Are you interested in establishing your business in the state of Texas? The initial and vital step is to register your company name officially. Luckily, multiple options are available to you: forming an LLC or corporation, or applying for a “doing business as” (DBA) name through the state’s business division.
This straightforward procedure will initiate your entrepreneurial journey and enable you to bring your vision to fruition, thriving amidst the abundant opportunities that Texas offers.
How to register a business name in Texas? For added convenience and support, it’d be wise to consider using the business registration services of ZenBusiness. They’re experts in assisting with the registration process for your business name. With their guidance, navigating this process will be seamless, allowing you to embark on an exciting new venture within Texas.
Now let us delve into the essential steps required for registering your business name and commencing your entrepreneurial adventure in Texas!
4 Steps to Register Your Business Name in Texas
To register your business presence in the Lone Star State, register your business name in Texas. To assist you with this procedure, we’ve outlined four steps for officially registering your business name:
How to register a business name in Texas? In the great state of Texas, embarking on a business venture necessitates making a pivotal decision, and selecting the appropriate business structure.
This choice carries immense implications, influencing your liability and taxation obligations, as well as determining whether registration with the Texas Secretary of State is required. Within this guide, we’ll delve into the various business structures accessible in Texas and outline the steps to register your business name.
In Texas, a sole proprietorship is the most basic form of business organization. The owner and the business are treated as a single entity, so the owner assumes personal responsibility for debts or liabilities incurred by the business. While registering your sole proprietorship with the state isn’t required, there may be a need to secure local permits or licenses. This ensures compliance with applicable regulations and allows for smooth operations.
When two or more people come together to own a business, it’s known as a general partnership. In this type of arrangement, each partner holds personal responsibility for the debts and legal responsibilities of the business. While there’s no requirement to register a general partnership with the state, it may be necessary to file a “Texas Assumed Name Certificate” in the county where your business operates.
Limited Partnership (LP)
In a limited partnership, the business is managed by general partners who have full responsibility and unlimited liability. Limited partners contribute capital to the business but have limited liability. To establish a limited partnership in Texas, submit a “Certificate of Formation Limited Partnership” to the Texas Secretary of State.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Forming an LLC in Texas is a common decision due to its advantages in terms of liability protection and tax benefits. To establish an LLC, you must submit a “Certificate of Formation Limited Liability Company” to the Texas Secretary of State and create an Operating Agreement that defines the company’s management and ownership framework.
A corporation provides limited liability protection and is considered a separate legal entity from its owners. In Texas, there are two types of corporations: C-corporations and S-corporations.
To establish a corporation in Texas, submit either a “Certificate of Formation For-Profit Corporation” or a “Certificate of Formation Nonprofit Corporation” to the Texas Secretary of State, depending on your business.
When deciding on the structure for your business in Texas, it’s important to consider factors such as liability protection, taxation, and management requirements. Seeking guidance from a legal or business professional can assist you in making an educated choice.
Once you have determined the most suitable business structure for your needs, you can register your business name in Texas. Whether you opt for a Doing Business As (DBA) name or require incorporation documents to be filed, following the procedures will set you on course for establishing a successful and legally compliant enterprise within the great state of Texas.
Choosing a name for your business goes beyond being a mere formality. It plays a crucial role in defining your brand and attracting customers. In the state of Texas, you have three main choices for naming your business: registering a legal entity name, acquiring a trademark, or operating under a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name. Each option has its own set of guidelines and regulations that are unique to Texas, so it’s vital to familiarize yourself with the specific requirements.
Legal Entity Name
When you’re registering your business in Texas, select a legal entity name that’s entirely unique. This name will be used by the state to distinguish your company, and it must be distinct in order to prevent any conflicts with other businesses.
In Texas, there are specific guidelines regarding company suffixes such as LLC, LP, or Corp, and your chosen name should accurately reflect the type of business that you’re registering. Before deciding on your business name, check its availability by utilizing the SOS Direct database provided by the Texas Secretary of State.
