies of your Certificate of Formation and Consent to Serve, along with your $300 filing fee to:

Corporations Sections
Secretary of State
PO Box 13697
Austin, TX 78711

File by fax: 512-463-5709. Pay by credit card with payment form.

LLC approval time: 5-7 business days (mail or fax); 2-3 business days (online filing).

What you get: Stamped and approved Certificate of Formation and a Certificate of Filing.

Expedited filing: Must send cover letter requesting an expedited filing. Send an additional $25. Documents are processed by 5pm on the next business day.

Need to save time? Have a professional LLC service file for you:
IncFile ($49 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

4. Texas LLC Operating Agreement

• Your LLC’s Operating Agreement is an “internal document”. It does not get mailed to the Texas Corporations Section, or any other agency. Just keep it with your LLC’s records.

• The Operating Agreement is where the owners (“members”) of the Texas LLC are listed. This document governs how much each member owns, how profits are split, how taxes are paid, and more.

• If you have a single-member Texas LLC, it’s still best practice to have an Operating Agreement.

Free Operating Agreement download: PDF | Google Doc | Microsoft Word

5. Federal Tax ID Number (EIN)

• An EIN is issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It’s used for opening LLC bank accounts, filing taxes, and employee payroll, if applicable.

• Think of the EIN as a “social security number” for your Texas LLC.

Common names: Federal Tax Number, Federal Employer Number, FEIN, Federal Tax ID Number, EIN, Employer Identification Number. They are all the same thing.

Wait for LLC approval: Only apply for an EIN after your Texas LLC is approved.

Fee: $0. EINs are free from the IRS. You can obtain an EIN by mail (Form SS-4), fax (855-641-6935), or online (recommended).

• If you are a non-US resident or don’t have a social security number, you cannot obtain an EIN online. But you can mail or fax Form SS-4 and write “Foreign” on line 7b.

• If your LLC is owned by another LLC, you cannot obtain an EIN online. Mail or fax Form SS-4 instead.

6. Texas LLC Annual Report

• The LLC Annual Report in Texas is known as the Public Information Report (PIR) and Franchise Tax, and this is required by all Texas LLCs.

• Unlike most states where the LLC Annual Report is filed with the Secretary of State, the Annual Report in Texas is filed with the Office of the Comptroller.

• Regardless of income or activity, your LLC still needs to file the Annual Report with the Comptroller each year.

• Depending on your business’ industry, the franchise tax is usually 1% of gross receipts, for gross receipts over $1M.

• Forms and instructions can be downloaded from the Texas Comptroller’s website here.

Due date: Texas Annual Reports are due by May 15th. The first one is due the year after the year of LLC formation.

Recommendation: We recommend hiring an accountant to help with your PIR and Annual Franchise Tax filings, as these forms can be quite complicated.

7. Business Licenses and/or Permits

• To find out if you need a business license and/or permit, you need to contact the city, county, township or borough where your Texas LLC is located. These requirements will differ depending on the location of your business, and the industry your Texas LLC is engaged in.

Need to save time? If you’d rather rather not do the research to determine your business license and permit requirements, we recommend hiring IncFile. They’ll take care of everything for $99.

8. Taxes

Federal taxes: LLCs have “pass through” taxation. Income or losses are usually listed on a Schedule C and filed together with your personal tax return.

State and local taxes: Your LLC should register and pay taxes with the Texas Comptroller’s Office, as well as your local municipality (city, town, county, etc.).

Recommendation: hire an accountant after your Texas LLC is formed. Read our how to find a great accountant guide, or check out Thumbtack.

9. LLC Bank Account

Maintain liability protection: keep your personal assets separate from your business assets by opening a bank account for your Texas LLC.

Items needed: Approved Texas Certificate of Formation, Certificate of Filing, EIN, and Driver’s License.

Shop around: know your options by calling and comparing banks in Texas (some charge a monthly rate, others don’t).

Debit card: Your bank will issue a debit card when you open the account.

Credit card: Start building business credit. Shop business credit cards here.

Texas State Agencies

TX Secretary of State
TX Corporations Section
512-463-5555 (8:00am – 5:00pm, M-F)
[email protected]

TX Office of the Comptroller
800-252-1381 (8:00am – 5:00pm, M-F)
Tip: call as early as possible
Additional contact info here

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Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator at LLC University
Forming an LLC shouldn't be so complicated. Our step-by-step guide will make the process a breeze – and no complex legal jargon! We teach people how to form an LLC for free in all 50 states. We hope you find our free guides and resources helpful in your entrepreneurial journey.

