Starting a Business in Texas 2024 Guide: From Idea to Success

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How to Start a Business in Texas

Embark on an exciting venture in Texas, also known as The Lone Star State), where a thriving economy, skilled workforce, and business-friendly environment await! Setting up an LLC in Texas can be challenging, but fear not – our comprehensive guide is here to help you navigate each step to starting a business in Texas.

Lean on LLCBase as your trusty sidekick in this journey. We’re here to support you every step of the way, from market research to licensing. Together, let’s unleash your business’s limitless potential in Texas!

Why Start a Business in Texas

Texas is known for its diverse economy, skilled workforce, and business-friendly environment, making it an attractive destination for entrepreneurs looking to start their ventures. The state offers various resources, tax credits, and incentives to support the growth of businesses like Texas LLC, making it easier for entrepreneurs to establish and expand their operations. By starting a business in Texas, entrepreneurs can tap into the vibrant ecosystem and take advantage of the numerous opportunities for growth and success. When starting a business, choose the best LLC formation services in Texas to help you establish a business.

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Register a Business in Texas: Step-by-step

Embarking on a new business journey in Texas? Don’t forget to follow this well-structured step-by-step guide for a smooth setup experience.

Step 1: Do Your Market Research

Before starting a business in Texas, it is essential to conduct thorough market research to understand your target customers, their needs, and buying habits. Assess the competition in your industry to identify gaps and opportunities your business can fill. This information will help you make informed decisions and develop a viable business model. Utilize tools like SWOT analysis, Porter’s Five Forces, and PESTLE analysis to gather insights into the market and competition.

Step 2: Create a Business Plan

A well-crafted business plan is crucial for the success of any Texas business. It outlines your business goals, strategies, financial projections, and potential challenges. A solid business plan will help you stay on track and attract potential investors and partners. Include your plan’s executive summary, company description, market analysis, organization and management structure, products or services, marketing and sales strategies, and financial projections.

Step 3: Obtain Business Funding

Starting a business in Texas requires capital for various expenses, such as inventory, equipment, marketing, and payroll. Explore different funding options, including personal savings, loans, grants, and investments, to secure the necessary funds for your business. Research state-specific business loans in Texas, crowdfunding platforms, and venture capital firms to find the best financing option for your business.

Step 4: Choose Your Business Entity

Selecting the right business entity is essential for the legal and financial protection of your Texas business. Here, we briefly explain each common business structure to help you understand their differences:

  • Sole Proprietorship: A sole proprietorship is the simplest business structure in which an individual owns and operates the business. The owner is personally responsible for all business debts and liabilities. Tax-wise, the owner reports business income and expenses on their individual income tax return. This structure suits small businesses with low risk and minimal legal and financial complexities.
  • Partnership: A partnership is a business structure in which two or more individuals share ownership and management responsibilities. Partnerships can be general or limited, with general partners having equal management authority and personal liability for business debts, while limited partners have limited liability and control. Partnership income and losses are passed through to the partners’ individual tax returns. This structure is ideal for businesses with multiple owners who want to share responsibilities and risks.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC): An LLC is a hybrid business structure that combines a corporation’s limited liability protection with a partnership’s tax flexibility. LLC owners, known as members, are not personally liable for the company’s debts and liabilities. LLCs can be taxed as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation, depending on the number of members and their preferences. Starting an LLC in Texas suits businesses seeking liability protection and tax flexibility.
  • Corporation: A corporation is a separate legal entity owned by shareholders, offering owners the most robust liability protection. Shareholders are not personally responsible for business debts and liabilities; the corporation pays taxes on its profits. There are different types of corporations, such as C corporations, S corporations, and Benefit corporations, each with tax and regulatory implications. This structure is ideal for businesses with multiple owners seeking external investments or planning to go public.

It’s important to consult with a legal or financial advisor to determine the best business structure for your Texas business, considering factors such as personal liability, tax implications, and ease of formation.

