#TuesdayTips: A Friendly Guide to Business Filings and Due Dates in Tennessee

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Are you ready to embark on your business journey in Tennessee? Fantastic! But before you dive in, it’s important to understand the necessary legal requirements and deadlines for filing various documents. In this friendly blog post, we’ll walk you through all the essential business filings you need to know about in Tennessee, along with their corresponding due dates. Let’s get started on the right foot!

1. Business Entity Formation

To lay the foundation for your business, you’ll need to choose the appropriate business entity structure. Options include sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation. Each entity type has specific formation documents to complete and associated filing fees.

To register your business, visit the Tennessee Department of Revenue here.

2. Business Name Registration

Selecting a unique and catchy name for your business is exciting! Once you’ve settled on a name, it’s essential to register it with the Tennessee Secretary of State. This registration ensures that your chosen name is not already in use by another business. Be sure to conduct a thorough search beforehand. The filing fee for name registration is $20.

3. Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Most businesses require an Employer Identification Number (EIN) issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Think of it as your business’s social security number. It’s used for tax purposes, opening bank accounts, hiring employees, and more. The good news is that you can obtain an EIN from the IRS at no cost. You can apply online or through mail.

4. Business Licenses and Permits

Depending on the nature of your business activities, you may need specific licenses and permits at the local, state, or federal level. These can include professional licenses, sales tax permits, health department permits, and more. Research the requirements applicable to your industry and location to ensure compliance.

5. Tennessee Department of Revenue (TDR) Filing Requirements

a) Sales and Use Tax: If your business involves retail sales or taxable services, you must register with the TDR for sales and use tax purposes. The frequency of tax return filings (monthly, quarterly, or annually) depends on your sales volume.

b) Franchise and Excise Tax: Corporations, LLCs, and other entities conducting business in Tennessee may be subject to franchise and excise taxes.

c) Business Tax: The business tax is a tax on the privilege of doing business by making sales of tangible personal property and services within Tennessee and its local jurisdictions. Your business tax return is due on the 15th day of the fourth month following the end of your fiscal year. 

These taxes are typically due on the 15th day of the fourth month following the close of the taxable year. For example, if your fiscal year coincides with the calendar year, then your return will be due on April 15.

6. Annual Reports

LLCs and corporations are required to file annual reports with the Tennessee Secretary of State. These reports provide information about your business’s officers, directors, and registered agent. The filing fee for an annual report is $20, and it’s due on the first day of the fourth month after the close of your fiscal year.

7. Workers’ Compensation Insurance

If you plan to have employees, it’s crucial to obtain workers’ compensation insurance coverage. This insurance ensures that your employees are protected in case of work-related injuries or illnesses. Compliance with workers’ compensation laws is mandatory and helps create a safe and secure work environment.

8. Unemployment Insurance

For businesses with employees, registering for Tennessee Unemployment Insurance is a requirement. This program provides temporary financial assistance to eligible workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own. It’s an important safety net for your employees during challenging times.

Congratulations on taking the initiative to understand the business filing requirements and due dates in Tennessee. By staying informed and meeting these obligations, you’ll ensure your business operates smoothly and avoids any penalties. Remember to regularly check the official websites of relevant government agencies for the most up-to-date information regarding filing requirements and deadlines. Best of luck with your Tennessee business venture!

It is recommended to consult with a tax professional or the Tennessee Department of Revenue for specific guidance tailored to your business’s unique circumstances. Stay informed, stay compliant, and pave the way for a successful business journey in Tennessee.

#TuesdayTips: A Friendly Guide to Business Filings and Due Dates in Tennessee