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New Business Guide


Getting Started in Keller Introduction We are pleased that you have chosen Keller as the place to start or grow your business. This guide will be a resource, assisting you to be successful with your business in Keller. The City of Keller Economic Development Department is happy to be at your service, providing assistance to navigate through the process.

First Point of Contact: Economic Development Department


The City of Keller Economic Development Department provides many useful resources, including site selection assistance, demographic analysis, incentives, and connections to local real estate professionals and groups. Economic Development staff is available to assist you with the process of setting up your business in Keller. They will also guide you to other city departments and resources that will be valuable in the process. INSIDE THIS GUIDE

Important Notice: The information in this document is presented solely as technical assistance and as a resource available to entrepreneurs. The information does not serve as a substitute for legal advice or tax advice nor replace the independent judgment of an appropriate specialist. An entrepreneur should consult his/her attorney, accountant or other questions about establishing a business in Keller.



Economic Development Offerings


Community Development Department


Application Types


Business Startup and Development Process


Sign Regulations and Permitting


Special Uses




City Resources




A Note About Links in this Guide An online resource page has been developed for this guide, which contains links to all the City of Keller documents referenced. If you are viewing a digital version of this guide, you may click the hyperlinks to go directly to the document or page. If you are viewing a paper version of this guide, please go to economicdevelopment and click the ‘New Business Guide’ to access all referenced documents.


City of Keller Economic Development 817.743.4020

New Business Guide

Site Selection When looking for available properties in the City of Keller, the Economic Development Department can be invaluable in your search. The department is knowledgeable of available vacant, ready-to-build, or ready-to-move-in properties throughout the City and can help guide you to a site that will allow your business to thrive. Site selection resources are also available online at: This site offers listings of available properties for sale or lease within the City of Keller. Interactive maps of Keller displaying zoning and parcel information are available at These maps also include school and park locations, ownership and tax information, aerial photographs and other helpful information. Printable maps are also available at our website:


To attract and retain quality commercial developments that increase our residents’ property value and improve their quality of life.


Economic Development Offerings

Incentives The City of Keller will consider economic development incentives on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the Comprehensive Policy on Economic Development Incentives (CPEDI). The CPEDI provides information about incentive tools available to prospective businesses and developers that provide new jobs, significant investment, and an added quality of life to the City of Keller. Requests for incentives may be customized for the project. Potential incentives may include: • Property tax grants • Sales tax grants • Public Infrastructure Assistance • Development fee rebates • Fast Track (planning and permitting) More information about these incentives is available in the CPEDI on the City of Keller website at:

Business Retention and Support We are interested in helping you expand your business in Keller. The Economic Development Department is working to support existing and new businesses by the development of, a website which provides residents and visitors a way to easily find places to shop, eat and locate other business services in Keller.

New Business Guide

City of Keller Economic Development 817.743.4020



Community Development Department The Economic Development Department works closely with the Community Development Department. Once you have a site selected and preliminary plans in mind, the Community Development Department will guide you through the process of planning, applying for the development and approval of your property.

Unified Development Code The Unified Development Code (UDC) contains the official zoning and development regulations for the City of Keller. The UDC is available on the City of Keller website at You may also contact the Community Development Department staff for UDC questions and information.

Zoning Districts The zoning district of a property determines what uses are allowed on that property. The City of Keller has seven nonresidential zoning districts. When considering sites for your business, it is important to know the regulations and permitted uses for the zoning district of the potential site. Uses can be allowed “by right,� meaning that the use is permitted provided that City development standards are met, with approval of a Specific Use Permit (SUP—see page 5), or some uses will be restricted for that zoning district. In addition to permitted uses, each zoning district has landscaping, lot size, building setback and design requirements. Buildings in all zoning districts are subject to specific design, parking, lighting, signage and other standards as defined in Article 9 of the UDC. Zoning districts are defined on the Keller website at


City of Keller Economic Development 817.743.4020

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Town Center District The Town Center District is intended to serve as a community retail center in a mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented environment. Open space, trees, lighting, benches, and other amenities create a human scale environment. The standards of this area are unique to the Town Center District.

