Register to Do Business in Tennessee

To register to do business in Tennessee, you need to understand the steps you will need to follow.3 min read

To register to do business in Tennessee, you need to understand the steps you will need to follow. In 2014, the state of Tennessee ranked as the 17th largest state in the United States, with a population of 6.5 million people. The state also headquarters large companies, such as FedEx, HCA Holdings, Dollar General, Auto Zone, and International Paper.

Check for Name Availability

You will need to choose a name for your business, but you will need to make sure the name is available. To protect your business from any infringements, it is good practice to check the national business name database and to do a trademark search as well.

It is very important when picking a name for your company that you choose one that is distinguishable from all other companies' names. You do not want your company being mistaken for another one. Take for example you are operating a cleaning business under the name Tom's Cleaning Company.

Another business in Tennessee already has a cleaning company called Tommy's Cleaning Company, and it, unfortunately, has a bad reputation of not being able to meet its customers' needs. If you name your cleaning company Tom's Cleaning Company, you may end up hurting yourself because consumers will confuse the two companies.

Pay Filing Fees

There are two ways to file your paper for business creation. One is to manually file your forms or you can submit the paperwork online. There are filing fees for formation; corporations must submit a payment of $100 and LLCs are required to submit $50 per member or a $300 minimum. Processing will take approximately two to four days.

Choose a Business Structure

One of the most important decisions to be made is to decide what type of legal structure you will operate under. You will have the option to operate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a corporation, a partnership, or a sole proprietorship. The options available all have their own advantages and disadvantages. Your structure will have an impact on how much you pay in taxes, the amount of paperwork you are required to do, the personal liability you will face, and your ability to raise funds.

Get a Business License

Most Tennessee businesses are required to have a business license. The local county clerk issues these. If the particular city you will be forming the business in has enacted a business tax, it is possible that a city business license will be required as well. In Tennessee, every business is subject to federal taxes, local and county taxes, excise tax, franchise tax, and usage tax.

Other Steps to Take

A Certificate of Registration will be required if you will be manufacturing, distributing, selling, renting, leasing tangible property, or providing taxable services. This is a requirement for all business structures, including non-profits.

Out-of-state retailers who have a physical location or nexus in Tennessee must hold a Certificate of Registration regardless if the arrangement is temporary or permanent. If there is more than one location, the business must acquire a Certificate of Registration for each business entity. You can apply for a Certificate of Registration at the Department of Revenue.