Creating an online business in Texas can be a great way to sell, market, and advertise your business goods and services. The good thing is that Texas is a very business-friendly state and the state of Texas do not require a general business license.

The following steps detail how to start an online business in Texas: 

  1. Choose a business structure you want to operate under such as sole proprietorship, corporation, or LLC.
  2. File the Formation documents with the Texas Secretary of State.
  3. Choose a unique business name.
  4. Get a domain name after your search if the domain name is available
  5. Obtain a Federal Tax ID from the Internal Revenue Service website.
  6. Set up your website.

What Permits Do I Need?

The state of Texas does not have a general business license requirement. The state does have regulatory agencies, but there are different permits and licensing requirements depending on the type of business you have and the products and services that are being sold. It is best to contact your local county or city agency to determine what type of licensing is required to operate your online business. 

How Much Does it Cost to Set Up an Online Business in Texas?

The State of Texas has some fees associated with incorporating your online business. The overall cost to incorporate a business in Texas depends on different factors. As of August 2017, a certificate of formation for a Texas for-profit corporation has a $300 filing fee. Whereas Texas nonprofit corporations only have to pay a $25 fee.

What Kind Of Taxes Will I Pay?

If you have an online business in Texas are selling goods online and some of your customers are located in Texas, there are Internet Sales tax that you need to be aware of and collect from your customers. In Texas, if you are an online retailer that is located within Texas and make a sale through your website to a customer in Texas, you are required to collect sales tax from the Texas Customer. 

Under Texas law, you do not have to pay sales tax on certain items such as food and food ingredients. You can find information on various exemptions in Rules 3.286 through 3.344 of the Texas Administrative Code.  

Does My Home Need to Be Zoned for Business?

If you have an online business in Texas, but not a physical location that you do business out of you do not have your home be zoned for business. However, if you do business out of your home and online your home-based business needs to be zoned. You need to search your county’s zoning maps to determine the zoning ordinances you need to comply to. 

Should I Hire a Lawyer?

Starting a online business in Texas can be complex.  An experienced Texas business lawyer can help you in all aspects of starting you regarding selling products online, tax liabilities, and business licensing requirements. A business lawyer can also advise you on the different business management forms such as a corporation, LLC, or partnership when forming your online business