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Legal Considerations for Starting a Restaurant in Texas

— June 13, 2024

Make sure to talk to your lawyer and check out other missing gaps to avoid any issue in the future.

Are you considering opening a restaurant in the vibrant city of Dallas, TX? Do you know there are some legal procedures that should be done before opening a restaurant? If you don’t know much about the legal process, this comprehensive guide will let you know! 

The restaurant’s interiors, location, and other marketing plans aren’t enough. The owners must complete these legal matters to make their restaurant prominent. To run a successful restaurant, you need to understand some legal considerations involved.

Whether it is your first time or  not, consulting with a lawyer can make things easier for you. They give a deeper understanding of the essential requirements to launch your business. Before consulting the lawyer, check these 6 legal considerations for starting a restaurant in Texas.

1. Food Handlers

TABC and food handlers are essential for food safety. Food safety training is mandatory for all engaged in food preparation and service. This ensures the proper handling and serving of food in a safe and hygienic manner. If you’re opening a restaurant in Texas, you might need this at any cost. This certificate also builds trust between the owner and customers. 

  • The food handlers’ certificate provides authority that the food served here is safe. 
  • Restaurant owners must adopt this certificate for future development. 
  • Food safety handlers also make sure that the food you’re serving is safe for both kids and adults.

2. Food Establishment Permit

To ensure compliance with building and food safety standards, a Food Establishment Permit is mandatory. Therefore, there are some fee structures required according to the specific areas. Following are the standard fees that apply from $100 to $2000 and more. 

3. Certified Food Manager 

Food service establishments must have staff who can undergo such training. Thus, food manager training and certification have become standard in the food industry. It has become a regulatory requirement throughout the state of Texas. It is a kind of safety food practices and regulations to ensure the safety and well-being of customers. The CFM educates food service employees to further follow the principles of food safety. This process helps restaurant owners to produce safe and quality food products.

4. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)

This is another most needed legal process that can cost you a standard fee charge. You may experience around ($250, $500, or $750) charges for the DSHS or more. It covers a wide range of requirements designed to ensure the safety and quality of food. Yet, it’s important to note that local cities and counties with active charters should follow the rules and regulations. By following the rules, the owners can enhance food safety within their jurisdictions. 

5. Sales Tax ID Number

It is another necessary legal consideration for opening a restaurant in Texas. It is required for tax compliance in Texas. The owners must understand that they don’t need to pay tax on non-reusable items. The non-reusable items include napkins, straws, plastic eating utensils, and french fry bags. Restaurant owners can buy these items tax-free by providing a resale certificate.

6. Equipment and Facility Requirements

A typical crowded restaurant from before the pandemic.
Pre-pandemic dining just looks like germ parties now. Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.

To meet the health and safety standards, get the compliance requirements. It is an essential component of the plan review and inspection process. Compliance with these standards ensures that your food is safe and hygienic. Yet, it also minimizes the risk of contamination. Restaurant owners can build trust in their customers by providing food safety. These requirement rules are for food handling, storage, or sanitation practices. The rules also measure regular inspections to verify compliance with these standards.

How Much Does It Cost To Open A Restaurant?

As we know the cost of opening a restaurant in Texas may vary. The process is actually hectic and very time-consuming. Thus, many new owners don’t know the steps that are needed before opening a restaurant. Therefore, to open the restaurant, you may need to go through some legal considerations. After that, you might need to decide the type of restaurant you want and then the location. Though, with a broad range of likely costs to open a restaurant, is something between $$175,500 to more than $2 million. 

However, here we have some common factors that might be easy for you to understand. Before opening a restaurant in Texas, read out these factors below:

  • Location:

The cost of starting a restaurant depends on the location and the type of property. Consider building a new restaurant, buying an existing one, or leasing a property. The estimated cost for the location is somehow between $10,000 – $500,000+. 

  • Renovation:

The cost of renovations depends on the property’s current condition. It also depends on the extent of customization. Major renovations may involve replacing flooring, windows, lighting, and bathroom fixtures. The estimated cost would be $5,000 – $250,000+.

  • Equipment and Furnishings: 

Equipment and furnishings are major expenses. When you opt for a new restaurant, make sure to get an estimate of things by type and size. It is up to you to choose the equipment you need, whether new or used. You can choose to buy high-end equipment and décor or save money with the used ones. But the cost you may experience must be between $15,000 – $100,000+.

  • Restaurant Technology:

The technology you choose for your restaurant significantly impacts on many factors. However, it can affect your operations, time-savings, and profitability. You must be educated enough to research and find the technology you want in your restaurant. The cost you may go through might be something $5,000 – $25,000+ . 


Opening a restaurant in Texas can be exhausting at some points, especially for the legal process. Completing the legal process is very important to stand out in the competitive market. Your restaurant may need a designated location and environment, but it should be legal first. So, we have shown you the 6 important legal considerations for starting a restaurant in Texas. Make sure to talk to your lawyer and check out other missing gaps to avoid any issue in the future.

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