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How to Register a Business Name in Texas – 2023 Guide

    How to Register a Business Name in Texas
    (Last Updated On: September 17, 2023)

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    Are you looking to establish your business in the Lone Star State? The first crucial step you’ll need to take is to register a business name in Texas. Fortunately, you have several options: forming an LLC or corporation or filing for a “doing business as” (DBA) name with the state’s business division. This straightforward process will set the wheels in motion for your entrepreneurial journey, allowing you to bring your vision to life and thrive in the vast opportunities that Texas has to offer.

    For added convenience and support, consider leveraging LLC services like ZenBusiness, which can expertly assist you in registering your business name. With their help, you can navigate the process seamlessly and embark on your exciting new venture in Texas. 

    So, let’s delve into the necessary steps to get your business name registered and start your Texan entrepreneurial adventure!

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    4 Steps to Register Your Business Name in Texas

    Registering your business name in Texas is a crucial step towards establishing your entrepreneurial presence in the Lone Star State. To help you through this process, here are four simple steps to get your business name officially registered in Texas:

    Step 1: Choose Your Business Structure in Texas

    When starting a business in the Lone Star State, one of the critical decisions you’ll need to make is choosing the right business structure. The structure you select will not only affect your liability and taxation but will also determine whether you need to register your business with the Texas Secretary of State. 

    In this guide, we’ll explore the different business structures available in Texas and the steps to register your business name accordingly.

    Sole Proprietorship

    A sole proprietorship is the simplest business structure in Texas. The owner and the business are considered one entity, making the owner personally responsible for the business’s debts and liabilities. Although you don’t need to register your sole proprietorship with the state, you may have to obtain local permits or licenses.

    General Partnership

    A general partnership is formed when two or more individuals share ownership of a business. Each partner is personally liable for the business’s debts and legal obligations. You don’t need to register a general partnership with the state, but you may need to file a “Texas Assumed Name Certificate” (DBA) in the county where your business operates.

    Limited Partnership (LP)

    A limited partnership involves general partners who manage the business and have unlimited liability and limited partners who provide capital with limited liability. To create an LP in Texas, you must file a “Certificate of Formation Limited Partnership” with the Texas Secretary of State.

    Limited Liability Company (LLC)

    An LLC is a popular choice for its liability protection and tax benefits. To form an LLC in Texas, you need to file a “Certificate of Formation Limited Liability Company” with the Texas Secretary of State and draft an Operating Agreement to outline the company’s management and ownership structure.


    A corporation is a separate legal entity from its owners, offering limited liability protection. Texas has two types of corporations: C-corporations and S-corporations. To create a corporation, you must file a “Certificate of Formation For-Profit Corporation” or “Certificate of Formation Nonprofit Corporation” with the Texas Secretary of State, depending on your business type.

    When selecting your business structure in Texas, consider factors like liability protection, taxation, and management requirements. Consulting with a legal or business professional can help you make an informed decision.

    Once you’ve chosen the right business structure, you can proceed to register your business name in Texas. Whether you decide on a DBA name or need to file incorporation documents, following the appropriate steps will set you on the path to a successful and legally compliant business venture in the great state of Texas.

    >> Register Your Texas Business Name with ZenBusiness >>

    Step 2: Select a Unique Business Name in Texas

    Naming your business is more than just a formality – it’s a critical aspect of establishing your brand identity and attracting customers. In Texas, you have three primary options for naming your business: registering a legal entity name, obtaining a trademark, or operating under a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name. Each option comes with its own set of rules and regulations, so it’s essential to understand the requirements specific to Texas.

    When registering your business name in Texas, you’ll need to choose a unique legal entity name. This name is used by the state to identify your company and must be distinct to avoid any conflicts with other businesses. Texas has specific guidelines concerning company suffixes, such as LLC, LP, or Corp, and your name should reflect the type of business you’re registering. Before finalizing your choice, you can check the name’s availability using the Texas Secretary of State’s SOS Direct database.


    Securing a trademark for your business name or logo provides national protection for your intellectual property. Conducting a thorough search in the USPTO database is essential to ensure your chosen name or logo isn’t already registered by someone else. Once your trademark is registered, it grants you exclusive rights to use the name or logo for similar goods or services, safeguarding your brand identity.

    Doing Business As (DBA)

    In Texas, you have the option of using an official business name while operating under a different one through a DBA. This flexibility allows you to create a distinct brand identity for your customers. To establish a DBA name, you’ll need to file an Assumed Name Certificate (DBA) with the county clerk’s office where your business is located. Unlike legal entity names, DBAs are not required to be unique at the state level but are subject to federal trademark laws.

    By carefully considering these naming options and complying with Texas naming regulations, you can successfully register your business name and protect your brand in the vibrant and competitive Texas market. Selecting a unique business name in Texas will set the stage for your business’s success and leave a lasting impression on your customers.

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    Step 3: Check Business Name Availability in Texas

    Before finalizing your business name and registering your company, it’s essential to ensure that the name you want to use is available and not already in use by another business in Texas. Conducting a thorough business name availability search involves three crucial steps:

    The initial step in checking the availability of a business name in Texas is to conduct a federal trademark search. Trademarks are registered at the federal level, and their registrations take precedence over state-level registrations. Therefore, it’s crucial to verify that your desired business name is not already trademarked. In case your chosen name is already trademarked, you will need to select a different business name.

    To perform a federal trademark search for Texas, visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website and utilize the TESS Search tool.

    >> File a Trademark with IncFile >>

    Once you’ve confirmed that your chosen business name is not trademarked, it’s essential to verify its availability for use within Texas. To conduct a thorough search for registered business names in Texas, utilize the Texas Taxable Entity Search on the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts website.

    During your search, ensure that your exact business name is available, and also check for any significantly similar business names used by other entities.

