Tennessee LLC Registration
A Tennessee LLC will give you liability protection. To begin the business formation process you’ll need to file the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. But, before you begin, it’s vital to know that once you file business documents, the information on those papers will be public record. This means your address will be on the state website, which could lead to solicitors finding your information.
Our affordable Tennessee LLC Formation Package will keep your personal address private by listing our business information instead of your address. You’ll also get a year of registered agent service, a FREE operating agreement, and our business presence bundle, which includes website, email, and business phone services. And, the price of our package includes the state filing fee. That’s everything you need to launch your business, for a lot less than what our competitors charge.
How to Start a Tennessee LLC
Our Tennessee LLC Formation Package is a great way to get your business up and running. But, we understand if you want to do things on your own. In order to start a Tennessee LLC, you’ll need to choose an entity name, elect a registered agent, and file Articles of Organization. Also, you’ll most likely want to create an operating agreement and get something called an EIN. Let’s dig in further, so you can begin checking off those boxes!
Choose A Name For Your Tennessee LLC
Under state law (T.C.A. § 48-249-106) your Tennessee LLC name needs:
- To be distinguishable from all other Tennessee business names.
- To include an identifier such as “LLC” or “Limited Liability Company.”
- To not include a business identifier (like corporation or nonprofit) that could suggest your LLC is a different type of business.
You can check to see if your business name is available on the Secretary of State’s website.
If you want to reserve your Tennessee business name before filing articles, you can file an Application for Name Reservation and pay the $20 filing fee. The reservation will last for up to 120 days.
Elect a Registered Agent
Every Tennessee LLC must have a registered agent. A registered agent is an individual or company that receives important state and legal documents on behalf of your business. When you hire us as your Tennessee registered agent, we’ll list our address on the public record, not yours. This increases your level of privacy, which safeguards your personal information.
You can be your own registered agent. But, in order to do it yourself, you must be available during standard business hours. If you prefer to get out of the office, a great option is our Tennessee Registered Agent Service. For only $49 a year we will receive all legal documents on your behalf, scan them, and upload everything to your online account.
File Tennessee Articles of Organization
To start your Tennessee LLC you must file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. Articles of Organization is the legal document that officially forms your Tennessee LLC. You can apply online, by mail, email, or in person. For LLCs with six or fewer members, the filing fee is $300. LLCs that have more than six members will pay an additional $50 per member over six. The maximum fee is $3,000.
To complete the Articles of Organization, you’ll need to include the following information:
- Your LLC’s name
- Name Consent. Check this box if you have written consent from another business to use the same (or very similar) business name. You’ll also need to pay an additional $20.
- The name and physical TN address of your business’s registered agent
- Fiscal year close month – for most businesses, this will be December.
- A delayed effective date. If your LLC will begin on a future date (up to 90 days after filing), you may indicate that here. Otherwise, you can leave this section blank.
- Management structure. Indicate whether your LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed. Tennessee also allows “director-managed” LLCs, which are structured like a corporation.
- Number of Members – Include the number of members your LLC has at the time of filing.
- The duration of your LLC – If your LLC will exist indefinitely, choose “perpetual.” If you will close your LLC on a specific date, indicate that here.
- The LLC’s principal address. This must be a physical address.
- The mailing address of the entity, if different from the principal address.
- Non-Profit LLC. Specify if your LLC is a non-profit LLC. Otherwise, you may leave this blank.
- Professional LLC (PLLC). Specify if your LLC is a PLLC. Most LLCs will leave this blank.
- Series LLC. Specify if your LLC is a Series LLC. Otherwise, leave this blank.
- Obligated Member Entity. Specify if your LLC will be registered as an Obligated Member Entity.
- Prohibited Businesses. If your LLC is not allowed to do business in Tennessee, you’ll have to notify the Secretary of State.
- Organizer’s signature. This is the person who is filing your Articles of Organization.
You can file the Articles of Organization by mail or online.
