Online Texas LLC FAQ

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How do I form an LLC in Texas?

In Texas, you create an LLC by filing a "certificate of formation" with the Secretary of State's office and paying a filing fee. You'll also need a company agreement (LLC operating agreement), though it doesn't need to be filed with the Secretary of State. Your company agreement explicitly states the rights and responsibilities of the LLC owners (and managers, if applicable). A company agreement clarifies the business arrangement between the owners and governs how your LLC will be run. If you don't create a written company agreement, Texas LLC laws will govern the inner workings of your LLC.

After the certificate of formation filing is accepted by the Secretary of State and you have a company agreement, your LLC is official, but you will still need to obtain the licenses and permits that all new businesses must have to operate. These may include a business license (sometimes also referred to as a "tax registration certificate"), a federal employer identification number, a seller's permit, or a zoning permit. Forming an LLC does not exempt you from any of these requirements that apply to all businesses.

For more information, see the Licenses & Permits for Your Business area of Nolo's website.

To begin creating your Texas LLC, visit the Online Texas LLC page at the Nolo website.

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How much will it cost to form my Texas LLC?

The price of Nolo's Online Texas LLC formation service varies depending on your needs. To compare the prices of Nolo's three Texas LLC packages, see the package and pricing details page.

Nolo's Basic Service. The lowest priced package is Nolo's Basic Service, which includes preparation of the certificate of formation and regular filing, which will take two weeks.

Nolo's Standard Service. Our standard service package gets you all of the benefits of the Basic Service plus preparation of the IRS application for a tax ID (Form SS-4) and the Business Forms Bundle, containing 30 forms and contracts that every small business needs. Includes access to NoloCloud Legal Forms for business anywhere at any time from your account. Processing time is two weeks.

Nolo's Express Premiere Service. For these items plus Priority Rush Filing, a personalized LLC record book, foil-stamped with your company name, 20 personalized membership certificates, an LLC seal, and preparation of the IRS application for a tax ID (Form SS-4), choose Nolo's Express Premiere Service. With Priority Rush Filing, Nolo will submit your certificate of formation to the Secretary of the State within one business day and you'll receive your final LLC documents three to four business days later.

You can also add one or more of the following services for a small fee: preparation of a customized operating agreement, registered agent service, accounting help, and/or business license advice.

Note that filing fees charged by the state are not included in our package prices. The Secretary of State charges $308.10 (this includes the state-mandated 2.7% convenience fee). This filing fee will be added to your total when you check out.

Note for veterans: If you are forming a 100% veteran-owned business, the Secretary of State will waive this filing fee for qualifying veterans (honorable discharges only) who file directly by mail, in person, or by fax (not with Nolo's service). For more information, visit the Secretary of State's Business Information for Veterans page.

Please note that coupon codes are not applicable to LLC packages.

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How long will it take to form my Texas LLC?

If you order the Basic or Standard package, we will file your paperwork with the Texas Secretary of State within four to five business days and you'll receive your completed LLC documents one week later.

If you order the Express Premiere package, we will file your paperwork with the Texas Secretary of State within one business day. You’ll receive your completed LLC documents by email three to four business days later. Your LLC records kit will be sent to you directly from the manufacturer.

In the unlikely event that the Texas Secretary of State is experiencing delays, these estimated turnaround times may vary.

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How long do I have to work on my LLC order?

You have 90 days to work on your LLC formation without purchasing it. Every time you work on your LLC formation through Nolo's Online Legal Forms, your answers are automatically saved in the system.

Once you complete and pay for your LLC formation, Nolo's Online Legal Forms will store your personal information for one year.

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Will I have to pay taxes on my Texas LLC?

Federal taxes. The IRS does not impose taxes on the LLC; LLC income is reported on the members' individual tax returns.

State taxes. Visit the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts' website at www.window.state.tx.us/taxes to learn about state LLC taxes in Texas. You may also find it helpful to read Nolo's article on Texas LLC Annual Taxes and Filing Requirements.

