Forming an LLC in Texas requires filing a Certificate of Formation with the Texas Secretary of State and paying the state filing fee of $300 (around $310 online). The most difficult part of filing? Ensuring you set your LLC up right to maximize all the benefits of a Limited Liability Company in the Texas.

Below, we walk you through how to form a Texas LLC and how we can help with your LLC’s business identity, setup & support.

The one-stop shop for your Texas LLC. $150 plus state fees.

Business presence: In addition to Texas business address and registered agent, get domain, website, SSL, email & phone service.

A suite of resources: LLC operating agreement, library of free state forms, secure online document account, and local experts just a phone call away.

1. Ensure Your LLC Name is Available

While it isn’t a required step, it’s a good idea to use Texas’s Taxable Entity Search to make sure your preferred LLC name is available before you file your Articles of Organization. Why?

For one thing, your LLC will be rejected by the Texas Secretary of State if the name on your documents matches the name of an existing company. You’ll also want to make sure your Texas LLC name is distinguishable enough from companies that already exist, including both foreign and domestic businesses, as well as foreign companies operating under fictitious names and individual series connected to Texas Series LLCs (BOC § 5.053). Your name must also meet various naming requirements set out by the Texas Administrative Code, such as:

  • Use an organizational identifier, like “corporation” or “limited liability company” (or some abbreviation of the term)
  • Use only acceptable symbols: ! ” $ % ‘ ( ) * ? # = @ [] / + & and –
  • Do NOT use words that suggest government affiliation or a business purpose you cannot lawfully fulfill (like “insurance” or “bail bond”)
  • Avoid restricted words, for example: “Olympic,” “University,” “trust,” or “veteran”
  • Foreign words are considered distinguishable, even if they translate to a business name that’s already in use
  • Do NOT use an offensive name (this is left up to your good judgment)

If your name doesn’t pass muster on your first go around, not only will you have lost the time it took to complete your documents the first time, you’ll have to pay another formation fee of $300. And then you’re back to square: picking a name for your LLC.

An employee at a laptop at the Austin, TX office of Lone Star Registered Agent

2. Choose Your Registered Agent

Your registered agent is the person or company who receives service of process on behalf of your business then delivers those documents to you in a timely manner. Service of process can refer to lawsuits, subpoenas, or any other document generated by a court of law. So it’s highly important to choose a registered agent with a proven track record of reliability.

Your company cannot be it’s own registered agent, but an individual or a different company can, so long as that individual or company:

  • Maintains a physical address in the state of Texas
  • Is present at that office during normal business hours
  • Agrees to deliver all service of process to you shortly after it’s been received

As a registered agent service, we have years of experience accepting state documents and getting them to our customers that same day. When you hire us, you automatically get a secure online account, which is where we upload the documents we receive as your registered agent. You’ll also get an instant notification when a new document is ready to be viewed.

Presentation in our Lone Star conference room

3. Fill Out a Certificate of Formation

To complete your certificate, you will need to provide your LLC name and registered agent information, as well as the following:

Business Name: Don’t forget to include LLC, Limited Liability Company or a similar identifier.

Registered Office and Agent: The street address in Texas and the dedicated person who accepts legal mail there.

Governing Authority: Whether your LLC is managed by members (all the owners) or managers (people appointed or hired to run the LLC).

Purpose: The nature of your business (Optional).

Organizer: The organizer is the person or business who files your Certificate of Formation.

Effectiveness of Filing: The date your LLC will start. Future dates must be within 90 days of approval.

A Lone Star Texas registered agent hard at work.

4. Submit Your Certificate of Formation

If filing online, you will be prompted to pay your e-filing fee of $308.10 ($300 plus a 2.7% processing fee). If filing by mail, file in duplicate and include a check or money order for $300.

File online at:
SOSDirect

Send by mail to:
Secretary of State
P.O. Box 13697
Austin, Texas 78711-3697

Deliver in person to:
James Earl Rudder Office Building
1019 Brazos
Austin, Texas 78701

Once payment is approved, your Certificate of Formation has been submitted! Congratulations!

5. Obtain Your EIN Tax ID

The majority of LLCs are required to have an Employer Identification Number (EIN). An EIN is essentially your company’s social security number. The IRS uses this nine-digit number to easily identify the business on tax filings. In order pay employees and claim profits on your federal taxes, you will need an EIN number.

Getting an EIN tax ID for your company can be done at the IRS website, or you can hire us to do it.