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Step 5: Select a Business Name

Choose a unique and memorable name for your Texas business that reflects your brand identity and complies with Texas naming rules. Conduct a business name search to ensure that your desired name is available and not already used by another entity. To reserve a business name in Texas, you can typically do so online for $40 or via mail for $40. 120 days is usually provided for name reservations.

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Step 6: Appoint Registered Agent

A Registered Agent is a person or business entity responsible for receiving legal and government documents on behalf of your Texas business. The Registered Agent must have a physical address in Texas and be available during regular business hours. This service can be provided by the best Registered Agent in Texas or an individual meeting the requirements.

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Step 7: Get an EIN

An EIN, or a Tax Identification Number, is a unique nine-digit number the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assigns to identify your business for tax purposes. Most businesses must obtain an EIN in Texas, as it serves several essential functions. Here are some primary purposes of an EIN:

  • Hiring Employees: If you plan to hire employees for your Texas business, you need an EIN to report payroll taxes and other employee-related information to federal and state agencies.
  • Opening Bank Accounts: Banks typically require an EIN to open a business bank account, which is crucial for separating your personal and business finances.
  • Applying for Licenses and Permits: Many local and state government agencies require an EIN when you apply for specific licenses and permits necessary to operate your business legally.
  • Filing Taxes: An EIN reports and files your business taxes with the IRS and Texas tax agencies.
  • Obtaining Business Credit: An EIN is often required when applying for business loans or credit lines, as it helps lenders verify your business’s identity and creditworthiness.

To apply for an EIN, you can:

  • Online: Complete the online application form by visiting the IRS website. This is the fastest method, as you will typically receive your EIN immediately upon completing the application.
  • Mail: Download Form SS-4 from the IRS website, fill it out, and mail it to the IRS. Processing times for mail applications may take several weeks.

Obtaining an EIN is free of charge, and you should apply for one as soon as you have chosen your business structure and registered your company with the Texas government. Consult with a legal or financial advisor to ensure you understand your business’s tax obligations and requirements in Texas.

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Step 8: Register Your Company

To legally operate your business in Texas, you must register it with the Texas Secretary of State or the appropriate state agency. The registration process and fees may vary depending on your business structure and location. Below is a brief overview of the registration process for different business structures:

  • Sole Proprietorship: In Texas, sole proprietorships may not require formal registration with the Texas Secretary of State unless they operate under a fictitious business name. In that case, you must register the name with the appropriate county or state agency. Local and state permits or licenses may still be required, depending on the nature of your business.
  • Partnership: Partnerships must register with the Texas Secretary of State by filing a partnership registration statement and paying the applicable fees. The fees may vary depending on the type of partnership (general or limited) and the number of partners involved. Additional local and state licenses or permits may be required.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC): LLCs must register with the Texas Secretary of State by filing Certificate of Formation and paying the required filing fee, which may vary depending on the location of the business. An operating agreement outlining the rules and provisions governing the LLC’s management and operations should also be created. Local and state licenses or permits may also be necessary.
  • Corporation: Corporations must register with the Texas Secretary of State by filing Certificate of Formation – For Profit Corporation and paying the applicable filing fee. The fee may vary based on the number of authorized shares and the location of the business. Corporations must also create bylaws and hold an organizational meeting for the initial board of directors. Depending on the business’s nature, additional local and state licenses or permits may be required.

You must check with your local government, county clerk, or the Texas Secretary of State for the specific registration requirements and fees for your business structure and location. This information will help ensure that your Texas business complies with all legal and regulatory requirements. Don’t forget to consult with a legal or financial advisor to guide you through the registration process and help you understand the implications of choosing a specific business structure.

After Forming a Business in Texas

Following the formation of your business in Texas, critical steps should be taken to ensure smooth operations. Here is a detailed list of these necessary actions moving forward.

Register a DBA Name

Suppose you plan to operate your Texas business under a different legal name. In that case, you must register a fictitious business name, a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name, with the appropriate county or state agency. This process ensures your DBA name is unique and publicly linked to your business.

To register a DBA name in Texas, follow the steps below:

1. Conduct a name search: Before registering your DBA name, ensure it is unique and not already used by another business. You can do this by searching the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Taxable Entity Search database and checking the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database for any trademarked names.

