Small Business Center
Steps to Starting a Business:
In todays economy, starting and sustaining a business can be a challenge. Before you start you will need to identify and quantify the problem you will solve, or need for your specific business and find out if there are other groups out there who are already engaged and/or doing the same work, making sure that your new business is the right solution for the community you are trying to reach. See below for a list of resources available to small business owners looking to start their business.
2. Identify Business Structure
This step is very important as it determines financial and legal structure as well. See a list of Business Structures in Texas below:
- Sole Proprietorship
- General Partnership
- Limited Partnership
- Registered Limited Liability Partnership
- Limited Liability Company
Once research has been done, you will file the required paperwork for the business structure you have selected.
- Sole Proprietorship - Doing Business As (DBA)
In Houston, filing for DBAs is filed at the Harris County Clerk's Office. A DBA ensures the business name you plan to use is not being used by someone else in Harris County. The Assumed Name is good for 10 years unless changes are made. More details about this process can be found here.
- Partnerships, LLC, Corporation
In the State of Texas, all partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations are all filed with the Office of the Texas Secretary of State. Please visit their website for more information about these types of business filings.
3. Tax Responsibilities
Equally important in the development of your business are tax responsibilities of your new business. The following resources will guide you to the appropriate Federal and State agencies who administer business taxes.
Federal Tax - Internal Revenue Service
State Tax - Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts