How to Open a Coffee Shop in Texas
To open certain types of establishments in Texas, prospective business owners must apply for a Texas professional business license. Opening a new coffee shop in Texas requires a special retail food establishment license and store permit. Vendors who operate temporary coffee carts or mobile coffee stands are required to obtain a temporary retail foods permit or roadside vendor permit. Prospective coffee shop owners can apply for their food licenses through the Texas Department of State Health Services. Most of the licensing applications can be submitted electronically to the agency. Owners of retail food establishments must also apply for tax identification numbers.
Select a business name for your coffee shop. Texas law requires you to register all names, including DBA, or "doing business as," names if you are conducting business using more than one business name.
Select a business entity or structure. You can choose to operate your business as a corporation, sole proprietorship, limited-liability company, partnership or nonprofit organization. If you operate the business as a nonprofit, you must use your profits for the general purpose of your nonprofit mission and may not retain profits. Review the tax and legal liability implications for each business entity. The Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Small Business Administration offer extensive resources for new business owners.
Apply for a federal employer identification number and establish a business account with the Internal Revenue Service. Most of the initial tax registration paperwork can be submitted electronically.
Register your business with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Although Texas does not impose individual state income taxes, business owners are subject to franchise business taxes, sales and use taxes, and property taxes.
Visit the Texas Department of State Health Services website. You must apply for a retail food establishment license if you are opening a new business that will sell food or beverage products intended for on-site or off-site consumption.
Apply for a retail food establishment permit through the Texas Department of State Health Service website. New registrants can apply for their licenses electronically. You must provide your tax identification number, your physical address and telephone number. You must use a credit card to pay the initial permit fees and processing charges. Your total fees depend on the size of your establishment; the larger your anticipated sales, the more you will pay as an initial licensing fee.
Consider purchasing a franchise. By purchasing an established franchise, you may be able to use the coffee shop's franchise name and existing reputation to attract customers who are already familiar with the franchise's products.
If you purchase a franchise, you will be subject to additional state and federal franchising laws regulating franchising agreements between franchisers and franchisees.