How to Register an LLC in Tennessee: A Step-by-Step Guide

Tennessee is known as a business-friendly state with a booming economy and several tax incentives. If you’re thinking of forming a limited liability company (LLC) in the state, you’re in the right place. We’ve outlined the key steps you need to take to register an LLC in Tennessee in this guide. 

Recommended: Start your business with Northwest for just $29 + state fees
  • Formation and FREE registered agent services for your first year
  • Best privacy protection and customer service
Form Your LLC

Tennessee LLC Quick Facts

  • To register an LLC in Tennessee, you need to file Articles of Organization. 
  • The filing fee starts at $300 to register an LLC in Tennessee. 
  • All LLCs in Tennessee are required to file an Annual Report. 

6 Steps to Starting an LLC in Tennessee

In order to form an LLC in Tennessee you must complete six key steps. 

To register an LLC in Tennessee, follow these steps:

  1. Name Your Tennessee LLC
  2. Appoint a Registered Agent
  3. File the Articles of Organization
  4. Create an Operating Agreement
  5. Obtain an EIN and Handle Taxes
  6. File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report 

Step 1: Name Your Tennessee LLC 

To register an LLC, you need to choose a name for your business. 

Tennessee business names must meet the following criteria:

  • Include “Limited Liability Company” or an abbreviation 
  • Be unique and distinguishable from any other business entity in the state
  • Cannot include terms that imply government affiliation
  • Cannot include terms that imply affiliation or sponsorship with religious or charitable organizations unless approved 

For the full list of guidelines for Tennessee LLCs, visit the Tennessee Code on naming requirements. 

To ensure your business name is unique, you will need to complete a business name search on the Tennessee Secretary of State website.

Don’t let your LLC’s matching URL slip away. Secure your domain name with GoDaddy today. 

Step 2: Appoint a Registered Agent

In Tennessee, all LLCs are required to appoint a registered agent. A registered agent plays a crucial role in ensuring that your company receives important documents and information such as tax forms, notice of lawsuits, and government correspondence. 

A registered agent in Tennessee must: 

  • Be a business or individual with a physical address in Tennessee
  • Not be the LLC itself, but can be a member, manager, or employee of the LLC
  • Be present at the designated address during normal business hours 

Who Is Eligible To Serve as a Registered Agent in Tennessee?

A registered agent or agent for service of process can be the LLC owner or an employee of the company as well as a friend or family member. You can also opt to hire a registered agent service.

Step 3: File the Articles of Organization

The next step is to submit your Articles of Organization to the Tennessee Secretary of State to formally register your LLC. This filing can be completed online or by submitting Form SS-4270 by mail or in person.

Filing fees for LLCs in Tennessee start at $300

We recommend that you have the following details prepared before filing:

  • Your LLC’s name 
  • The number at members at the date of filing 
  • Management structure (member-managed or manager-managed)
  • The effective date of the LLC
  • The close date of your LLC’s fiscal year 
  • The name and address of your registered agent 

Quick Note: If your LLC is already registered in another state, you will also need to file as a foreign LLC in Tennessee. This can be done online or by submitting an Application for Certificate of Authority online or by mail along with a minimum filing fee of $300. 

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

Operating agreements aren’t required for LLCs in Tennessee but it is good practice to draft one regardless. This document will outline the internal procedures and ownership details of your company, ensuring that all LLC members are in alignment. It can also help prevent future conflicts and establish clear guidelines for decision-making within the organization.

This document serves as a crucial tool for governing your LLC and should be carefully reviewed and updated as needed to reflect any changes within the company.

Step 5: Obtain an EIN and Handle Taxes 

To acquire an EIN (Employer Identification Number) for your LLC in Tennessee, visit the IRS website to obtain this number for free. This EIN is necessary for tax reporting purposes, hiring employees, and opening a business bank account.

As you proceed with obtaining your EIN, be sure to also identify any additional tax obligations specific to your LLC in Tennessee. Visit the Tennessee Department of Revenue website for detailed information on tax requirements applicable to your business. 

Step 6: File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report

The next step in registering an LLC in Tennessee is to file Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

LLCs in Tennessee are required to file a BOI Report within 90 days of formation for new businesses, and existing LLCs must complete the filing between January 1st, 2024, and January 1st, 2025. 

Failure to file on time may result in a daily fine of $500.

You can easily file the BOI Report online for free on the FinCEN website.

Next Steps

  • Open a business bank account to separate and protect your personal assets. With Lili, you can open a business account in just minutes and gain access to valuable financial tools. 
Sign up for Lili Banking and Accounting Services
  • Apply for any licenses and permits that may be required federally or by the state. Visit the TN Department of Revenue website for more information. 
  • File an Annual Report to maintain your LLC’s good standing every year with the Secretary of State
  • Obtain business insurance to protect your company and assets. Next Insurance makes getting insurance coverage for your business fast and affordable.
Request an online quote with NEXT Insurance

Additional Tips for Success 

  • Develop a strong network of professionals and industry leaders to provide support and guidance for your LLC.
  • Stay on top of compliance requirements and deadlines to ensure your LLC remains in good standing with the state of Tennessee.
  • Plan for the future of your LLC by setting goals and milestones to guide its growth and success.


To successfully register an LLC in Tennessee, it is important to follow all the necessary steps and requirements outlined by the state. By ensuring that you have completed all the necessary paperwork and paid the applicable fees, you can set your business up for success in Tennessee. Make sure to research the specific guidelines and regulations for forming an LLC in the state to avoid any delays or complications in the registration process. By following the correct procedures, you can establish your LLC in Tennessee and begin operating your business legally and efficiently.