Texas Business Filing Tips
Before You File
Always Check Name Availability
Before you file your Certificate of Formation, you should always do a Texas business name search. While the name search tool provided by the Texas Comptroller is not an absolute guarantee (there may be unprocessed filings submitted before your own), it is the best indicator of whether or not your company name is available for use.
If you submit a Certificate of Formation with a name that is already registered to another business, your filing will be rejected. All filing fees are non-refundable.
Registered Agent Due Diligence
Many entrepreneurs select the first Texas registered agent service they find. It just doesn’t strike many business owners as an important decision. Nothing could be further from the truth.
An unreliable registered agent can cause you to miss important service of process documents, leading to judgments against your business when you fail to show up in court. Worse, your right to do business in Texas could be revoked.
Take the time to research Texas registered agent services. You want a service that not only charges a fair price, but one that can be easily reached and can answer your questions quickly and efficiently. We may be biased, but we believe that you should always hire a service that is a dedicated registered agent, not a business lawyer or CPA that only views registered agent service as a side business.
Write Your Governing Document
Too many entrepreneurs believe that their governing document (operating agreement for LLCs, bylaws for corporations) isn’t really that important, or that they can be written later when there is more time. Putting off writing your governing document, though, is a serious mistake.
Your operating agreement or bylaws is the document which lays out ownership and management. It defines the roles of owners and managers, setting clear expectations for everyone involved. It is also the document which will determine who owns what, should there ever be any legal question about ownership.
Many entrepreneurs don’t realize that if they ever end up in court disputing ownership, the court will look to the company’s governing document. If there is no governing document, then the court gets to decide who owns what. Courtrooms across the country are filled with litigants disputing ownership who sincerely believed that they wouldn’t need a clearly written governing document and so never wrote one.
Filing online is simpler, faster and guarantees that your filing is properly submitted. Mailed or faxed filings get lost or shuffled into piles that sit on desks for weeks. There really isn’t any good reason to file a paper document anymore.
Triple-Check Spelling and Numbers
If you make a mistake on your filing, you will end up filing a Certificate of Correction later to fix the error. This will cost you time and an additional $15. Double and triple-check spelling, the numbers in addresses, and that all the information is in the correct box. Too often entrepreneurs rush their filing only to find out later that a simple misspelling has marred their formation records.