One of the first questions out-of-state business owners ask us is, “Do I need a business license in Texas?” Below are a few general answers to this and other questions regarding business licenses in Texas.
What types of licenses are available through the State of Texas?
A general business license is not required in Texas. However, the State does have regulatory agencies that have permits and licensing requirements. The licensing is determined by the type of business, products, or services sold. Also, many cities require businesses to be licensed to operate. Business license requirements will vary depending on the location. It’s essential to contact the local county or city government offices to find out which license is needed or if there are other permits or additional requirements needed to operate your business.
For more information, please refer to the 2022 Texas Business Licenses & Permits Guide. Also, Texas Economic Development and Tourism Business Permit Office (BPO) provides comprehensive information on state permits and licenses required for business enterprises in the State.
What types of occupational licensing are available?
There are over 250 professional, occupational, and facility business licenses available in Texas that are obtained from the State. To find out which specialty license you may need, you can visit the State of Texas’s website. You can search for business licenses and permits by an alphabetical listing of different agencies. Each agency has different requirements that must be met before operating your business.
Do I need a local or county business license?
Most cities in Texas do not have a local business license. There might be other permits or zoning requirements to do business within the city limits (such as taxi cab drivers, food services, etc.). Contact the city by visiting them online, in person, or by phone to determine what is needed. You can also contact the local economic development office in the desired city for a local champion to help you answer your questions.
What information is needed to get licensed?
You must first register your chosen business name through your County Clerk’s office. Also, depending on your business entity (corporation, sole proprietor, LLC, etc.), you may need to apply for a Federal Tax Identification Number or use your own Social Security Number.
Is there a fee for applying?
The fees vary depending on the type of business and the permits required.
Your Free Local Resource
One of the best free resources for you to leverage is the local economic developer. This person is responsible for helping shepherd business owners through the process of expanding or relocating businesses to their community. They are paid for by the community and offer resources to help grow your businesses in Texas.
Let Us Help You Make the Connection
If you would like help connecting to economic development organizations across Texas that can help you relocate or expand your business to Texas, let our team help you make the connection. Complete our Relocation Planning Tool today to get started.