Old Town Keller Overlay District Old Town Keller encompasses most of the original town of Keller. The Old Town Keller Overlay District is designed to transform the area into a historical focal point of the City with the character of a small Texas town


Community Development Department

of the early 1900’s. The standards of this district shall be used in conjunction with the base zoning district in the area (such as Retail, Commercial or Residential).

U.S. Highway 377 North Overlay District The U.S. Highway 377 North Overlay District was designed to reflect the high visibility and traffic volumes of the 377 corridor. The standards of this area are intended to create unique site design, building architecture, and streetscape that enhance the overall image of the corridor while remaining compatible with surrounding neighborhoods. These standards shall be used in conjunction with the base zoning district in the area (such as Commercial or Light Industrial).

New Business Guide

City of Keller Economic Development 817.743.4020



Application Types APPROVAL PROCESS PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION The Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) makes recommendations on development applications for the City of Keller. P&Z generally meets twice a month, on the second and fourth Mondays of each month.

CITY COUNCIL The Keller City Council gives final approval for most development applications. City Council generally meets twice a month, on the first and third Tuesdays of each month.


Zoning Change* A zoning change is needed if the land does not already have the necessary zoning for your type of business. Zoning changes must go before the Planning and Zoning Commission and be approved by City Council, with public hearings held at both meetings.

Specific Use Permit A Specific Use Permit (SUP) may be necessary for certain types of businesses in certain districts. SUP applications must go before the Planning & Zoning Commission and be approved by City Council, with public hearings held at both meetings. *In assessing your zoning change or SUP request, the P&Z Commission and City Council will consider the consistency of the proposed use with Keller’s Future Land Use Plan and the compatibility of the proposed use with adjacent uses.

Site Plan Site plans are required to develop or make improvements to a property. If no variances to the Unified Development Code are requested, site plans can be approved by City staff. If variances are requested, site plans must go before the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council for consideration.


Public hearings are held at P&Z

A plat is a legal document showing the boundaries, easements, and

and City Council meetings for all

utility dedications of a tract or subdivision of land. Depending on the

zoning change and Specific Use

complexity of the site, plat applications may be approved by City staff

Permit applications. Public hearing notices will be sent

or the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council.

within 10 days of the meeting to

Getting Started: Development Review Committee

all property owners within 300

Before you make commitments to a specific property, we invite

feet of the property, signs will be posted on the property, and notices will be published in the newspaper in order to make the public aware of the request and to allow public input.

you to walk through your project with the Development Review Committee (DRC), which can help guide you in the process of developing your site. The DRC is comprised of members of Community and Economic Development, Public Works, Parks, Police and Fire departments, as appropriate for your project. When a project application is submitted, the DRC will examine the plans and return them with comments that will prepare you for the approval process. To schedule a DRC appointment, please contact the Community Development Department at 817.743.4130.


City of Keller Economic Development 817.743.4020

New Business Guide

Working Together The Economic Development and Community Development Departments work together to assist you in developing your business in Keller.


Economic Development Department

Community Development Department Current or Potential Property

Site Selection Assistance



Meet with Staff to Examine Possibility of Zoning Change or SUP

Is Use Allowed?

Zoning Changed


Vacant Property?



Begin SUP Process

Business Retention & Support



Vacant Property?

Begin Platting Process



No Exterior Building Modifications Needed?

Outside Resources


Develop Site Plan



Interior Building Modifications Needed?

Obtain Permits: Building, Fence, Irrigation, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and Sign


No Permits Obtained Obtain Certificate of Occupancy

Construction Completed


C/O Obtained

Open Business!

New Business Guide

City of Keller Economic Development 817.743.4020


Business Startup and Development Flowchart


Sign Regulations and Permitting Sign regulations are discussed in Article 9 of the UDC, available on the City’s website: The Town Center District and Old Town Keller Overlay District both have their own sign regulations specified in Article 8 of the UDC, available on the City’s website:

Freestanding Signs Typically, one monument sign is permitted per lot. If a lot has a street frontage over 600 feet total (including both frontages of a corner lot), additional monument signs may be allowed. Multi-tenant buildings are allowed to list each business on the monument sign with a size limitation determined by the size of the building. Pole signs are not allowed in the city limits of Keller.

