Smart Tips for Setting Up a Business in Texas

Many entrepreneurs rightly see Texas as a land of opportunity.

Geoff Walton

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As the home state of billionaires like Walmart’s Alice Walton, computer tycoon Michael Dell, and the late former presidential candidate Ross Perot, many entrepreneurs rightly see Texas as a land of opportunity.

Historically, there’s been a huge number of Hispanics that have successfully started businesses in the state. As of 2019, there are about 700,000 Latino-owned businesses in Texas . And although many of these companies still face an uphill battle, there’s a lot to be said about starting a business in a location where Hispanics are already well-established, which brings us to our first tip.

Don’t be afraid of seeking help

If you’re adamant about starting a business and making it big in Texas, you’re certainly not alone. Well-established organizations like the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce know that Hispanic businesses are the backbone of the Texas economy.

These and other organizations actively hold educational programs like workshops on legal business issues and discussions about employment and management practices, all aimed at helping fellow Hispanics thrive. With fellow entrepreneurs having your back, including advocates not just in the private sector but in policy-making positions in the local government, you can expect a lot of support as you take on this potentially huge risk.

Familiarize yourself with Texas business law

In the U.S., the state, and not the federal government determine the business laws. Start your research with the first steps to forming a business entity in the state. Here are some key pointers from the Texas Secretary of State’s guide for business formation. Corporations owned by shareholders, are required to have a board of directors and formal corporate structure, and can eventually be traded publicly.

Meanwhile, limited liability corporations (LLCs) and limited partnerships (LPs) can be looser in terms of structure and cannot be traded as stocks. In general, if you’re working with limited startup resources, you can worry about becoming a corporation later and start out as an LLC. A guide to creating an LLC in Texas outlines the first steps for doing just that, including the requirements for foreign LLCs who want to do business in the state.

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There’s another viable option – if you have an existing business, you can opt to move it to Texas instead of starting fresh, provided you meet all legal requirements. This is just the start of your legal research. Having a keen grasp of Texas’ business laws will be a crucial tool for when you’re creating your long-term business strategy.

Pick the right city

Which Texan city would be the ideal location for you to start your business in? DM Magazine’s feature on North Texas cities where Latino-owned businesses have thrived point to Grand Prairie, Irvin, and Fort Worth as the ideal cities to start doing business. Surprisingly, the 182-city study referenced in the feature ranks the capital city of Dallas much lower in terms of being conducive for new Latino businesses, pointing to high unemployment rates for Hispanics along with poor affordability.

Apart from the general business landscape, it’s also important to familiarize yourself with the demand, competition, and other relevant factors related to the business, product, or service you want to start in your chosen city. Much like your personal knowledge of business law, these are the factors that will ultimately determine not just the ideal city to found your business, but also your long-term strategy for becoming a big player in the state of Texas.

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