A few weeks ago at the Houston Open Coffee Club, I was asked if a small business owner can self-start their own LLC. The answer, of course, is yes. One of the many things I love about the USA is the ease with which one can start a business.
The first place I would start when learning how to start a LLC is the Texas Secretary of State’s website. Once you have familiarized yourself with the information there, I would recommend contacting one of two or both these fantastic Houston Organizations: The Small Business Development Center and/or SCORE. Both have experienced professionals who can show you the steps to organizing your businesses. Finally, most law libraries and librarians can show the way to books that will answer your questions.
As for LLCs, these are a great business structure because they are very flexible, easy to run, and have a flexible tax structure. Of course, registering with the Texas SOS is only the first step. You will/may also need to get an EIN number from the IRS, setup tax accounts with the state/city/county and get various permits depending on your business. All of this information is publicly available for free, and there is nothing to stop you from doing it yourself. Best of all, you will understand the process and should you ever need to start a business again, it will be much easier.
Of course, if you do decide to hire an attorney, there several advantages. An experienced attorney will know the important issues and how to solve them. They can spot future problems that you may miss. They can write custom documents to deal with the specific facts of your situation. Attorneys always say, “It depends,” and it does because a small change in the facts can dramatically alter the outcome of any legal issue.