Secretary of State, Business Services Division
ATTN: Corporate Filing
6th Floor – Snodgrass Tower
312 Rosa L. Parks AVE
Nashville, TN 37243
If you choose to file online, there’s an additional service fee for credit/debit cards and e-check payments. You’ll be charged 2.29% of the total amount due for credit/debit card payments and $0.95 for paying via e-check.
Submit Your Beneficial Ownership Information Report to FinCEN
As of January 1, 2024, LLCs must submit an additional federal filing to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The Beneficial Ownership Information Report is typically due within 30 days of forming your LLC (only companies formed in 2024 have a 90-day filing period). Filing the report tells FinCEN who controls your company and who benefits financially from your company. The report is not publicly available.
To file the report, you will need basic company information, including an EIN or other tax ID. You’ll also need to provide contact information and copies of photo IDs of your company’s beneficial owners and company applicants. This includes:
- people who own 25% or more of your company
- managers, directors, or anyone with substantial control over your business
- the person who directed the LLC be formed
- the person who filed the formation documents for your company (if applicable)
If you formed your company prior to 2024, you have all of 2024 to file your report, and you do not need to report who directed the company formation or who filed the formation paperwork. There is no fee to file your BOI report with FinCEN.
Hiring us for service? You can add BOI Report Filing for an additional $9. Our local filers have years of experience, and we’re happy to offer a simple and secure way to take care of your BOI today.
Create a Tennessee LLC Operating Agreement
The state does not require your Tennessee LLC to have an operating agreement, unless your LLC is director-managed. However, no matter how your LLC is structured, having an operating agreement can be helpful to your business. Think of an operating agreement as the foundation of your Tennessee LLC, outlining everything from management hierarchy to which owners hold what profit percentages. Plus, because your operating agreement is an internal document, you can adjust the content as you see fit.
If you need help organizing your operating agreement, let us help. Our Tennessee LLC Formation Package includes a FREE operating agreement template, which you can customize to fit your specific business needs.
Get an EIN For Your Tennessee LLC
Your Tennessee LLC needs an EIN in order to hire employees and open a business bank account. An EIN is the nine-digit number the IRS uses to identify your business for tax purposes.
You can obtain an EIN for free through the IRS website. Or, for an additional $50, we’ll get an EIN for you when you sign up for Tennessee LLC formation service.
Frequently Asked Tennessee LLC Questions
How much will it cost to start my Tennessee LLC?
The Articles of Organization costs a minimum of $300 for LLCs with six or fewer members. If you have more than six members, you’ll pay $50 for each additional member. For example, if you have seven members, you’ll pay $350. The maximum amount is $3,000.
Can I purchase an assumed name (DBA) for my Tennessee LLC?
Yes. If you want to register an assumed name—also commonly called a DBA—you can select our Trade Name Service inside your client portal after signing up for our LLC formation service. We will register your assumed name for a total cost of $125, plus state fees.
Should I open a business bank account?
It’s not required to open a bank account for your Tennessee LLC, but is highly advised, since it can protect your limited liability. Separating your personal bank account from your business’s money can help prove that you and your LLC are independent of each other.
Can I get a business website from you?
Yep! With our business presence bundle, you can get a domain name, website, SSL certificate, email address, and business phone service—plus the customer support you need to get everything set up. With these tools, you can establish your online presence in minutes and keep your personal email and phone private.
Does the state require me to file an Annual Report?
Yes. Tennessee LLCs are required to submit a Tennessee Annual Report to the Secretary of State. The annual report fee is $20. If you make changes on your Annual Report to your Registered Agent and/or Registered Office there will be an additional $20 fee. The annual report fee is a minimum of $300 for LLCs with six or fewer members. If your LLC has more than six members, you will pay an additional $50 per member over six. The maximum filing fee is of $3,000.
The Tennessee Annual Report must be filed by the first day of the fourth month following the end of your LLC’s fiscal year. For most businesses, this will be April 1st. However, the Secretary of State will begin accepting annual reports after January 1st. Your annual report can be filed online or by mail.