How to Form a Company in Tennessee


Want to know how to form a company in Tennessee? This guide will walk you through the steps and show you what to do.

Appoint and qualify an agent

To appoint your agent, you need to file a designation of agent form with the Secretary of State. The appointment ends on the death or resignation of your agent or if you revoke it by filing a revocation with the Secretary of State. You can also extend its duration for up to 5 years by filing an extension as long as you continue to be in business and meet all other requirements (such as having paid all fees due).

The person who acts as your agent must have a physical presence in Tennessee at least part-time; they cannot be an absentee owner. They must provide their name, address, phone number and email address when they accept their appointment (you will receive this information once they accept). This can be done online at, but we recommend meeting with them face-to-face so that you can verify their identity.

File articles of incorporation

  • File articles of incorporation with the Tennessee Secretary of State.
  • Include the corporate name, address and purpose of the corporation in your articles of incorporation.
  • Pay any required fees, which may vary depending on whether you are incorporating a for-profit or non-profit company or if you are filing under an existing business name (called an assumed name).

Obtain an employer identification number

Obtaining an EIN is one of the first things you’ll do to set up your business. A federal employer identification number (EIN) is a nine-digit number used for tax purposes and to identify the business or individual responsible for paying taxes on various types of income.

When you form a company, you must apply for an EIN using Form SS-4. You can file this online at,,id=218043,00.html#formss4ein2

Once you’ve obtained your EIN, keep it handy because it will be necessary whenever you conduct any kind of business with the government or open a bank account for your entity (more on that later).

File a franchise tax report

If you’re incorporating a company in Tennessee, you will be required to file a franchise tax report annually with the Secretary of State’s office. This report is due within 90 days of incorporation and is due on the 15th day of the 4th month after the end of each taxable year.

Apply for other permits and licenses

You can apply for other permits and licenses to operate your business. These include:

  • A sales tax permit, if required by your state or local government. If you plan to sell taxable goods or services, such as food and alcohol, you must obtain a sales tax permit from the Tennessee Department of Revenue (TDOR). Your business may also be eligible for an exemption from paying any sales tax on its purchases—for example, if it provides services rather than selling products directly to customers.
  • A vehicle registration in order to drive a company car or truck on public roadways in Tennessee. You’ll need one even if you’re only driving within private property while conducting business activities such as delivering products or repairing machinery at clients’ locations.
  • A business license from TDOR that authorizes you to operate in the state as an organized entity with legal ownership rights over assets like land, buildings and equipment (as opposed to being just an unincorporated association without such rights). The license is valid for one year; renewals typically occur around March each year using form T-2180 Business Entity License Renewal Application Package . You must provide proof that your company has liability insurance coverage before applying for this license; TDOR doesn’t accept applications without proof of insurance first being received by mail or email within 30 days after submission date–so ask your agent about getting started early so there isn’t any risk of delay!

You can form a company in Tennessee by following these steps.

You can form a company in Tennessee by following these steps:

  • Have a business plan. The first thing you’ll need to do is create a business plan for your new business. This should include information about who will be involved with the company, what services or products will be provided, how much it will cost to start and run the operation, how much money you expect the company to make each month and year, etc.
  • Hire employees. Once you’ve got things set up in terms of legal paperwork and other administrative tasks (like getting an EIN), find some people who are interested in working for your new business—and hire them! You’ll want at least three employees on board before launching any kind of commercial operation; this ensures that there’s always someone available when customers need help with purchasing decisions or problems arise with existing orders/projects/etcetera.* Find office space if necessary – If you’re planning on operating out of an office while running this venture rather than doing everything remotely from home then now would be a good time to start looking around town for potential locations where there won’t be any other businesses nearby that might compete directly against yours once launched into full swing mode come next week Monday morning 9am sharp!


The steps to form a company in Tennessee are not difficult. You can start your own business and make it successful by following these steps.

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