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Registering a business in Texas--how?


Aaron Borovoy
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Hi there. I intend to create an on-the-road tax preparation service when I full-time in two years, and want to establish a presence in Livingston with the business to help establish domicile intent. However, I keep trying to research "creating a business in Texas/Polk County/Livingston" and come up with confusing web sites or dead links. I want to find out the steps to create the business presence, license/fees, DBA creation, etc. It's a simple sole proprietorship, so I don't know why this should be hard to research. Any suggestions? Thanks.

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  • 2 months later...
On 2/26/2019 at 12:14 PM, Aaron Borovoy said:

Hi there. I intend to create an on-the-road tax preparation service when I full-time in two years, and want to establish a presence in Livingston with the business to help establish domicile intent. However, I keep trying to research "creating a business in Texas/Polk County/Livingston" and come up with confusing web sites or dead links. I want to find out the steps to create the business presence, license/fees, DBA creation, etc. It's a simple sole proprietorship, so I don't know why this should be hard to research. Any suggestions? Thanks.

Texas is pretty simple for small businesses.  Go to the courthouse and register an assumed name in the clerks' office.  Just fill out their form.  Most courthouses have a notary available.  Take the assumed name certificate to the state comptroller's office and get a sales tax license.  

There's a gazillion federal, state and local entities that have their hand out, but the basics are pretty simple in Texas.  Welcome to the Great State.

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I don't know about Texas, but we have an LLC operating company in AZ, and holding company in Delaware.  The AZ registration was all done online at the state web site.  The Delaware registration was done via a company that just does that for you, since I believe all states require someone who is physically in the state to be the registered agent.  This is a person who can be served with legal papers in person within the state.

This is what we used, there are probably similar agents in all states:  https://www.incnow.com/

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First you must decide what type of entity you want to be, Sole Proprietor, Partnership, Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), C Corp, or S Corp. The way to establish each is different in every State. If you are going to use an assumed name you must also file a Doing Business As (DBA). I would contact a Business Lawyer in TX to help you. 

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7 hours ago, whj469 said:

Do people pay sales tax on income tax services in Texas?

I believe that they do. I have done my own taxes by computer for years so can't say with certainty but I do know that many services have sales tax but not all. Texas sales tax code is very complicated so with any luck someone who has recently used a Texas tax service will respond. 

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On 5/26/2019 at 6:07 PM, whj469 said:

Additionally, is it mandatory that you register you business?

Define "mandatory."  You cannot get a bank account in a business name, or many vendor accounts, if it's not a registered business with a published DBA.  I can easily and legally do business in my own name, and have in fact operated one small consulting "business" with just my name and checks made to me, without any licenses, for 20 years.  But as soon as you want to get paid as "XYZ Tax Service" then you will need to do a DBA, at the very least.  For the consulting-only engagements I do under my own name, no license or registration is needed.

 

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The reason would be that many people want to do business with a business, not "a guy."  In some cases that wouldn't matter to them, others may care.  I don't know the OP's marketing strategy.  And I have no idea what it takes to run a tax business, but "vendors" such as Intuit may require documentation in order to treat you like a real business.  If I end up selling something to a customer it's via my other business that does have licenses and vendor relationships.  You might not even be able to resell things like the online accounting software without some sort of business docs, don't know.

 

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I'm the OP. The reason I want to register with a business name is exactly for the reasons Carlos mentioned above; marketing and professionalism. It turns out the business is me--the tax preparer (and my husband who will be doing a lot of the administrative backup and support), and I think it's going to be easier to remember the business name rather than mine. But it sounds like all I need to do is a DBA when I come into Livingston to do all of my other stuff for residency, which was the answer that I was hoping for. Now I just need to make sure that Escapees is cool with my using the one address for all of my mail, including the business (not that there will be that much coming; I expect that it will all be done virtually, but still). But that's another question that I can ask directly as needed. Considering that my primary focus will be the mobile community, I believe that the Rainbow Drive address will add some cred to my marketing.

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DBA is often all you need, but you might want more.  Check with any vendors you may use, and the banks.  Both of our banks require the DBA *and* the state business registration.  Vendors like Google Business require that too, and an EIN.

 

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How long is it until you plan to go on the road? I strongly suggest that you join the Escapees and get your address set up well in advance of the start date so that you have ample time to get everything set up and functioning. 

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I highly recommend you call Escapees headquarters to get more definitive answers to your questions. They are more familiar with RVers in situations like yours, and can also connect you to an attorney who deals with domicile/residency/small business concerns related to RVing. 936-327-8873
Sidenote- yes, you typically can use your Rainbow Drive address as your business address, too, but you need to let them know when you set up your account. There are some procedures they handle differently to help accommodate that particular need.

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It may not be applicable to your business situation, but like Carlos said, having  an EIN and an "official" business (via an LLC or other means) does make a BIG difference in your relationship with other businesses that you may want to have a relationship with. Many will likely not give you vendor accounts, or give you wholesale pricing without it. For a pure tax business that may not matter, though. 

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  • 1 year later...

 I was thinking about creating a new topic, but then I've decided to "resurrect" this one. Is it the time to register business in Texas now? The thing is - I have a plan, I have money, I've even created a monthly work schedule for business (I've found a template on the internet). I have everything for my future employees. But I also have concerns. 2020 is a wicked year. Will I succeed if I will start right now? Maybe I should do something else and wait until situations become better?

Edited by RainbowStalin
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19 hours ago, Kirk W said:

That might be a good idea, but I'd answer here if I understood the question? 

I want to open my own business in Texas, but I have concerns. Everything goes not so well right now. Covid, riots, oil prices. Well, you know. Maybe right now is time to save money instead of spending it?

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  • 1 year later...

If you want to set up a business in Texas, you need to apply for registration with the Texas secretary of state as a foreign entrepreneur, because the Texas secretariat regulates the registration of commercial enterprises in the state of Texas. I would like to immediately recommend you to use sales team tracker, because today it is very difficult to start a business from scratch due to the incredibly high competition. Therefore, you have to analyze in detail how your business is progressing, and along the way, take some actions to improve sales.

Edited by evelyco
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