Tennessee Articles of Incorporation

Order Registered Agent Service

Tennessee articles of incorporation are filed to create a corporation.

Preparing and filing your articles of incorporation is the first step in starting your business corporation. Approval of this document secures your corporate name and creates the legal entity of the corporation. Only after this approval can the corporation apply for tax IDs, obtain business licenses, sign contracts, and otherwise conduct business.


Incorporating provides many important benefits:

  • Limits the liability of directors, officers, and shareholders
  • Fulfills statutory requirements to register your business name
  • Provides governance and adds credibility

Fast Facts

For Domestic Corporations:

Agency:Tennessee Secretary of State - Division of Business Services

Charter (ss-4417)


Tennessee Smart Start Guide

Filing Method:

Mail, in-person, or online

Agency Fee:



~4 business days by mail. ~2 days online. Immediately in-person.


Tenn. Code Ann. §48

  • Professional corporations (those offering the services of licensed professionals) have special formation requirements.

Other Helpful Tennessee Facts

As you are preparing to incorporate, keep in mind the following requirements specific to Tennessee.

Tennessee Directors

  • Number: One or more required.
  • Qualifications: None.
  • Quorum: Majority of directors, unless bylaws or charter fixes a different number. No less than one third.

Tennessee Officers

  • As stated in the bylaws, but a minimum of one. One person may hold multiple offices. One officer is required to be responsible for maintaining corporate records.

Tennessee Bylaws

  • Required: Yes.

Tennessee Annual Shareholder Meeting

  • Required: Yes, unless directors are elected by written consent.
  • Action by written consent: Allowed if by all shareholders entitled to vote on the action. charter may provide that less than all shareholders consent.

Tennessee Shareholders

  • Qualifications: N/A
  • Stock Certificate: Not Required.
  • Voting Trusts Allowed: Yes.
© 2012 - 2021 Harbor Compliance. All rights reserved. Harbor Compliance does not provide tax, financial, or legal advice. Use of our services does not create an attorney-client relationship. Harbor Compliance is not acting as your attorney and does not review information you provide to us for legal accuracy or sufficiency. Access to our website is subject to our Terms of Use and Service Agreement.