Starting a business in Dallas? Forming a limited liability company, or LLC, is likely to be the first step. LLCs offer limited financial liability for businessowners, making them a go-to business structure for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Creating an LLC in Dallas isn’t complicated, yet it is important to understand the steps necessary to properly form an LLC and have it accepted by the appropriate local authorities.

As you move forward with creating an LLC, there are five important considerations to keep in mind to ensure success:

Choosing a Business Name

The first step in creating an LLC in Dallas is selecting a business name. Your business name should be distinct, and it should not be the same as (or too similar to) any existing business names listed in the Texas Secretary of State’s ( SOS) records. When considering a name, ensure to also avoid restricted words, such as “bank” or “attorney”, as these must be accompanied by additional requirements such as additional filings and/or licensing.

When you have settled on a business name, it’s important to ensure it is available in Dallas by performing a name availability search. Additionally, you can file an application with the Texas SOS to reserve the name for up to 120 days while you complete the remaining steps necessary to form your LLC.

Prepare and File the Certificate of Formation

The next step is to prepare and file the Certificate of Formation with the Texas SOS. The Certificate of Formation confirms those who are forming the LLC and their contact information, information related to members, and the purpose of the LLC. A form for the Certificate of Formation can be found on the Texas SOS website; however, it’s important to note that the form must meet certain legal criteria in order to be accepted by the Texas SOS. Therefore, again, it may be wise to consult an experienced business lawyer before filing the application.

Draft and File LLC Operating Agreement

The Create an LLC Operating Agreement is a legal document outlining key information and rules associated with operating an LLC. This document must include the process for how members can decide and make decisions and details related to LLC finances. This document helps to provide a framework for the LLC and clarify each member’s roles and rights. Though not a formal requirement in Texas, it’s important to have an operating agreement prepared and agreed upon by the LLC’s members for protection purposes.

Obtain Necessary Licenses and Permits

Once the Certificate of Formation and Operating Agreement are filed with the state, it’s time to obtain the necessary licenses and permits. Depending on the type of business being formed, there could be several required permits and endorsements, such as those strictly related to health and safety. It’s important to understand the applicable licensing requirements in the state and to ensure that all requirements are satisfied before operating or marketing the LLC to potential customers.

Work with Strategic Business Lawyers

Finally, working with an experienced business lawyer can be critical. It’s easy to make mistakes that can have serious consequences later on and a lawyer can provide advice to help ensure every step in the formation process is done correctly and to protect your business in the future. Attorneys who specialize in business law are able to provide the key insights and strategic advice necessary to ensure the success and longevity of the LLC. At UpCounsel we recognize the importance of having a team of experienced business lawyers able to provide strategic advice. Our network of experienced business lawyers looks forward to helping you succeed in Dallas.

Creating an LLC can be overwhelming but understanding the necessary steps, understanding the local regulations, and having access to high quality attorneys like UpCounsel can help ensure the success of an LLC in Dallas.