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How to start a business in Fort Worth

Step by Step Guide to Starting a Business in Fort Worth

Looking to kick off a business in Fort Worth, Texas? This relaxed, comprehensive guide will help you understand different business structures and their pros and cons, as well as the vital steps for starting your venture.

Business Structures in Texas

Sole Proprietorship


  • Cost-effective and easy to establish
  • Full control over your enterprise
  • Uncomplicated tax filing process, utilizing your personal income tax return


  • Personal assets at risk due to unlimited liability
  • Difficulty securing capital
  • The business ceases if the owner passes away or becomes incapacitated

Limited Liability Company (LLC)


  • Personal assets protection through limited liability
  • Pass-through taxation on individual profits
  • Flexible management structure


  • Comparatively complex and costly to establish
  • Annual state filings required
  • Possible self-employment taxes

Corporation (C or S Corporation)


  • Limited personal liability for shareholders
  • Ability to raise capital by issuing shares
  • The business endures regardless of shareholder changes


  • Expensive and complex to establish
  • Double taxation for C corporations (corporate and individual levels)
  • Stringent regulations and meticulous record-keeping

Steps to Get Started in Fort Worth, Texas

  1. Assess the most appropriate business structure for your needs, considering the pros and cons listed above.
  2. Choose a unique business name and register it with the Texas Secretary of State. For an LLC or corporation, this is part of the formation process.
  3. Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS, which is necessary for tax purposes and required by most businesses.
  4. Register with the Texas Comptroller to handle state taxes, including sales and franchise taxes.
  5. Research and secure any necessary licenses and permits from the City of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, as requirements vary by business type.
  6. Open a separate bank account to effectively manage business and personal finances.
  7. Obtain appropriate business insurance, including general liability, property insurance, and workers' compensation (if hiring employees).
  8. Create a detailed business plan to guide your operational, marketing, and financial strategies.
  9. If needed, seek financing from banks, investors, or government programs designed for small businesses.
  10. Develop a marketing strategy that appeals to your target audience and showcases your products or services.

Additional Tips for Fort Worth Businesses

  • Keep up to date with federal, state, and local regulations that impact your industry, and ensure your business adheres to them.
  • Stay informed about federal, state, and local tax obligations, filing and paying on time.
  • Engage with local business organizations, attend relevant events, and consult with successful entrepreneurs or industry mentors for valuable advice.
  • For help with specific aspects of running your business, consider enlisting professionals such as attorneys, accountants, or business consultants.

By staying well-informed and considering these factors, you'll be better equipped to make educated decisions and pave the way for a successful business in Fort Worth, Texas.