According to business writer Eric Goldschein, launching an eCommerce site in Texas is a smart move. “The barrier for entry is low and the number of resources at your disposal is high,” Goldschein writes. “Texas appears to have a vested interest in helping you succeed.” This is great news if you’ve been dreaming of starting your own business, but there are some essential things you need to do before you can begin selling your products to eager customers.
Create a Business Name
Your business name should be easy to spell and pronounce if you want to maximize the chances of customers finding your online store. A lengthy name or one that doesn’t specify what your brand is can discourage users from clicking on your site.
If you have a number of potential ideas for your business, use the following strategies to check which names are available:
- Do a simple Google search to see if there are similar companies in your local area already going by that brand name.
- Do a trademark search on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database to be sure that the name isn’t already trademarked.
- Check out the Texas Secretary of State site and use their research tool to ensure that your business name isn’t too similar to other registered corporations in the state.
Choose a Business Structure
Your business structure can determine what you’ll pay in taxes, the chances of getting approved for a business loan, how many of your personal assets are at risk, and what paperwork you need to complete. The U.S. Small Business Administration states that although businesses can alter their structures later, entrepreneurs should choose carefully to make sure they get “the right balance of legal protections and benefits.” You might find it helpful to review some of the most common business structures to figure out which one is best for you:
- Sole proprietorships.
- Limited partnerships.
- Limited liability partnerships.
- Limited liability companies.
- For-profit corporations.
- Cooperative organizations.
Obtain the Right Permits
Although you don’t need to get a general business license in Texas, all eCommerce businesses are required to obtain the following permits and licenses:
- Local permit.
- Home occupational permit (if you’re selling from your home).
- Sales tax license.
An EIN (business tax identification number).
Depending on what products your eCommerce store sells, you may have to apply for other specific permits or licenses. You can check the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation site for all the details.
Start Building Your eCommerce Store
After choosing a great domain name, you’ll need to select an equally amazing platform for your eCommerce venture. When deciding on your platform, here are some key aspects to consider:
- SEO capabilities.
Magento Commerce can be an excellent choice for small startups to large enterprises thanks to its flexible framework, cloud hosting capabilities, and range of business tools. Retailers also have access to 24/7 expert support, a thriving Magento community, and a certified partner who will help them throughout the implementation of their website.