Starting a Business: What You Need to Get Started
If you google the title of this post, you'll find hundreds of thousands of articles, each with their own take on what you need to start a business. Some of these might be written by attorneys, but most of them are articles written to catch clicks and they're based on nothing more than the author's own google search. Fun stuff, I know.
But here at The Corporate Legal, we will only give you information based on years of helping people start businesses. We built this company - and the services we offer - based on what companies for years have needed to get started. Not every company needs every service, so read on to see what services/products are right for you. And once you're ready to register your LLC - get started on our LLC Formation page.
One of Everything Package
If you’re the type who just wants to know they have everything they need from a seasoned attorney, we have a discount package for you. We take care of everything a new business could possibly need from the LLC Registration down to your most nuanced corporate governance documents. And you save almost $200 off the price of our individual services.
Wanna learn more? Maybe you only need a few services or products. Read on to find out.
We’re pretty sure you found us because you’re looking to start an LLC. We can do that. In the State of Texas.
When it comes to the IRS, what you don't know can hurt you. Let us get you sorted with an EIN for your LLC so you take advantage of the tax benefits available to you through your new LLC.
Business Mailing Address
Businesses need a mailing address, and many government agencies will not accept a PO Box. So how will you handle your business mail?
Send it to us, and we will send it to your email inbox.
Reasons to let us host your business mailing address:
1. We are cheaper than most PO Boxes,
2. We will send your mail directly to you inbox via email,
3. We provide a physical address since most business filings won’t accept a PO Box, and
4. Keep your home address our of public record (where people who may be upset with you can find it)
Let's be honest here, if you're thinking about forming an LLC, it's for two reasons: tax benefits and/or liability protection. Liability protection comes into play when things have gone wrong and someone is upset (regardless of whether they're justified). If you're going to all this trouble to protect yourself with an LLC, do you want to put your home address on the line?
SIDE NOTE. We have a special price for business owners who elect to use The Corporate Legal for their business address and their registered agent. More info on registered agents below.
A registered agent is someone you designate as having permission to receive important mail (like legal notices) on behalf of your company. It must be someone who is available at the listed address to receive hand delivery of mail during normal business hours. And it cannot be a PO Box.
Yes, you can act as your company's registered agent, but we don't recommend it. Instead, The Corporate Legal can do it for you.
Reasons to let us be your Registered Agent:
1. Make sure important, time sensitive mail (like a notice of a lawsuit) doesn’t get lost in your home junk mail pile,
2. Avoid being tied to your home address from 9-5, Monday-Friday and vacation worry-free,
3. Avoid missing important legal mail if you move or change addresses,
3. Keep your home address out of public record (where people who may be upset with you can find it).
REMINDER: We have a special price for business owners who elect to use The Corporate Legal for their business address and their registered agent.
Every LLC has to have a Company Agreement (also known as an Operating Agreement) in Texas. If you're ever in court and claiming the liability protection of your LLC, the Court will want to see your Company Agreement as the final piece of your LLC liability shield. Without a Company Agreement, you risk losing your liability protection.
You may be thinking: ok, but there are tons of free templates online, why should I pay for one?
We know there are templates for Company Agreements all over the internet. But we've also seen clients pay thousands of dollars down the line because they used a template from Google that was already insufficient and made changes they didn't understand. We know contracts are in English, but they involve sophisticated language and phrases that were born from court decisions over the years. You wouldn't expect yourself to know what a doctor knows about the human body, so it's completely understandable that you wouldn't know what a lawyer knows about contracts.
Save yourself time, money, and heartache and let us prepare your an attorney-vetted Company Agreement!
For every decision your company makes until the end of time, your company should keep "meeting minutes" or "resolutions." These are especially important if you have partners. If one partner disagrees with a decision, that partner can challenge it in court. How will you prove that the decision was properly made (e.g. by majority vote)? Your resolutions and meeting minutes.
We'll prepare the first set for you, get your business started off right, give you an idea of how it's done, and you can take it from there.
This is another document that becomes more valuable if you have partners. This document tells your bank in clear terms who can act on your business bank account. Banks may request this document to keep on record, but even if they don’t request it, it’s good to have on file with your bank so you can easily dispute any unauthorized activity.
Annual Franchise Report
Every year, LLCs are required to file a Franchise Tax Report with the Texas Comptroller. Even if you don’t owe anything (and you won’t if your revenue is under $1Million), you have to file the report or risk forfeiting your LLC. There’s also a late fee if you don’t file it in time. Let us handle the filing so you know your LLC is safe.
Preliminary Name Search
Before you decide on a name for your company, we recommend you do your own basic search - Google, Instagram, etc. But when we file an LLC Certificate of Formation, the State of Texas will search the State of Texas registrations to decide whether to approve your LLC. These records don't show up in Google and whatnot, so to ensure your LLC application isn't rejected, we recommend you allow us to run a preliminary name search before filing the application. This search costs money to run. But we've worked to keep the price low for our customers.
This is an actual piece of small machinery for your business. All of our other services and products are digital products - we can file online, we can send you the documents via email - but not this one. If you order a corporate seal, we will mail it to the mailing address you submit through our website.
But what is a corporate seal? There is a standard design for "corporate seals" for businesses in Texas (and most states). This product is an embosser with your corporate seal which displays your business information (i.e. the name of your business and year of formation). Companies use these to emboss important documents to prevent forgery, to verify the authenticity of the documents, and to differentiate an original document from a copy; think something like a membership certificate. Since this is an embosser, it cannot be copied.
That's it! Hopefully, this has answered questions you've had for your business. If you're ready to get started with your registration, you can do it on our LLC Formation page.
Author: Ashley Hymel, attorney and cofounder of The Corporate Legal Ltd. Co., published 08 Nov 2022