What to do after Forming a Texas LLC

Sample Post-LLC Formation Task List


Congratulations! Officially forming a Texas LLC is a huge first step. While this first step is an important one, it is by no means the last. We hope you find the list below helpful in answering the question “What do I do after forming a Texas LLC?”

Sign the LLC Documents

After you (and your partners, if applicable) have reviewed and approved the LLC documents, you’ll need to (1) sign the Company Agreement and Organizational Meeting document; (2) e-mail me a copy; and (3) establish a safe place to keep the fully executed originals and other/future LLC records.

Obtain/Safeguard Tax Identification Numbers

The LLC's TEXAS tax ID (for sales tax and franchise tax purposes) is issued automatically by the Texas Comptroller shortly after your LLC is approved. Your Texas tax ID can be located via the Texas Comptroller’s website. Please note, this system is very particular (even a missing comma will affect your search).

The LLC's FEDERAL tax ID aka EIN (for income and banking purposes) must be requested from the IRS. Most of our clients ask us to get an EIN for their new LLC, but if you declined this option you can obtain the EIN once the LLC is created. An EIN can be requested online, via fax or mail. Applying for an EIN online is by far the best and fastest way to obtain an EIN.

  • Do I need an EIN/federal tax ID for my new LLC?  The short answer is “Yes.” If the LLC will have a bank account or pay W-2 wages to employees, it will need an EIN.

Open a Business Bank Account

The next step after forming a Texas LLC is to open a new bank account in the name of the LLC. You’ll want to take the formation paperwork you received from us via email (along with the EIN Assignment letter from the IRS if you applied for the EIN yourself). At a minimum, the bank will want to see the file-stamped Certificate of Formation and the EIN Assignment Letter.

Further Protect Your Business Name

Trademark Protection: Registering an LLC with the state is just the starting point. You should consider applying for a federal trademark to further protect your business name, logo, slogan, or other intellectual property. Obtaining a federal trademark takes a while (about a year), but the benefits of registering a federal trademark are substantial.

Assumed Name Filing: If the LLC uses an assumed name (any name that does not equal the LLC name), you must file an Assumed Name Certificate (aka “DBA” which is short for “doing business as”). If, for example, you want to drop the "LLC" in your logo or marketing materials, you would need to file a DBA. Using an acronym (i.e., English Students of America, LLC  doing business as ESA) is another classic example of an assumed name. Read more about Assumed Names/DBAs.

Understand Your Annual Maintenance/Filing Requirements

To keep the LLC in good standing, you must file a franchise tax report and public information report (collectively called the “annual report”) with the Texas Comptroller each year no later than May 15th. Your first annual report is due in the calendar year AFTER the year of formation. If you do not timely file the annual report each year, the LLC will be forfeited, and once forfeited, the liability barrier afforded by the LLC is forfeited as well.

Apply for a Sales Tax Permit

If your LLC sells taxable goods or taxable services, you'll need to apply for a Texas sales tax permit. You can call the Texas Controller at 800-252-5555 to ask about your specific situation.

Fill out a W-9

A W-9 is a one page IRS Form that is used to provide your federal tax identification number (TIN) to others. The federal tax identification number for an LLC is called an EIN (the abbreviation of "Employer Identification Number"). A W-9 is often requested by your clients so they can send you a 1099 at the end of the year.

A W-9 for a multi-member LLC is intuitive to fill out:

Box 1 – The LLC name
Box 2 – Leave blank
Box 3 – Check the box: "Limited liability company" and then write "P" for partnership (write "S" or "C" only if the LLC has filed an S-Corp or C-Corp Election)
Box 4 – Leave empty
Boxes 5&6 – Add the address you want 1099s mailed to
Part 1 – Use the LLC's EIN

A W-9 for a single member LLC is a little counter-intuitive:

Box 1 – Your individual name
Box 2 – The LLC name
Box 3 – Check the box: "individual/sole prop or single-member LLC"
Box 4 – Leave empty
Boxes 5&6 – Add the address you want 1099s mailed to
Part 1 – Use your SSN

Obtain Required Licenses or Permits

Luckily, in Texas, there is no requirement that every single business get a general business license or permit. However, keep in mind that there are certain businesses or activities that do require a license or permit. While the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration (TLDR) governs some of the more popular Texas licenses, the links below may be useful in determining if your profession or business activity requires a business license.

Professions Licensed and Regulated by TDLR →
Texas Professional Licenses →
TCEQ Environmental Licenses & Permits →
Federal Licenses →

Keep in mind, your local city and/or county may have additional licenses (and permits) that are required. CityApplications.com lists some of the local licenses that may be required by your city.

If you don't feel comfortable doing the license or permit research on your own, companies like BizFilings offer business license research services for around $100. Read more about BizFilings's business license research packages →

Beware of Solicitations

About 1 week after forming a Texas LLC, you will likely receive two letters/notices that you can discard. The first is from LCPS in Austin called "Labor Law Compliance Notice" and the other will be from Texas Certificate Service and called "Certificate of Fact Request Form." These letters/notices will look official, but they are private companies.