New Business Owner Working WIth a LawyerSmall businesses play a vital role in the Texas economy, but getting your company off the ground is no small feat. As a new business owner, there are several steps you must take to comply with federal, state, and local laws.

Select Your Business Structure and Choose a Name

A sole proprietorship is the simplest and most common type of small business, but this option isn't right for everyone. If you have a business partner, you may need to form a general partnership, a limited partnership, or a limited liability partnership. Other potential types of business structures include a for-profit corporation, professional corporation, or professional association.

You must file an Assumed Name Certificate with the Secretary of State and with the county clerk in the county where your business premises are maintained. Many county clerks offer a name search service for a small fee if you are not certain your chosen name is appropriate.

Determine Business Tax Responsibilities

As a business owner, you will need to understand the potential tax responsibilities of your new business on the federal, state, and local levels. The IRS collects federal taxes for businesses, but this is only the beginning of your potential tax liability. The Comptroller of Public Accounts collects various state taxes. Business Inventory Tax is assessed and collected by the local County Appraisal District. The Texas Workforce Commission collects Texas’s Unemployment tax.

Obtain Necessary Business Licenses and Permits

Although Texas doesn't require you to obtain a general business license, there are various
licenses, permits, certifications, registrations, and authorizations required for certain types of profit-generating activities. For example, a restaurant has specific requirements that need to be met in regards to food safety and cleanliness.

Learn About Your Obligations as an Employer

If you intend to hire employees, there is a wide range of laws you must comply with. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act prevents discrimination against people with physical or mental impairments, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Act prohibits discrimination against workers based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Contact Colin Smith Law PLLC​

As you can see, starting a small business is often a very complex process. Mistakes made in the early stages can have serious long-term consequences, so professional guidance is strongly recommended. Colin Smith will ensure your business complies with all of the appropriate legal requirements, so you're free to focus your attention on your helping your company grow.