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Need to Register your business?

Start Here!

If your business will operate as a sole proprietorship or a general partnership, you should file an “Assumed Name Certificate”, also known as a DBA (stands for “doing business as”), for each name the business uses in commerce.  The form is filed with the county clerk in each county where a business premise is maintained. If no business premise is maintained, it should be filed in each county where business will be conducted.

If your business will operate as a corporation, limited partnership, or limited liability company (LLC) you will need to register with the Secretary of State through their SOS Direct. If this entity also operates under a name other than the name on file with the Secretary of State, an Assumed Name Certificate must be filed with the Secretary of State. Forms can be found HERE.

Effective January 1, 2022, the Texas Secretary of State will waive all filing fees for new veteran-owned businesses. This provision expires January 1st, 2025. New veteran-owned businesses are also exempt from paying franchise taxes through the Texas Comptroller's Office from January 1, 2022 through January 1, 2027.


Please Note – Neither the filing of an Assumed Name Certificate nor the reservation or registration of a company name imparts any real protection to the party filing the certificate. It is merely a formal process that informs the general public of the registered agent for a business and where official contact with the business can be made.  In case of a name dispute, it can be used as legal evidence in litigation.

Basic steps for Starting a Business in Texas

Changes to filing processes due to COVID19:

Referring to Step 4 below - Most government notaries may not be available at this time. If you cannot come into our office, please call your local County Clerk, UPS or FedEx Store to determine if they have one available.

Your local ASBDC can help you file an Assumed Name Certificate, also known as a “DBA” (Doing Business As)  anywhere in Texas. If you’re not in Texas your local office can assist you with filing your business in your state.

If you need assistance filling out any of these forms or have other questions, please contact your local ASBDC. 

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1. What form of business?

The Governor's Small Business Handbook is a great resource on information regarding opening a business in Texas. Page 8 in the PDF has detailed information about the different forms of business in Texas. As always, if you have more questions feel free to give us a call!
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2. Searches

While not required, it is in your best interest to conduct a search to see if anyone else is already using the name you want to use.
Potter County Records Search

For Business names filed at the county level. This site contains records for Potter County only

Randall County Clerk Records Search

For Business names filed at the county level. This site contains records for 29 Counties. For counties not listed on this site contact your County Clerk's office to find out how to do a search of their records.

Comptroller's Taxable Entity Search

For state-filed businesses such as Corporations, LLCs, etc. This site contains the Comptroller’s Taxable Entity Records. You can find MOST state registered businesses here. If you have any concern that the business name you want is take please email the SOS above.

Secretary of State Records Search

For state-filed businesses such as Corporations, LLCs, etc. Contact the Secretary of State(SOS) to determine if a name you want to register is available. Note: Online search requires payment of a fee by credit card.

3. Forms

1. County DBA Form

for Sole Proprietor, General Partnership or Unincorporated Non-Profit. Expires in 10 years.

2. County Abandonment Form

for Sole Proprietor, General Partnership or Unincorporated Non-Profit. For use when you are no longer in business.

3. County Withdrawal Form

for Sole Proprietor, General Partnership or Unincorporated Non-profit. For use when a partner wants to exit a business.

4. Secretary of State

LLCs and Corporations must file with the Secretary of State.

The most common forms are: 201, 205 & 503

4. Notary

We can notarize your documents for you for a $6 fee cash or check only. You will need a valid form of ID issued by the US or one of the states. We cannot accept a foreign passport or ID.
Find a local Notary HERE.

5. County Clerk

Once you have completed your form, you will bring it to the Clerk in the County in which you will be doing business along with your fee for filing. Please contact your County Clerk for information about hours and fees.
Find your local County Clerk HERE.


1. Form of Business
2. Searches
3. Forms
4. Notary
5. County Clerk
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