Below are links to resources that will help you on your journey to opening a business in Rockwall, Texas.
Texas offers one of the best business ecosystems in the nation. Businesses thrive here because of our excellent geographic location, highly skilled workforce, low tax burden, reasonable cost of living, predictable regulatory environment and our reputation for having a truly business friendly climate.
We’ve broken down the process of starting a business into the seven basic steps. It is advisable to seek the guidance of a professional tax consultant, accountant and/or attorney to help verify that all legal requirements are met before opening up a business.
Step 1 - Write Your Business Plan
A business plan is a dynamic road map for your business. It should outline the main purpose and value proposition of your business, its structure, financing and competitive advantages. The SBA has some great templates.
Step 2 - Choose Your Business Location
Choosing a business location will depend on the type of business you operate. Consider looking at area zoning ordinances. Assess how feasible it is to access your supply chain and customers, and if there is an available workforce.
Step 3 - Finance Your Business
There are several ways to fund your new enterprise, including a bank loan or micro loan, securing a federal loan (via the SBA) or applying for credit through personal financing. Other alternatives include crowd funding, angel or venture capital investors or raising money from family and friends. The SBA offers a useful guide to funding your business.
Step 4 - Business Structure and Registration
Determine the appropriate legal structure of the business and file the business name with the state or county. In general, sole proprietorships and partnerships need to register with the county clerk’s office. If you decide to incorporate, register with the Secretary of State’s Office (SOS).
Step 5 - Business Tax Responsibilities
Determine the potential tax responsibilities of the new business with federal, state and local tax authorities. Federal tax obligations are filed through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). State tax filings are done through the Comptroller of Public Accounts. For questions about local business and property taxes, consult your county’s appraisal district or tax assessor-collector. Find your local appraisal district and tax office.
Step 6 - Business Licenses and Permits by Business Type
Determine necessary licenses, permits, certifications, registrations or authorizations for a specific business on the federal, state and local level. The Governor’s Economic Development and Tourism’s Business Permit Office (BPO) provides comprehensive information on state permits and licenses required for business enterprises in the state.
Our Business Permit Office can assist in the resolution of outstanding issues with state agencies, by obtaining a timely and efficient permit review. The office can also facilitate contact between applicants and agencies. In addition, the office provides feedback to agencies and makes recommendations for simplifying permit procedures affecting businesses.
For more information, please refer to our Business Permits Office Handbook.
Step 7 - Business Employer Requirements
Determine federal and state employer requirements. To learn more about Texas employer resources, visit www.twc.state.tx.us/businesses.
Historically Underutilized Business Certification Program (HUB) requires all Texas state agencies to make a good faith effort to use HUBs for purposes of contracting for construction services or commodity purchases. To obtain HUB certification, a business must be at least 51% owned by an Asian Pacific American, Black American, Hispanic American, Native American and/or American woman, and as a result of the recent legislative session now service-rendered disabled veterans are considered a minority for purposes of the HUB Program.
A business must also be a for profit entity that has not exceeded the size standards prescribed by 34 Texas Administrative Code 20.23, and has its principal place of business in Texas. Additionally the business must have an owner residing in Texas with a proportionate interest that actively participates in the control, operations and management of the entity’s affairs.
The Texas Comptroller's Office organizes and administers the HUB certification program. For more information on how to qualify and register as a HUB, please visit the Texas Comptroller’s Office website.
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE) was created to provide a level playing field for small, minority and women-owned companies wanting to do business with Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and other agencies receiving federal funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Skills for Small Business Program offers financing tuition and fees for community and technical college courses. This program, run by the Texas Workforce Commission, is targeted to help current and newly hired employees of small businesses.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) can provide information on available loans and grants, small business workshops, advocacy efforts and much more. To learn more about what the Federal SBA can do for your small business, locate the nearest SBA Regional/District Office through the SBA website.
SCORE is a nonprofit association of thousands of volunteer business counselors throughout the U.S. SCORE members are trained to serve as counselors, advisors and mentors to aspiring entrepreneurs and businesses owners.
There are hundreds of SCORE business mentors in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Launch your business today by locating your nearest SCORE Business Mentor in Texas.
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are funded in part through a partnership with the SBA and provide assistance to small businesses throughout the United States. SBDCs help entrepreneurs realize the dream of business ownership and help existing businesses remain competitive in a complex, ever-changing global marketplace.
SBDC advisors provide aspiring and current small business owners with a variety of free businesses consulting and low cost training services including: business plan development, manufacturing assistance, financial packaging and lending assistance, exporting and importing support, disaster recovery assistance, procurement and contracting aid, marketing research help 8(a) program support, and healthcare guidance.
Women Business Centers (WBCs) represent a national network of over 100 educational centers throughout the United States, and are designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses by providing individual counseling and small business workshops. To find the nearest Women's Business Center in Texas, visit their website.
U.S. Export Assistance Centers in Texas (USEACs) are a network of export and industry specialists located in Texas and 100 other U.S. cities and over 80 countries worldwide. These trade professionals provide counseling and a variety of products and services to assist small and midsized businesses export their products and services.
Veteran's Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs) are designed to provide entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling and resource partner referrals to transitioning service members, veterans, National Guard & Reserve members and military spouses interested in starting or growing a small business.
Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) are a nationwide network of dedicated procurement professionals working to help local businesses compete successfully in the government marketplace. PTAC counselors offer access to experts in bid opportunities, contract specifications, procurement histories, and other information necessary to successfully compete for government contracts.