Do you have the perfect name idea for a new business entity in the state of Texas, but you’re not quite ready to form your company?
Texas allows you to reserve a business name until you’re prepared for the business formation process, but how does the reservation process work and how long will the state reserve the name for you? In this guide, we’ll run down all the important details of reserving a business name in Texas.
Rocket Tip: If you’d rather officially incorporate in Texas rather than file the extra paperwork to register a business name, there are many good incorporation services that can do it for you.
How to Reserve a Business Name in Texas
The first step is to determine if your desired business name is even available in Texas to begin with. The state has a business name search tool available on the Texas Comptroller’s website, which you can access here at any time. This search will reveal the names of taxable businesses; it will not show sole proprietorships and similar entities. Once you’ve determined the availability of your desired name, you can begin the process of reserving it with the state.
Texas allows you to file a name reservation online or by mail. To file by mail, you should use SOSDirect. The paper form is called the Application for Reservation or Renewal of Reservation of an Entity Name. You’ll need to fill out this document with the following information: Secretary of State P.O. Box 13697
Austin, TX 78711-3697
If you file online, you’ll use a credit card to pay the $40 filing fee (plus a 2.7% card convenience fee). If not, you should write a check or money order made payable to “Secretary of State.” Then you can mail both your form and payment to the following address:
Secretary of State P.O. Box 13697 Austin, TX 78711-3697
How Long Is My Business Name Reserved For?
Once you submit your Reservation or Renewal of Reservation of Name form, the state of Texas will reserve your business name for a period of 120 days. If you’re still not ready to form your business entity at the end of that 120-day period, you may submit a renewal request for an additional 120 days. Your business name is eligible for a renewal starting 30 days before your previous reservation expires. You will need to pay the fee each time.
Just because you aren’t ready to form your Texas business entity doesn’t mean you can’t lock down your desired business name.
If the name you want is available today, there’s no reason to wait until you form your business to reserve it for your exclusive use. The required form is easily filled out with your basic information, and the filing fee is quite affordable, so you should reserve your name today.