Last Updated: May 13, 2024, 9:48 am by TRUiC Team


You can start a Nashville LLC by filing the Articles of Organization with the Tennessee Secretary of State and meeting the city’s local requirements.

We’ll show you how to form an LLC in the state of Tennessee and establish your Nashville LLC.

Or simply use a professional:

four point seven out of five Northwest ($29 + State Fees)
three point four out of five LegalZoom ($79 + State Fees)

Cost to form an LLC in Nashville.

Starting a Nashville LLC Is Easy

In order to form a Nashville LLC, you’ll need to follow Tennessee state laws and start an LLC within the state of Tennessee. 

Follow our step-by-step How to Start a Nashville LLC guide to get started today.

Step 1: Name Your Nashville LLC
Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent
Step 3: File the Articles of Organization
Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement
Step 5: Get an EIN

Steps to start an L L C in Tennessee

Step 1: Name Your Nashville LLC

Choosing a company name is the first and most important step in setting up your Nashville LLC. Be sure to choose a name that complies with Tennessee naming requirements and is easily searchable by potential clients.

1. Follow the Tennessee naming guidelines for your Nashville LLC:

  • Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
  • Your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
  • Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your LLC.

2. Is the name available in the state of Tennessee? Perform a Tennessee LLC name search on the Secretary of State website to ensure that your Nashville LLC’s name is not already in use within the state.

To learn more about searching for a Tennessee LLC name, read our full guide.

3. Is the URL available? We recommend that you check to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to start a business website today, you may want to buy the URL in order to prevent others from acquiring it.

Find a Domain Now

Now that you have verified your name and secured the URL you may select a professional service to complete the LLC formation process for you. We recommend using one of these professional services:

four point six out of five Northwest ($29 + State Fees)

three out of five LegalZoom ($79+ State Fees)

Step 2: Choose a Tennessee Registered Agent

You are required to appoint a registered agent for your Nashville LLC.

What is a registered agent? A registered agent is an individual or business entity responsible for receiving important tax forms, legal documents, notice of lawsuits, and official government correspondence on behalf of your business. Think of your registered agent as your business's point of contact with the state.

Who can be a registered agent for your Nashville LLC? A registered agent must be a resident of Tennessee or a corporation, such as a registered agent service, authorized to conduct business in the state of Tennessee. You may elect an individual within the company including yourself.

To learn more about Tennessee registered agents, read our full guide.

Recommended: Northwest provides the first year of registered agent service free with LLC formation ($29 + State Fees)

Step 3: File the Tennessee LLC Articles of Organization

To register your Nashville LLC, you'll need to file Form SS-4270 - Articles of Organization with the Tennessee Secretary of State. You can apply online, in person, or by mail. The filing fee is $50 per member, with a minimum of $300 and a maximum of $3,000.

Now is also a good time to determine whether your LLC will be member-managed vs. manager-managed.

File the Articles of Organization

OPTION 1: File Online With the Secretary of State

File Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: File Form SS-4270 by Mail or In Person

Download Form

State Filing Cost: $300+. Make check, cashier's check, or money order payable to the Tennessee Secretary of State. (Nonrefundable)

Filing Address:
6th floor - Snodgrass Tower
Attn: Corporate Filing
312 Rosa L. Parks Ave.
Nashville, TN 37243

For help with completing the form, visit our Tennessee Articles of Organization guide.

Step 4: Create Your Nashville LLC Operating Agreement

Tennessee LLCs are not required to have an operating agreement, but we recommend creating an operating agreement for your Nashville LLC.

What is an operating agreement? An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC.

Why are operating agreements important? A comprehensive operating agreement ensures that all business owners are on the same page and reduces the risk of future conflict.

For more information on operating agreements, read our Tennessee LLC operating agreement guide.

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Recommended: Download a template or create a free operating agreement using our tool.

Step 5: Get an EIN for Your Nashville LLC

What is an EIN? EIN stands for Employer Identification Number. EINs are a nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to help identify businesses for tax purposes. It is essentially a Social Security number for a business.

An EIN is sometimes referred to as a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN).

Why do I need an EIN? An EIN is required to:

  • Open a business bank account
  • File and manage federal and state taxes
  • Hire employees

What if I already have an EIN for my sole proprietorship? The IRS requires that sole proprietorships get a new EIN when converting to an LLC.

Where do I get an EIN? You can get an EIN for free from the IRS. Getting an EIN is an easy process that can be done online or by mail.