How to register a trademark business name in Texas? Obtaining a trademark for your company’s name or logo offers nationwide safeguarding for your creative assets. Conduct a comprehensive search in the USPTO database to confirm that your desired name or logo hasn’t already been registered by another party.
Once your trademark is officially registered, it gives you exclusive rights to use the name or logo for comparable products or services, ensuring the protection of your brand’s identity.
Doing Business As (DBA)
In the state of Texas, entrepreneurs can operate their businesses under a different name while still using an official business name through a DBA (Doing Business As). This level of flexibility allows for the creation of a distinctive brand identity that resonates with customers.
To establish a DBA, file an Assumed Name Certificate (DBA) with the county clerk’s office in which your business is located. Unlike legal entity names, DBAs are not required to be unique at the state level; however, they’re subject to federal trademark laws.
How to register a business name in Texas? By weighing these naming options and adhering to naming regulations specific to Texas, you can successfully register your business name and safeguard your brand in this dynamic and competitive market. Opting for a unique business name in Texas will lay down solid foundations for success and leave an indelible mark on your customer base.
Before you finalize the name of your business and go through the process of registering it, it’s crucial to verify that the desired name isn’t already being used by another company in Texas. To conduct a comprehensive search for business name availability, there are three essential steps that need to be followed.
Before proceeding with the process of checking the availability of a business name in Texas, conduct a federal trademark search. Trademarks are registered at the federal level, which means that any existing federal registrations take precedence over state-level registrations.
It’s crucial to ensure that your desired business name is not already trademarked. If you find that your chosen name has already been trademarked, you will need to select an alternative business name.
To carry out a federal trademark search specifically for Texas, you can visit the website of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and use their TESS Search tool. This tool will assist you in determining whether your preferred business name is available for use within Texas.
Texas Business Name Search
After ensuring that your desired business name is not protected by a trademark, it becomes crucial to confirm its availability specifically for Texas. To perform a comprehensive search for registered business names in Texas, make use of the Texas Taxable Entity Search tool provided on the website of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.
While conducting your search, make sure that your precise business name is accessible, and also check for any other entities using considerably similar names.
Website Domain Search
Once you have confirmed that your business name isn’t trademarked and available for use in Texas, search for the availability of the .com domain version of your business name. It’s recommended to register the .com domain even if you do not currently plan on building a website. This will protect your business name from being used by others.
By registering the .com version of your business name with ZenBusiness, you can ensure exclusive use and protection against others using the same website name. This affordable option will safeguard your business identity online.
By conducting these three searches thoroughly, you can verify the availability of your business name and confidently proceed with the registration process in Texas. Having a unique and available name will set your business apart and make a lasting impression on customers in the thriving Texan market.
After you have decided on the structure of your business and selected a name, the subsequent task is to register your business with the State of Texas by submitting the required formation documents.
To establish a Texas LLC, it’s imperative to submit the Articles of Organization to the Texas Secretary of State. This can be completed either online or through conventional mail. To form a Texas corporation, file the Certificate of Incorporation with the Texas Secretary of State.
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Protect Your Business Name With a Trademark
Once you have verified that your business name is available and secured it, you can think about applying for a trademark. The price of obtaining a trademark varies between $225 and $400, plus additional charges for attorneys and a renewal fee every 10 years.
Although this cost might be substantial for small or emerging businesses, having a federally protected trademark provides brand protection across the entire country. If other businesses attempt to use the same or a similar name, having a registered trademark can offer legal benefits. However, for most locally operating small businesses, obtaining a trademark may not be essential.
How to File a Texas Fictitious Name – DBA?
To file a Texas Fictitious Name, also referred to as a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name, you can complete the following procedures:
- Select a Name: Start by choosing a unique and unused fictitious name for your business. Make sure that the name isn’t already in use by another entity operating in Texas.
