What To Do After You Form Your Business Entity?
After forming your LLC or incorporating, many owners forget there are still steps to take to ensure that your business operates efficiently and legally. There are some important distinctions between merely forming an entity and operating that entity. Here is a short checklist for what to do after forming your entity.
1. Apply for any required business licenses. Some states require a general business license to operate, Texas is not one of these. Texas does require a license for various industries and services. To see if your business or industry requires one of these professional licenses, a great place to start is Texas.gov where a searchable database of many licensing requirements are hosted. Also, your county or municipality may have its own special licensing requirements. Ask your local chamber of commerce or county office for more details. Failure to obtain all the necessary licenses and permits can result in fines or even closure of your business.
2. Obtain your sales tax permit. If you are selling goods and some services in Texas, you will be required to obtain a sales permit. The Texas Comptroller’s Office has made it very easy to apply and obtain a sales permit, with an online application. For more information visit their website HERE.
3. Open your business account. After you have your EIN from the IRS. You are able to open a business bank account. Be sure to implement a good accounting system to keep your personal and business funds separate. Don’t forget to ask your bank about integrating a merchant account to take credit cards.
4. File a DBA if needed. Sometimes the name of your LLC or corporation will not be the name under which you will be doing business. If that is the case, you will be required to file for an Assumed Name or Doing Business As Certificate. Don’t forget to put the DBA in the name of the corporation and to file in each county (or state, as necessary) that you will be operating and doing business from.
5. Obtain a trademark. While DBAs and certificates of formation protect your name from being used by others a trademark will be required to protect any logo or design you create to brand your company. You can choose to file a trademark in either the state you are operating within or file with the United States Trademark and Patent Office which offers protection nationwide.
6. File your annual reports. In Texas, you are required to file an annual public information report and a tax report. Even if you do not owe the state any taxes, you will need to file that no taxes were owed. This is the number one reason that businesses lose their limited liability protection. Texas has made filing very easy with online options available that can be done in minutes, there is no reason you should lose your limited liability protection for failing to file your reports. Put it on your calendar and get it done!
In the future you may also need to follow the required formalities to close your business entity.
For more information about forming your business in Texas and what steps to take after, use the form below to contact Reidel Law Firm.