Attached Signs Two attached signs are allowed for a single-occupant building. For multi-tenant buildings, one attached sign is permitted per business, except businesses occupying the corners of the building (with street frontage on both sides) in which case two attached signs are allowed for that business.

Permitting Building permits are required by the City of Keller for new construction, reconstruction, and renovation. For new occupancy, and for changes in occupancy, a Certificate of Occupancy is required. Permits can be obtained from the Building and Construction Services division of Community Development by visiting: communitydevelopment or calling 817.743.4110.


City of Keller Economic Development 817.743.4020

New Business Guide

Home-Based Businesses In the City of Keller, home-based businesses are referred to as Home Occupations, which are defined as activities that are secondary to the use of the home as a dwelling, and which are, in general, incidental uses of the property which will not be a nuisance for the neighborhood. Uses that are not considered Home


Special Uses

Occupations include beauty and barber shops, tearooms or restaurants, rest homes or clinics, bed and breakfast facilities, cabinet repair shops, metalworking shops, and auto repair shops. Home Occupations are permitted in all single-family zoning districts. Home Occupations are not permitted in multi-family residential zones or the Town Center District. See Article 3 of the Unified Development Code, at, for specific guidelines.

Serving Food Chapter 8, Article 3 (Food Sanitation) of the Keller Code of Ordinances ( specifies permitting requirements for the serving of food. A health permit from the Tarrant County Health Department is required for all businesses serving or preparing food. A Food Manager Certificate from Tarrant County is required for at least one managerial staff position, and if more than six employees are working, a certified food manager must be on duty at all times. See the Tarrant County Environmental Health Department at

Serving Alcohol The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission regulates the sale of alcohol. No alcohol may be sold within 300 feet of a church, private school, or hospital or within 1,000 feet from the property border of a public school. In the City of Keller, a bar is defined as an establishment that has alcohol sales for over 75% of revenue. In most areas of Keller, alcohol sales for on-premise consumption are allowed with a Mixed Beverage Permit. In the Town Center, Commercial, and Light Industrial districts, alcohol sales for on-premise consumption are also allowed with a Private Club Permit. Any business selling alcohol must submit a quarterly report to the city secretary establishing the breakdown of food and alcohol sales. See Chapter 10, Article V (Sale or Serving of Alcoholic Beverages) of the City of Keller Code of Ordinances ( and the TABC Guide for Retailers ( for more information. Contact: Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission at

New Business Guide

City of Keller Economic Development 817.743.4020



Taxes Tax Permit A sales tax permit must be obtained from the Texas Comptroller for any business selling, leasing, or renting most goods or providing taxable services.

Sales Tax Rate Taxing Entity

Sales Tax Rate

State Tax Rate


City of Keller




Keller Development Corporation (Parks and Recreation)


Keller Crime Control & Prevention District


Street Maintenance Tax Rate




Property Tax Rate While most of Keller is part of the Keller Independent School District (KISD), some portions of Keller reside within the Northwest Independent School District (NWISD). As such, property tax rates vary between the two areas. Tax rates are per $100 taxable value.

Taxing Entity

Property Tax Rate (KISD Areas)

Property Tax Rate (NWISD Areas)

City of Keller



School District



Tarrant County



Tarrant County College District



Tarrant County Hospital District






*Property tax rate information for fiscal year 2013-14

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts:



City of Keller Economic Development 817.743.4020

New Business Guide

Economic Development


Business Attraction and Retention Commercial Site Assistance Incentives and Packages Community Demographics Economic Development Board Community Development


Planning & Zoning Commission Unified Development Code Zoning Districts Future Land Use Plan Zoning Board of Adjustment Building and Construction Services





Crime Prevention Crime Statistics Library

Fire Education and Safety Fire Inspections Police

Engineering Streets & Drainage Water & Wastewater Environmental Services Fire Rescue

