Cost to Form an LLC in Tennessee

The cost to start a Tennessee limited liability company (LLC) online is at least $300. The fee is $50 per LLC member, with a $300 minimum and $3000 maximum. This fee is paid to the Tennessee Secretary of State when filing the LLC’s Articles of Organization.

Use our free Form an LLC in Tennessee guide to do it yourself.

Or simply use a professional service:

four point six out of five ZenBusiness ($39 + State Fees)

Three out of Five Stars LegalZoom ($149 + State Fees)


How Much Does an LLC Cost in Tennessee?

Tennessee LLC Online Filing Fee: $300+

The main cost of forming an LLC is the $300+ fee to file your LLC's Articles of Organization online with the Tennessee Secretary of State.

Tennessee Annual Report Fee: $300+

Tennessee requires LLCs to file an annual report with the Secretary of State. The filing fee is $50 per member, with a minimum total fee of $300 and a maximum of $3000.

You can submit this form through the Tennessee Secretary of State website. It is due by the first day of the fourth month following the close of the LLC's fiscal year.

Registered Agent Fee

In Tennessee you can be your own registered agent, but using a registered agent service helps keep your company in compliance and reminds you of important filing deadlines and avoid late fees.

Registered agent fees start at $39 for the first year. We recommend using:

OR:

Read our guide to learn more about Tennessee Registered Agents. You can also read our full guide on the best registered agent services.

Tennessee Franchise Tax: Varies

The franchise tax’s minimum payment is $100, and the rate is 0.25% of the networth of the LLC or the LLC’s tangible property.

The excise tax is 6.5% of the LLC’s taxable net income, made in Tennessee.

Cost to Form a Foreign LLC in Tennessee

If you already have an LLC that is registered in another state and you’d like to expand your business into Tennessee, you’ll need to register your LLC as a foreign LLC in Tennessee.

The cost for registering a Tennessee foreign LLC is $50 per member, with a minimum fee of $300 and a maximum fee of $3,000. You can register a foreign LLC in Tennessee by filing an Application for Certificate of Authority (Form SS-4233).

Business Permits and Licenses

Depending on your industry and geographical location, your business might need federal, state, and local permits/licenses to legally operate in Tennessee. This is true whether you form an LLC or any other type of business structure.

Learn more about state and local licensing with our guide to getting a Tennessee business license.

Other LLC Filing Costs

There are optional fees associated with LLC formation:

LLC Name Reservation:
Reserve your name for up to 4 months prior to LLC formation by filing an Application for Reservation of Name (Form SS-9425) and paying the $20 filing fee.

“Doing Business As” (DBA) Name:
File an Application for Registration of Assumed Limited Liability Company Name (Form SS-4230) and pay the $20 filing fee to create a name other than your legal LLC business name.

Certified Document Copies:
Obtain certified copies of your Tennessee business documents by ordering through the Secretary of State and paying $20.

Certificate of Good Standing:
Also known as a Tennessee certificate of good standing, you can obtain this document by ordering through the Secretary of State and paying the $20 fee. A certificate of good standing is often required by banks and lending institutions.

How to Register a Tennessee LLC Yourself

Forming an LLC yourself is easy; just follow the five steps below.

Recommended: If you already have a business that is running as a sole proprietorship, visit our How to Change from a Sole Proprietorship to LLC page.

Five Basic Steps to Start an LLC in Tennessee

Step 1: Name Your Tennessee 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

Step 1: Name Your Tennessee LLC

When you name your Tennessee LLC, you’ll need to choose a name that:

  1. Is available for use in the state of Tennessee
  2. Meets Tennessee naming requirements
  3. Is available as a web domain

Recommended: Visit our Start an LLC in Tennessee guide for detailed naming rules and instructions for registering a business name in Tennessee.

Not sure what to name your business? Check out our How to Name a Business guide and free LLC Name Generator.

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

Find a Domain Now

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Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent

All LLCs in Tennessee must appoint a registered agent. A registered agent primarily acts as your LLC’s main point of contact with the state. But most importantly, they are responsible for accepting service of process in the event your business is sued.

Your Tennessee registered agent must:

  • Be at least 18 years or older
  • Have a physical address in Tennessee
  • Be available during normal business hours to accept service of process
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Recommended: Get a free year of registered agent services when you hire ZenBusiness to form your LLC. $39 (plus state fees).

ZenBusiness

Step 3: File the Articles of Organization

The Tennessee Form SS-4270 - Articles of Organization is a document that is filed with the Tennessee Secretary of State to form an LLC. The fee for filing the Articles of Organization is at least $300. The filing fee is $50 per LLC member, with a minimum total fee of $300 and a maximum of $3,000.

For detailed instructions for completing the Articles of Organization, visit our How to File the Tennessee Articles of Organization guide.

File the Tennessee Articles of Organization

OPTION 1: File Online With the Tennessee Secretary of State

File Online

- OR -

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

Form SS-4270


State Filing Cost: $300+, payable to the Tennessee Secretary of State.

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

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

An operating agreement isn't required for Tennessee LLCs, but it's a good practice to have one.

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.

Step 5: Get an EIN

What is an EIN? An EIN or Employer Identification Number is a nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue System (IRS) to identify a business for tax reporting purposes. An EIN is essentially a Social Security number (SSN) for your company.

Why do I need an EIN? An EIN number is required for the following:

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Free EIN: You can get an EIN from the IRS website (free of charge) after forming your business.

Tennessee LLC Cost FAQ

Do you have to pay for a Tennessee LLC every year?

Yes, Tennessee LLCs have to pay an annual report fee of at least $300 as well as a state franchise tax and excise tax. Visit our Tennessee LLC annual report guide for more information.

Is an LLC really necessary?

An LLC provides limited liability protection. This means an LLC protects your personal assets in the event of a business loss, such as a lawsuit or unpaid debt.

We recommend any small business that carries even the smallest amount of risk or liability to form an LLC. Learn more in our Should I Start an LLC guide.

What is the cheapest way to get an LLC?

You can save money on getting an LLC by completing the formation process yourself, making your own operating agreement, being your own registered agent, and getting your own EIN.

Check out our How to Save Money Forming Your LLC guide to learn more.

Can I pay myself a salary from my LLC?

You can pay yourself a salary from your LLC, but it would be called a draw or distribution if your LLC is taxed in the default way by the IRS.

Visit our How to Pay Yourself from an LLC guide to learn more.

Is an S corp better than an LLC?

An S corporation (S corp) is an IRS tax status, not a type of business entity. An LLC can be taxed in the default way or as an S corp. For some businesses, being taxed as an S corp can make lots of sense.

Check out our LLC vs. S corp guide to find out if S corp status is right for your business.

What’s better: sole proprietorship or LLC?

A sole proprietorship is only good for businesses that carry very low risk of liability because sole proprietorships don’t offer any liability protection.

Learn more in our sole proprietorship vs. LLC guide.

More Tennessee Small Business Resources

Article Sources

Tennessee Department of Revenue:
https://www.tn.gov/revenue.html


IRS - Employer ID Numbers:

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/employer-id-numbers


Tennessee Secretary of State:

https://sos.tn.gov/


SBA - Apply for Licenses and Permits:

https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/launch-your-business/apply-licenses-and-permits


Chamber of Commerce - Tennessee Chamber of Commerce List:

http://www.officialusa.com/stateguides/chambers/Tennessee.html