TEXAS SECRETARY of STATE
NANDITA BERRY

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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


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Getting Started

Show answer 1.  How do I gain access to SOSDirect?

To access SOSDirect, you must log in to the system either as a temporary user or as an SOSDirect client account holder. To create an SOSDirect client account, go to the SOSDirect Account Login Screen and click “request for SOSDirect Account”. For a single session with limited access rights to SOSDirect, go to the SOSDirect Account Login Screen and click “temporary login form.”

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Show answer 2.  What is the difference between creating an SOSDirect account and getting access as a temporary user?
Feature Temporary User Account Holder
Valid American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa credit card required

Feature Available

Feature Available

User ID and password

Feature Not Available

Feature Available

Multiple sessions

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Feature Available

Search records

Feature Available

Feature Available

Submit web orders

Feature Available

Feature Available

File documents online

Feature Not Available

Feature Available

Multiple payment options*

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Feature Available

*For temporary users, fees for searches and orders placed during the session are charged against the credit card entered at login. Account holders may choose to pay by credit card, prefunded client account, or funded LegalEase account. Although fees for filings must be paid at the time of submission, account holders may choose to accrue fees for online searches and orders.

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Show answer 3.  I want to file a document using SOSDirect. How do I get started? Do I need to create an SOSDirect account?
Yes. In order to file documents online you must have an SOSDirect account. To create an SOSDirect account:

a. Go to www.sos.state.tx.us and click the “SOSDirect” icon.

b. You will now be at the SOSDirect Introductory Screen.  Either click the “SOSDirect” icon at the top or scroll to the bottom and click “enter site”.

c. You will now be at the first Account Login Screen. At the Account Login Screen, click “request for SOSDirect Account”.

d. You will then be directed to the Account Acknowledgement Screens:

1. Account holder name. An account can be established in the name of a business or individual and shared by multiple users.

2. Account contact information and password. Password must be 8 to 20 characters in length.

3. Credit card information. A credit card is required for validation and security purposes. A $1.00 charge will be processed against the credit card, but will be refunded to your credit card within 24 hours. The credit card information is not retained.

e. User Agreement. To establish an SOSDirect account you must accept the terms of the user agreement. If you accept the agreement, you will receive an email notification within 20 minutes that contains your SOSDirect user ID. If you decline the terms of the agreement, you cannot establish an SOSDirect account.

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Show answer 4.  I’ve received my user ID. How do I log in?

Follow these steps to log in to SOSDirect:

a. Go to www.sos.state.tx.us and click the “SOSDirect” icon.

b. You will now be at the SOSDirect Introductory Screen. Either click the “SOSDirect” icon at the top or scroll to the bottom and click “enter site”.

c. You will now be at the first Account Login Screen. Enter your SOSDirect user ID and the password you created when you set up the account and click “Submit”. (Your SOSDirect user ID is the same as your client account number. If you set up the account online with a credit card, you should have received an email containing your SOSDirect user ID.)

d. You will now be at the second Account Login Screen. Here you will select your payment method for the session and verify your contact information. The client reference field is available if you wish to use it for recordkeeping. The shipping information checkbox only applies to Uniform Commercial Code filings. Select the shipping information box only if you want to alter the information in the “Send Acknowledgement To” box to be different from the SOSDirect account information. Click “Continue” to continue and complete the log in process.

e. Once you reach the Account Login Screen that reads “[Contact Name], You are now logged into the SOSDirect web site.”, you may choose any option from the menu at the top of the screen.

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Technical Issues

Show answer 1.  Is your site compatible with pop-up blockers?

For SOSDirect to fully function, you will need to turn off your pop-up blocker or allow pop-ups for the site. See your pop-up blocker’s help pages for details on how to allow SOSDirect or turn off the pop-up blocker.

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Show answer 2.  I am not receiving email from SOSDirect. Why?

