Tennessee LLC Costs

Last updated: May 14th, 2024
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Small businesses and entrepreneurs benefit from forming a limited liability company in Tennessee. An LLC provides liability protection, special tax breaks, state-specific incentives, and a flexible work structure. A common misconception is that forming an LLC in Tennessee is overly complicated and too costly. But, it is a simple process that is worth the investment for most business owners.

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Costs to start an LLC in Tennessee

1
LLC Articles of Organization ($300 – $3000)

  • You must file an LLC’s Articles of Organization with the Tennesee Secretary of State.
  • The filing cost for Articles of Organization depends on the number of members an LLC has. The fee is $50 per member. The cost has a minimum of $300 and a max of $3000.
  • The state of Tennessee does not offer any expedited LLC services.

2
Tennessee annual report fee ($300 – $3000)

  • You must file an annual report with the Tennessee Secretary of State.
  • You will file the LLC’s annual report online using the Secretary of State’s website.
  • The annual report is measured similarly to the initial Articles of Organization. The fee is $50 per member. The cost has a minimum of $300 and a max of $3000.
  • Your annual fee is due the 1st day of the 4th month after the end of the company’s fiscal year.
  • Tennessee does not charge penalties for not filing an annual report. However, you will face involuntary dissolution if the filing is 60+ days late.

3
Tennessee registered agent fee (varies between $50 to $300)

  • In TN, you must appoint a registered when you decide to form an LLC in the state.
  • When you appoint a registered agent, you are assuring the Secretary of State that someone is physically available during business hours to accept tax notices, subpoenas, and other correspondence.
  • In Tennessee, anyone can act as a registered agent if they meet the state requirements. That includes yourself.
  • The LLC cost to appoint a registered agent in Tennessee depends on the commercial agent service, LLC needs, and state filing fees.

4
Fees to form a foreign LLC in Tennessee ($300 – $3000)

  • In Tennessee, if you have a registered LLC in another state and expand into the state, you must register as a foreign agent.
  • You can use the SOS Business Services online to register your foreign LLC.
  • Or, you will complete the foreign LLC registration form and submit it by mail or in person.
  • The cost to register a foreign LLC in Tennessee will depend on the number of members of your LLC. The cost begins at $50 per member. It has a minimum of $300 and a maximum of $3000.

5
LLC name reservation fee ($20)

  • In Tennessee, you do not have to reserve an LLC name before formation.
  • However, when you register a company name, you are ensuring no one else can reserve or register the same name.
  • LLC names must be unique and entirely distinguishable from any other company name in Tennessee.
  • You can reserve an LLC name in TN for up to 4 months before formation.
  • You can reserve the LLC name online using the Secretary of State Business Services.
  • Or, you can complete the Application for Name Reservation form and submit it by mail or in person.
  • The LLC name registration fee is $20 in Tennessee.

6
DBA filing fees in Tennessee ($20)

  • The business-related term DBA stands for ‘doing business as.’ A DBA, or an assumed name, is any name an individual or business uses to operate that is not the legal name.
  • All DBA names in Tennessee must be unique and meet the state requirements.
  • You can register the DBA online using the TN Secretary of State website.
  • Or, you can complete the Application for Registration of Name (Form 4230) and submit it in person or by mail.
  • The LLC filing fee for a TN DBA is $20.

7
Cost of certified document copies ($20)

8
Tennessee Certificate of Good Standing ($20)

  • Banks and money lenders in Tennessee will require you to present a Certificate of Good Standing before allowing you to open a bank account.
  • You can order an LLC’s Certificate of Good Standing online using the Tennessee SOS website.
  • Or, you can follow the instructions and submit the request the document by mail or in person.
  • The cost for a Tennessee Certificate of Good Standing is $20.

Steps to start an LLC in Tennessee

1
Choose a business name

When deciding on an LLC name in Tennessee, you will want to consider a few things.

  • An LLC name in Tennessee must be unique and available for use.
  • LLC names must meet all state naming requirements.
  • It is always a good idea to check web domain availability to keep branding and marketing easy.

You will check for LLC name availability by conducting a name search using the Business Name Availability database.

LLC name reservation fee

In Tennessee, you are not required to reserve an LLC name before the formation process.

You will reserve the Tennessee LLC name online. LLC name reservation is valid for up to 4 months before formation.

The cost to reserve a company name in Tennessee is $20. A Tennessee LLC name is good for up to 4 months. Tennessee does not require you to reserve an LLC name.

2
Appoint a Tennessee registered agent

In Tennessee, you must appoint a registered agent when you form an LLC in the state.

The price for a Tennessee registered agent or service varies between $50 and $100 a year. The cost depends on the state and your LLC needs.

A registered agent in Tennessee is an individual or business entity that receives tax forms, legal documents, subpoenas, civil notices, service of process, and other official government correspondence on behalf of a sole proprietorship, corporation, or LLC.

The registered agent you choose must be a Tennessee resident or a registered agent service authorized to conduct business in the state.

Northwest

  • Total Out The Door State LLC Formation Service Package – $42 a month and includes:
    • State fee
    • Filing service fee
    • Registered Agent
    • Tax ID
  • Annual Plan – $225 plus state fees a year

ZenBusiness

  • Starter Plan – $39 a year plus state fees
  • Pro Plan – $149 a year plus state fees
  • Premium Plan – $249 a year plus state fees

ZenBusiness has a stand-alone registered agent service. The price is $99 per year.

