Texas residents may file a corporation to run a for-profit business or nonprofit charity or similar organization. The Texas Secretary of State has formation document to file both types of corporations. Filers can either get and submit forms online or just complete the entire filing process online. When filers pay the required corporate filing fee, the Secretary of State processes the registration of the corporate entity.
Create a Texas corporation name. In order to create a legal corporate name, use one of the following in your business name: corporation, limited, company, incorporated or an abbreviation of one of those four identifying words.
Call or email to check for name availability. The Texas Secretary of State will give you preliminary approval for use of the name. Dial 512-463-5555 (and then 7-1-1 for “relay services”). Alternatively, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open the “Business and Nonprofit Forms” page at Sos.state.tx.us/corp/forms_boc.shtml. On that page, you can then access either a Word or Acrobat “Certificate of Formation” for your Texas business or nonprofit corporation. These are Forms 201 and 202.
Access the formation document for the corporate entity you would like to form. Read the detailed instructions in the form and fill out the form according to the instructions. However, do not confuse these instructions with legal advice. You may need the services of a Texas business attorney to help structure your business in an effective and legal way based on your business or charitable purposes.
For example, if you seek to run a Texas nonprofit, you will have to include certain provisions in your “Certificate of Formation” to ensure that you obtain federal tax-exempt status. If you do not include these provisions, you will have to pay taxes that a charity normally would not have to pay. This could destroy your organization from the start or at least force you to pay more money to amend the articles in your certificate. Refer to Publication 557 on the IRS.gov website for more information about qualifying as a tax-exempt organization.
Note: You may also file your Texas corporation online. Visit SOSDirect at Sos.state.tx.us/corp/sosda/index.shtml to file online and get your corporation registered within about 24 hours.
Prepare the Texas corporate filing fees. As of 2010, the fee for a for-profit corporation is $300. You may pay by check or money order to the “Secretary of State,” credit card or LegalEase debit card. Note that a 2.7 percent fee will be added when paying by credit card.
Send in the “Certificate of Formation” and filing fee to the following mailing address. Call the phone number if you have additional questions:
Secretary of State
P.O. Box 13697
Austin, TX 78711-3697
Texas Corporate Filing Forms