Texas is certainly one of the best states in the USA to start a small business. CNBC classified Texas as the second-best state to start a business after Georgia in the year 2014. When it comes to rankings, these are based on various factors, including the cost of setting up and running the business, quality of life, business-friendly state policies, and above all, the ease of access to capital.
State-of-the-art technological advancement, excellent infrastructure, ease of setting up and running a business, availability of human and capital resources, and numerous opportunities to be a part of innovations make Texas an ideal business ground for new startups.
So, you might be looking for the comprehensive steps for starting a small business in Texas. This means looking for answers to questions like:
- How to start a business in Texas step by step
- How to start a home business in Texas
- Starting an online business in Texas
- Registering or filing a small business name in Texas
- How to start a business in Texas with no money
- Starting a sole proprietorship in Texas
- And other similar queries…..
If this sounds like you, you’re in the right place. We’ve compiled a concrete checklist that you should follow to start up your business without hiccups.
Checklist for Starting a Small Business in Texas, USA
This article will guide you through a complete list of actionable items required to set up a small-scale business in Texas. And you can use these items to create a checklist for starting your own business anywhere in Texas. These should be your go-to steps to starting a business in Texas.
Here it goes:
The ideation stage is the first set of steps we’ll cover in this article. This is where you check your idea’s viability and do your due diligence.
- Pick up a business idea that is much in demand within your target market. To get a better idea, check these small business ideas for some of the big cities in Texas, i.e., Small Business Ideas for Austin, Small Business Ideas for Dallas, Small Business Ideas for Houston, Small Business Ideas for San Antonio, or check this list of Small Business Ideas for the United States of America for more ideas. Identifying a highly demanded and most profitable business idea will lead you toward defining a product/service.
- Conduct in-depth research on the industry and the market.
- Write a business plan which should include a foolproof marketing plan with actionable items and properly defined financial goals for your startup.
- Decide your business’s legal structure, i.e., whether you will operate as a sole proprietorship or a partnership.
Now that you’ve completed the ideation stage, you’ll need to start making physical moves to get your business set up and running.
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- Name your business, and get it registered with the state department and/or get the certificate or d.b.a. (doing business as) in the county where you will conduct business. Follow this link for details about registering a business in Texas.
- Register or reserve your federal trademark/service mark and register appropriate copyrights.
- Investigate about registering a patent in case if you are going to market an invention.
- Register a domain name for your business, even if you cannot develop the website right now.
- Dedicate a proper space for your home office and check zoning laws and deed restrictions that apply to your home office.
- If it’s not a home-based business, make sure to lease a commercial space that meets your requirements.
Perhaps one of the most important sets of steps is the legal process. Make sure that your business has its permits, tax setups, and other legal obligations in order.
- Apply for an employer identification number from the IRS, file the appropriate tax election with the IRS, such as the entity classification and “S” election and contact the Internal Revenue Service for information on filing your federal tax schedules.
- Obtain tax information such as record keeping and tax estimation requirements etc.
- If your product/service requires you to collect sales tax, apply for a sales tax permit with the State Comptroller of Public Accounts. Also, find out when you will need to remit the taxes.
- Check with the local authorities about the local business tax requirements such as reporting tangible personal property used to produce income on tax rendition forms.
- Find and get business insurance that best meets your business requirements. Check if your business requires public liability insurance; if so, get one.
- Obtain the city, county, or state business licenses and/or permits necessary to operate the business.
- Before you start hiring for your business, you must look into the government requirements for insurance, worker’s compensation, OSHA requirements, self-employment tax, payroll taxes such as FICA, federal and state unemployment taxes, etc. Also, check tax information on hiring independent contractors.
Here comes the most exciting part: the execution stage. This is where you have more creative freedom in setting up your business, and these steps will help you execute wisely.
- Make sure to have a robust business accounting system before you start operations.
- Find communication equipment needs, such as a business landline, cell phone, etc., and get the same.
- Open a business bank account.
- Purchase furniture, equipment, and/or supplies required to start operations.
- Order inventory, signage, and fixtures.
- Develop your business marketing materials, i.e., business cards, stationery, business website, social media, and so on. Prepare any sales literature if required.
And there you have it! That’s the concrete checklist for starting a small business in Texas. While these are the general steps, there are many other things to keep in mind once your business is finally up and running.
Things to Consider:
- Hire employees that represent your business’s vision. Make sure to invest back into your human resources and set up reward systems for hardworking employees. This will decrease turnover, increase morale, and thus attract better talent to your business over time.
- Outsource work that you can’t afford to have in-house at first. Sites like Upwork and Freelancer are great places to find good contractors that can temporarily do some of the grunt work involved with startups.
- In terms of marketing, make sure that you’re choosing the right channels. Depending on your business’s audience, work with a marketing consultant to find the most effective path, and take advantage of it.
- In Texas, the community feel is important. Your business would benefit greatly from becoming involved with local charities or sponsoring community events! It’s a great way to increase visibility and goodwill.
These are just some key things to consider, but a business advisor can help you with the rest if you identify other areas your business could improve in.
The Bottom Line:
Please, be advised t be some additional stare eps particularly related to your business model or industry, which are not included in the checklist above. Moreover, there are frequent policy and legislative changes due to which the above steps may be different for you. It’s always great to seek a professional’s advice, i.e. having a local business advisor to counsel and verify that you have met all legal requirements before starting and operating your business.