LegalZoom

  • Economy – $79 plus $153 state filing fees
  • Standard – $329 plus $153 state filing fees
  • Express Gold – $349 plus $255 state filing fees

3
File Tennessee Articles of Organization

In Tennessee, you must file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State when forming an LLC in the state.

You can file the Articles of Organization online using the TN SOS website.

Or, you can complete the Articles of Organization form (Form SS-4270) and submit it by mail or in person.

The price to file Tennessee Articles of Organization will depend on how many members there are. The LLC cost is $50 per member, with a minimum fee of $300 and a max of $3000.

The state of Tennessee does not offer any expedited LLC services.

Mailing and physical address:
Snodgrass Tower
6th floor
Attn: Corporate Filing
312 Rosa L. Parks Ave.
Nashville, TN 37243

The Articles of Organization form will ask various questions about your LLC.

  • LLC name
  • Registered agent information

The fee in Tennessee for filing the LLC Articles of Organization starts at $300.

4
Get a Tennessee LLC EIN

An Employer Identification Number, or EIN, can also be referred to as a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax ID Number (FTIN).

The 9-digit EIN acts as a Social Security Number for LLCs for income tax purposes. The IRS issues EINs for no additional charge to the company.

Sole proprietorships that convert into LLCs must apply for an EIN with the Internal Revenue Service.

Applying for an EIN is a simple process online through the IRS website.

Business banking for a Tennessee LLC

Business and banking experts recommend that an LLC owner open a business account separate from personal bank accounts. Forming an LLC in Tennessee will protect personal assets and future credit scores.

In Tennessee, banks will require an LLC owner to submit a copy of the LLC’s Articles of Organization, operating agreement, and EIN before allowing you to do business banking.

Business banking accounts are generally free, and do not have additional charges or fees.

Business attorney fees in Tennessee

By retaining a business attorney, you are keeping the LLC formation process simple and accessible. You will also have someone available to handle any business-related issues that may come up later.

In Tennessee, business attorneys typically offer free consultations for first-time clients.

Professional services such as LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer offer LLC formation packages that include comprehensive legal services.

On average, a business lawyer in Tennessee will cost $300 per hour.

LLC taxes in Tennessee

  • In Tennessee, LLCs are considered pass-through entities. As the owner of the LLC, you will pay personal taxes rather than the company’s tax return.
  • The Tennessee state tax rate is 7.00%, and the max local and county rate is 2.75%.
  • Tennessee has an annual franchise tax of 0.25% based on the company’s net worth or real and tangible book value in the state.
  • LLCs also must pay an excise tax of 6.5%. The tax is based on your Tennessee LLC’s income for the year.
  • If you sell physical products in Tennessee, you must register for a seller’s permit with the TN Department of Revenue.
  • You must register for Unemployment Insurance Tax with the State of Tennessee Workforce if you hire employees for your LLC.
  • Tennessee state taxes are complicated. You can help ensure that you do not miss important deadlines, accrue penalty fees, or face possible dissolution by hiring a tax expert.

Business licenses and permits in Tennessee

The total price of business licenses and permits will vary depending on where the company is located and the type of business.

You can visit the Tennessee State Government website to track down the business licenses and permits you will need to operate your business.

A business licence in Tennessee varies between $15 to $1000. The total cost of permits and licences will depend on where your LLC is, and the type of LLC.

Local government agencies in Tennessee will have different license processes and rules. You will want to contact the office to inquire about the process, price, and office hours.

Notary public

Different Tennessee LLC formation documents will require a notarization from a notary public.

If you cannot locate a notary, most government agencies have one in the office.

According to Tennessee law, a notary public can only charge a max of $5 per act.

Employer obligations in Tennessee

  • In Tennessee, you have several employer obligations when hiring employees.
  • According to federal law, you must verify that all employees are legally eligible to work in the United States using Form I-9 from the USCIS Website.
  • You must enroll in worker’s compensation insurance.
  • You must report all new hires to the Tennessee Department of Human Services website.
  • You will find the complete list of Tennesse employer obligations using the TN Department of Labor and Workplace Development.

Benefits of a Tennessee LLC

  • Business banking is made seamless when you form an LLC in Tennessee. LLC formation helps to protect future liability. And, banks will require that you open separate personal and business banking accounts.
  • LLCs have different compliance requirements than other business structures. Incorporations must answer to shareholders and stock owners when they make business decisions.
  • All LLCs in Tennessee are considered pass-through entities. Owners file personal tax returns rather than the LLC’s tax returns.
  • You can help avoid double-taxation when forming an LLC. C-corporations are double-taxed while LLCs are not.

FAQs

How long does it take to register an LLC in Tennessee?

Online LLC registrations are processed instantly when you file online. It will take the TN Secretary of State 3 to 5 business days to process registration filed by mail or in person.

Tennessee does not offer any expedited LLC services.

How do I dissolve my Tennessee LLC?

The only way to avoid ongoing costs and state fees for your inactive LLC is to dissolve. You can file Articles of Dissolution online or by mail with the Secretary of State.

The cost of LLC cancellation in Tennessee is $20.

Does Tennessee have a publishing requirement for LLCs?

Nebraska and Arizona are the two states that require an LLC to publish an LLC announcement.

However, in Tennessee, you have no publishing requirements for your limited liability company.

Do I need a business operating agreement for my LLC in Tennessee?

A written business operating agreement is not a requirement for a Tennessee LLC. But, having one on file helps reduce the chances of future misunderstandings.

Banks will ask that you submit an operating agreement to open a business bank account.

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