6. File Your Beneficial Ownership Information Report

A Beneficial Ownership Information Report (BOI) is a free, mandatory filing for most LLCs. It’s a requirement of the Corporate Transparency Act, which goes into effect January 1, 2024. For the first year (2024), newly formed LLCs must submit a BOI to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, known as FinCEN, within 90 days. All businesses formed after January 1, 2025 have 30 days to file. (If your LLC is formed before 2024, you have until the start of 2025 to file your BOI.)

In addition to providing information about your company—name (including DBAs), tax ID, date and jurisdiction of formation—a BOI report must include the information of the beneficial owners and company applicants. Beneficial owners are those who have control over your company, like LLC managers or someone with at least 25% ownership in the company. Your company applicant (only required for companies formed in or after 2024) is the person who filed the formation paperwork (and who directed it be filed if different).

Beneficial owners and company applicants must submit their: full legal name, date of birth, residential address, and a copy of an accepted form of ID (like a passport or driver’s license). This information will NOT be made public.

Too complicated? Leave it to the local experts! For just $9, we’ll file your BOI report for you.

7. Create an LLC Operating Agreement

Texas business laws do not require LLCs to have an operating agreement, but you should consider it a necessity. The operating agreement is a document that outlines the entity’s rules, regulations, and provisions, along with how those encapsulate the business’ financial and functional directions.

If your company has multiple owners, the operating agreement can be used to govern owners’ disputes down the road. With single member LLCs, the operating agreement is vital to showing how the LLC is actually an organized legal entity. This makes it harder to apply an LLC’s possible liability or debts to an individual.

When you hire Lone Star Registered Agent to form your LLC for you, we include an LLC operating agreement.

LLC operating agreements typically include:

  • The purpose and duration of the company
  • Process for adding members
  • Procedures for member deaths/absences
  • Members’ names, addresses and contributions
  • Distribution of profits and losses
  • Management responsibilities and powers
  • Indemnification policies
  • Record storage procedures
  • Dissolution processes

The Home for Your LLC in Texas

We own our building here in Austin.

That’s why we can offer support & services beyond those of national filing companies, including:

  • Texas business address – we’ll give you a professional business address in our building (pictured)
  • Free Texas mail forwarding – 3 regular mail forwarding scans to your account each year
  • Instant business presence – domain, website, SSL, email and phone service
  • Speed – fast processing, preparation and filing of certificates of formation
  • Access to free LLC documents – including operating agreements
  • Registered agent service – we accept your state and legal mail
  • Notifications – annual LLC compliance reminders
  • Experts – local customer support
The exterior of the Lone Star Registered Agent building in Austin, TX.

What Does an LLC Cost in Texas?

Our fee includes the state filing fee and registered agent service.

ServiceCost
State Filing Fee$310
Our Filing Fee$100
Registered Agent Fee$50
TOTAL$460

Our competitors say they’ll charge you $0 to start. But you’ll walk away paying more.
Their $0 doesn’t include state fees or essentials like an operating agreement or registered agent.
Let alone a business address and mail service.

With Lone Star, you’ll have a recurring charge of $50 each year for registered agent service.

Our registered agent price never goes up.

Texas LLC FAQ

Here are some common questions about starting an LLC in Texas:

What are the benefits of a Texas LLC?

Who can start a Texas LLC application?

How do I maintain my Texas LLC?

What is a Texas Trade Name?

What are the costs of a Texas LLC?

What are the benefits of a Texas LLC?

  • Taxation. A traditionally-taxed LLC is not subject to state corporate tax, and the LLC itself does not pay taxes to the IRS. Instead your income passes through to the members of the LLC and then the income is taxed as personal income on the tax returns of its members. The only state tax your LLC is subject to in Texas is the state franchise tax, which applies to all businesses in Texas.
  • Less Red Tape. Unlike a Texas Corporation, a Texas LLC does not require resolutions to alter company operations, or hold annual meetings. It is also subject to far less record keeping, primarily because they do not issue stock. Essentially, having an LLC allows you to streamline you decision-making process and get to work!
  • Asset Protection. One of the huge advantages of having an LLC is that it legally separates the assets of the company from any of its member’s assets. This is done by designating what assets/debts actually belong to the LLC, and what is yours. Responsibly keeping these separate can enhance the limited liability of your company, and lessen your chances of personal debts or lawsuits.

Who can start a Texas LLC application?

You can. I can. Someone who lives in Hawaii can. Someone who lives and has always lived in Tibet can. The only requirement is that you have an appointed registered agent that resides in and can be served legal documents at a valid Texas address. Whether you live in Texas or not, we’ll form your TX LLC, provide a physical Texas business address, and be your registered agent for only $460 total.

