How to Start a Business in Texas: Your Ultimate Guide

By Matt Bertram

By Matt Bertram

Matt Bertram is Head of Digital Strategy at EWR Digital. He is a nationally recognized expert in SEO and the Co-Host of the top rated SEO Podcast, "The Unknown Secrets of Internet Marketing." Author of Build Your Brand Mania: How to Transform Yourself Into an Authoritative Brand That Will Attract Your Ideal Customers with contributing articles in Forbes, Search Engine Journal and numerous other publications pertaining to digital marketing.

The time is ripe for you to take your passions and ideas and turn them into a business. 

If you’re in the Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, or other such areas, you’re already situated among a hotbed of diversity and business potential. When you figure out how to start a business in Texas, there are several tips you can follow that will help you get started. 

Follow the digital marketing agency tips below to act as your blueprint. 

How to Start a Business in Texas: Preliminary Steps

It’s important to get your business started by first having a solid foundation. There are plenty of preliminary steps you must take to know how to start a business in Texas. 

Texas recently grew at a rate of 5 percent, which is faster than the growth rate of the rest of the United States. You have many potential customers you can add to your base once you get your business started. 

Follow these steps so you can handle all the preliminary matters with your new business:

How to Start a Business in Texas: Your Ultimate Guide | EWR Digital

1. Plan Out Your Vision and What You Hope to Achieve

OK, you have a great idea for a business, and undoubtedly, you’re pumped with enthusiasm. Let this be the fuel that gets you started because, unfortunately, this is also the stage where most business ideas die. 

To take it from the idea stage to the action stage, begin planning your vision to the fullest to have a clear idea of what you hope to achieve. Leave no stone unturned when brainstorming every detail and figuring out how you can bring your ideas to life. 

With any business, it’s crucial to figure out the “why” of the matter since this will be what pushes you to get through the difficult stages. Don’t worry about being realistic or practical during this stage of the process — just let your ideas run wild.

2. Scope Out the Market and Similar Businesses

After you’ve gotten your ideas out, it’s time to start fine-tuning them and doing your research. Figure out what industry you’re stepping into so you can learn about the protocols and who the major players are. When you do market research, you can also begin putting together a buyer persona for your business. 

A buyer persona is a representation of who your likely or ideal customer is. This means breaking down attributes like the customer demographics, interests, and motivations for doing business with you. Think about your marketplace both in terms of local and online business. Even if you sell most of your products online, you’ll still want to have a local SEO presence. 

To get the inside track on some strategy, also look into existing companies within your niche. You’ll be able to learn from the mistakes and successes of similar companies that came before yours. 

3. Draft a Business Plan

Without question, never start a business without knowing how to start a business in Texas. A business plan is a document that lays out foundational variables like an overall snapshot of your business and what it entails, hiring needs, marketing plans, a breakdown of the marketplace, proposals for funding, financial projections, and other key matters. 

The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) has a business plan template you can use to help you get started. 

Take the time to create a business plan draft and then get another set of eyes on it to see if there are questions that haven’t been asked. Your business plan will be your bible moving forward as you get your company off the ground. 

4. Consider the Bare Minimum You Need to Start

Another mistake that budding businesses make is losing momentum once it’s time to launch the company. This is when people often find many reasons, many of them even legitimate reasons, not to move forward with plans of action. 

The hesitation boils down to resistance, so make sure you prepare for this by figuring out the bare minimum of what you need to get started. 

For example, if you’re freezing in your tracks because you don’t have enough time to make your new business plans come to fruition, plan for a scaled-down version you can move forward with on the weekend or between shifts at your day job. 

These little victories build momentum that turns into big wins, and before you know it, the vision of your business will begin to unfold. 

5. Scope Out Some Resources and Network Within Your Area of Interest

Once you open a business, your education can never stop. Put together a reading list so you can start wrapping your mind around the most important elements of the industry you’re entering. 

Opening an Audible account is a great way to listen to business-related books in your free time, so you’re always growing your entrepreneurial mindset. 

It would be best if you also began to grow your network of other professionals. Attending related seminars or other events will help you get locked in with people you can exchange resources with and learn from. 

File and Create Your Business

Alright, you’ve got your preliminary planning phase-out of the way. Now it’s time to get to the nuts and bolts of actually creating your business:

1. Figure Out a Brandable Business Name

How to Start a Business in Texas: Your Ultimate Guide | EWR Digital

What’s in a name? Everything, when it comes to a successful business. Your company needs to be immediately marketable to stand out in the state of Texas and the vast online landscape. 

