a Business in Dallas
high praise from Fortune Magazine in December 1999, when it was selected
as the #1 Best City for Business in the U.S. to balance work and family.
Government and citizens have labored to improve upon a good thing by creating
an inviting business climate, encouraging retail and residential development,
keeping the streets safe and attractive and promoting cultural preservation
and expression. The Dallas economy is booming, and the area remains a favorite
for long-term development.
This page is dedicated
to helping the small business owner and/or developer make the most of
city services and information. We've included data on taxes, as well as
pertinent guidance on obtaining the proper permits. The information included
on this page is to be used as a general guide ONLY. Please see our Frequently
Asked Questions section for further information on operating a business
in Dallas, or contact the appropriate department if you have specific
circumstances and/or needs.
To open a commercial business account, a business must be registered
with the county. There is a nominal fee (about $12 in most instances)
for the registration. When submitting an application in Dallas County,
the owner must take responsibility for checking the register in the
county clerk's office to determine if any other business is currently
operating under that name. The name registration, unless cancelled,
is valid for 10 years. For more information call Dallas County, Assumed
Name Division at 214.653.7177. You may also visit their frequently
asked questions page.
Certificates of Occupancy
Except for private residences, the occupant of any building, structure
or portion thereof within Dallas city limits is required to display
a Certificate of Occupancy, which can be obtained through the City's Development
Services/Building Inspection. This certificate is necessary
to have utilities turned on and assures that the facility complies with
building codes. You may also call 214.948.4173 to apply for a Certificate
Permit Center is conveniently located at the City's Oak Cliff Municipal
Center and offers an efficient process to obtain and expedite development
and construction permits and licenses. This center was created to simplify
the construction and development application and review processes and
allow people to conduct most of their transactions at one location.
Helpful advisors are available from the Building Inspection, Consumer
Utilities and Planning
Permits to perform
the following types of work may be obtained at the One-Stop Permit Center:
- paving (sidewalk
& drive approach)
- tree removal
- sign (attached)
- flammable liquid
- liquid petroleum
- fire extinguishing
- septic tank
- lawn sprinkler
- swimming pool
- fire alarms (commercial
- alcohol measurement
- secured entry
-- low voltage
- Code book sales
- Consumer protection
- Plat and addressing
- Residential plan
- Zoning verification
- Water and wastewater
- Food permits
- City approval
for Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission (TABC) License.
You do NOT need
a permit for items on this list.
For additional information,
The state of Texas does not have a personal income tax, corporate
income tax nor state unitary tax. The backbone of the state's revenue
structure is the state sales tax of 6.25 percent, which applies to the
sale of tangible personal property with exemptions for items such as grocery
food, utilities, raw materials and manufacturing equipment.
In conjunction with
the state sales tax, municipalities in Texas may levy a city sales tax
of 1 percent. Certain mass transit authorities, including Dallas
Area Rapid Transit (DART), may levy a sales tax not to exceed 1 percent.
Additionally, cities that are not part of a mass transit authority (MTA)
may opt to levy up to a .5 percent sales tax for property tax relief and/or
economic development. There is another optional sales tax of up to .5
percent to help cities meet their infrastructure needs or for new and
expanding business enterprises.
of City of Dallas Sales Tax
The Corporate Franchise Tax, also referred to as the Capital Values
Tax, is the state's general business tax. Corporations are taxed on
the greater of $2.50 per $1,000 of net taxable capital or 4.5 percent
of net taxable earned surplus. Learn more about about it here.
has one of the nation's lowest unemployment insurance tax liabilities.
The average liability per employee in Texas is $173 compared to the
nationwide average of $224. Employers must have a minimum payroll of
$1,500 in a calendar quarter or 20 weeks of employment to be liable
as an "employer" for taxes. Once liable, a report must be
filed regardless of the amount of wages paid. For more detailed information,
please visit the Texas Workforce
Although there is no state property or unitary tax in Texas, there
are local property taxes levied by counties, municipalities, independent
school districts and special districts. The total tax rate for a particular
location is calculated by combining applicable tax rates for each taxing
entity that has jurisdiction over the area. Rates are assessed at 100
percent of the market value. Most school districts and some counties
overlap city boundaries. These political subdivisions may impose ad
valorem taxes on real and personal property.
Of interest to international
businesses, a freeport exemption for inventory that remains in Texas
less than 175 days has been elected by several taxing entities in the
area. You may obtain more information on this freeport exemption by
visiting the North Texas Commission's page
on freeport exemptions.
is available concerning state taxes from the Texas
Comptroller's Office webpage, or by calling 800.252.5555. For local
property tax information, visit the Dallas
County Tax Assessor's Office webpage, or call 214.653.7805.