    After confirming that your business name is not trademarked and available for use in Texas, consider conducting a website domain search to check the availability of the .com version of your business name. Even if you don’t currently plan to build a website, registering the .com domain of your business name is recommended to protect it from potential use by others.

    Registering the .com version of your business name with ZenBusiness ensures exclusive use and protection from others using the same website name. It’s an affordable way to safeguard your business identity online.

    By thoroughly conducting these three searches, you can verify the availability of your business name and proceed confidently with the registration process in Texas. A unique and available name will distinguish your business and leave a lasting impression on your customers in the thriving Texan market.

    Step 4: Form Your Business With the State of Texas

    Once you have decided on your business structure and chosen a name, the next step is to register your business with the State of Texas by filing the necessary formation documents.

    To register a Texas LLC, you must file the Articles of Organization with the Texas Secretary of State. This can be done either online or through the mail. For a Texas corporation, you’ll need to file the Certificate of Incorporation with the Texas Secretary of State.

    You May Also Want to Know

    Protect Your Business Name With a Trademark

    After confirming the availability of your business name and securing it, you may consider applying for a trademark. The cost of obtaining a trademark typically ranges from $225 to $400, with additional attorney fees and a renewal fee every 10 years.

    While this expense might be significant for small or new businesses, having a federally protected trademark offers nationwide brand protection. In the event that other businesses attempt to use the same or a similar name, having a registered trademark can provide legal advantages. However, for most small businesses that operate locally, a trademark may not be necessary.

    >> File a Trademark with IncFile >>

    How to File a Texas Fictitious Name – DBA?

    To file a Texas Fictitious Name, also known as a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name, follow these steps:

    • Choose a Name: Begin by selecting a unique and available fictitious name for your business. Ensure that the name isn’t already in use by another entity within Texas.
    • Verify Name Availability: Conduct a thorough name search on the Texas Secretary of State’s website or other relevant databases to confirm that your chosen DBA name isn’t already registered.
    • File the DBA: After verifying name availability, submit the Assumed Name Certificate to the county clerk’s office in the county where your business operates. Depending on the county’s requirements, you might also need to publish a notice in a local newspaper.
    • Renewal: Keep in mind that Texas DBAs are typically valid for a period of ten years. Be sure to renew your DBA before it expires to maintain its active status.

    By following these steps, you can successfully file a Texas Fictitious Name (DBA) and operate your business under the chosen name without undergoing a formal name change process.

    How to Change the Name of a Texas Business?

    If you wish to change the name of your business in Texas, there are two methods to do so:

    1. Filing for an Assumed Name (DBA Name): This approach allows you to operate your business under a different name without changing the legal name. It’s particularly suitable for sole proprietorships, general partnerships, LLCs, and corporations that want to use brand names without the mandatory “LLC” or “Inc.” suffix required in the legal name.
    1. Submitting an Amendment for the Legal Name: If you want to officially change the legal name of your LLC or corporation, you can do so by filing a Certificate of Amendment. This option is more appropriate if you want to change the legal name permanently.

    Here is the name of the form for both methods:

    • Certificate of Amendment for LLCs and corporations

    To complete the process, submit the appropriate form with the $150 filing fee by mail, fax, or in-person.

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    Business Name Registration Laws in Texas

    Business Name Registration Laws in Texas for Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are as follows:

    • Organizational Designations: The name of a Limited Liability Company must include the words “limited liability company,” “limited company,” or their respective abbreviations, such as “LLC” or “LC.”
    • Uniqueness: You cannot use a business name that’s already in use by a competing organization. The Texas Secretary of State (TXSOS) will reject a new business filing if another Texas or foreign business has registered with the same name. Even if the existing business has not formally registered a trademark or formed an LLC, they may still have common law rights to the name if they have been using it longer.
    • Avoid Deceptively Similar Names: Using a name that’s deceptively similar to an existing business’s name isn’t allowed. Any name that could cause confusion in the marketplace will likely be rejected. Making minor changes to an existing name, such as adding “LLC” or “Co.” or altering the spelling, will not suffice.
    • Letter of Consent: If your intended company name is similar to another business’s name, you may need a Consent to Use of Similar Name from that business to gain approval from the TXSOS.
    • Standard Keyboard Characters: The business name should be typable on a standard keyboard. Special characters like the famous symbol used by the artist Prince would not be approved.
    • No False Government Affiliation or Illegal Purpose: Your LLC name cannot imply a false government affiliation or a false or illegal purpose.
    • Non-offensive Name: Offensive names are not allowed for registration.
    • Surname Usage: You can use the same surname as another business as long as the names are different enough to avoid confusion.
    • Leeway for Churches and Ministries: Churches and ministries have some leeway in their naming as long as there are sufficient distinguishing factors, like different city names.
    • Use of Professional Words: Some professional words like “Law Offices” or “Pediatric Center” cannot be exclusively claimed by any company. If you’re qualified to practice in your profession and use additional distinguishing words, you may use appropriate professional terms in your business name.

    Keep in mind that these laws are subject to change, so it’s essential to verify the latest regulations with official sources or legal experts before registering a business name in Texas.

    Bottom Line on How to Register a Business Name in Texas

    In conclusion, registering a business name in Texas is the first step towards an exciting entrepreneurial journey. By selecting a unique business structure and name, completing necessary registrations, and considering trademark protection or a DBA name, you lay a strong foundation for success. 

    Additionally, utilizing LLC services like ZenBusiness can provide expert assistance and support throughout the registration process, making your path to success in Texas even smoother. 

    With passion and determination, you embark on a remarkable path, leaving a mark on Lone Star State’s thriving business landscape. The future is bright with your registered business name leading the way.

    >> Use ZenBusiness To Register a Business Name in Texas >>

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