How Much Does an LLC Cost in Tennessee

Written by: Mary Gerardine

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How Much Does an LLC Cost in Tennessee

The minimum Tennessee LLC cost is $300, which is enough to cover the processing fee for your LLC formation documents (known as the Articles of Organization).

Having said that, the total cost of forming a Tennessee LLC will depend on several factors, including your personal preferences and business needs.

In our How Much Does an LLC Cost in Tennessee article, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about the different costs associated with launching and maintaining an LLC.

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Tennessee LLC Cost

In the table below, you can find a summary of the main requirements of forming a Tennessee limited liability company (LLC) and their associated fees.

Articles of Organization$300-$3000
Registered Agent$0-$150+
LLC Name$0-$40
Operating Agreement$0+

Tennessee LLC Filing Fee ($300)

In Tennessee, all LLCs are required to submit their Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State in order to be registered with the state.

The filing fee for this is $50 per LLC member, with a minimum fee of $300 and a maximum fee of $3,000 being imposed.

Having said that, if you choose to use an LLC formation service, the cost will be a little higher as it will include a small service fee in addition to Tennessee’s state filing fee.

The fees for an LLC formation service can range significantly, but can start from as low as $29, increasing if you decide to purchase any additional offerings.

Note: For more details on the formation process, you can check out our Tennessee LLC Formation guide.

Tennessee Registered Agent ($0-$150+)

During the submission of your LLC’s Articles of Organization, you will need to nominate a registered agent. This is a person or entity that you must assign to receive tax, legal, and governmental correspondence on behalf of your LLC.

While you can act as your own registered agent at no extra cost, it’s often recommended to hire a professional service so you avoid any potential penalties or legal issues caused by non-compliance with state regulations.

Hiring a registered agent service can also be a good way of ensuring that your personal information remains private.

The cost of these services can vary significantly depending on the provider in question, with prices generally being between $49 and $150 per annum depending on the level of service and support provided.

Note: Your registered agent must be authorized to do business in Tennessee, be in good standing with the state (if a business entity), and be available at a physical office address within Tennessee in order to accept service of process during normal business hours.

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Alternatively, you can find some of the top recommendations for professional RA services in our Best Registered Agent Services of 2024 article.

Naming Your Tennessee LLC ($0-$40)

When forming your Tennessee LLC, you’ll be required to pick a suitable name that’s available to use.

There are two potential costs to be aware of when naming your LLC.

Reserving Name

To reserve your chosen business name and prevent others from taking it, you’ll need to fill out Form SS-9425 and submit it to the Secretary of State’s Business Services Division (alongside a $20 filing fee).

After your submission is processed, your desired name will be reserved for a period of up to 120 days.

Note: Should you have any questions or uncertainties, it’s advisable to seek guidance from an attorney as the filing office is not equipped to provide legal advice.

When choosing a name for your LLC, it’s important to select one that corresponds to an available domain. This is because a matching domain ensures consistency between your LLC’s name and its online presence, which helps to strengthen its brand recognition and credibility.

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Doing Business As (DBA) Name

If you plan to operate your LLC under a name that’s different from its official legal name, you’ll need to register a Doing Business As (DBA) name, also referred to as an Assumed Name in Tennessee.

To do this, you will be required to submit an Application for Registration of Assumed Name to the county clerk of the area in which your business will be primarily based. Submitting this form costs $20, which will secure your Assumed Name for a period of up to five years.

We recommend checking the availability of your chosen DBA name on the Tennessee Secretary of State’s website before filing.

For details on how to contact your specific county clerk, you can visit the Tennessee Department of Revenue website.

Tennessee LLC Operating Agreement ($0+)

While not mandatory, it’s good practice for LLCs to have an operating agreement.

This document defines the roles and responsibilities of the members or managers in your LLC and will help prevent and solve any business disputes that may arise later on.

While you can opt to hire an online service or business attorney to draft this document for you (which typically costs at least a few hundred dollars), it’s actually quite straightforward to do it yourself at no extra cost.

It’s also important to note that this doesn’t actually need to be filed with the Tennessee Secretary of State — it’s purely an internal document.

Additional Tennessee LLC Formation Costs

On top of the more common fees outlined above, there are a number of additional formation costs that LLCs in Tennessee may encounter depending on their circumstances.

We’ve summarized some of these additional costs below:

Local Business Licenses

In Tennessee, every in-state business generating over $10,000 annually must obtain a state business license and pay a $15 fee.

Furthermore, your LLC might need a municipal license if it’s involved in certain activities.

For example, in the city of Nashville an LLC that offers delivery services would need to obtain an additional license from the city, which comes at a cost of $150.

Certificate of Existence

A Tennessee Certificate of Existence is a document often required to open a business bank account, or by lenders in order to check that your LLC is properly registered and legally authorized to conduct business with the state.