Come up with a name that is not only catchy, but that also means something to you. This reinforces your “why” and will create some meaning behind this enterprise that you’re building. 

Once you come up with a name, see if the business registration name is taken and any good domain names. The more you can stake a claim to the name both legally and from a marketing standpoint, the better. 

2. Decide on a Business Designation

Now it’s time to figure out what sort of business designation you will register. Some main types of businesses include sole proprietorships, partnerships, Limited Liability Company (LLC), and corporations. There’s no need to legally classify it aside from getting a license and tax ID with sole proprietorships and partnerships. 

If you’re going the LLC route, you must file accordingly with the state of Texas and understand the terms that come with it. People create LLCs so that business owners and partners aren’t personally hooked for any lawsuits and liabilities. 

It protects your assets and comes with different tax requirements. Incorporating your business also comes with a variety of tax and branding benefits. 

3. Get Your Business License

To legally operate your company, you must apply for a business license. This license should be created to cover you on the local, state, and federal levels. 

There may also be several permits that you need to apply for, particularly on the local level. These permits may be specific to your business type, such as a restaurant needing to satisfy health and safety requirements or a daycare business needing a conditional use permit when operating out of a home. 

4. Set Up a Bank Account

Don’t make the mistake of mixing your finances with your business. Create a business checking account for your company and ensure that you only use it for business matters. Classify the account under the business name and choose a banking model that fits your company’s needs. 

5. Apply for a Tax ID Number

You also must get a valid Tax ID number for your company. If you’re starting the business yourself, this will be an Employer Identification Number (EIN). You’ll use this EIN whenever you pay employees or independent contractors. Applying for a Tax ID number is a simple process when you do it online. 

Fund Your Business and Gather Supplies

You must figure out how to gather some business capital. Start here:

1. Load Your Account and Buy the Necessary Supplies

Always make sure that your business checking account has money in it, even if it’s just for incidentals and office supplies. When you’re just getting started, you can transfer a little money each week to ensure that this account is always healthy. 

Start figuring out what sort of supplies and subscriptions you must start with. Carve out a space for your office or inventory and look into any types of technology or software that you’ll need. 

2. Get Funding if Necessary

Most times, it’s helpful to seek financing for your company. There are a lot of options for making this happen. 

You can apply for a small business loan to get your company off the ground. Check with your local branch of the Texas Chamber of Commerce to see if they have any resources that can point you in the financing direction. 

If you decide to get a loan, be discerning about the loan terms and the type you take out. 

3. Consider Hiring an Accountant and Other Professionals

It pays to have a team of financial professionals that can guide you as your business grows. Hiring an accountant will help you discern how money comes in and out and help you hit your goals and metrics. 

It’ll also pay to get the help of a good business lawyer that understands your industry. Put together a budget each month and quarter, and make sure that you stick to it. 

Your business will also thrive when you build your savings both for general purposes and make sure that your tax money is untouched.

Market Your Company and Plan Out Your Goals

The success of your business will depend on your ability to market it. Use these tips to get started:

1. Set Actionable Goals of Where You Want Your Company to Be

Once you figure out how to start a business in Texas, you need to have some tangible goals for marketing it. Setting up a vlog is a great way to bring visibility to your company. Perhaps an actionable goal can be growing your traffic or subscribers to a certain amount by a specific date. 

Buy some video equipment so that you can create crystal clear media that is helpful to your company. Consistency is the key for marketing, so make sure that you create a plan and stick to it little by little every single day. 

2. Build a Site and Create Social Media Accounts

You’ll need to have a website that is both responsive and attractive. This is important for your marketing and to make sure you can carve out your piece of the web. 

Buying Facebooks Ads is an effective way also to build traction with your company. The more you stay on top of your social media traction, the easier it’ll be to have customers that will want to follow you. 

3. Consider Hiring a Marketing Professional

You can also hire marketing professionals to assist you with your search engine optimization (SEO). This will help you get to the first page of Google, so your brand gets more traffic, and you can leverage this attention into more sales and customers. 

They’ll also assist you in putting together advertising strategies and other forms of marketing. Remember always to track and evaluate your brand so you can make changes as needed. 

How to Start a Business in Texas on Your Terms

These tips will help you when you’re trying to figure out how to start a business in Texas. You can use these points regardless of what kind of company you’re trying to put together. 

We would be more than happy to help you out. If you want to get your business off the ground, contact us online or give us a call at (713) 592-6724.