Forming a new business requires planning and preparation. Here is a list of steps to get started on your journey to owning a successful business.

  • Prepare and execute legal document.
  • Register LLC with Secretary of State to be assigned a control number. During the online registration, you will confirm legal name. Then indicate if formed in or outside of Tennessee, the fiscal year end, the number of members (if LLC), and how entity is managed. You will pay a $300 fee (if LLC) at this time. The registration can be done online here
  • Apply for EIN – if you are going to have employees be sure to register for payroll when you apply (this will set you up for FUTA and 941 filings as well as give you an EIN).  This is free,  you choose to receive your EIN instantly, and can be done online here.
  • Register for Sales and Use Account, Business Tax and Franchise & Excises Tax (as applicable) on TN Dept. of Revenue (DOR) website using the TN TAP system – choose “Register New Business” here
  • Obtain county and city (if applicable) business licenses. The  applications can be completed at county and/or city websites (depending on the county or city) or hard copy applications may need to be mailed in along with $15 fee. This is in addition to registering online with TN DOR as explained above.
  • If you have employees:  register for a SUTA account number with the TN Department of Labor.
  • If serving alcohol, register for liquor by drink license on TN TAP website.
  • File annual report four months after close of fiscal year.

Filing requirements:

  • Monthly: Sales and Use returns (also Liquor By Drink Return if applicable)
  • Quarterly: State and federal payroll tax returns (if W-2 employees)
  • January 30th : File FUTA tax return (if W-2 employees)
  • March 15th : File 1065 and TN Franchise and Excise tax returns
  • April 1st : For companies with a fiscal year close: file annual report with SOS at their website and pay applicable fees
  • April 1st : File personal property tax return with county
  • April 15th : File business tax return online at TNTAP

Note: If receiving guaranteed payments: owners should make estimates withholding tax payments to the Internal Revenue Service online at EFTPS on a quarterly basis. You may register for an account here.This is not an all-encompassing list. There are other steps which may be required that are not listed depending upon the type of industry being entered and the form of business entity. Anyone considering starting a new business should consult with their business advisor, attorney and/or accountant to ensure that all the steps required for forming the business they intend to create are properly completed in the correct order and appropriate licenses and/or registrations are obtained and maintained.