Op-Ed: How to Get a Telemarketing License in Texas

The following is a guest contributed post from Todd Bryant, president and founder of Bryant Surety Bonds.

Is a telemarketing company in Texas on your mind? The phone solicitation field is certainly a good choice for a new business endeavor in the Lone Star state. But prior to starting your operations, you have to make sure you meet all legal requirements.

All phone soliciting businesses in Texas need to get licensed and comply with the  telemarketing bond requirement. By fulfilling the licensing criteria, they demonstrate to state authorities their suitability to conduct such operations. This is especially important since telemarketers across the U.S. have to comply with stricter rules since 2016.

When you’re applying for your license, it’s good to know that Texas has a state-specific DNC list, but also follows the federal list.

Below you can find the basic details that you have to learn in order to launch your telemarketing company in Texas.

What are the Texas telemarketing license requirements?

Your first step to obtaining your license for phone soliciting in Texas is to get well acquainted with the rules that govern your trade. You should consult the Telephone Solicitation Act in the Texas Business and Commerce Code, Title 10. It sets all regulations that you should adhere to in your licensing and operations as a telemarketer in the state.

The licensing body is the Secretary of State. In most cases, you should register with the authority, although there may be some exemptions. When applying, you should provide information about yourself and all other affiliated members, such as officers, partners and owners, as well as about your business entity and offices.

You should provide a list with all telephone numbers that you will use for telemarketing purposes and their physical address. Other requirements that you have to meet is to post a $10,000 security and to provide the filing fee of $200.

How to apply for your license

In order to start your registration procedure, you have to file a registration statement with the Texas Secretary of State. Once your profile has been approved, you will receive a registration certificate. It is valid for one year. If you’d like to continue your operations beyond this period, you need to renew it in advance.

The $10,000 security deposit can be in the form of a surety bond, an irrevocable letter of credit, or a certificate of deposit. The most convenient way to fulfill the security requirement is in the form of a bond, as it does not entail blocking the whole amount from your finances.

The bond is there to guarantee your legal operations and to prevent any misuse, fraud, or abuse during your telemarketing activities. It is a protection mechanism that ensures financial reimbursement to affected parties in case you transgress from applicable regulations. The bond is also a sign that your business is trustworthy. It should be issued by a surety approved by the licensing body, which is duly licensed to provide bonding in Texas.

Other Things to Keep In Mind

Telephone solicitors in Texas have to always identify themselves by name and clearly mention the company they are working for. The permissible hours for telemarketing in the state are between 9am and 9pm on all workdays and Saturdays, and between noon and 9pm on Sundays.

For violations, there are penalties set in Section 304 of the Texas Business and Commerce Code. For a single violation, the penalty is $1,000. If it is willful, the penalty is higher – $3,000.

Do you have first-hand tips from obtaining a Texas telemarketing license? Please share your insights in the comments!