Disclosure: We earn a commission from some partner links. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations.
Texas is one of the most attractive states for establishing a business. The laws of the state make it possible to develop rapidly. Taxation is convenient and beneficial. The state is actively attracting investment. Offices of companies physically located in the state are opening here, and the online business (especially IT business) is actively developing. We can say that Texas has already become a serious competitor and a profitable alternative to Silicon Valley.
If you want to start an LLC in Texas, you will definitely need to file Articles of Organization. This document will be one of the most important documents when registering a business. Only after your Articles of Organization Texas are verified and registered, you can consider that your LLC is established and ready to start operating. In fact, after registration, most companies take several other important and necessary steps, including opening a business account, insuring the business, and creating an Operating Agreement. However, legally, your business already exists once you receive confirmation of registration.
An Article of Formation is a document that needs to be sent to the Secretary of State for your LLC to be registered. The form of this document varies slightly from state to state, but the basic concept is pretty much the same.
You have to send a document where you state:
The purpose of the business (the company's line of business);
The date of the company launch (it can coincide with the date of registration or, if you wish, be postponed for a certain period. In Texas, the maximum postponement date is 90 days);
Period of the LLC operation (indefinitely or until a certain date);
Address of the company's principal office;
Mailing address (may be the same as your registered agent's address);
Registered agent (name or company name, address);
Name and address of the incorporator/s;
Articles of Organization can be submitted online, by mail, or in person at the State Secretary's office. Registration fees vary from state to state. In Texas, the fee is $300.
How to File Articles of Organization in Texas: Step by Step
You can create and file articles of organization for LLC in Texas online at the state clerk's website or download a blank document, fill it out, and mail it in. You can also hand-deliver the documents in person if you feel like it.
Below, we will explain how to perform these actions in different ways. But first, let's clarify what the main difference is.
The state fee will be $300 in any case. But if you register online, you will have to pay an additional convenience fee of $8.
On the other hand, online filing of Articles of Organization in Texas is easy and fast. Moreover, you will get a response from the Secretary of State within 2-3 days. If you send paper documents by mail, the processing time is 7-10 business days after they receive the documents. A letter often takes up to 7 days to arrive, and the total time can be up to 2 weeks or even a little longer.
Step 1: Get Your Articles of Organization Forms
You can request a template from the Secretary of State's office or download the Texas Articles of Organization template (Form 205) from the Secretary of State's website. You can fill out the form online or mail it in. You need to fill out the paper form in 2 copies.
You can also download and fill out the consent form for a registered agent (Form 401-A). It is not a required document in Texas, but many business owners prefer to provide additional confirmation to make verification quicker and easier. All you need to do is fill out one form.
Step 2: Fill Out the Articles of Organization and Transmittal Information Form
If you are unsure about how to fill out the form, you can study the Articles of Organization examples in Texas, which you will also find on the state clerk's website. Most often, it is not required, as the form is simple.
The main articles to fill out are:
Name and type of organization. It is important that the company name is not used by another entity and that it complies with state regulations. It is best to check the compliance beforehand so that the registration goes smoothly. The LLC name cannot be associated with illegal purposes, and it should not be confused with state agencies, and contain words related to military veterans or their interests and the words "bank" or "lottery". On the other hand, the abbreviation LLC or the full phrase "limited liability company" is mandatory. There are only two types of organizations: LLC (for most companies) or PLLC (for licensed professionals who offer services in the state of Texas);
Registered Agent. You have to specify who your company's registered agent in Texas will be and provide his or her name and address. The agent under state law can be a company or individual who is 18 years or older and has a registered office or home address within the state. It is important to remember that the registered agent's address will be public. Also, the resident agent should be available during business hours to service the process and to receive documents. If you also want to submit a consent form for registered agents, your agent will provide you with this form if you are working with a commercial company. For individuals, you can fill out the document yourself;
Management. You should decide in advance who will manage the company: the founders or the managers. It is better to clarify what is more beneficial for you in advance with your lawyer or study the pros and cons by another method. You should specify who will be managing your company and provide a list of owners or managers. In Texas, owners and managers can be residents or non-residents of the state (including foreigners);
Purpose. This section specifies the purpose of establishing the LLC. Usually, it is the type of activity, in which the company will be engaged. It is unacceptable to specify illegal activities. Also, remember that if the business purpose includes licensing, the professional license should be followed. Similarly, for businesses that involve tax benefits, the formulation from the IRS is required to be clearly stated.
Step 3: File the Articles of Organization
Read the documents carefully before submitting them. It may also be a good idea to review the Articles of Organization in Texas examples again to avoid mistakes. If the Secretary of State registers your LLC and completes the certificate of formation, and you later find out you made a mistake, amending the Articles of Organization in Texas will be possible, but it will require additional time and expense.
There are a number of ways to file Articles of Organization:
Online at the Secretary of State's website;
By mail. If this is the case, enclose 2 copies of the Articles of Organization, an optional Registered Agent Consent Form, and a check for the $300 paid state fee;
In person at the Secretary of State's office. The list of documents is the same as for mailing.
Now, you just have to wait for processing, and if you have made no mistakes, in the agreed-upon time, you will receive:
A welcome letter;
Certificate of Filing;
Certificate of formation (with approval and seal).
