Start a Business

The final step in starting a business is determining the federal and state employer requirements. As an employer, you have labor, safety, and tax obligations. The information below is the labor, safety, access, and new hire reporting regulations administered by federal and state agencies. For employer tax requirements, refer to "Step 2: Tax Responsibilities"

Federal Requirements

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT REQUIREMENTS

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides protection for people with disabilities in the areas of employment, public services and transportation, public accommodation, and telecommunications.

For federal information on how the Americans with Disabilities Act will affect a business and for technical assistance with provisions applying to employment, contact:

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 1801 L Street N W Washington, D.C. 20507

800-669-4000 or 800-669-6820 (TDD)

For technical assistance on the ADA standards for accessible design and other ADA provisions applying to businesses, nonprofit agencies, and state and local government services, contact:

Office on the Americans with Disabilities Act: Civil Rights Division U.S. Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Civil Rights Division Disability Rights Section - NYA Washington, DC 20530

800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TDD)

For specific information regarding the ADA requirements for telecommunications, contact:

Federal Communications Commission 445 12th Street SW Washington, D.C. 20554

202-418-0600 or 202-418-7233 (TDD)

For information regarding the ADA requirements for accessible design in new construction and alterations, contact:

U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board United States Access Board 1331 F Street NW, Suite 1000 Washington, DC 20004

800-872-2253 or 800-993-2822 (TDD)

For information regarding the ADA requirements for transportation, contact:

U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration East Building, 5th Floor 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE Washington, DC 20590

888-446-4511 or 800-877-8339 (TDD)

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT REQUIREMENTS

Federal and state laws prohibit employment discrimination. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Texas Workforce Commission, Civil Rights Division (TWCCRD) are charged with enforcing fair employment laws which prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. Current statutes cover all employment transactions. All employers with 15 or more employees engaged in an industry affecting commerce, employment agencies, and labor unions are prohibited from denying equal employment opportunities. Regardless of the number of individuals employed, a county, municipality, and any state agency or instrumentality including public institutes of education, are also prohibited from denying equal employment opportunities. The TWCCRD will provide technical assistance and training to employers to facilitate compliance with laws prohibiting employment discrimination. The TWCCRD has jurisdiction for investigating equal employment opportunity complaints in Texas. The EEOC promotes voluntary programs that allow employers and organizations to implement equal employment opportunity programs within their businesses. For information regarding federal equal employment requirements, contact:

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Dallas District Office 207 South Houston St., 3rd Floor Dallas, Texas 75202

800-669-4000 or 800-669-6820 (TDD)

El Paso District Office 300 E. Main Dr., Ste. 500 El Paso, Texas 79901

800-669-4000 or 800-669-6820 (TDD)

Houston District Office Total Plaza 1201 Louisiana St., 6th Floor Houston, Texas 77002

800-669-4000 or 800-669-6820 (TDD)

San Antonio District Office Legacy Oaks, Bldg. A 5410 Fredericksburg Rd., Ste. 200 San Antonio, Texas 78229

800-669-4000 or 800-669-6820 (TDD)

SAFETY REQUIREMENTS

The Occupational Safety and Health Consultation (OSHCON) program is administered by the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation.  The program conducts free on-site safety and health consultations to help small, private sector employers understand and comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.  The program is geared toward employers in high hazard industries with 250 or fewer employees per worksite and less than 500 employees nationwide.  

Free services include identification and evaluation of safety and health hazards; industrial hygiene services, such as noise level monitoring and air sampling; hazard correction assistance; hands-on training; technical updates on OSHA standards; safety and health management program assistance; and safety training audiovisual loans and publications.

For more information regarding state and federal occupational safety and health requirements, contact:

OSHCON Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers' Compensation 7551 Metro Center Dr., Ste. 100, MS 22 Austin, Texas 78744

800-687-7080

For information regarding federal occupational safety requirements, contact:

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

U.S. Department of Labor, Regional Office 525 Griffin St., Room 602 Dallas, Texas 75202

972-850-4145

WAGE AND LABOR REQUIREMENTS

For information on federal minimum wage laws, overtime, and other questions regarding wages and hours, contact:

U.S. Department of Labor Regional Wage and Hour Offices Corpus Christi: 361-888-3152 Dallas: 817-861-2150 Houston: 713-339-5500 San Antonio: 210-308-4515

McAllen: 956-682-4631

For general information regarding federal labor laws, contact:

U.S. Department of Labor

Regional Office 525 Griffin St., Ste. 800 Dallas, Texas 75202

214-767-6895

State Requirements

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT REQUIREMENTS

For information and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act, state disability policy information, disability statistics, and local disability resources, contact:

Texas Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities P.O. Box 12428 Austin, Texas 78711

512-463-5739 or 512-463-5746 (TDD)