2. Choose a filing method: In Texas, you can file your DBA name through two methods: There is no online filing available and For filing offline in Texas, you must send the accomplished DBA filing form to the County Clerk’s Office where your business is located. The mailing address and drop-off location will vary depending on the specific county.. The There is no online filing available method involves submitting an online application and paying the filing fee electronically. The For filing offline in Texas, you must send the accomplished DBA filing form to the County Clerk’s Office where your business is located. The mailing address and drop-off location will vary depending on the specific county. method requires you to complete a paper application and mail it to the appropriate office, along with the required fee.

3. Pay the filing fee: The Varies by county must be paid when submitting your DBA application. This fee may vary depending on the county or state agency you are filing with, so check their specific requirements and fee schedules.

4. Publish your DBA name: In some states, you may be required to publish your DBA name in a local newspaper or designated public platform to notify the public of your business’s existence. Check your local and state requirements to determine if this step is necessary for your Texas business.

5. Renew your DBA registration: In Texas, DBA registrations typically need to be renewed every ten years. Check with your local or state agency for specific renewal requirements and deadlines.

By registering your DBA name in Texas, you create a public record of your business’s identity and allow customers, vendors, and government agencies to recognize and interact with it under its chosen name. When operating under a DBA name, consult a business attorney in Texas or a financial advisor to ensure you understand your business’s legal and financial obligations in Texas.

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Prepare to Pay and Collect Taxes

Your Texas business will be subject to various federal, state, and local taxes, including income, sales, and payroll taxes. Managing your tax obligations responsibly is crucial for your business’s financial stability and legal compliance. Here are some key points to consider when preparing to handle taxes for your Texas business:

  • Income Tax: In Texas, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts manages income tax collection. The state income tax rate is Texas has no state corporate income tax, which may vary depending on the taxpayer’s income level and filing status. You must file annual income tax returns, reporting your business income and expenses as a business owner. Depending on your business structure, you may file your business taxes as part of your personal income tax return or as a separate business return.
  • Sales Tax: The sales tax in permit Texas is 6.25%. If your business sells taxable goods or services, you must register for a sales tax permit with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and collect sales tax from your customers. You must file periodic sales tax returns, reporting the total sales and the collected sales tax. Remember that local jurisdictions may impose additional sales taxes on top of the state rate.
  • Payroll Tax: If your Texas business has employees, you are responsible for withholding federal and state income taxes, Social Security, and Medicare taxes from their wages. Additionally, you must pay unemployment insurance taxes and workers’ compensation insurance premiums. You must register for a payroll tax account with the appropriate state agency and file regular payroll tax reports.
  • Estimated Tax Payments: Depending on your business structure and income, you may need to make quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS and the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. These payments cover your income tax and self-employment tax liabilities for the year.
  • Tax Credits and Incentives: Be aware of any available tax credits and incentives in Texas that your business may qualify for, such as job creation, research and development, or energy efficiency. These incentives can reduce your tax liability and support your business’s growth.

Consult with a tax professional to determine your specific tax obligations for your Texas business. A tax advisor can help you navigate the complexities of the tax system, ensure compliance with all requirements, and identify potential tax-saving opportunities. Proper tax planning and management are essential for the long-term success of your business in Texas.

Obtain Business Licenses and Permits

Depending on your industry and location, your Texas business may require specific licenses and permits to operate legally. Consult with your local and state government agencies, such as the Texas Secretary of State, to determine the necessary requirements for your business. Licenses and permits may include professional licenses, zoning permits, or environmental permits.

We’ve also compiled a list of the best business attorneys in Texas to assist you in acquiring your licenses, securing business permits, and other requirements!

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Set Up Your Finances

Establish a separate business bank account and accounting system to separate your personal and business finances. This will make managing your finances, filing taxes, and tracking your business’s performance easier. Additionally, consider setting up a robust bookkeeping system and hiring an accountant to ensure your financial records are accurate and up-to-date.