For International EIN Applicants: You do not need an SSN to get an EIN. For more information, read our How to Get an EIN as a Foreign Person guide.

Get an EIN

Option 1: Request an EIN from the IRS

Apply Online

- OR -

Option 2: Apply for an EIN by Mail or Fax

Download Form

Mail to:
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999

Fax: (855) 641-6935

Fee: Free

Considering Using an LLC Formation Service?

We reviewed and ranked the top 6 LLC formation companies.

Find out which is the best LLC service for you.

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Keep Your Company Compliant

Nashville Business Permits and Licenses

To operate your Nashville LLC, you must comply with federal, state, and local government regulations. For example, restaurants likely need health permits, building permits, signage permits, etc.

The details of business licenses and permits vary from state to state. Make sure you read carefully. Don't be surprised if there are short classes required as well. What’s more, fees for business licenses and permits will vary depending on what sort of license you are seeking to obtain. 

The Davidson County Clerk requires all businesses in the county to apply for a business tax license. Businesses that conduct activity within Nashville city limits must pay an additional license fee. Moreover, Nashville businesses may be required to obtain one of the following business licenses or permits depending on their services:

  • Short-Term Rental Property Permit
  • Sidewalk Encroachment Permit
  • Transient Vendor License
  • Pawnbroker License
  • Business Liquidation Sale Permit
  • Food Truck Permit
  • Landlord Permit
  • Beer Board Permit
  • Codes Permits
  • Trade Licenses

Find out how to obtain necessary Nashville business licenses and permits for your LLC or have a professional service do it for you:

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Recommended: If you are a first-time entrepreneur, consider having a professional service research your business’s licensing requirements. Read our best business license services review on Startup Savant.

Nashville LLC Tax Filing Requirements

Depending on the nature of your business, you may be required to register for one or more forms of state tax.

Sales Tax

If you are selling a physical product, you’ll typically need to register for a seller's permit through the Tennessee Department of Revenue website.

This certificate allows a business to collect sales tax on taxable sales.

Sales tax, also called "Sales and Use Tax," is a tax levied by states, counties, and municipalities on business transactions involving the exchange of certain taxable goods or services.

Read our Tennessee sales tax guide to find out more.

Employer Taxes

If you have employees in Tennessee, you will have to register for Unemployment Insurance Tax on the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development website.

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Register for Tennessee State Taxes

Sales Tax | Unemployment Insurance Tax

Local Taxes

Depending on your business activity, you may need to register for additional tax accounts with the city. Check out the website to learn more.

Federal LLC Tax Filing Requirements

Most LLCs will need to report their income to the IRS each year using:

How you pay yourself as an owner will also affect your federal taxes. Visit our guide to learn more about how to pay yourself from your LLC.

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Read our LLC Tax Guide to learn more about federal income taxes for LLCs.

File Your Tennessee LLC Annual Report

Tennessee requires Nashville LLCs to file an annual report with the state. This form can be submitted online. 

File your Annual Report

File Online with the Secretary of State

File Online

Fee: Filing fee is $50 per member with a minimum fee of $300 and a maximum fee of $3,000. (Nonrefundable)

Due Date: Due by the first day of the fourth month following the close of the LLC's fiscal year.

Late Filings: Tennessee does not charge late fees if you miss your filing deadline but may dissolve or revoke your LLC after 60 days of failing to file an annual report.

Franchise & Excise Tax

All Nashville LLCs must register for and pay both a franchise tax and an excise tax to the state Department of Revenue.

The Tennessee franchise tax is 0.25% and is based on either the LLC's net worth or the book value of the LLC's real and tangible property owned or used in the state.

The excise tax is 6.5% and is based on the LLC's net earnings or income for that tax year.

For more information, check out the state's Franchise and Excise Tax Manual.

File Franchise & Excise Taxes

File Online With the Tennessee Department of Revenue

File Online

Fee: Varies based on tax rate (minimum $100 franchise tax)

Due Date: Due on the 15th day of the fourth month after the beginning of an LLC’s tax year.

Small Business Resources

Get Help Starting a Nashville LLC

After forming your Nashville LLC, you will likely encounter many challenges. Take a look at our Tennessee Small Business Resources page to find more information on resources for Nashville entrepreneurs.

Additionally, learn more about current US business trends so you can make the most informed business decisions.

TRUiC’s Small Business Tools

TRUiC believes business tools should be free and useful. Our tools help solve business challenges, from finding an idea for your business, to creating a business plan, writing an operating agreement for your LLC, and more.

Check out TRUiC’s small business tools: