Texas Business Licenses

What business licenses are required in Texas?

Texas does not have a statewide general business license like some states, but certain activities and professions are require to obtain a license or permit.

This article and the links herein are not meant to be a substitute for professional and/or legal advice and are not an exhaustive list of potential licenses and permits. If you don't feel comfortable doing the research on your own, companies like BizFilings offer business license research services for around $100.  We can not provide advice on the topic of licenses and permits and must suggest that you hire a professional business license  analyst. Read more about BizFilings's business license research packages →

General License Information

Since there are more than 150,000 filing jurisdictions around the country all with their own requirements, we will address Texas business licenses and permits in this article. There are over 250 professional, occupational, and facility business licenses available in Texas that are obtained from the state. While the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration (TLDR) governs some of the more popular Texas licenses, the links below may be useful in determining if your profession or business activity requires a business license.

Professions Licensed and Regulated by TDLR →
Texas Professional Licenses →
TCEQ Environmental Licenses & Permits →
Federal Licenses →

Keep in mind, your local city and/or county may have additional licenses (and permits) that are required. CityApplications.com lists some of the local licenses that may be required by your city.

Why Are Business Licenses Required?

  1. Accountability. To identify businesses and make sure they are held accountable for the owners actions
  2. Taxation. To keep track of the business’s finances for tax reasons
  3. Protect the Public. To protect the general public’s health and safety

Getting the Proper Business Licenses in Texas

Texas not only has the second largest population of any state in the United States, it also has many thriving industries that attract new businesses each year. Texas is a business-friendly community with many resources on how to get your small business licenses in Texas. Having the proper business licenses ensures that you can operate according to every level of government, including state, county, and city requirements. Otherwise you have broken the law, which can lead you to fines and penalties. The specific business license that you may need in Texas can vary by location and industry. According to Texas Wide Open for Business the state of Texas does not require a general “business” license as part of its business-friendly approach. However, there are several regulatory agencies that have licensing and permitting requirements based on the type of service, or products you sell in your business. Contact your local county office and city clerk in which you plan to open your business to find if there are any other requirements in your area for your specific type of business.

Keep in mind, not being compliant with all licenses, permits, and tax registrations that are required in Texas, can leave your business unprotected legally. You may incur penalties and it can generally jeopardize your good business name.