Types of Texas Business Licenses Available

Business licences in Texas are not managed on the state government level, meaning that all business licensing requirements are handled by county and city governments. Additionally, many Texas counties and municipalities do not require some business types to obtain general business licenses or permits. To determine if your new business will require a license or permit, visit your local county or city government office or website, or visit the Texas.gov website for more information.

Notwithstanding any license or permit requirements, businesses operating in Texas must register with the state in regard to the assessment and collection of taxes. For more information on state and local tax issues, visit the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts website.

Texas Business Licenses for Specific Occupations and Professions

Texas has more than 250 occupational, professional and facility business licenses available. Medical facilities, accounting firms and plumbers are just a few occupations that require a license. Additionally, local zoning regulations and ordinances may mandate certain types of businesses, such as taxi cabs and food services, obtain special permits to operate in their jurisdictions. Visit the official State of Texas website, or contact your county or city government offices, to determine if a license or permit is required for your occupation or profession.

Texas Business Licenses for Home Businesses

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation is in charge of issuing and monitoring of licenses for certain home operated businesses in the state. There are nine professions that can be operated from home that require a license:

  • Heating and cooling technicians

  • Auctioneers

  • Cosmetologists

  • Hairdressers

  • Property tax professionals

  • Electricians

  • Legal service providers working for a profit

  • Vehicle storage businesses

  • Tow truck operators

In addition to these specific licenses, Texas also requires any business that sells, rents, leases or provides taxable goods or services, including ones operated from home, to have a permit for collecting sales tax.

Issues to Address Before Applying for a Texas Business License

Your Business’s Name

Any individual or entity intending to operate in the state under a fictitious name must apply for a DBA (doing business as) or assumed business name certificate. Your chosen name may not be the same or deceptively similar to that of another existing business. Other name restrictions also apply. To determine whether or not your chosen name is available, or to reserve your name for up to 120 days before filing your formal application, go to the Texas Secretary of State’s SOSDirect website.

Once you obtain your certificate, you must file it with the appropriate state and/or county agencies. Sole proprietorships and general partnerships will file their certificates with the clerk’s offices in all counties in which they intend to maintain a physical business presence. Businesses regulated by the Texas Secretary of State are required to file their certificates on both the county and state levels.

Federal Employment Identification Number (EIN)

Businesses with employees will need to apply for a Federal Employment Identification Number with the IRS. You can apply for your EIN here. There is no charge for this service.

Next Steps

If you need help getting a business license in Texas, you can post your question or concern on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Stripe and Twilio.