About Richardson, Texas
Richardson, Texas is a vibrant and diversified business community, strategically located in one of the brightest economic regions in the world - the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Whether your company seeks the latest technological breakthrough, provides the highest level of financial service or thrives upon the synergy of a great business and research university, Richardson is where excellence is the expectation.
Register Your Business
Choosing a business name is an important step in the business planning process. Not only should you pick a name that reflects your brand identity, but you also need to ensure it is properly registered and protected for the long term. You should also give a thought to whether it's web-ready. Is the domain name even available?
The U.S. Small Business Administration website contains tips to help you pick, register and protect your business name. Some of that information is provided below.
Choose Business Name
Here are some points to consider as you choose a name:
How will your name look? - On the web, as part of a logo, on social media.
What connotations does it evoke? - Is your name too corporate or not corporate enough? Does it reflect your business philosophy and culture? Does it appeal to your market?
Is it unique? - Pick a name that hasn't been claimed by others, online or offline. A quick web search and domain name search will alert you to any existing use.
Trademark infringement can carry a high cost for your business. Before you pick a name, use the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's trademark search tool to see if a similar name, or variations of it, is trademarked.
Register Business Name
Naming your business is an important branding exercise, but if you choose to name your business as anything other than your own personal name then you'll need to register it with the appropriate authorities. Learn more.
Register with State Agency
Some business types require registration with the state government: Register Here
- A corporation
- A nonprofit organization
- A limited-liability company or partnership
A trademark protects words, names, symbols, and logos that distinguish goods and services. Your name is one of your most valuable business assets, so it's worth protecting. You can file for a trademark for less than $300. Learn More.
Choosing a Location
Choosing the right location may be one of the most important decisions you'll make. The Building Inspections department is here to assist you along the way. They'll determine if your business is safe to operate, where you might need to make improvements and whether the use you're proposing fits the zoning requirmenets. If it doesn't, they'll get you in touch with the necessary departments to work through special zoning requirements.
The Richardson Economic Development Partnership offers a free property search service powered by SHOWCASE to help get you started. Learn More.
As an additional resource for choosing the right location, the City provides both an interactive map and annual traffic count reports.
Staff Contact Information
For more information or to simply ask a question regarding land use issues, please contact a member of Development Services. Contact Us.
This no charge service provided by The Richardson Economic Development Partnership (REDP) provides existing businesses looking to relocate with assistance in site selection, incentives, permitting and more. Learn More.
If you're looking for a bit more information, you might be interested in our Development Services Maps including the Zoning Atlas, Future Land Use Plans and Master Transportation Plan. View Maps.
411 W. Arapaho Rd. Suite 108
Richardson, TX 75080
Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Once you have a location in mind, the next step is to meet with the City's Building Inspection Department. They will help determine if this location meets building standards, is zoned for your business type and will help guide you through necessary permitting. » Visit Website
Guaranteed plan review time of three business days for qualifying small business owners and projects. » Learn More
Visit the City's commercial permit types page for more information about permit types including certificate of occupancy, fence, interior finish and more.
Verify Your Contractor
Contractors are required to register with the City prior to any issuance of a permit. Check to see if your contractor is registered.
On October 10, 2016 the City of Richardson City Council approved the adoption of the 2015 International Codes and the 2014 edition of the National Electric Code. Previously the City of Richardson operated under the 2012 International Codes. » View Codes
Depending on your business, you may need to apply for one or more fire permits. Contact the Building Inspection department to confirm which you need and visit the Documents and Forms page on our Richardson Fire Department website for more information.
For additional information, please contact the City of Richardson Health Department.
411 W. Arapaho Road, Suite 107
Richardson, Texas 75080
Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Food Service Permit
Required for all restaurants, grocery stores, cafeterias, bakeries, caterers, food trucks, etc., as well as commercial child care facilities. »Learn More
Visit The Texas Department of State Health Services for more information and a list of accredited food safety training programs. »Training Options
Other Food Permits
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to have a greasetrap?
Yes. Exception is if ALL product is prepackaged and there is no dish washing. Health requires the grease trap, Building Inspection sets the size requirement.
When do I apply for my Health Permit?
When your C.O. is complete and you are ready to open for operation. New operators will pay their Health Plan Review fee at this time, along with their Health Permit fee.
Are Health Permits transferable?
No. A change in ownership is required for the new owner, typically requires a new Certificate of Occupancy as well.
Can I operate a kitchen out of my home?
No. Exception is an operation that falls under the Texas Cottage Food Rule/Law (also known as the baker's law). Does not allow any preparation or cooking of potentially hazardous foods.
Can I have hookah in a restaurant?
No. Hookah is considered smoking and not allowed by City Ordinance. A SUP is required for a hookah lounge, but no Health Permit is required. A hookah lounge can allow people to bring in food from an adjacent food establishment.
Do I have to obtain a Health Permit for a lemonade stand, or a school/church bakesale?
No. A Health Permit is not required for a neighborhood lemoneade stand, nor is a permit required for fund raising. Exception is, food must be nonpotentially hazardous food.
Are e-cigs included in the No Smoking Ordinance?
E-cigs are NOT considered smoking and are exempt from the Smoking Ordinance.
Is Food Manager Certification required? Is Food Handler Training required? Where do I get training?
Yes, required. Training available through private businesses. Must be State of Texas or ANSI certified.
Starting a Business
Listed below are links to basic federal tax information for people who are starting a business, as well as information to assist in making basic business decisions. The list should not be construed as all-inclusive. Other steps may be appropriate for your specific type of business.