Fees to Start a Business in Texas

Here are the fees associated when starting a business in Texas:

  • Name Reservation Fee (Optional): $40 or $40
  • Texas Formation Fee: $300
  • Texas Incorporation Fee: $300 for filing online, by mail, in person filing, or by Fax
  • DBA Filing Fee: Varies by county

These fees may vary depending on your business type and location within Texas. Be sure to check the specific requirements for your area.

Advantages of Starting a Business in Texas

If ever you wanted to start a business in Texas, you should consider the following benefits that you can get from it.

  • Business-friendly environment: Texas provides a supportive environment for businesses, with various incentives, tax breaks, and financial assistance programs available to entrepreneurs.
  • Skilled workforce: Texas is home to a talented workforce with diverse skill sets, providing ample opportunities for businesses to find and retain qualified employees.
  • Strong economy: Texas boasts a strong economy, which provides a stable foundation for new businesses to grow and thrive.
  • Access to resources: Starting a business in Texas grants you access to various resources, such as networking events, business development centers, and educational programs that can help you develop and grow your business.
  • Quality of life: Texas offers a high quality of life for business owners and their employees, with affordable housing, excellent schools, and numerous recreational activities available.


What are the first steps to starting a business in Texas?
The first steps include choosing a legal structure, registering your business name with the state, and obtaining any necessary licenses and permits.
How much does it cost to register a business in Texas?
The total cost varies depending on the legal structure and licenses needed, but typically ranges from $300 to $750.
How long does it take to register a business in Texas?
The registration process typically takes 1-2 weeks, but can take longer depending on the complexity of your business structure.
How do I choose a legal structure for my business in Texas?
Factors to consider include liability, taxes, ownership structure, and the types of funding you plan to seek.
What are the different legal structures available in Texas for a business?
The options include sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), corporation, and nonprofit.
Do I need a business license in Texas?
Many businesses require some form of license or permit to operate legally in Texas. The requirements vary by industry and location.
How do I search for available business names in Texas?
The Texas Secretary of State website has a name availability search tool. You can also use the United States Patent and Trademark Office search tool.
Can I register a trademark in Texas?
While you can’t register a trademark with the state of Texas, you can obtain a state trademark registration as well as a federal registration through the USPTO.
How do I apply for a tax ID number in Texas?
You can apply for a tax ID number, also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN), through the IRS website.
Are there any specific regulations I need to follow as a business owner in Texas?
Yes, businesses need to comply with federal, state, and local regulations. Some industries may have additional regulations as well.
What are some resources available to small business owners in Texas?
There are several resources, including the Texas Small Business Development Center, the Texas Workforce Commission, and the Texas Business and Community Lenders.
How do I know if my business needs insurance in Texas?
Some types of insurance are required by law in Texas, such as workers’ compensation insurance. Other insurances, like property or liability, are typically recommended for most businesses.
Can I operate a business from my home in Texas?
Yes, but there may be zoning and regulatory restrictions in certain regions of Texas.
How do I create a business plan for my Texas business?
Consider working with experts, writing a detailed plan, studying the market, and seeking feedback as you create your business plan.
Is Texas a good state to start a business in?
Yes, Texas is frequently ranked as one of the best states for starting a business thanks to its low taxes, minimal regulation, and strong workforce.
Can I apply for grants to help start my Texas business?
Yes, there are several state and federal grants available to Texas businesses, primarily through the Small Business Administration.
What types of financing options are available to Texas businesses?
Financing options include business loans, angel investor funding, venture capital funding, and crowdfunding campaigns.
How do I market my new Texas business?
Consider creating a marketing plan, branding your business, leveraging social media, and networking with other businesses.
How do I hire employees for my Texas business?
Some specific steps include drafting job descriptions, interviewing candidates, checking references, and filing the necessary paperwork for taxes and payroll.
What are the taxes like for businesses in Texas?
Texas does not have a state income tax, but businesses are still subject to federal taxes and may need to pay local sales and use taxes, property taxes, and more.
How much revenue does my Texas business need to generate before paying taxes?
There is no set minimum; all businesses in Texas are required to file a tax return.
Do I need a permit to sell products in Texas?
Most businesses that sell tangible goods are required to obtain a Sales and Use Tax Permit from the Texas Comptroller’s office.
Can I offer alcoholic beverages with my Texas business?
You will need a permit from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to sell alcohol with your business.
How can I protect my intellectual property in Texas?
Texas businesses should file for patents, trademarks, and copyrights as necessary to protect their intellectual property.
Are there special programs to help minority-owned businesses in Texas?
Yes, there are several programs available to help minority-owned businesses in Texas, including programs through the Texas Historical Commission and the Texas Women’s University Women’s Enterprise Center.
How do I close a business in Texas?
You will need to file paperwork with the Texas Secretary of State and may need to meet with employees and creditors before closing your business.
Is it possible to run a nonprofit organization in Texas?