After that, you can start a business or move on to the next steps of formation, including getting an EIN, opening a bank account, and taking out insurance policies.
How to Register Articles of Organization in Texas Online?
To submit your Articles of Organization in Texas online, you'll need a SOSDirect account. Then, you can proceed to create Articles of Organization in Texas online.
How to Create a SOSDirect Account:
Go to the SOSDirect account creation page;
Enter the name of your account. This can be your name or a company name. This is not registering a company but creating an account. You will use this name only for authorization and nowhere else;
Enter your contact information and come up with a password;
Enter your credit card info. It may seem a little confusing that you have to enter your bank card information at this stage. But don't worry! Until you start registering your business, nothing will be charged from your card. The state uses your card information for additional verification, which eliminates fraudulent registration and LLC formation;
Read the terms and conditions and accept them;
Next, you should see a notification that a user ID email has been sent to you. Usually, it comes within 5-15 minutes. If you don't receive the letter by that time, contact your state representatives by phone or email.
Once you receive the letter, save the ID. You will then log in to the site with this ID and your password.
Want to know the requirements for articles of organization in other states? Select state:
Online Preparation of Articles of Organization in Texas
Select "Commercial Organizations" from the menu. Next, you will see the Reservation Formation Registration Documents menu. In it, select "Domestic Limited Liability Company" and click on the "File Document" sub-item.
You will see a drop-down list where you should find the item "Filing Type" and finally see the desired "Certificate of Formation".
Important: It's a big advantage if you've done a preliminary name search on the Texas list of registered companies and made sure your name is unoccupied and complies with the law. If you use the Name Availability Search tool at this stage of registration, each check will cost you $1.
Now, you fill in the document right on the site:
Name and Type of Legal Entity. We mentioned the name choice rules in detail above. Choose the first type of legal entity if you are not a licensed professional;
Initial mailing address. This step is not a separate document item, but as of 2022, it is mandatory for LLCs in Texas. It is highlighted as a separate fill-in step. This address will only be used by the Texas Comptroller to send tax notices and reminders for your LLC. It can be your office address, the home address of an LLC member, the address of a registered agent, or a virtual mailbox;
Registered Agent. There are no unexpected things for you to figure out here. You specify the name of the selected agent and its address. If you want to upload a "Registered Agent Consent", select this option. You will upload the document itself later;
Management Authority. Choose one of the options: "member management" or "manager management." Next, click "add member/manager" and add the members you want to add;
Additional Articles. Enter additional information if your attorney has advised you to do so. Most often, this field is left blank;
Application. This is the step where you can upload files. This is usually a letter of consent if you have indicated previously that you intend to upload one. You should get the document in advance from your registered agent or download a template and fill it out yourself (if you will be the agent yourself) or with the person who agrees to perform these duties;
Organizer. Provide the name and address of the LLC organizer;
Execution. At this step, you need to enter the full name of the organizer to sign the Certificate of Organization in Texas with a digital signature;
Delayed effective date. If you want the LLC to be started immediately after registration, leave this field blank. But if you are registering in August and planning to start operations in October, you can specify a date. Keep in mind that the maximum deferred effective date is 90 days from when the Secretary of State received the documents;
Overview. You will see all the information you have entered here. Examine the electronic document carefully before you send it in. If everything is fine, click "Submit an application."
The system will charge your account $300 and a 2.7% online fee to complete the application. So, make sure you have $308 on your credit card.
In 3-4 days you will receive a response. If the Texas Secretary of State checks and approves the application, you will receive an email with all the necessary documents.
In the future, if necessary, you will be able to do a Texas Articles of Organization search for your company on the Texas Secretary of State's website. You will need to enter the company name, EIN, and the name of at least one person listed on the document.
What to Do If You Need to Make Changes to the Articles of Organization in Texas
Sometimes, despite the detailed and simple Articles of Organization template in Texas and numerous checks, it turns out that you still entered something wrong. Or the company wants to change the name, the purpose of the activity, create the Articles of Incorporation with additional information, or change another important point.
In this case, there is no need to close the LLC and re-file the documents. This will cause unnecessary confusion, and you will spend extra money.
To make any changes, you need to file an Amendment of Organization application in Texas with the Secretary of State. It costs $150 to make changes, which is half the cost of registering from scratch.
Secretary of State P.O. Box 13697 Austin, TX 78711
James Earl Rudder Office Building 1019 Brazos St. Austin, TX 78701
How to File Articles of Organization in Texas?
You can file the Articles of Organization in Texas using the online form on the Secretary of State's website, by mail, or in person at the office.
How to Get Articles of Organization Templates in Texas?
If you are just registering your company, you can get the Articles of Organization template on the Secretary of State's website, fill it out, and send it in for processing along with a check or online payment of the $300 fee. Once processed, you will receive the documents by email or regular mail, depending on the method you chose to submit the form.
How to Amend Articles of Organization in Texas?
If you need to make changes to the Articles of Organization in Texas, you can use the Amendment of Organization Texas form. You will need to pay a fee of $150.
Do I need a Certified Articles of Organization in Texas?
In the state of Texas, you do not need to have the certified Articles of Organization for your business. But you might need this document, for example, if you will be doing business out of state or opening a bank account. The Secretary of State will issue this document upon request.