- Check Name Availability: Conduct a comprehensive name search on the Texas Secretary of State’s website or other relevant databases to verify that your selected “Doing Business As” (DBA) name hasn’t already been registered.
- Submit the DBA Application: After confirming name availability, submit the Assumed Name Certificate to the county clerk’s office in the county where your business is located. Depending on the county’s regulations, you may also be required to publish a notice in a local newspaper.
- Renewal: Remember that Texas DBAs typically remain valid for ten years. Remember to renew your DBA before it expires to ensure it remains in active status.
By following these steps, you can successfully file for a Texas Fictitious Name (DBA) and operate your business under the chosen name with no formal name change process.
How to Change the Name of a Texas Business?
In Texas, if you desire to alter the name of your company, there are two available approaches to accomplish this:
- Applying for a Fictitious Name (DBA Name): This method enables you to conduct your business using a name other than your legal one, making it a great choice for sole proprietorships, general partnerships, LLCs, and corporations aiming to use brand names without the obligatory “LLC” or “Inc.” suffix included in their legal name.
- Filing a Legal Name Amendment: If you seek to alter the legal name of your LLC or corporation, you can achieve this by submitting a Certificate of Amendment. This alternative is better suited for situations where you intend to change the legal name.
To finalize the procedure, please send in the form along with a $150 fee either through mail, fax, or by visiting our office in person.
Business Name Registration Laws in Texas
The regulations for registering a business name in Texas, specifically for Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), are outlined as follows:
- Designation Requirements: A Limited Liability Company’s name must incorporate the phrases “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company,” or their corresponding abbreviations like “LLC” or “LC.”
- Uniqueness Requirement: It’s imperative that your chosen business name isn’t already in use by a competing entity. The Texas Secretary of State (TXSOS) will disapprove a new business filing if another Texas or foreign business has already registered with the same name. Even if the existing business hasn’t officially trademarked the name or established an LLC, they may still possess common law rights to that name if they’ve been using it for a longer duration.
- Avoid Deceptively Similar Names: The use of a name that closely resembles an existing business’s name is prohibited. Any name that might lead to marketplace confusion will probably face rejection. Making minor alterations to an existing name, such as adding “LLC” or “Co.” or changing the spelling, will not suffice.
- Letter of Consent: If your intended company name resembles another business’s name, you might need a Consent to Use of Similar Name from that business to secure TXSOS approval.
- Standard Keyboard Characters: The business name must be composed of standard keyboard characters, and symbols like the iconic one used by the artist Prince would not be permitted.
- No False Government Affiliation or Illegal Purpose: Your LLC name cannot imply an erroneous government association or an unlawful intent.
- Non-Offensive Name: Offensive names are not eligible for registration.
- Surnames Usage: You can share a surname with another business, provided that the names are distinct enough to avoid confusion.
- Leeway for Churches and Ministries: Churches and ministries have some naming flexibility as long as there are clear distinguishing elements, such as different city names.
- Use of Professional Terminology: Certain professional terms like “Law Offices” or “Pediatric Center” cannot be claimed by any company. If you’re qualified and include additional distinguishing words, you may incorporate professional terms in your business name.
Remember that these regulations may be altered, so it’s crucial to confirm the most up-to-date laws from authoritative sources or legal professionals prior to officially registering a business name in Texas.
Bottom Line on How to Register a Business Name in Texas
To summarize, the initial step to embark on an exhilarating entrepreneurial venture in Texas is to register a business name officially. By carefully choosing an original business structure and name, fulfilling all mandatory registrations, and considering options such as trademark protection or a DBA name, you establish a solid groundwork for achieving success.
Enlisting the assistance of LLC services like ZenBusiness can offer invaluable expertise and support throughout the registration process, ensuring your journey toward prosperity in Texas is even smoother.
With unwavering passion and determination, you set out on an extraordinary path that leaves an indelible impact on the flourishing business landscape of the Lone Star State. The future shines brightly with your duly registered business name leading the way.