Texas Filing Fees

What are the Business Filing Fees in Texas?

Starting a business in Texas means paying a variety of government filing fees. We’ve compiled the most common ones here so that you’ll know what to expect.

FILE YOUR BUSINESS

If you want to start a Texas business, the first step is to file the proper formation paperwork with the Texas Secretary of State. The paperwork you’ll file will depend on the type of business entity you want to form. To form a corporation, a limited liability company (LLC), or another recognized business entity, you must register with the state first. But beyond that, there are many additional fees you will need to pay along the way to keep your business legally compliant. If this sounds overwhelming, we’re here to help. Read on to learn more about the most common types of filing fees you’ll encounter when starting a Texas business, and how we can help you identify them.

Step 1: Pay your Texas business’s initial filing fees

Before legally operating a Texas corporation, LLC, or LP, you must file a Certificate of Formation with the Corporate Section of the Secretary of State, along with the proper fee. They accept filings online or by fax, mail, or personal delivery. Their office usually processes online documents within four to five days and mail or fax filings within five to seven days, but there can be delays. You can check the current processing status at the Secretary of State’s business governance website. The Corporate Section will expedite mail or fax filings (processed within four to five days) for a fee. To save yourself the hassle, sign up for our Expedited Filing Service, and we’ll handle the filing process for you.

Step 2: Reserve your Texas business’s name 

If you know the business name you’d like to use, you can reserve the name for your exclusive use. For a fee, the Corporate Section will reserve your name for 120 days with renewal available. Your name must be distinguishable from all other registered business names.

 If you’re ready to reserve your name, we offer a Name Reservation Service. We’ll check to see if the name is available and file the application for you.

Step 3: Reserve a “doing business as” name in Texas

Texas requires all businesses that use a name other than their legal name to register their “doing business as” (DBA) or “assumed” name. To register, you’ll file an assumed name certificate and pay a fee to the Corporate Division or your county clerk. Your assumed name doesn’t have to be unique. 

Registering lets the public know about the underlying business’s identity and location. It’s particularly beneficial for sole proprietors because you can use a name other than your personal name for the business. But corporations and LLCs can benefit, too, if you use an abbreviation of your legal name or a nickname. Assumed names can also be helpful if the domain name you’ve chosen isn’t available or you want to differentiate your products or services. Most importantly, we can help you register your assumed name in minutes.

Step 4: Obtain an Employer Identification Number

The IRS requires most businesses to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). You’ll need an EIN to pay your federal and state income taxes and report employee wage withholding. They’re also needed to open a bank account for your business. The IRS issues EINs for free, but we can apply for you when you use our EIN Service.

Step 5: Draft an operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or partnership agreement for your Texas business

Operating agreements, corporate bylaws, and partnership agreements are known as “governing documents” because they set the rules for the business. They say who is authorized to operate the business, how to allocate profits and losses, and when the business will dissolve. 

Texas doesn’t require you to file your governing documents but does require corporations to create bylaws and LPs to have a partnership agreement. You can write your own governing documents, but this isn’t advisable because they affect the control of your business. You can hire an attorney to draft them for you, but this is expensive. If you have a Texas LLC and don’t know where to start, use our operating agreement template to get started. This template allows you to draft a comprehensive agreement that’s tailored to your business’s needs.

Step 6: Apply for your Texas business’s necessary licenses and permits

Texas doesn’t require a general business license. But all employers need to obtain an Unemployment Tax Account within 10 days of hiring employees. If you’re a retail business, you’ll need a Texas Sales and Use Tax Permit. Additionally, you may need to apply for an industry-specific license. 

There is no one place to find the licenses you need. You’ll have to search at the federal, state, and local levels and for each industry that you operate. We offer a Business License Report to save yourself the trouble (through our partnership with Business Licenses, LLC). When you request a Business License Report, Business Licenses, LLC, will look at your industry, location, and activities and compile a single, easy report that outlines your licensing, tax, and registration needs at every level of government. 

Step 7: Pay registration fees for out-of-state businesses

If you formed your business in another state but want to do business in Texas, you’re known as a “foreign” business. Before conducting business in the state, Texas requires foreign corporations, LLCs, LPs, and LLPs to file an “application for registration.” If you don’t register within 90 days, the state will charge a penalty for each day you operate without registering. If you’re planning to do business in Texas, you can register to reserve your name for one year (renewal available). 

To register your Texas business in another state, you may need to submit proof that the business is in good standing. To do so, Texas will issue a Certificate of Fact – Status for a fee. Other states may refer to this document as a Certificate of Good Standing or a Certificate of Existence. If you need to obtain a Certificate, our Certificate of Good Standing Service can handle this process for you.

Step 8: Check Texas’s annual report requirements and fees

Texas requires Texas LLPs to file an annual report with the Secretary of State by June 1 each year. The state will notify certain LPs to file a periodic report (not more than once every four years). Corporations, LLCs, LLPs, and other LPs must file and pay an annual franchise tax by March 15. As part of filing the annual franchise tax reports, you’ll file a Public Information Report (PIR) with an updated list of the officers/directors and managers. 

If you don’t file your annual franchise report on time, you’ll have to pay a penalty when you file. If you don’t pay on time, the state charges a penalty for each day late and interest after 61 days. To avoid costly fees, use our Annual Report Service to receive important notifications and help to file your annual report.

Step 9: Keep your Texas business legally compliant

You might need to make changes to your business registration, like when you get a new business address or registered agent. To change your registered office address (aka, the registered agent’s address), you’ll file a Statement of Change. Corporations or LLCs will also need to update their address with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. A Texas LP must amend its Certificate of Formation if it changes its general partners. Corporations and LLCs don’t have to file ownership changes. 

All amendments include a fee. If you’re making changes, consider using our Amendment Service to file for you. Or you can rely on our Worry-Free Compliance Service, which includes two amendments every year, to help your business stay in compliance.

We can help meet your Texas business’s filing and compliance needs

Running a business in Texas doesn’t have to be complicated. If you sign up for our many compliance services, we’ll be there to remind you of important deadlines and fees. Our experts will help you file and avoid costly mistakes and penalties.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

FAQs

  • Are there penalties for paying my fees late in Texas?

    Yes. If you don’t pay your fees, the state can revoke your registration. In addition, If you use an assumed name without registering it, you might be subject to civil or criminal penalties.

  • What happens if I can’t pay my fees to the Texas government?

    If you can’t pay your Texas filing fees, the Secretary of State won’t file your documents.

  • Who receives the fees for forming my Texas business?

    You’ll pay Texas formation fees to the Secretary of State: Corporate Section.

  • What is usually the biggest fee I will pay when I form my Texas business?

    The Texas filing fees you pay will depend on the type of business, industry, and location. Usually, the biggest fee is the initial filing fee.

  • What payment methods can I use to pay my LLC or corporation filing fees to the Texas government?

    The Texas Secretary of State accepts checks, money orders, credit cards (with a convenience fee), or payments through a deposit account system. You can pay with cash if you file in person.

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