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Find Out How to Start a Business in Texas and Ensure Its Success

Find Out How to Start a Business in Texas and Ensure Its Success

Many business owners are struggling to make a profit or at least break even, because they started out without the assistance of professional SEO services and helpful advice for opening a company in Texas. When you register a small business, you have many roads open before you: most of them lead nowhere. Only a few will lead to success. However, in order to find it, you need an expert’s guidance on how to register a business in Texas, apply for the license needed to supply various services and promote your business online.

This is why we are here: to help every entrepreneur open a business, find customers and win new ones on a constant basis. As SEO and web development specialists, we know the importance of having a strong online presence, even if you are running a corner shop.

In this article, we will explain all the steps you must follow for starting an online business in Texas or just a small local business.

Simple Steps for Starting a Business in Texas

Every business, even large multinational corporations, started with an idea: fulfilling a need or supplying a service that consumers want, but cannot find on the market. Thus, our starting a business in Texas checklist begins with:

Finding a Business Idea

A great business idea meets several conditions: 

  • It is something you are good at 
  • It is something that people need now and in the foreseeable future
  • It is something that people are willing to pay for.

This table shows the main reason why you should open a business in Texas, a thriving state

People’s needs change, but they will always need certain products and services. Right now, for instance, the most in-demand services to consider if you want to open a business in Texas are:

  • Food trucks
  • Car wash services
  • Car repair services
  • Personal trainers
  • Language courses
  • Apps and games for kids.

Choosing a Legal Structure

Any business must be incorporated according to the laws of your state. When you want to know how to start a small business in Texas, any new company can be incorporated under the following structures:

Sole Proprietorship

- the most common business structure

- the owner is 100% liable for the business

- the owner can do business in their own name or obtain a “DBA certificate” to use a different name

- this type of business is not subject to the state franchise tax 

General Partnership

- similar to the sole proprietorship, but it involves two or several business owners

- all the owners are liable with their personal assets for business debts

- this legal structure is not subject to the state franchise tax 

Limited Liability Company

- to create a LLC, you have to file a certificate of formation with the Texas Secretary of State

- the owners have limited liability, up to the total value of the business assets

- the LLC is subject to the state franchise tax 

For Profit Corporation

- a corporation issues shares and the people who buy them become owners

- the managers of a corporation are directors

- the corporation is formed by filing a certificate of formation with the Texas State Secretary

- corporations are subject to the state franchise tax 

Choosing a Business Name

A business name should be relevant, memorable and unique. Before you begin the first step of the checklist for starting an online business in Texas, you should check with the federal and state trademark authorities that the business name you wish to use is not already registered.

Registering the Texas Business Entity

The table above explains what type of documents you need to file in order to open a business in Texas and operate it legally. You can find all the information you need on this topic on the official website of the State of Texas. However, we will point out the key steps to starting a business in Texas:

  1. Write your business plan – you can find helpful templates on the U.S. Small Business Administration website
  2. Choose a business location, paying attention to the zoning ordinances
  3. Finance your business, including by applying for a bank loan or a federal loan via the SBA, or raising money through crowd funding and angel investor platforms
  4. Decide on your business structure and register your business na,e, as we explained above
  5. Determine your business tax responsibilities: you will file federal tax obligations through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and state tax obligations through the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (CPA).
  6. Figure out required licenses and permits for selling goods or supplying services
  7. Learn your business employer requirements, if you want to hire employees.

Applying for Licenses and Permits

When you ask “what do I need to start a business in Texas?”, we answer: apply for license and permits, such as:

  • Sales tax permit, if you are selling good
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN), if you plant to employ people
  • Regulatory licenses and permits for health and safety, environment, building and construction (each applying to specific industries and services)
  • Professional and occupational licenses, including the Certificate of Authority if you will supply professional services (accounting, legal, architecture, etc.).

Finding a Business Location

Location is everything if you are opening a company in Texas with new stores or business offices. The good news is that most places in Texas are great for business. Our state ranks first in the top of the best states to start a business, having high scores for all the key aspects:

  • Business environment
  • Business costs
  • Access to resources.

What Do I Need to Start an Online Business in Texas?

Now that you know the steps to starting a business in Texas in retail and other fields involving a physical location, let us focus on doing business online. Some companies thrive without having a single office or store. They sell products through an ecommerce website or supply digital services.

After opening a company in Texas, consider the benefits of creating a website for it

Thus, if you want to know how to start a small business in Texas 100% online, you will need to:

Choose and Register a Domain Name

The domain name should be your business name, the DBA name or the brand name you are using. You need to check for availability and register your domain name with providers, such as:

Buy a Web Hosting Plan 

Web hosting represents the space on a server where your website is stored and available to anyone who wants to browse it. Depending on the size and complexity of your website, you can choose between shared hosting, dedicated server hosting, and virtual private server hosting.

Our advice for entrepreneurs who are just starting an online business in Texas is to choose the simplest hosting plan (shared hosting) and upgrade it as your business grows.

Choose a CMS Platform

CMS stands for “content management system”. It represents the backend of a website, invisible to visitors and accessible to the owner and webmaster. The CMS helps you manage the entire website:

  • Add and delete web pages
  • Upload or delete photos or videos
  • Add, delete and edit texts.

At the present the most popular CMS options are WordPress, Wix and Shopify. WordPress is probably the most popular CMS, because it is very user friendly. However, you depend on the updates made by the developers, as WordPress is an open source web building platform. Wix and Shopify are also easy to use even if you do not know how to code. However, they are developed and maintained by their respective companies, and your right to use them depends on the terms of service, which may vary from time to time.