Typically, the reason SOSDirect emails are not received is that they are being filtered by your email client as spam or junk mail. Check your junk mail folder and set your filter to allow messages from SOSDirect@sos.state.tx.us.

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Show answer 3.  How do I download a file from SOSDirect?

If you click the icon in the “view” (Uniform Commercial Code) or “view image” (Business Organizations and Trademarks) column to view a file and the file opens in Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can save the document to your computer or another location using the Save a copy button in the top left corner. If you click the “view” or “view image” icon and are asked whether you want to “save” or “open” the file, choose “save” if you want to save the document to your computer or another location and “open” if you want to view the file without saving it first.

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Show answer 4.  What software do I need so that I can open attachments sent to me from SOSDirect?

Attachments from SOSDirect are zipped .pdf files. To open the attachments, you need a program such as WinZip (version 7.0 or higher) to extract the files. To view the extracted files, you need Adobe Acrobat Reader version 7.0 or higher.
Get Adobe Reader   Get WinZip

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Show answer 5.  Can I turn off packing slips so that they will not be sent to me anymore?

No. The packing slip is automatically generated and sent by the system. Some customers choose to filter packing slips to a separate folder in their email clients.

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Show answer 6.  I logged in and received a session code, but when I clicked on a link to enter the site, I was taken back to the log in page. Why?

Most likely you have web cookies disabled. To enable cookies in Internet Explorer, click on “Tools”; “Internet Options”; “Security”; and then “Custom Level”. Scroll down to “Cookies”, select “Enable” and then select “Accept”. You may need to close and reopen your browser for the change to take effect. If this does not solve the problem, send us an email.

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Show answer 7.  I was in the middle of my filing/search and when I hit the continue button I was taken back to the log in screen. Was my filing/order submitted?

No. For your security, the system logs you out after 15 minutes of inactivity. To continue your transaction, you will need to log back in and, if paying by credit card or LegalEase, re-enter your information. If you were logged in as a temporary user, you will need to complete the temporary user login form again.

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Fees & Payments

Show answer 1.  What are the fees for using SOSDirect?

There is no registration fee or monthly fee for using SOSDirect. A statutorily authorized $1.00 search fee enables the secretary of state to provide online business services through SOSDirect. The search fee is waived if an order or filing is submitted on results of the search.
Fees for Business Organizations Filings and Orders
Fees for Uniform Commercial Code Filings and Orders

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Show answer 2.  What methods of payment are accepted?

SOSDirect account holders may charge filing fees to a American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa credit card, a prefunded client account, or a funded LegalEase Account. Account holders are permitted to accrue fees for searches and orders placed on SOSDirect. Charges for fees accrued will appear on your account billing statement. Temporary users must pay with the American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa credit card entered at login.

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Show answer 3.  Do you retain my credit card information?

No. For your security, credit card information is not retained.

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Show answer 4.  How do I request a transaction credit (refund)?

Filing fees are nonrefundable and cannot be credited. Credit requests for issues related to searches and orders must be in writing. If a credit is issued, the credited amount will be placed back on the account or credit card used for the transaction.

If you have already received your packing slip, reply to the email and include the following information:

a. The reason you are requesting the credit, and

b. If you paid by credit card, the first 12 numbers ONLY of the card used for the transaction.

If you have not yet received your packing slip, you can email the Business Organizations and Trademarks or Uniform Commercial Code sections directly. Include the following information in your email:

a. Your name and contact information;

b. Your SOSDirect User ID, if available;

c. The session code or session ID containing the transaction you are requesting the credit for OR the document number for the transaction;

d. The date of the transaction;

e. If you paid by credit card, the first 12 numbers ONLY of the card used for the transaction; and

f. The reason you are requesting the credit.

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Online Filings and Orders

Show answer 1.  What types of documents can be filed online?