Yes; Texas allows businesses to organize as nonprofit corporations or limited liability companies as well as traditional for-profit businesses.
How do I keep up with changes to Texas business law?
Follow reputable news sources, connect with professional organizations, and attend conferences focused on Texas business law.
What are the steps to incorporating a business in Texas?
First, choose a name for your business and then file a Certificate of Formation with the Texas Secretary of State. You’ll also need to obtain any necessary licenses and permits.
Do I need to register my business name in Texas?
Yes, you’ll need to register your business name, also known as a DBA (doing business as), with the county clerk’s office in the county where your business is located.
What kind of business licenses and permits does Texas require?
The licenses and permits your business needs will depend on the type of business you’re starting and its location. Check with the Texas Comptroller’s Office for more information.
What tax obligations does a business have in Texas?
Your business may need to collect and remit state sales tax, as well as any applicable local sales taxes. You’ll also be responsible for paying state, federal, and self-employment taxes.
Can I form an LLC in Texas?
Yes, you can form an LLC (limited liability company) in Texas by filing a Certificate of Formation with the Texas Secretary of State.
What are the advantages of incorporating in Texas?
Texas has a business-friendly climate, with low taxes and minimal regulations, making it an attractive location for entrepreneurs. Incorporating in Texas also offers liability protection for business owners.
Should I choose a sole proprietorship or a partnership in Texas?
The decision to choose a sole proprietorship or a partnership will depend on your specific business needs. Consult with a lawyer or accountant to determine which option is best for you.
Do I need to have a business plan before starting a company in Texas?
You’re not required to have a business plan, but it’s generally a good idea to have one so you can clearly outline your goals, strategies, and tactics.
What kind of insurance do I need for my Texas business?
The type of insurance you’ll need will depend on the type of business you’re starting. Consult with an insurance agent to determine what types of coverage you may need.
Where can I find funding for my Texas business?
You can apply for a small business loan through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) or look into private funding options like angel investors and venture capitalists.
What are some free resources for Texas entrepreneurs?
The Texas State Small Business Development Center Network and the Texas Entrepreneurs Network both offer free resources and workshops for Texas startup owners.
Can I apply for a grant to start a business in Texas?
Yes, you may be able to apply for grants from the state of Texas, but the process can be competitive. Check out the Texas Grants Resource Center for more information.
What kind of business incentives does Texas offer?
Texas offers a range of incentives to attract new businesses, including tax credits, grants, and training programs. Check out the Texas Economic Development Corporation for more information.
Can I have a home-based business in Texas?
Yes, you can run a home-based business in Texas, but you may need to obtain a home-based business permit from your local municipal office.
How do I find customers for my Texas business?
You can start building your customer base by networking with people in your community, using social media platforms, and creating targeted marketing campaigns.
Where can I find resources for hiring employees in Texas?
The Texas Workforce Commission and the Small Business Administration both offer resources for hiring employees, including information on employee benefits, payroll, and taxes.
How do I protect my intellectual property in Texas?
You can protect your intellectual property by filing for patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Consult with an attorney to determine the best approach for your business.
What kind of marketing strategies work best in Texas?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Consider your target audience, your budget, and your goals when creating a marketing strategy for your Texas business.
Where can I find talent for my Texas startup?
You can find talented individuals by leveraging social networks like LinkedIn and networking with professionals in your industry.
Is Texas a good location for tech startups?
Yes, Texas has emerged as a top location for tech companies with its favorable business climate, low taxes, and incentives for startups.
Can Texas businesses sell products or services to other states?
Yes, if your business is properly registered and licensed, you can sell your products or services to customers in other states.
Are there any tax credits for small businesses in Texas?
Yes, there are a number of tax credits and incentives available to small businesses in Texas. Check with the Texas Comptroller Office for more information.
How long does it take to incorporate a business in Texas?
The time it takes to incorporate a business in Texas can vary depending on factors like processing times and whether or not there are any issues during the filing process.
What are the fees associated with starting a business in Texas?
The fees associated with starting a business in Texas can vary depending on the type of entity you’re forming. For example, as of 2021, filing a Certificate of Formation for an LLC costs $300.
Can I work with state agencies to grow my Texas business?
Yes, Texas has a number of resources available to small businesses, including affordable training programs and access to funding opportunities.
Are there any disadvantages to incorporating a business in Texas?
One potential disadvantage to incorporating a business in Texas is that it could be difficult to attract talent from other states due to Texas’ size and geographical location.
Do I need a lawyer to incorporate my Texas business?
Technically, you don’t need a lawyer to incorporate your Texas business, but it’s important to consult with a lawyer or an accountant before making any big decisions.
What kind of cybersecurity threats should I be aware of as a Texas business owner?
As a Texas business owner, you should be aware of cybersecurity threats like phishing scams, ransomware attacks, and data breaches. Take steps to protect your data and your customers’ data by using secure technology and following best practices.