You can request a Certificate of Existence through the Tennessee Secretary of State website, though you will need to pay a $20 filing fee.

Additionally, it’s important to be aware that transactions on this platform may incur an online service fee, which ranges from $0.95 to 2.29%.

This extra charge helps cover the costs incurred by the Business Services Division in offering these online filing services, such as credit card fees and other transaction costs.

Certified Copies of Business Documents

You may need certified copies of your business documents if you’re dealing with financial institutions, regulatory bodies, or are involved in legal proceedings.

You can request certified copies of your business documents by submitting Form SS-4461 to the Secretary of State. The cost for this service is $20 per set of documents requested.

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Cost to Maintain an LLC in Tennessee

In addition to the cost of forming an LLC in Tennessee, there are also several ongoing costs you’ll be responsible for paying each year.

We’ve outlined these recurring costs associated with maintaining a Tennessee LLC below.

Annual Report Fee

In order to keep your LLC in good standing with the state, you will be required to file an online annual report with the Secretary of State; this will need to be done by the first day of the fourth month following the close of your LLC’s fiscal year.

Keep in mind that this document must include:

  • Your LLC’s principal office and/or mailing address
  • The name and address of your registered agent
  • Information on your LLC’s officer/director, member/manager, or partner
  • The signature and title of the person filing the annual report

The filing fee for the annual report will be calculated based on the number of members in your LLC, charging $50 for each member with a minimum fee of $300 and a maximum fee of $3,000.

Note: There is an additional $20 fee if any changes are made to the Registered Agent and/or Registered Office.

Franchise Tax

In Tennessee, all LLCs — whether chartered, qualified, registered, or actively conducting business within the state — are obligated to pay a franchise tax.

To do this, you will need to file the Franchise and Excise Tax Return with the Tennessee Department of Revenue by the 15th day of the fourth month following the end of your LLC’s fiscal year.

The franchise tax rate is set at 0.25% of either your LLC’s net worth or the value of your real and tangible property in Tennessee, whichever is greater.

Note: A minimum franchise tax of $100 applies to all LLCs in Tennessee, regardless of their revenue or operational status.

Registered Agent Maintenance 

If you decide to take advantage of a professional registered agent in order to handle your legal documents, you’ll be required to pay an annual fee in return for their services. This fee commonly ranges between $35 and $300 depending on the provider and features you select.

While you’re not required to use a professional registered agent service, it’s highly recommended.


In addition to the federal taxes your LLC is required to pay regardless of the state it’s based in, there are a variety of state-specific taxes in Tennessee you need to be aware of, including:

  • Sales tax
  • Employment taxes
  • Business privilege taxes
  • Property taxes

Additionally, there are various local taxes your LLC may need to pay depending on the municipality or county it’s based in, such as:

  • Sales and use taxes
  • Property tax

Tennessee vs Other States

Tennessee’s fee structure places it on the higher end of the spectrum for both formation and maintenance costs in comparison to other states.

This is especially the case for multi-member LLCs.

Having said that, it’s important to understand that the best state to form your LLC will generally be the one in which you plan to primarily operate your business from.

This is because this makes it far easier to stay legally compliant on a number of levels, including taxation, licensing, and filing requirements, as you’ll only need to deal with one state’s set of rules.

LLC Cost in Tennessee FAQ

Do you have to pay for an LLC every year in Tennessee?

Yes, maintaining an LLC in Tennessee — regardless of whether it’s a domestic or a foreign LLC — requires annual payments. This includes filing an annual report with a fee that is based on the number of members, with a minimum of $300 and a maximum of $3,000, and paying a franchise tax (minimum fee of $100).

Do LLCs pay taxes in Tennessee?

Yes. In addition to federal taxes, Tennessee LLCs are required to pay state franchise and excise taxes as part of their Tennessee business obligations. Besides taxes, you will have to submit a Tennessee LLC annual report, which incurs a fee ranging from $300 to $3,000. For more information on LLC costs, you can have a look at our How Much Does it Cost to Start an LLC article.

How do I get an LLC in Tennessee?

To form an LLC in the state, you can either use a Tennessee LLC formation service or submit the Articles of Organization independently with the Tennessee Secretary of State. LLC owners should note that the filing fee starts at $300 ($50 for each additional LLC member), with a cap at $3,000. For more information on the general formation process, you can have a look at our How to Start an LLC in Tennessee guide.

Why is maintaining an LLC so expensive in Tennessee?

The cost to maintain an LLC in Tennessee is higher compared to other states due to its member-based fee structure for the annual report. When you also consider the state’s franchise tax, the cumulative long-term operating costs for multi-member LLCs can become quite large. Business insurance premiums (if applicable) can also add to your annual costs.

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