Thromboembolic disorders are commonly associated with cardiovascular, infectious, and neoplastic disease. A major link in the pathophysiology of thrombosis is the excessive triggering of the coagulation pathways by the initiating cofactor molecule termed tissue factor, an integral membrane glycoprotein. The tissue factor extracellular ligand binding domain is predicted to fold in an architecture similar to the cytokine receptor homology module. Functional sites in tissue factor have been defined by a combination of antibody, chemical cross-linking, and mutational analyses providing a model for cofactor function that involves discrete interactions with both enzyme and substrate. The understanding of the structural basis of tissue factor function promises to facilitate rational design of inhibitor molecules for defined functional sites, eventually leading to effective in vivo therapeutics.