SOSDirect currently supports the following types of filings:

Business Organizations:
Filing Class Filing Type
Formation & Registration Corporation (for profit, nonprofit, professional) (Domestic and Foreign)
Limited Liability Company (LLC) (Domestic and Foreign)
Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) (Domestic and Foreign)
Limited Partnership (LP) (Domestic and Foreign)
Professional Association (Domestic and Foreign)
Financial Institution (Foreign)
Change Documents
Change to Registered Office/Agent
Certificate of Amendment (name change only)
Reinstatement (tax forfeiture only)
Withdrawal of foreign entity
Termination of Texas entity
Annual Statement for Professional Association
Periodic Report for Limited Partnership or Nonprofit Corporation
Name Filings Name reservation
Assumed name certificate
Uniform Commercial Code:
Filing Class Filing Type
Initial Filings Financing Statement
Manufactured-Home Transaction
Public-Finance Transaction
Amendment Filings
Termination
Continuation
Assignment
Amendment to name, address and/or collateral information
Master Amendment of UCC Secured Parties for 50 or more filings
Master Assignment of UCC Secured Parties for 50 or more filings
eNotary:

A bonding company with an SOSDirect account can use eNotary to submit notary public applications if the company accepts the eNotary Agreement. The bonding company submits data from the application along with a base64-encoded image of the application itself. The status of previously submitted applications may be checked on SOSDirect.

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Show answer 2.  How do I receive an order that I place online?

Orders placed on SOSDirect are emailed to the address shown in the Account Login Contact Information when logging into SOSDirect. The documents in your order are attached to the email as zipped .pdf files and are accessible for 14 days after the date of submission by email.

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Certificates and Validation

Show answer 1.  What is the “Certificate Validation” service?

Useful for certificates related to business organizations and nonprofits, the online certificate validation process can be used to verify whether a specific certificate of filing, certificate of fact, or information letter was actually issued by the Corporations Section of the Texas Secretary of State. This certificate validation service applies only to certificates issued on or after January 1, 2006 in connection with business organization documents on file with the Corporations Section of the Office of the Secretary of State. Certificates generated in connection with state trademark registrations or Uniform Commercial Code filings cannot be verified through this service. You do not need to be logged in to SOSDirect to use our certificate validation service.

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Show answer 2.  Certificates I order on SOSDirect look like black and white “print-outs.” Are these as good as certificates obtained by mail or in person?

Yes; they are actually the same format. Certificates ordered on SOSDirect follow the standard format for certificates from the secretary of state.

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Account Maintenance

Show answer 1.  How do I update my account information online?

Log into SOSDirect with your SOSDirect User ID and password for the account you want to update. (See Getting Started FAQ #4 ). Click the “Account” tab at the top of the screen to reach the Account Maintenance Menu. From the Account Maintenance Menu, select “Change Password” to change your password. Select “Update Account Information” to edit the name, address, telephone number, or email address associated with the account.

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Show answer 2.  How can I add funds to my client account or pay my account balance?

Log into SOSDirect with your SOSDirect User ID and password for the account you want to fund. (See Getting Started FAQ #4 ). Click the “Account” tab at the top of the screen to reach the Account Maintenance Menu. From the Account Maintenance Menu, click “Submit Payment to Client Account”. The screen will display your current client account balance and allow you to enter credit card and payment amount information. Remember that funds added to your client account will not be available for use on SOSDirect until the next business day. If you need to submit a transaction immediately, you may choose to pay by session rather than adding funds to your client account. To pay by session, select “Credit Card” as the payment method on the login screen. (If you are currently logged in with client account as the payment method, you will need to log out and log back in.)

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What if my question wasn’t answered here?

If your question is about SOSDirect, choose your contact based on the type of filing:
  • Business Organizations & Nonprofits: email or call (512) 475-2755
  • Uniform Commercial Code: email or call (512) 475-2740
  • eNotary: try the eNotary FAQs; or email or call (512) 463-5705
  • Trademarks: email or call (512) 463-9760
If your question is about the filing itself, rather than using SOSDirect, try our other FAQs: return to top