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Why You Should Start Business in Texas

One of the most appealing aspects of starting a business in Texas is the favorable business climate. With no state income tax and a reputation for limited government regulations, Texas fosters a pro-business environment that is attractive to both small and large companies. This means lower operating costs and less bureaucratic red tape, allowing businesses to operate more efficiently and effectively.

In addition to the business-friendly environment, Texas has a diverse and growing economy that offers a wide range of opportunities for businesses in various industries. From technology and healthcare to energy and manufacturing, Texas has a vibrant and dynamic economy that is constantly evolving and expanding. This diversity allows businesses to tap into different markets and take advantage of the state’s numerous resources and opportunities.

Furthermore, Texas boasts a skilled and educated workforce that is eager to contribute to the success of businesses in the state. With top-tier universities and a strong commitment to education and workforce development, Texas is able to provide businesses with a talented pool of workers who are well-equipped to meet the demands of a rapidly changing economy.

Another reason to consider starting a business in Texas is the state’s strategic location. Boasting access to major markets in North America and Latin America, as well as a robust transportation infrastructure, Texas offers businesses the ability to easily reach customers and suppliers both at home and abroad. This strategic positioning gives businesses a competitive edge and opens up a world of opportunities for growth and expansion.

Additionally, Texas offers an unparalleled quality of life that makes it an appealing place to live and work. From affordable housing and excellent healthcare to an abundance of recreational and cultural amenities, Texas provides a high standard of living that attracts top talent from across the country and around the world. This quality of life not only benefits employees but also helps businesses attract and retain top talent, ensuring long-term success and sustainability.

Overall, Texas offers a multitude of advantages that make it a compelling destination for entrepreneurs looking to start a business. With a favorable business climate, diverse economy, skilled workforce, strategic location, and high quality of life, Texas provides the perfect environment for businesses to thrive and grow. So if you are thinking about starting a business, look no further than Texas – the Lone Star State has everything you need to succeed.


Starting and operating a successful business in Texas is an exciting and rewarding journey that requires careful planning, research, and compliance with legal and financial requirements. Following the steps outlined in this guide, you can confidently navigate setting up your business and making informed decisions.

We wish you the best of luck in your new business venture and hope that Texas provides a fertile ground for your business to grow and prosper. By diligently following the guidelines and requirements, you can contribute to the vibrant economy of Texas and build a successful, sustainable business for years to come. Visit LLCBase for more valuable insights and resources to help you navigate starting a business in Texas.

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