27 Comments

  1. Pat February 10, 2017

    I’m looking at forming an LLC in Texas. I’m aware of the $300 filing fee, but is there any other one-time or annual fees for LLCs in the state of Texas?

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz February 13, 2017

      Hey Pat, there is no Annual Report in Texas (well, sort of)… there is the Annual Franchise Tax & PIR (Public Information Report). The fee is $0, but you still need to file the report. However, depending on your gross receipts, you may owe franchise tax. This is not all your taxes though, so you’ll need to speak with an accountant. Hope that helps.

      reply
  2. Herb April 21, 2017

    I have found your LLC information very helpful. I am planning on retirement at the end of the year. I was looking into family trust, revocable trust, irrevocable trust and I’m not sure on any of them for shielding our family properties Medicare if ever needed. I’m thinking of a LLC instead, what do you think. Would a LLC shield from Medicare and other hospital or long term nursing care in the future? Please email me when you can, for I plan to begin setting up something very soon!
    Thank you for your help.
    Herb

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz April 22, 2017

      Hi Herb, thank you for your comment. Regarding retirement and Medicare, I am not 100% sure regarding this one. We’ll look into this. Apologies I could not be more helpful.

      reply
  3. adolph May 2, 2017

    Can the attorney general (child support) take any money from the business account ?

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz May 2, 2017

      I’m not sure. As a general rule of thumb though, no one can just “take money” without authorization. So you’d either sign off giving someone authorization, or there need to be a court order.

      reply
  4. King June 9, 2017

    Greetings, I live in Texas and my question is when filing for the DBA does my LLC have to have the same name as the business being operated in it? For instance if my biz name is “The Corner Store” do I name my LLC the same name since it is the only company in the LLC? Thanks

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz June 12, 2017

      Hey King, I think you may be slightly misled. You mentioned “since it is the only company in the LLC”. That does not make any sense, since the LLC is the company. Additionally, why are you filing a DBA? It is not a requirement when forming an LLC. You only need to file a DBA if your LLC will be doing business under a different name. Example: ABC Company LLC d/b/a The Corner Store. But, you can just form an LLC called “The Corner Store LLC” and you don’t need a DBA. Does that help at all? I know this stuff can get a tad confusing.

      reply
  5. Roza June 20, 2017

    Hello Matt,
    thank you for putting this all together! So useful.

    I am opening an LLC and I have a question that has been frustrating me. I read in other sources:
    “Each quarter, you need to total the amount of money you’ve earned and pay quarterly taxes to both your state and the federal government separately. You’ll pay on April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15 of each year.”

    Is it true? You mentioned that federal taxes are paid together with personal tax return, and this one happens once a year, no? I am confused.

    Thanks in advance!

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz June 20, 2017

      Hey Roza, the details are more complicated than that and I wouldn’t look for the answer online. If you’re self-employed and expect to owe $1,000 or more in annual taxes, then you most likely need to file quarterly. I recommend you speak with a few accountants though and then hire one for help with all of your taxes, federal, state, and local. You can read our How to Find an Accountant guide. You can also reference this quarterly estimated payments page on the IRS’s website. Hope that helps.

      reply
      • Roza June 20, 2017

        Thank you!

        reply
  6. Ana July 25, 2017

    We will form a LLC in Texas. Two of my patterns reside outside USA. Will be a problem put none USA addresses as in the Certificate of Formation?
    thanks
    Ana

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz July 26, 2017

      Hi Ana, you can list non-US addresses in the Governing Person boxes. That is allowed.

      reply
  7. Monica July 31, 2017

    Hello, I read your article on not forming Delaware LLC. (by the way: which was a good read and detailed) – what are some of your other suggesstions than for assest protection, (since really thats the reason majority of people choose those 3 states) currently have a Tx LLC , multi member (other biz partners) what are some easy or less complicated methods we could implement instead of the Delaware,NV, Wy LLC.

