So you want to start a business in the state of Tennessee? Congratulations! Starting your own business can be a challenge, but also very rewarding as you achieve financial independence. Here are a few simple things to get you started.

Create a business plan. No matter where you are, you need a solid business plan. You may already have many of the ideas about what is going to make your business successful down pat, but being thorough and writing it down will be good practice for you when you’re managing your own business. Additionally, it may help you see some things you hadn’t considered when you put pen to paper, not to mention many lenders or investors require a detailed business plan before they will loan you money. You can find a more detailed description of what a typical business plan looks like from the Small Business Administration, which you can find here: https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/plan-your-business/write-your-business-plan

Apply for an EIN, or Employer Identification Number. This number is required for any business and is used by the IRS for tracking purposes. Be sure not to pay for this service! The IRS provides it for this for free, and more information can be found at the official IRS website here: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/how-to-apply-for-an-ein

Apply with the Tennessee Secretary of State. Before now, we’ve talked about things which all new businesses in the US should or must do. Don’t forget, many cities and states have their own rules, regulations, and every business owner’s favorite, taxes. You can apply with the Tennessee Secretary of State at their official website here: https://tnbear.tn.gov/ecommerce/default.aspx. There are also many additional resources for new businesses, as well as information on how to file your mandatory annual reports with the department.

Register your business with the Tennessee Department of Revenue. There are a wide variety of business types, and the TDR’s website walks you through how to self-register yours. https://tntap.tn.gov/eservices/_/#1

Register for a business license with your local county or municipality. Nearly all businesses in the state of Tennessee are required to have a business license. You can read about which businesses are exempt at Tennessee’s official website here: https://revenue.support.tn.gov/hc/en-us/articles/203893045-Which-businesses-are-exempt-from-business-taxes-and-licensing- There are 95 counties in the state of Tennessee, so be sure to check with your local county clerk to find out what forms and paperwork they require to register a business. The official listing of all county clerks in Tennessee can be found here: http://www.tncountyclerk.com/

Register with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. This step is only required if you will have employees, and is for the purpose of seeing your status for liability for unemployment insurance. You can learn more at the state of Tennessee’s official website here: https://www.tn.gov/workforce/employers/tax-and-insurance-redirect/unemployment-insurance-tax.html

Once you start your business, don’t forget that you need a great business partner! A-Z Office Resource services most of Tennessee and has a wide variety of supplies that every business uses. We hope you’ve found this guide helpful. When you’re ready to do business, don’t forget to contact us for your supplies! We offer many services which businesses find helpful, such as payment terms, reliable next day delivery, and enterprise friendly eCommerce.

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