Business License in Texas

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Note: This business license page is not as step-by-step as our LLC formation lessons. This is because things vary by city and by industry. However, the information below is an overview to point you in the right direction.

After you form an LLC in Texas, you may need to obtain a business license and/or permit.

Your requirements are determined by the industry you are in and where your Texas LLC is located.

No State Business License in Texas

Texas doesn’t have a statewide general business license. Again, licenses and permits are dictated by industry and the location of your LLC.

Municipal Business License (city, county, township)

Many municipalities require industry-specific licenses. For example, a license is required to operate a food truck and to run a daycare.

You will need to get in touch with the municipality where your LLC is located and/or does business to determine its licensing or permit requirements.

Here are the 10 largest cities in Texas:

If your city or local municipality is not listed, you’ll want to reach out to them directly to see if your business needs a license or permit to operate.

List of Texas Business Licenses and Permits

Texas.gov:
Texas.gov keeps a comprehensive list of business licenses and permits in their database:

  • Click on “WORK” (this will take you to the section showing an initial list of licenses and permits)
  • Click on “More Work Services” to view the full directory of licenses and permits

Department of Licensing & Regulation:
You can also find licensing info on the Department of Licensing & Regulation (TDLR) website.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality:
The Texas Commission on Environment Quality (TECQ) also keeps a list of business licenses and permits based on industry: permits and licenses you may need.

Need Help?

If you don’t want to make the phone calls and determine your licensing requirements yourself, we recommend hiring IncFile.

Texas Sales Tax Permit

Your Texas LLC is responsible for collecting sales tax if it:

  • sells or leases tangible personal property in Texas
  • or sells taxable services in Texas

If your Texas LLC needs to collect sales tax, then you’ll need a sales tax permit. This can be obtained online via WebFile. There is no charge. After you login to WebFile, click “Texas Sales and Use Tax Registration”.

You can find more information about sales tax here:

Tip: The phone number you provide in your application gets listed on public records. Many filers complain about how many annoying telemarketing phone calls they receive after getting a sales tax permit in Texas. Check out Phone.com or Sonetel. You can get a pretty cheap phone number and use it as a “voicemail only” number. The voicemails will just be sent to your email and you won’t be interrupted by annoying marketers. Sonetel is cheaper, but Phone.com’s support is easier to work with and they have faster response times.

If you need help with sales tax, you can use TaxJar. They also have helpful guides on state sales tax.

Texas Resale Certificate

Also known as a “Reseller Permit“, but it’s called a Resale Certificate in Texas.

A Resale Certificate (Form 01-339) is used if your Texas LLC will buy goods from another business for the purpose of resale.

For example, let’s say you manufacture and sell tables. If you are buying wood from a distributor, you don’t have to pay sales tax on that purchase since you are not the end consumer. The customers who will purchase the tables are the end consumers and you will charge them sales tax.

You will need to present your Resale Certificate to the seller if you want to avoid paying the sales tax. You’ll complete the form with your LLC’s information and its 11-digit Taxpayer Number. Keep in mind, this is your Texas Taxpayer Number (from the Comptroller), not your Federal Tax ID Number (from the IRS).

You can download and complete Form 01-339, a Texas Resale Certificate, from this page: Texas Comptroller: Resale Certificate FAQs

Questions about sales tax?

If you have any questions about sales tax or a Resale Certificate, you can contact the Texas Comptroller‘s sale tax line at 1-800-252-5555. Their hours are Monday through Friday, from 8am to 5pm Central Time.

Next Step: LLC Taxes

After you’ve researched and obtained the proper licenses and permits for your Texas LLC, you can then proceed to the next lesson: Texas LLC Taxes.

Matt Horwitz


Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Matt Horwitz has been the leading expert on LLC education for the past decade. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC that other companies weren't offering. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
 
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

4 comments on “Business License in Texas”

Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.

  1. Thank you! This information has been very helpful. I do have a question I’m hoping you could answer.
    If Company falls under the no tax threshold, what should company do if it has collected taxes?

    • You’re very welcome Kay! I’m assuming you’re talking about collecting sales tax. If so, that’s something different. Your LLC is still responsible for filing sales tax returns, regardless of if the LLC falls under or over the no tax due threshold. Hope that helps.

      • Thank you. As you can tell I’m completely a novice at this. Just want to get it right. The more I researched, I realized that franchise tax is separate from sales tax.
        Please correct me if I’m wrong…So, sales tax collected is also sent to Texas comptroller? And a Llc needs to have a sales tax permit to collect tax, without it a company won’t be able to pay the taxes that have been collected.

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