A Checklist for Business Start Up in Texas
So you are about to start your own business! Whether this is the realization of a life-long dream or a necessity forced upon you by economic circumstances, here is a checklist of some things to consider. All items won’t apply to all types of businesses, of course, but this list can help get you organized to take the important initial first steps.
On January 1, 2010, many Texas business laws will expire. Therefore, it is even more important than ever to be informed about the legalities of setting up a new venture.
Choose the type of business you will have and get the legal paperwork started.
Do you need a partnership, a corporation, a sole proprietorship? You will need information about the different tax aspects of each, and how this will affect your own situation. Unless you are certain of what you need and are sure you are up to date on the current laws, including Texas Franchise Tax law, it is a good idea to have a consultation with your business attorney, or CPA, or both, in order to gather all of your facts.
Once you decide on the type of business, you will need to decide what paperwork needs to be filed at the state and county level. Certain types of business entities (corporations, non-profit corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Professional Associations, Partnerships and Limited Partnerships) are filed at the state level. For these entities, you may also need to file for an assumed name in all of the counties in which you plan to do business.
If choosing a “sole proprietorship”, you will not file at the state level, but still need to consider filing for your assumed name (“DBA” or “Doing Business As”) Certificates in the county or counties where you will be doing business.
In some cases, you may need to file paperwork in more than one state, or consider a registration of a trademark on a federal level.
At this stage you will also want to choose a name, check for availability, decide on who will be involved with the business, in what capacity, and what initial investment will be required.
This is also a good time to be sure that you are familiar with any specific laws governing your type of business (especially if it is governed by a state board).
If you are registering the business at one or more state levels, you will need official documentation to be drawn up and placed in the company’s corporate books or partnership books. You will also need to register for a tax identification number for the new entity. In addition, other governmental accounts may need to be set up such as a county tax account and Texas Workforce Commission account.
You should also decide on the insurance you will need, such as property, premises, flood insurance, malpractice, errors and omissions, worker’s compensation, health insurance, life insurance, or disability insurance.
When you set up a business bank account, and will need to have your originals of your state and/or county paperwork, as well as your tax ID # with you in order to set up the account. Decide in advance who will have the authority to sign checks.
Work with your business attorney to have any contracts that you need drafted and/or reviewed. These may include: contracts between partners, contracts for rental or purchase of commercial property, contracts between your company and your vendors/suppliers, contracts with your employees or independent contractors, and contracts for use with your clients or customers.
Finding Professionals to Help You
It is important to find qualified professionals to help you meet all of your legal requirements at the outset, saving you time and money. A qualified business attorney will assist you with making decisions and completing and filing paperwork as well as referring you to other professionals when indicated. Having the first consultation early in the process, and then returning for a “legal checkup” during the setup process will guide you in the right direction, save you time and money, and assure you that you are up-to-date on the current business laws and the changes that are about to happen.
Bob Kalish is the founding partner of Kalish Law Office, and has been representing divorce, business, and real estate clients since 1984. He can be reached by email at email@example.com. The firm’s website it www.kalishlawtexas.com and the telephone number is 281-363-3700. The Kalish Law Office is located in The Woodlands, Texas, and north of Houston.
The above article pertains to Texas law only and is intended for informational purposes. It should not be used as a substitute for legal advice.
If you are about to start up a business of your own, it is a good idea to make a list of things that need to be accomplished. Here is a list of things to consider, both legal and practical.
On January 1, 2010, many Texas Business Laws will expire.