Tennessee Business Facts
Tennessee is an export leader that sends over $32 billion worth of products throughout the globe in 2013. The state is home to a number of foreign-owned companies. The economy of Tennessee is made up of industry clusters in aerospace, automotive manufacturing, chemical production, health care, biotechnology, energy technology, agriculture, food production, and entertainment.
Major Companies Headquartered in Tennessee
Tennessee is the headquarters of many major companies including FedEx, HCA Healthcare, Community Health Systems, AutoZone, and Brookdale Senior Living.
Tennessee is a good place for startup companies because of the support it provides to entrepreneurs. Its program called Launch TN is a public-private partnership that supports the development of companies. The state is committed to education as well as a high-quality workforce.
There are 3 basic options: a Corporation, LLC or DBA. Click here to learn more about business entities.
Choosing a business name is easier said than done – many legal and business problems can arise from picking the wrong name (you can always change it later but the less times you have to do that the better). In Step 3 we’ll show you how to search for the name in Tennessee, but we highly recommend you do the following before searching Tennessee state databases:
NOTE: Familiarize yourself with the Tennessee naming guidelines. LLC entity names need to contain the words Limited Liability Company or the abbreviation LLC, and certain words are restricted or prohibited.
Restrictions on Tennessee Business Name & Business Purpose
Each state has its own requirements for registering a business. Now that you’ve chosen a business structure and selected your business name, here are the requirements to register your business in Tennessee.
How to form an LLC in Tennessee
TIP: Speak to your tax advisor about this important issue because it adds complexity to your LLC most people would rather avoid.
How to Incorporate in Tennessee
Considerations when incorporating or forming an LLC in Tennessee
How to File a DBA in Tennessee
Your EIN is like your Social Security Number for your company. It’s required for Corporations and LLC’s and optional for DBA’s (if you don’t have any employees, then it’s required). However, if you are a DBA and don’t obtain an EIN you will be forced to use your Social Security Number on many documents so it’s typically recommended you obtain the EIN to prevent identity theft.
You can read more about corporate tax laws in Tennessee on the Tennessee Department of Revenue Taxation Division site.
Optional Considerations when registering a Tennessee business
Ready to register a business in Tennessee?
To keep business and personal expenses separate, you should open a separate account for your business. In addition, getting business credit cards is how you begin to build a company credit profile (corporation or LLC required) and can later qualify for larger loans and lines of credit. To open the account simply call your chosen bank and inquire on the steps to open a business bank account. Typically you’ll need a) your filed paperwork, b) your EIN and c) a company resolution authorizing your company to open the account (signed by the owners, members, officers or directors, etc.).
Top 5 Major Banks in Tennessee
TIP: Our business formation service includes a free banking resolution for your use.
Now that you’ve registered your business name you need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).
TIP: We work with a company that can obtain and prepare business licenses and permits for you. Click here to learn more.
DBA: Your Fictitious Business Name should be valid for 5 years (unless you change company name or other information listed on the FBN) at which point you’ll need to renew it with the county.
LLC: Tennessee corporations are required to file a Periodic Report with the Tennessee Secretary of State each year, due on or before the first day of the fourth month following the end of the taxable year, in addition to general taxation. The filing fee is $309. Information on your business’ taxes can be found here.
Corporation: Business in Tennessee should file a report annually with the Secretary of State of Tennessee each year, due on or before the first day of the fourth month following the end of the taxable year. The filing fee is $23.
Division of Business Services (for Corporation and LLC filings)
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, Snodgrass Tower, 6th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243
Tennessee Taxation Departments
Tennessee Labor and Employment Departments
Tennessee Startup Resources
1. Small Business Administration (SBA) Tennessee District Offices
2. SCORE Tennessee
3. Tennessee Legal Statutes
5. Tennessee SmartStart
6. Angel.co Tennessee Startups
7. Tennessee Business News
9. Tennessee Small Business Development Center
10. Sustainable Tennessee
Wow loved it thankyou! I dreaded making this for a month thinking it would be a hassle. It wasn't thanks to you guys!
Excellent in all aspects. Perfect for new business owners with limited resources but wants to start it off right.