Last updated September 30, 2020
Business Licenses & Permits
How to form an LLC in Texas
This Quick Start Guide is a brief overview of how to form an LLC in Texas.
Texas LLC costs:
State filing fee: $300
Annual franchise tax: $0 (for most LLCs)
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Note: This business license page is not as step-by-step as our Texas LLC formation lessons. This is because things vary by city and by industry. The information below is an overview to point you in the right direction, but not a comprehensive step-by-step guide. Thank you for your understanding.
After you form a Texas LLC, 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 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.
If you don’t want to make the phone calls and determine your licensing requirements yourself, we recommend using 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:
- Texas Comptroller: sales and use tax
- Texas Comptroller: sales tax permit requirements
- Texas Comptroller: Texas online tax registration application
- Texas Comptroller: Texas sales and use tax FAQs
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.
TaxJar also offers a few services if you need help:
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.