How to Incorporate a Business in Tennessee (TN)

There are three ways to incorporate your business in Tennessee:
  1. Hire a lawyer to do the job for you (the most expensive option)
  2. Walk in to the Secretary of State office and do it by yourself
  3. Use a professional incorporation company, like Active Filings.
When you hire Active Filings to incorporate your business in Tennessee, you’ll receive everything you need to track and maintain your company, including free expedited service, one year of registered agent service, and instant access to your online account where you can add additional services, track orders, maintenance requirements and digital notifications.
However, whatever method you choose, the section below will provide you the basic information you need to know about TN filings.

Tennessee Articles of Incorporation Requirements

The Articles of Incorporation is the formation document you file with the Tennessee Secretary of State to register your corporation with the state (LLCs file Articles of Organization). In Tennessee, you can file Articles of Incorporation by mail, fax or in person (it will take the SOS 2 to 4 days to process your filing). If you hire Active Filings to incorporate your business, we are authorized to file online with the state, and we’ll form your LLC or corporation in 1 business day.
To complete your Tennessee Articles of Incorporation, you’ll need to include the following information:
  • Company Name
    The name must include “corporation”, “incorporated”, “company” or abbreviation of similar meaning, including words or abbreviations in foreign language. The name must be distinguishable upon secretary of state’s records from corporate name or assumed name of domestic or qualified foreign corporation or name reserved or registered under Tennessee law; or the name of a not for profit corporation, limited partnership, or limited liability company.
  • Company Purpose
    List the reason for forming the corporation or the business/activity which the corporation will engage in.
  • Authorized Shares
    List the number of shares of corporate stock you are currently authorizing. Technically, this is when you “create” your stock (more can always be authorized later), and that stock will be issued to your shareholders at your first shareholder meeting.
  • Registered Agent Information
    In Tennessee, a registered agent (also known as a resident agent) is an individual or business that serves as your company’s official point of contact for lawsuits and legal notices. As part of Active Filings’ incorporation service, we include a year of registered agent service when you hire us to incorporate your business in Tennessee.
  • Names and Addresses of the Incorporators
    The incorporator is the person or company authorized to form the corporation. For example, if you hired us, we would list ourselves as the incorporator. The incorporator does not have any stake in or claim to the corporation being formed.

Director Information

* Minimum Number – One or more.

* Residence Requirements. – No provision.

* Age Requirements – None.

* Directors are required to be listed in the articles of incorporation.

Officer Information

* The officers are not required to be listed in the articles of incorporation.

Stock Information

* No extra filing fees based on number of share or amount of par value.

Yearly Requirements

Annual Statements

* Every domestic corporation and every foreign corporation authorized to transact business in Tennessee (except state and national banks) must file an annual report with the Secretary of State by the 1st day of the 4th month following the close of the corporation’s fiscal year. Filing fee is $20.

Income Tax Rate

* 6% of net earnings.

* Also must pay an excise tax based on stock amount. The tax rate is 25-c- per $100, or major fraction thereof, of issued and outstanding capital stock, surplus, and undivided profits as shown on the corporation’s books and records at the close of its last fiscal year preceding the making of the required report. Minimum tax is $10.

For more information on taxes, visit

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