Building Permits Building Inspections Code Compliance

Public Works


City Contacts


Parks & Recreation


Administration Mayor City Council City Manager City Secretary

New Business Guide


City of Keller Economic Development 817.743.4020



Regulatory Contacts Register a Business (Assumed Name) Research other businesses operating under the same name

Tarrant County Clerk—Vital Records Tarrant County Plaza Building 200 Taylor Street, 3rd Floor Ft. Worth, Texas 76102

Tarrant County Clerk—Vital Records (local) 1400 Main, Suite 140 Southlake, Texas 76092


Tarrant County Clerk—Vital Records (local) 645 Grapevine Highway, Suite 3 Hurst, Texas 76054


Texas Secretary of State Corporations Section P.O. Box 13697 Austin, Texas 78711

Internal Revenue Service 819 Taylor St. Ft. Worth, Texas 76102

Incorporating a Business

Obtain Employer Identification Number



817.847.6201 800.252.5555

Find your NAICS Code (needed for sales tax permit)

Research Tarrant County Tax Rates & Land

State Permits and Licenses


U.S. Census Bureau

Tarrant County Appraisal District 2500 Handley Ederville Rd Ft. Worth, Texas 76118

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation 1501 Circle Drive, Suite 215 Ft. Worth, Texas 76119

City of Keller Economic Development 817.743.4020


817.321.8350 800.687.4102

New Business Guide

Worker’s Compensation

Workplace Safety Requirements *Free OSHA Consultations available for small businesses

Drug-Free Workplace Requirements

Americans with Disabilities Act

Environmental Impacts and Regulations

Find Employees

Labor standards (Regulations concerning wages, hours worked, etc.) Social Security Verification and Wage Reporting

New Business Guide

Texas Department of Insurance Walton Building 6900 Anderson Blvd., Suite 200 Ft. Worth, Texas 76120

US Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration North Starr II, Suite 302 8713 Airport Freeway Ft. Worth, Texas 76180

US Department of Labor Working Partners

ADA Business Connection

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality 2309 Gravel Dr. Ft. Worth, Texas 76118

Texas Workforce Commission 7001 Blvd 26, Suite 501 North Richland Hills, TX 76180

US Department of Labor 200 Constitution Ave., NW Washington, DC 20210

Social Security Administration RM 1-A-07 Federal Bldg 819 Taylor St Ft. Worth, Texas 76102


817.428.2470 800.321.OSHA


Regulatory Contacts

817.588.5800 512.239.1000


866.4.USA.DOL 800.772.6270

City of Keller Economic Development 817.743.4020



Area Chambers and Business Groups Greater Keller Chamber of Commerce 420 Johnson Road, Ste. 301 Keller, Texas 76248

Offers member support by improving relationships, visibility, and accessibility of Keller businesses

Keller Business Connections 131 Taylor Street Keller, TX 76248

Unites local commerce within the community, by strengthening relationships and business results

Offers member benefits to businesses in Old Town Keller

Offers networking, planning, educational and special events

Dallas Regional Chamber 700 North Pearl Street, Suite 1200 Dallas, Texas 75201

Promotes economic development within the DFW Metroplex

Texas Association of Business 1209 Nueces Street Austin, Texas 78701

Texas business advocates for state and federal legislatures

North Texas Commission 8445 Freeport Parkway Irving, Texas 75063

Regional organization committed to enhancing the overall economic vitality and quality of life of North Texas

Offers accreditation and acts as intermediaries between consumers and businesses

Old Town Keller Merchants Association

Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce 777 Taylor Street, Suite 900 Ft. Worth, Texas 76102

Better Business Bureau at Fort Worth 101 Summit Ave., Suite 707 Ft. Worth, Texas 76102


City of Keller Economic Development 817.743.4020









New Business Guide

North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) 616 Six Flags Drive Arlington, Texas 76005

Fort Worth Business Assistance Center 1150 South Freeway Ft. Worth, Texas 76104

Dallas/Fort Worth Minority Business Enterprise Center 545 E John Carpenter Freeway, Suite 100 Irving, Texas 75062

