All businesses must have a legal identity. Many factors must be considered when choosing the best form of business ownership. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) website provides an overview of your options. 

If you choose to register as a sole proprietor your business name must be on file with each county clerk’s office. Register at: 

County Clerk websites surrounding Austin: 

County Clerk websites surrounding San Antonio: 

To register as a corporation, apply to the Secretary of State: 

For legal advice contact the Austin Layer Referral Service: 

Or American Bar Association Network: 

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a number of small business products and forms you may order online. 

Also, to apply for an EIN (Employment Identification Number) go to Employment Identification Number 

*Federal Unemployment tax is part of a federal and state program under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA). You report and pay FUTA tax separately from your social security and Medicare taxes and withheld tax. 


Determine a Business Structure