Do you want to form an LLC in Texas? LLCs are an incredibly popular business entity type these days, and there are a few different ways to form one. You can form an LLC on your own using the DIY method, but that can be quite a bit of hassle, especially if you’ve never done it before. You can hire an attorney to form your LLC, but this option can cost thousands of dollars that many startups don’t have.

This leaves the third option, which is to hire an online LLC service. There are many reliable LLC services available online, but for Texas, there are four that stand out from the pack. Let’s discuss which online business formation service is the right choice for you.

Best Overall Service

While LegalZoom’s headquarters is located in California, they also operate an office in Austin, which makes them another inviting choice for Texas-based entrepreneurs looking to spend their money close to home.

LegalZoom is the biggest name in the LLC formation service industry. They’ve been a prominent player in this market for years, and they advertise more than most of their competitors combined.

They also serve a very high volume of customers, so there’s no denying that LegalZoom is a popular service. In addition, LegalZoom has thousands of mostly positive customer reviews available online.

However, they’re far from our favorite pick. Their pricing is acceptable but uninspiring. Their LLC formation packages are threadbare and lacking value compared to many of their competitors.

If you prioritize using the company that is the most well-known, LegalZoom is certainly worth a look. For the rest of you, we recommend one of the other services in this guide.

Are you interested in getting a more straightforward option with nearly two decades of experience? If so, give Northwest Registered Agent a look.

Northwest’s pricing starts at $39 and that rate includes 12 months of their premium registered agent service. While their competitors typically only scan the government documents they’re legally required to scan, Northwest scans all documents they receive on your behalf.

They provide great overall value, and they also receive strong reviews from their customers, albeit in a smaller volume of feedback than ZenBusiness or IncFile has to offer.

IncFile is one of the only companies we’ve ever heard of that actually offers to form your Texas LLC at absolutely no charge, as long as you pay your own state fee.

They’re also a good option for entrepreneurs in Texas because they’re based out of Houston, so you can support a locally owned business while getting great service.

Getting your business formed for free is obviously a good bargain, and it gets even better when you realize that IncFile is far from a barebones service. With IncFile, that free formation package we just discussed actually comes with a free year of registered agent service, just like you’ll get from Northwest Registered Agent.

The only real drawback of IncFile is that their customer support team can sometimes take a bit to get back to you.

What Is a Texas LLC?

First off, let’s quickly outline what an LLC is. LLCs are formal legal entities that are typically taxed similarly to sole proprietorships and general partnerships, in that the owners include any company profits or losses into their personal returns — the LLC itself does not owe income taxes. An LLC may also elect to be taxed like a corporation, although this is not a very common option.

There are similarities to corporations too, especially when it comes to financial responsibilities. In an LLC, the owners or members are not usually personally accountable for the financial status of the business. This means that if someone sues your LLC, your personal assets are not at risk.

While Texas does not legally require LLCs to create an operating agreement, it’s still strongly recommended. This document can help clear up any disagreements between your owners, and it’s also just generally convenient to have a roadmap of your LLC’s operational aspects.

One unfortunate aspect of Texas LLCs is that they’re expensive to form. In fact, at $300, the Texas LLC formation fee is one of the highest such fees in the nation. Considering the fact that some states will form your LLC for around $50, it’s clear that Texas charges a premium price point for LLC creation.

However, Texas can save you money as an LLC owner as well, thanks to this state’s lack of personal income tax, and they don’t have a corporate income tax either. This means that whether you use the default pass-through taxation method or opt for corporation-style taxes, you can save a tremendous amount of money compared to operating an LLC in most other states.

Finally, Texas allows entrepreneurs to form series LLCs. In fact, we have an entire guide on how to form a Texas series LLC. The series LLC is a group of LLCs that fall under the umbrella of one parent LLC. The big advantage of series LLCs is that each LLC in the series is shielded from the liability of each other LLC, and you only need to form one entity instead of several separate LLCs or a corporation with subsidiaries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Can I Get More Information About Forming LLCs in Texas?

We invite you to take a look at our comprehensive guide to forming a limited liability company in Texas. This article walks you through the LLC formation process in this state step by step, ensuring that you don’t miss any crucial elements.

How Can I Search the Texas Business Name Database?

One of the most important steps in forming a Texas LLC is choosing a business name. Once you come up with ideas for your name, you should search through the state’s Taxable Entity Search to make sure your desired name is available. For more information on conducting a business name search in Texas, check out our full article on the topic.

Where Can I Find the Texas Certificate of Formation?

You can file your Certificate of Formation online through the Texas Secretary of State’s SOSDirect system, or you can print off the paper form which can be filed by mail, fax, or in person.

What Are the Ongoing LLC Maintenance Requirements in Texas?

All LLCs operating in the state of Texas are subject to an annual franchise tax, which ranges from 0.375% to 0.75%. However, Texas LLCs are not required to file a traditional annual report like they are in most other states.

Where Can I Get Information on Licensing for My Texas LLC?

To find out which permits and licenses are applicable to your business, head on over to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation site, where you can find extensive information about licensing requirements in this state.

How Quickly Can Texas Process My LLC Formation?

According to the Texas Secretary of State, the typical filing time for an LLC formation is 5-7 business days. If you’re in a hurry, you can expedite your filing for just $25, which speeds up the turnaround time to just one business day.

How Can I Dissolve My Texas LLC?

Unfortunately, not all businesses last forever. If the time comes when you need to close your LLC’s doors, you’ll need to do so in a manner consistent with the state’s regulations. That’s why we wrote our guide to Texas LLC dissolutions, so you can complete the process in a compliant manner.

What if I Need to Expand a Business From Another State to Texas?

If your LLC already exists in another state, you don’t actually need to “form” it in Texas. Instead, you’ll need to foreign qualify the business in this state. This process is somewhat similar to LLC formation, but there are some crucial differences as well. Take a look at our guide to foreign qualifications in Texas for more information.

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