Tarrant County College

Voluntary association of local governments, offering regional population statistics, plans, and other regional information 817.640.3300


Local Resources

Provides a variety of information and resources for small business owners including free assistance from the SBA


Provides management services to minority-owned businesses

Continuing education courses


817.515.4233 Small Business Development Center James E. Guinn Complex, Suite 229 1150 South Freeway Ft. Worth, Texas 76104 Corporate Services Training Center 13600 Heritage Parkway, Suite 100 Ft. Worth, Texas 76177

North Texas Small Business Development Center Network 1402 Corinth Street Dallas, Texas 75215

SCORE James E. Guinn School 1150 South Freeway, Suite 108 Ft. Worth, Texas 76104 (local offices available by appointment) Bill J. Priest Institute for Economic Development 1402 Corinth St Dallas, Texas 75215 International Trade Center Small Business Development Center 1950 Stemmons Fwy, Ste. 3009 Dallas, Texas 75207

US Small Business Administration 4300 Amon Carter Blvd., Suite 114 Ft. Worth, Texas 76155

Professional management counseling service

Provides customized training programs for workforce staffing and training needs Corporate_Services.html


817.515.2200 Management assistance center 214.860.5831 or 800.350.7232

Provides entrepreneurs with free, confidential face-to-face, email and online business counseling 817.871.6002

Offers services for new and growing businesses

Offers counseling, training, analysis, and research to support businesses engaging in international trade

Provides financial, technical and management assistance



817.684.5500 800.827.5722

University of Texas at Arlington Division for Enterprise Development 701 S. Nedderman Drive Arlington, Texas 76019

New Business Guide

Continuing education career development courses 817.272.2581

City of Keller Economic Development 817.743.4020



National and State Resources Texas Economic Development Division

Provides assistance to Texas, domestic and foreign businesses across all industries business_resources

Various resources for establishing and sustaining businesses in Texas

Offers resource for the self-employed and micro-businesses to help entrepreneurs succeed

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Small Business Assistance

Provides confidential technical assistance without the threat of enforcement sblga.html

International Trademark Association

Membership association dedicated to the support and advancement of trademarks and related intellectual property

U.S. Government’s official website for small businesses. Provides small business owners with information and resources they need to comply with laws and regulations, and to take advantage of government programs and services to help them start, expand and run their businesses

Business in Texas

National Association for the Self-Employed

Business Link to the US Government




Business Guides Texas Wide Open for Business, Texas Online

Texas Business Advisor, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Texas Small Business Advocate

Texas Secretary of State Business Start-Up Information

Americans with Disabilities Act Guide for Small Businesses US Small Business Administration small Business Planner Guide to Starting a Business in Texas


City of Keller Economic Development 817.743.4020

New Business Guide

Commercial Development From 2011-2013 Building Permits were issued from 461,730 total square feet of new commercial construction totaling a value of $55,154,408.00. Visit the Available Properties page at: to see available pad sites. There are 63,402 households within a 5 mile radius and 433,332 households within a 15 mile radius.

Labor and Education 15 miles northeast of downtown Fort Worth. 25 miles northwest of downtown Dallas.


City of Keller Overview

9 miles northwest of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. 4 miles southeast of Alliance Airport.

Tarrant County Population*


City Population*










2020 (est)



Median Age is 39.9; 89.6% White, 2.4% Black, 3.8% Asian, .6% Other

Labor and Education 33.7% of Keller residents have earned Bachelor's Degrees. (age 25 and over) 10.9% of Keller residents have earned Master's Degrees. (age 25 and over) Award-winning Keller Independent School District is one of the fastest growing school districts in Texas. Texas is a Right-to-Work state. No personal state income tax.

Statistics are quoted from Claritas, with the exception of those noted with a * which are quoted from the City of Keller Community Development Dept.

New Business Guide

City of Keller Economic Development 817.743.4020


City of Keller - Economic Development New Business Guide  

Are you looking to start or grow your business? Then look no further than the City of Keller. This guide will be a resource, assisting you t...

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