Cour Collaborative, LLC

The Root - Quick small business tips without the fluff

The Root

Quick small business tips without the fluff
February 2023

Here’s round two! Thanks to those who submitted topic requests. Email me at if you’ve got a question you’d like answered in The Root.

Please forward to your friends and share on social if you find value in this once-monthly segment.

Up next month: How to price your goods and services.

– Paula

Tips on establishing a business

How to see if a business name is available

In order to do a name availability search, you’ll need to create an account with the Secretary of State online. It will ask for payment information before it’ll even let you through to the site as they charge $1 per name search.

Once you’ve created an account, are fully logged in, and have provided your payment information, you can search what business names are available/taken on here.
How to file a certificate of formation

“To formally create your LLC, you will need to file a certificate of formation with the Texas Secretary of State. This document includes information about your LLC, such as its name, purpose, member information, and designation of your registered agent. You can file your certificate of formation online or by mail.” – Internet Legal Research Group

To file online, you’ll need to fill out form 201 and upload it to the SOS Upload System. This will cost you around $300.
Does my business need insurance?

Yeah, probably.

Even if you’re the only employee, you’ll want to consider the aspects of your business such as whether you have employees, necessary items you may not be able to afford to replace unexpectedly, and if someone could have an accident on your premises. Generally businesses of all types and sizes will want insurance of some level.

Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to get business insurance and the different types available.
Nonprofit business insurance resource

The Nonprofits Insurance Alliance is a 501(c)(3) organization that specializes in guiding nonprofits toward the right insurance policies.

You’ll need a broker for a quote, both of which you can request here.

They were quick to reply when I reached out on behalf of a client.
*I am not a lawyer and cannot give legal advice. Please consult a legal professional before taking action on the items above.
**I do not endorse any businesses mentioned.

Tips on marketing

Stop charging folks to buy your branded merchandise

Offer your branded items for free. When people accept items like branded t-shirts, water bottles, reusable bags, hats, etc., they’re giving you the gift of free marketing. But by charging for these items before you’ve established yourself as a relatively known and tout-worthy brand name, you’re creating a barrier between you and that valuable marketing.

You can read some ideas on marketing merch here and here.  
Provide free services in exchange for reviews

I do this a lot as a service provider. This won’t make a ton of sense for some of you with product-based businesses, but where possible and where it makes sense, do what you can in the beginning for free or low costs to build word-of-mouth and ask for reviews in exchange.

If you need help figuring out how to make this strategy work for you without giving away the farm, just reach out to me at or text me at (512) 703-0773 and we’ll chat through some ideas (for free).

Submit a question to be answered in The Root

Email or click the button below to tell me what you want to learn in The Root.