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz July 31, 2017

      Another thing to consider is forming an LLC in Wyoming or Delaware and have that being the parent company of your Texas LLC. Your parent company isn’t doing business in Texas, and it can add another layer of protection.

      reply
  8. Jared August 2, 2017

    Matt, thank you for the TX LLC filing education. It’s been extremely helpful! Following the instructions on the Operating Agreement, we are creating a LLC for real estate rentals owned solely by husband/wife in TX. Do we list the tax classification as “sole proprietorship” or “qualified joint venture”? Also, do we need to file IRS Form 8832 to formally elect our classification?

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz August 2, 2017

      Hi Jared, no, you do not need to file Form 8832 to elect either of those classifications. An IRS Qualified Joint Venture is a husband and wife (who reside in a community property state and who file taxes jointly) who file taxes as a Sole Proprietorship (as opposed to a Partnership). So the question is actually QJV vs. Partnership taxation. You’ll need to speak with your accountant about the pros and cons specific to your situation. Whichever you end up choosing can be done via the IRS online EIN application.

      reply
  9. Abel Rodriguez August 4, 2017

    First of all I appreciate you sharing all this information. I am a Sole Proprietorship and I already have a DBA (Texas) and EIN. I am planning to change to an LLC most likely as a solo LLC. My question to you is if the EIN I already have can be used with the new LLC or I have to get a new one?
    Thanks for your help!

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz August 6, 2017

      Hi Abel, it’s best to get a new EIN for the new LLC to avoid any confusion.

      reply
  10. Jerry August 27, 2017

    Hello Matt,im interested in opening an LLC in Tx,my questions are, I’m not an us resident, I do have an itin number, what box should I check on section 8b,I do have a Tx address, can I do this online or should I get a lawyer to do it for me?. Thank you

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz August 28, 2017

      When you say section 8b, do you mean in IRS Form SS-4? If so, there is not a checkbox in 8b. Can you re-phrase your question? Which section are you asking about? Yes, you can file the LLC online. You’ll need to mail or fax your EIN application to the IRS. You can form your Texas LLC yourself or hire a lawyer. Whichever you are more comfortable with.

      reply
  11. Kat September 4, 2017

    Hi,
    I really like your articles and instructions. Thank you very much for your work. I’m planning to have an LLC with my brother. We want to form a 2-member LLC with manager-managed. My brother will manage the LLC and I will be a silent member.
    I’m little confused about the Form 205 Article of Formation in Article 3 (Governing Authority): “The limited liability company will have managers. The name and address of each initial manager are set forth below.”
    In this case, should I only disclose my brother’s name as the manager in Governing Person 1? Then where should I disclose my name?

    I also wonder where I should list the operations and business of my LLC: in Article 4/supplemental provisions or somewhere else?

    Thank you.

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz September 6, 2017

      Hey Kat, since your LLC will be Manager-managed, you’ll check off A (“will have managers) in Article 3 (Governing Authority) and you’ll list the Manager, which is your brother. You and your brother’s name will appear in the Operating Agreement, the document that controls the LLC. Please send us a message via our contact form and ask for our Manager-managed Operating Agreement as the current one we have in the Texas lesson is for Member-managed LLCs. If you’d like to learn more about Member-managed vs Manager-managed, please see this article. The default purpose for Texas LLCs is “general purpose” (any and all lawful activity), so you don’t need to list the LLC’s business activities in the Certificate of Formation.

      reply
  12. jade September 20, 2017

    I currently have LLC formed in Nevada and I filed foreign LLC in Texas. My LLC is doing real estate investment only in TX. I would like to move my LLC to TX what should I do. My annual fee for Nevada is overdue by 1 day. I just don’t want keep double paying 2 state annual fee.

    Thank you so much. I love your blog.

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz September 21, 2017

      Hey Jade, thanks for the kind words! I hear you. Nevada’s fees are cumbersome. You can actually convert your Foreign LLC into a Domestic LLC. You can find instructions here. Once the conversion goes through, you can then dissolve your Nevada LLC. Hope that helps!

      reply
  13. Ita September 25, 2017

    Hi Matt,
    I currently have a sole trader company in Houston. As I am concerning the risks with sole trader company, I wanna to convert it to a LLC company. Do you have any ideas how to convert it? or Maybe I just close the sole trader company and set up a new LLC company?

    Thank you for your help.

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz September 26, 2017

      Hi Ita, good call on converting the Sole Proprietorship to an LLC. I’d read this first: convert Sole Proprietorship to LLC. Then follow our Texas LLC course. Hope that helps!

      reply

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