Information about specific industries can be found on the Industries/Professions Web page.
For Texas specific information, click here.
In addition to business taxes required by the federal government, you will have to pay some state and local taxes. Each state and locality has its own tax laws. The links below provide access to key resources that will help you learn about your federal and state tax obligations. Federal | State
Property Tax Property taxes are local taxes; however, state law determines the process. Taxes fund multiple entities that set tax rates and collect taxes. The entities include but are not limited to counties, cities, schools, hospital districts, and community college districts. A few of the basic services funded by property taxes include: public schools, city streets, police, and fire protection.
- Independent Contractor or Employee
- Business Structure
- Businesses with Employees
Do I need a Sales Tax Permit?
If you are engaged in business in Texas and
- sell or lease tangible personal property in Texas;
- or sell taxable services in Texas.
Richardson Economic Development Partnership
Incentives are offered on a case by case basis for both state and local projects. Click here to Learn More
- Infrastructure Participation
- Tax Abatement
- Fee Waivers
- No Impact Fees
- Industrial Development Bond Financing
- Freeport Exemptions
- Special Agreements
- Tax Increment Financing Zone
- City of Richardson Incentive Application
The State of Texas offers several incentive programs to assist new and existing businesses. Incentives are administered through the governor's Economic Development office or the Texas Workforce Commission.
For companies considering a Richardson location, the REDP will assist with and leverage the best state incentive options available.
Here are incentives offered by the State of Texas:
- Texas Enterprise Fund (deal closing fund - major projects relocating to Texas)
- Texas Enterprise Fund Application
- Skills Development Fund (job training funds)
- Texas Back to Work (incentives for hiring out of work Texans)
List of Service Providers
To setup commercial solid waste removal, please contact the City of Richardson Public Services Department at 972-744-4111.
Commercial Code Enforcement
The purpose of the Commercial Inspection Program is to protect the vitality and integrity of Richardson by making certain the City's commercial properties are maintained in a safe and healthy manner through proactive yet fair and reasonable enforcement of codes and ordinances.
There are four main elements to the Commercial Inspection Program:
- City-wide regularly scheduled inspections for a variety of violations (see list below).
- Investigating citizen complaints.
- Regularly scheduled site and landscape plan inspections at both occupied and vacant properties throughout the City.
- Site and landscape plan inspections as part of regular Certificate of Occupancy process.
While there are literally hundreds of regulations enforced via the Commercial Inspection Program, the most common inspection items have been summarized below for your convenience.
- Zoning: Use regulations, outside display of merchandise and goods, open storage, supplemental regulations for certain uses, special conditions
- Development: Site and landscape plans
- Property Standards: All exterior components of a building, screening walls and fences, address numbering, parking lots
- Parking Regulations: Oversized and prohibited vehicles, parking on an unimproved surface, junked or abandoned vehicles, and For Sale vehicles
- Nuisance: High grass, tree trimming, visibility obstructions, abandoned shopping carts, unauthorized parking lot/sidewalk sales, strewn litter, illegal dumping, dumpster area maintenance
For a brief overview of the ordinances commercial code enforcement officers enforce, please visit our Commercial Quick Code Page.
Safety & Security
A notification of an alarm to the police department when the responding officers find no evidence of criminal offense or attempted criminal offense. False alarms delay police from responding to actual calls for police service, and nuisance to you and your neighbors, make your security system less reliable and make you reluctant to use your system.
Secure Take Lock Program
The Richardson Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit believes in order to prevent crime, one must take action to remove or reduce the opportunity for crime to occur. The Secure, Take and Lock program is an on-going prevention initiative to remind the public NOT to invite crime by leaving keys or valuables in plain view inside their unattended vehicles. Property owners and managers can contribute to the reduction or prevention of crime by posting Secure, Take and Lock signs in prominent locations near or on their parking facilities.
Property Inventory Program
Stolen property carries with it the ability to lead police back to the scene of the crime, even back to the perpetrators. A comprehensive property inventory list can assist police in recovering your property and solving property crime. Recording your valuables will also provide assistance with the replacement of your property in the event of theft, fire or other catastrophic event.
Video Crime Watch Program
The Richardson Police Department is asking for help from local business owners and property management companies to create a resource for Officers and Detectives in the fight against crime. This resource will allow Police to more quickly identify video camera locations where suspect information may have been captured.
When is a Permit Required?
To help you determine which fire department permits you may need including fire-extinguishing systems and fire detection system.
Fire Inspection Checklist
This checklist is provided to help you prepare for a fire inspection.
The items listed are those most commonly noted during fire inspections; not all potential violations are listed. "Passing" depends on compliance with all applicable codes and standards.
KNOX-BOX Rapid Entry System
The KNOX-BOX® rapid entry system is a secure emergency access program developed for property owners and fire departments. When a fire breaks out or there is a medical emergency, Knox®products allow emergency entry into buildings and property without forced entry damage or delay.
Weekly Newsletters and Social Media
A monthly publication of the City of Richardson. It is free for Richardson residents. The publication is designed to keep citizens of Richardson informed of activities and news that may be of interest to them.
View Digital Copy
Week in Review
A series of weekly messages from the Mayor and City Council to help Richardson residents and businesses keep up to date on events at City Hall.
The MyRichardson App is the perfect tool for any resident to catch up on the latest news, check their watering schedule, report an issue to the City, schedule a BABIC pickup and much more.