Self-employment taxes. LLC members (owners) who are active in the business will probably have to pay self-employment taxes on their share of LLC profits — just as partners in a partnership do.

Fortunately, an LLC member can deduct, as a business expense, half of the self-employment taxes paid. (Members in manager-managed LLCs may not have to pay self-employment taxes if they are not active in the business; if you are in this situation, consult a tax adviser to see if you should pay self-employment taxes.)

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Can I form an LLC in a different state than the one in which my business will operate?

You can form an LLC in Texas even if your business will not be located in Texas and/or no LLC members will live there. But you will probably still need to qualify your LLC to do business in your home state — and this means you'll have to file additional paperwork and pay additional fees. For more information on whether you'll need to qualify to do business in certain states, read Nolo's article Qualifying to Do Business Outside Your State on Nolo's website. Note that if you don't register to do business in another state when required, you won't be able to enforce contracts in that state.

Also, be ready for some state tax complications if you form your LLC in a state that's different from the state where all of its members live. For one thing, the LLC members might have to pay personal income taxes in the other state on LLC income. (At best, you might get credit for those taxes in your home state and not have to pay twice. At worst, you might have to pay taxes you wouldn't have had to pay at home.) Other state taxes vary from state to state, and might influence your choice of location for an LLC. An LLC — like any business — has to pay franchise taxes, sales and use taxes, other transaction and excise taxes, and employment, property, and transfer taxes.

In addition, in most states, you need to maintain a registered agent in the state where you form your LLC. To avoid these hassles, most smaller LLCs that will operate in only one state form their LLC in their home state. For more information, read Nolo's article Where to Form Your LLC.

If your principal office is located in Texas, you can avoid these potential complications. Nolo will form your LLC if your business is outside the state, but your business must be based in the United States.

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How can an LLC be ended after it has been formed?

Like a corporation, an LLC is meant to be a permanent legal entity, and it will exist — and incur taxes and fees, whether or not you are actively operating a business — until you take legal steps to dissolve it. If you decide to discontinue business as an LLC, you must file a certificate of cancellation and possibly a certificate of dissolution with the Secretary of State. For specifics, see the Secretary of State's website at www.sos.state.tx.us/corp/termreinfaqs.shtml. For general information on closing a business, read the article Closing Your Business: What You Need to Do on Nolo's website.

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What happens after I pay?

Note: You will receive a confirmation that says the following:

Your certificate of formation will be generated and filed with the Secretary of State. Turnaround times vary according to the package you choose.

If you ordered Nolo's Express Premiere Service, your LLC records binder and company seal will be sent to you independently, directly from the manufacturer.

As soon as your filing is complete, we will email you your final documents, including your customized operating agreement/company agreement (if you ordered one) and instructions on a few more steps you need to take, including holding an initial meeting of your members or managers.

After completing your purchase, you may no longer go back and change your answers because your order is being processed. You may, however, view your answers by signing in to your Nolo account at www.nolo.com/products/customer/account/login, clicking on My Account, and clicking on Texas LLC.

Once we send your documents to the Secretary of State, we cannot refund your state filing fees and other third-party costs, such as courier and delivery services, should you decide to cancel your order. If you have questions, please let us know here.

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What if I want to change the information I gave you for my new LLC?

You have 90 days to work on your LLC formation documents without purchasing them. Every time you work on your LLC formation through Nolo's Online Legal Forms, your answers are automatically saved in the system.

After completing your purchase, you may no longer go back and change your answers because your order is being processed. You may, however, view your answers by signing in to your Nolo account at www.nolo.com/products/customer/account/login, clicking on My Account, and clicking on Texas LLC.

Nolo's Online Legal Forms will store your personal information for one year after you pay for your LLC formation.

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Where can I learn more about LLCs?

To learn more about limited liability companies, visit the Limited Liability Company area of Nolo's website or read Nolo's Quick LLC: All You Need to Know About Limited Liability Companies, by Anthony Mancuso.

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