How To Register a Foreign Corporation in Texas

Registering a foreign corporation in Texas requires filing an Application for Registration of a Foreign For-Profit Corporation (Form 301) with the Secretary of State. The state fee is $750 if filing with the paper form, or $770.25 if filing online. Online applications are submitted through SOSDirect, the Secretary of State’s business portal, and are generally processed in 2 working days.

Out-of-state corporations transacting business in Texas have a grace period of 90 days before they’re required to register with the state. To avoid late fees, you’ll need to register your company before these 90 days are up.

What is a Foreign Corporation in Texas?

Even though your corporation may have been formed in the state next door, it is termed “foreign” in Texas. This is because it was created in a different jurisdiction, under laws that may differ from those of Texas. To successfully expand your corporate enterprise into Texas, you’ll need to comply with all of our state’s business regulations—and the first step towards achieving compliance is registering with the Secretary of State.

Steps To Register a Foreign Corporation in Texas

To ensure your Application for Registration gets approved and your corporation starts off on the right legal foot, there are a few bureaucratic boxes you’ll need to tick on either side of the application process. If you’re ready to file your foreign registration paperwork on your own, our simple guide will take you through all the necessary steps. Or, if you’d like to save yourself time, you can hire our experienced team to register your foreign corporation for you. Let’s get started.

1. Check Entity Name Availability

The first step to registering your foreign corporation is to make sure your desired corporate name is available. There are a few ways you can do this in Texas. You can call the Texas Secretary of State’s Business and Public Filings Clerk at (512) 463-5555. You can email the Secretary of State Clerks at Or you can use the Texas’ SOSDirect Web Portal to do a search for your the name of your corporation. This is the quickest method—however, it does cost $1 for each search.

2. Designate a Texas Registered Agent 

Every entity in our state needs a Texas registered agent, so your next step will be choosing an individual or business with a Texas street address that can accept service of process on behalf of your business. In addition to accepting official mail and legal papers, your Texas registered agent will be a valuable local contact, offering compliance support, sending reminders and assisting with any necessary business filings.

Our foreign Texas corporation package includes one year of our local Texas registered agent service and all the essentials you need to stay on top of your business affairs. Features include a local business address to protect your privacy, free Texas mail forwarding, a secure online corporate account, compliance tracking and much more.

3. Fill Out Your Texas Application For Registration

You can complete your Texas Application for Registration of a Foreign For-Profit Corporation (Form 301) online, or submit it by fax, mail or in person. Note that if you choose to file this document via mail, you must include two identical copies.

If you use the SOSdirect Web Portal to file the Application for Registration, you will not only save on postage and paper costs, but you’ll also save a few days of overall processing time. There is, however, a 2.7% credit card processing fee that will bring your end total to $770.25.

To accurately complete the Texas Application for Registration, you will need to provide the following information:

  • The name of your corporation.
  • Your corporation’s federal tax identification number (if you don’t have one, note this fact on your application).
  • The state and date in which your corporation was initially incorporated.
  • Your primary corporate address (in your business’s home state).
  • The name and address of your Texas registered agent.
  • The name and address of each person on your board of directors (you can list your registered agent’s address instead to protect privacy).
  • Your signature or e-signature, if you file online. 

4. Submit Your Documents and Wait For Processing

After you submit your documents to the Texas Secretary of State, you will have to wait a few days while they are processed. If you e-file, your documents should be processed within 2 business days. If you filed through mail, you should received the approved Application for Registration documents back in the mail within 5-10 business days. If your filing is denied for any reason, the documents will be mailed back to your with an explanation from the Texas Secretary of State.

If you file via mail, the Application for Registration (along with a copy) should be mailed to:
Secretary of State
P.O. Box 13697
Austin TX 78711-3697

If you file via fax, the Application for Registration (along with a copy) should be sent to (512)-463-5709. You’ll also need to include credit card information with your documents (Payment Form 807).

5. Business Licensing, Sales Tax Permits, and Franchise Taxes

After your Texas Foreign Corporation is set up, the Texas Secretary of State makes it easy to get the licensing you may need for your corporation. Most business licenses, as well as the permit required for collecting sales tax, can be filed for online. Obtaining required business licenses and being prepared for your initial franchise tax report are good tasks to complete if you want to be prepared to maintain and manage your Texas Foreign Corporation.

Texas Franchise Tax
In lieu of a state corporate tax or an annual report, Texas applies a franchise tax to all for-profit business entities. Generally speaking, unless your corporation grosses over $1,180,000 in revenue, you will not have any annual franchise taxes due. If your corporation grosses over that threshold, your overall tax due is based on numerous factors such as the nature of your business and your Texas Foreign Corporation’s overall revenue. More information on the annual franchise tax can be found at the Texas Comptroller’s website.

Business Licensing
The need for a business license to operate in the State of Texas is dependent on the location and nature of your foreign corporation in Texas. If you provide goods or services to customers, you will more than likely need a business license, and you will need to check with the municipal government of the city that your Texas Foreign Corporation is based in. After your Texas Foreign Corporation is formed you can easily discern whether you need to apply for a Texas Business License from the Texas state website.

Sales Tax Permit
If your foreign Texas corporation leases, sells/rents tangible personal property, or renders services to customers, you will need to get a sales tax license. A permit for withholding sales tax is obtained from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts website and your Texas foreign corporation’s file number will be needed to get it, so make sure to have your approved Application for Registration handy. You should allow 2-3 weeks for your permit to arrive, and, if your Texas foreign corporation has a dedicated retail space, it should be posted there at all times.

With us, Texas Foreign Corporation Registration Couldn’t Be Easier!

Here at Lone Star Registered Agent, we take pride in helping our customers achieve business success. We’re a proud Texas business and we know the thrill and reward of working hard to thrive.

Our mission is to expertly handle every aspect of your foreign registration so you can focus on growing your business.

For just $150 plus your state fees, we set you up with everything you need to launch and maintain your corporation in Texas. Here’s what’s included with our feature-packed foreign registration service:

  • Same Day Submission of Your Documents
    We get to work on your order immediately and submit your Application for Registration to the Secretary of State within one business day.
  • One Year of Texas Registered Agent Service
    We provide clients with secure, online corporate accounts; document tracking; Texas mail forwarding; access to pre-populated state forms; and the best Texas registered agent service around.
  • Exceptional Customer Support
    We’re here to help your business at every turn! Our customer service team can guide you through all the ins and outs of doing business in Texas.
  • Privacy Protection
    There’s no need to add your personal address (or any director/officer addresses) to your public formation documents. We include a local Texas business address for every client to list on their state forms.

Sign Up With Lone Star For Complete Peace of Mind

If you’re ready to register your corporation in Texas, let us make your job easier with fast service, fair prices, and the best customer service in the country. Sign up for our foreign LLC or Texas registered agent service today.

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