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Frequently Asked Questions for Vision Support Organizations

The answers to our Frequently Asked Questions are provided for informational purposes and are not intended to provide legal advice or to substitute for the advice of an attorney. If you have specific legal questions, consult your attorney.

In Texas, vision support organizations (“VSOs”) are governed by Chapter 74 of the Business and Commerce Code and the Secretary of State’s administrative rules to be codified at 1 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 107, as well as any other applicable state or federal law.

What is a vision support organization (“VSO”)?

An entity that, under one or more agreements, provides two or more business support services to an optometrist.

An “optometrist” is an individual optometrist or therapeutic optometrist licensed to practice optometry in Texas.

“Business support services” are defined as business, management, consulting, or administrative services, facilities, or staff provided for an optometrist or an entity that employs or contracts with an optometrist to provide services or products, including:

Tex. Bus. & Com. Code § 74.001.

1. Are VSOs required to register with the Secretary of State?

Yes. Section 74.002 of the Business and Commerce Code provides that a VSO must register annually with the Secretary of State. See Form 4101 (PDF).

A registration is effective on the date the completed registration, any required attachments, and the $150 filing fee are received by this office. The Secretary of State will issue a certificate of registration upon filing a completed registration.

All VSO registrations expire annually on December 31 and must be renewed by January 31 of each calendar year. A VSO seeking to renew an existing registration may submit to the Secretary of State a renewal registration, together with any required attachments and the $150 filing fee, from ninety (90) days prior to expiration. Form 4101 may be used for both initial registrations as well as renewal registrations.

In addition, a VSO must file a statement of correction with and pay the $50 filing fee to the Secretary of State semiannually if there are any changes to the information given on the initial registration or renewal registration, as applicable.

2. Can the Secretary of State determine whether a specific VSO must register?

No. The Secretary of State cannot determine whether a particular VSO is required to register. Chapter 74 of the Business and Commerce Code contains important definitions, lists certain exemptions, and provides guidelines for registration. It is the VSO's responsibility to determine whether the VSO should register with the Secretary of State.

3. If a VSO is registered with the Secretary of State, does that indicate agency approval of the VSO’s business?

No. The Secretary of State is the filing officer for VSO registration required by Chapter 74 of the Business and Commerce Code. Registration with the Secretary of State does not imply approval or endorsement of the VSO or its business activities.

4. What if a VSO is not registered?

Under Chapter 74 of the Business and Commerce Code, a person who fails to file a registration or a corrected registration as required by that chapter is liable to the state for a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $1,000, though each day a violation continues or occurs is a separate violation for the purpose of imposing the civil penalty.

The Attorney General is authorized to file suit to collect the civil penalty provided by Chapter 74 of the Business and Commerce Code.

The Secretary of State is the filing officer for VSO registration and does not have the authority to regulate the business practices of a VSO, investigate alleged violations by the VSO, or enforce the requirements referenced above.