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation reviews construction documents for the construction or substantial renovation, modification, or alteration of buildings or facilities defined as public or commercial accommodations for architectural barriers. This review is mandated through the Americans with Disabilities Act. For additional information on architectural barriers, contact:

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation E.O. Thompson State Office Building P.O. Box 12157 Austin, Texas 78711

512-463-6599 or 800-803-9202

DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE

Advice is available to Texas employers with 15 or more employees who maintain workers' compensation coverage. Employers must comply with certain drug-free workplace requirements, and are also subject to federal regulations. These federal regulations include the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and U.S. Department of Transportation regulations requiring drug and alcohol testing. For information, contact:

Texas Drug-Free Workplace Initiative 2525 Wallingwood, Bldg. 5 Austin, Texas 78746

512-328-1144 or 800-343-3822

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT REQUIREMENTS

See listing under Federal Requirements for general explanation. For information regarding state equal employment requirements, contact:

Texas Workforce Commission, Civil Rights Division 101 East 15th St., Room 144-T Austin, Texas 78778

512-463-2642

NEW HIRE PROGRAM

New Hire Reporting may be accomplished online. It is mandated by federal law under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, and requires employers to report new hires and rehires within 20 days.
For more information about the State of Texas New Hire Program, how and when to report, visit Office of the Attorney General's New Hire website or contact the Texas Employer New Hire Reporting Operations Center at: Phone: 1-888-TEX-HIRE (1-888-839-4473) Fax: 1-800-732-5015

E-mail: employer.newhire@cs.oag.state.tx.us

Mail: Texas Employer New Hire Reporting Operations Center Post Office Box 149224

Austin, Texas 78714-9924

PLANT CLOSURES

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), Public Law 100-379 (29 U.S.C. 2101 et seq.), requires certain employers to provide notice 60 days in advance of covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs. Notice must be made to either the affected workers or their representatives (e.g., a labor union), to the Dislocated Workers Unit at TWC, and to the appropriate unit of local government. For more information or a copy of the Act, contact:

Services for Dislocated Workers
Texas Workforce Commission 101 East 15th St., Suite 212T Austin, Texas 78778-0001

512-463-2245

SAFETY REQUIREMENTS

The Occupational Safety and Health Consultation (OSHCON) program is administered by the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation.  The program conducts free on-site safety and health consultations to help small, private sector employers understand and comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.  The program is geared toward employers in high hazard industries with 250 or fewer employees per worksite and less than 500 employees nationwide.  

Free services include identification and evaluation of safety and health hazards; industrial hygiene services, such as noise level monitoring and air sampling; hazard correction assistance; hands-on training; technical updates on OSHA standards; safety and health management program assistance; and safety training audiovisual loans and publications.

For more information regarding state and federal occupational safety and health requirements, contact:

OSHCON Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers' Compensation 7551 Metro Center Dr., Ste. 100, MS 22 Austin, Texas 78744

800-687-7080

WAGE AND LABOR REQUIREMENTS

The Texas Workforce Commission is charged with investigating and notifying appropriate county and/or district attorneys regarding all labor law violations. The Labor Law Department is charged with the enforcement of state and federal labor laws as well as the prosecution of offenders of these laws. State statutes include the Pay Day and Child Labor laws. For additional information, contact:

Labor Law Department
Texas Workforce Commission 101 East 15th St. Austin, Texas 78778

512-837-9559 or 800-832-9243

The Texas Workforce Commission provides a general employer information package for employers. To obtain this package, contact:

Employer's Representative
Texas Workforce Commission 101 East 15th St. Austin, Texas 78778

512-463-2826 or 800-832-9394

For information relating to labor questions, please contact:

Labor's Representative
Texas Workforce Commission 101 East 15th St. Austin, Texas 78778

512-463-2829 or 800-832-2829

Standards for apprenticeship training programs in Texas follow guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training. Specific details on these programs may be obtained by contacting:

Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training U.S. Department of Labor 525 Griffin St., Ste. 628 Dallas, Texas 75202

214-767-9263

WORKERS' COMPENSATION INSURANCE

In Texas, private employers can choose whether or not to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage.  Texas employers who carry and who do not carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage are required to comply with certain reporting and notification requirements under the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act.  Refer to the Texas Workers’ Compensation Employer Requirements/Resources webpage for more information.    

Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation 7551 Metro Center Dr., Ste. 100 Austin, Texas 78744 512-804-4000 For information on purchasing workers' compensation insurance, contact:

Texas Department of Insurance

333 Guadalupe Austin, Texas 78701

512-322-3493

LABOR POSTER REQUIREMENTS

Certain federal and state labor posters are required to be posted at a place of business. The Texas Workforce Commission maintains current, comprehensive information about workplace poster requirements.


Category: Business license

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