Start a Business in Tennessee
LLC, C-Corp, or S-Corp?
Choose which one is right for you.
Limiting Your Liability
Do you need liability insurance, limited liability protection, or both?
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This guide on starting your business in Tennessee provides step-by-step instructions on the paperwork to file formation documents, obtain tax IDs, and set up company records.
Below is an overview of the paperwork, cost, and time to form each of the most popular business structures. Simply click on the link for your desired structure to view detailed step-by-step instructions.
- If you have not decided whether you want to form an LLC, corporation, or other business structure, click here.
- If wish to form your business in a different state than Tennessee, click here.
Tennessee Limited Liability CompanyClick for step-by-step instructions
Tennessee CorporationClick for step-by-step instructions
Tennessee NonprofitClick for step-by-step instructions
Top 5 Tips on Registering a Business in Tennessee
- The fees for an LLC are steep - most of the time it is $300 up front then $300 per year. In addition, the state language to calculate the formation fee for an LLC can be confusing. Put simply, if your LLC has six or fewer members (owners), then the fee will be $300.
- Tennessee offers a consolidated registration application for new business state tax registration. This is a great convenience - not all states do.
- In Tennessee, you can form a single-owner corporation. This owner acts as both president and secretary of the board.
- A quick vocabulary tip: what most states call the "articles of incorporation" to create a corporation, Tennessee calls a "charter for a for-profit corporation".
- Corporations and LLCs must file an annual report with the Tennessee Secretary of State.