If you’ve already formed an LLC in another state, you don’t need to form a new one to do business in Texas. Instead, you’ll need to register as a foreign Texas LLC. (Here, “foreign” just means outside of Texas.)

How do I maintain my LLC in Texas?

Once you’ve formed your company, you will be required to perform annual maintenance, and you will have some hoops to jump through if you wish to change or amend any provisions in your formation documents. It is important to keep up on the following tasks so your company doesn’t run into any hiccups:

  • Filing Your State Franchise Tax. The Texas franchise tax is a “privilege” tax that applies to your entity’s margin in one of four ways, depending on your entity’s annual revenue. The larger your entity’s revenue, the more complicated the calculation of your franchise tax, but generally there is a 0.5% tax on the revenue of retailers and wholesalers that gross over $1,130,000. If your LLC made less than $1.13 million in revenue for the year, you will not owe any state franchise tax. More tax calculation information can be found at the Texas Comptroller’s website. Your first franchise tax report is due on May 15th of the year after you form your LLC.
  • Keeping Your Registered Agent Service Up to Date. You will need to make sure that you have an active, dependable registered agent. If your registered agent ever changes, quits on you, or changes addresses, you will have to amend your Texas Certificate of Formation to reflect that change. We’re not changing our location anytime soon (we own the building), so with us as your Texas registered agent you’ll never have to file a Change of Address form.
  • Making Changes to Your Texas Certificate of Formation. In order to change any of the provisions that are set forth in your certificate of formation you will need to file a *424-Certificate of Amendment form with the Texas Secretary of State. You will have to do this to make a change to your entity name, your registered agent, or any other stipulations you’d like to be referenced in you formation documents. Pursuant to section 101.356(d) of the Texas Business Organizations Code, any changes to your certificate of formation must be approved by all members of your LLC.

What is a Texas Trade Name?

A trade name—also called a DBA name or assumed name—is like a pseudonym for your business, allowing you to do business under a different name without forming a brand new business entity.

So if you own a shoe store called “Bob’s Boots LLC,” and you want to start selling sandals under a different name, you can create “Selena’s Sandals” as a trade name. It’ll function under the same company, just using a different name with the public. Trade Names require filing a Texas Assumed Name Certificate. If you’d like, we can file this for your for $125 plus county fees—just add on Trade Name Service inside your client account.

What are the costs of a Texas LLC?

We’ve collected the most common state fees you may encounter when forming and maintaining your LLC in the state:

  • Texas Secretary of State Filing Fee – $300. If you print and file the Certificate of Formation via mail or in-person, the fee is only $300. It can be paid by check or money order made payable to “Texas Secretary of State.” The fee is non-refundable so if there are any errors or roadblocks on your formation documents, you will be rejected and lose $300.
  • Texas Secretary of State Filing Fee, When Filed Online- around $310. The Secretary of State charges a roughly 2.7% processing fee for debit and credit cards, and plastic happens to be the only method of payment accepted.
  • Expedited Processing Fee- $25. If you just can’t wait any longer to get your business of the ground, you can pay an extra $25 to have them move your formation documents to the top of the stack. Paying this fee means that more than likely your formation will be approved within 2 business days. You also get the option of leaving a callback number so that the clerks that approve it can call you and confirm it to you immediately.
  • Pre-Clearance Inspection Fee- $50. The Texas Secretary of State also allows you to pay for a pre-clearance inspection fee along with your Certificate of Formation. This means that a clerk will look over your documents and then assess whether your Certificate of Formation is acceptable before filing it. That way if something is illegible or your desired entity name is already taken, your $300 filing fee will be returned to you and you can fix the error before you file it.
  • Certificate of Amendment- $150. There is a $150 filing fee for changing the structure or organization of your LLC. If you file it online, it’s 154.05 after the 2.7% processing fees.
  • State Franchise Tax- VARIES. Generally, unless your business entity is making more than $1.13 million in revenue a year, you are not subject to the state franchise tax. However if you are making more than that, the factors involved in calculating your taxes for the year get more and more complicated. You can file and pay your taxes on the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts’ website.

Local LLC Experience.
Best Year-After-Year Value.

Let Us Put it to You Straight

Other services will try to get you in the door with the promise of lower prices, but midway through checkout you’ll notice that they keep tacking on fees for the essential features they should have included in the first place.

Our price is straightforward: $150 + the state fees. $460 total. That’s it.

There are no hidden fees, no up-sells, and if you continue with our registered agent service next year, we won’t jack up your fee. It’s $50 per year. Year after year.

Three members of Lone Star Registered Agents in the conference room.