If you want to be in full control of your site after starting an online business in Texas, you should hire an experienced web development agency to create a custom CMS for you, which will not depend on the decisions of a separate entity concerning its features, functions and availability.

Rely on Specialists in Website Design Services

How to start an online business in Texas, create a website and attract lots of customers? The answer is simple: hire a professional web design and development agency, capable of creating a site which:

  • Meets your business needs
  • Meets your branding requirements
  • Meets Google’s requirement for ranking in search results
  • Is useful, attractive and easy to use by your customers.

Our team can design your site and create content according to the best practices of SEO (more on this topic later in this article).

Create Social Media Profiles for Your Business

You cannot open a business in Texas and keep it successful at the present without an active presence on the main social media platforms: Facebook. Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Also, you will need to register a Google Business profile, to help the search engine verify your location and match your business with local searches by potential customers.

Last but not least, you will need to create a profile for your business on review platforms, such as Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google Reviews.

Perform Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the most effective way of growing your business through:

  • Brand awareness
  • Understanding of your customers’ needs and preferences
  • Attracting qualified traffic to your website.

Once you know how to start a small business in Texas, learn about the benefits of SEO

Let Us Explain Why Your Business Needs a Website

You have noticed that a significant part of this article on how to start a business in Texas focuses on the step related to creating a website. “What if I run a small store and I want customers to walk in it and buy my products?” Even in this case, you still need a website. Here are the main reasons for it:

Build Credibility for Your Business

We live in a digital world – there is no escaping from this truth. People use the internet for everything, from booking a hotel or a restaurant table to making an appointment with the dentist, paying bills and buying groceries.

    The internet is the only place where you can thrive after you open a business in Texas

    At this moment, consumers have an expectation to find you online after starting a small business in Texas and browse your website. It may sound harsh, but if you don’t have a website you don’t exist as a credible business in most consumers’ opinion.

    Build Brand Awareness

    Customer loyalty appears when people recognize your logo, business name and tagline and know that they can trust your products and services. A website helps users remember your brand image and develop trust for your business. It is the most effective way of making sure that, at any given moment, a customer may see your business name and decide to buy from you.

    Generate More Leads

    Offline marketing is incredibly expensive and very ineffective. People are no longer buying print magazines and newspapers, don’t pay attention to outdoor ads, and throw away flyers they find in their mailbox without even looking at them.

    If you want to open a business in Texas and run it successfully, you need a constant flow of leads – consumers who are interested in your products and services and are likely to become clients. The basic prerequisite for this is having a website that leads may reach from Google searches and social media posts.

    Generate Organic Traffic

    Organic traffic refers to visits to your website that come from online searches and social media posts, as opposed to ads. While big corporations afford to invest considerable monthly amounts of money for paid traffic, if you are just starting an online business in Texas, you probably cannot afford this option.

    Also, organic traffic can be more effective with a proper SEO strategy – you will get website visits from people who are most likely to become your customers.

    Offer Customer Services Around the Clock

    A website allows you to keep in touch with your customers even when you are not available. By implementing chatbots, online forms, and publishing your business email address on the site, you allow clients to ask questions and receive answers in the shortest time.

    You Can Showcase All Your Services or Products

    The website is your online showroom. You can create unique pages for each product or service and attract customers with:

    • Product descriptions
    • Photographs
    • Videos
    • Answers to frequent questions about the product or service.

    A Website Has a Low Difficulty to Start

    Compared to leasing store space, fitting and decorating it, a website is simpler, faster and more affordable to create. Many businesses started 100% online and now grew big enough to open physical stores, as well.

    Why Does Your Business Need SEO?

    Search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of actions and activities performed on your website to make it easier to index by Google and make sure that it is selected among the search results for relevant keywords.

    After starting a small business in Texas, invest in SEO services to grow it and find clients

    SEO is the most effective digital marketing strategy at the moment after opening a company in Texas for the following reasons:

    Your Site Gets More Visibility

    Using the right keywords and link building strategies will bring your site before a large number of internet users. They may find your site in places not accessible to you, such as other websites, and various people’s social media profiles.

    You Get More Web Traffic

    A properly optimized website gets more organic traffic from Google searches, because it appears in a higher position among search results. 

    You Can Build an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy

    Starting from SEO, you can create an effective content strategy, as well as strategies for collecting more positive reviews, customer testimonials and client referral programs.

    You Win Your Customers’ Confidence

    As explained above, credibility is crucial if you are just starting a small business in Texas. And this is what SEO does: it determines customers to trust your business, because Google chose to show it among search results.

    Get a Good Return on Investment (ROI)

    Compared to paid search, SEO has a higher return on investment, because it is a long term strategy, with results that exceed the period when you implemented and paid for it.

    Remember: SEO Is Not Dead

    You may have heard various myths stating that SEO is dead and no longer working. We covered them in the article on the topic “Is SEO Dead?” together with detailed explanations proving that SEO is still the most effective strategy after you open a business in Texas.

    Ready for Opening a Company in Texas? We Can Help You Make It Successful!

    The team of SEO and web development specialists at Direct Line Development is your best ally if you consider starting an online business in Texas or a local business. We are ready to design your website, create your content and your SEO strategy, so contact our specialists today: 267-626-2554!

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    Cyril Allgeier
    Cyril Allgeier
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