Welcome to the domestic corporation registration tutorial designed by our team here at Start a Business. We’ve done our best to compile into one webpage, all information needed by incorporators in the state of Tennessee in order to give them a complete understanding of what’s in store for them in the proceeding filing process. It is through the Secretary of State online portal that all filers must complete their charter. Only when the time arrives for the official submission of the forms and the payment of the filing fee ($100) will the filer be able to make the choice between e-delivery and delivery through the mail. Scroll down to learn about your exact filing requirements and to educate yourself on a few additional actions one must take post-registration.

It is necessary that each entity in Tennessee operate under a name that is completely unique to them. For this reason, it is always wise to conduct a Business Entity Search prior to registration. For those who would like to secure the rights to their chosen name, a Name Reservation may be filed which will, when submitted with a $20 filing fee, endure for a period of 4 months.

How to File a Profit Corporation (Online)

Step 1- To begin your online filing process, you must first navigate to this website and click the large Start Now! link.


Step 2- You will need to choose your entity type and check off the box that indicates that you are aware of the fact that the information submitted in the following application will be made available to the public. Once these two tasks have been accomplished, you may click Continue.


Step 3- Here you will be required to submit the entity name, confirm that name and select the Domestic Tennessee Business option. You will be able to select an additional designation from the drop down list as well. The options available for corporations are benefit and professional and a brief description of the public benefit, or the licensed profession, will be required. Professional entities will also need to check off the box certifying that the corporation has one or more qualified persons serving as members.



Step 4- You will need to select the period of duration, the fiscal year close, the delayed effective date (if any) and the shares of stock. Below this you will be able to provide additional provisions although this is an optional step.


Step 5- Here you will need to supply the registered agent information which will include their full name and full address. Click Continue to proceed.


Step 6- This window will ask that you provide the principle office address and phone number as well as the mailing address. There is the option to use the principle office as the mailing address as well. Click Continue when ready.


Step 7- This step is where you will be adding incorporators. Provide the name and address of each before clicking Add. Once all have been supplied, you may select Continue.


Step 8- Review all the previous data that has been supplied in the articles to ensure that it is completely accurate and true. When you’re assured that this is the case, you may proceed.


Step 9- The filing will of course need to be signed by an authorized representative. This will involve selecting the check box above the name field then providing the incorporator’s full name and contact info in the fields below. Click Continue once completed.


Step 10- You will have the choice now between submitting the forms online with a filing fee payment by credit card, or printing them off to be filed through the mail. Instructions on the mail delivery method can be found here. Otherwise, continue to step 11.


Step 11- If you have chosen to pay and file online, you will need to enter your card and billing information and, on the subsequent page, confirm the payment and officially submit your document to the Secretary of State.


How to File a Non-Profit Corporation (Online)

Step 1- You must first navigate to this website and click the large Start Now! link to enter the online business registration process.


Step 2- In this first step you will simply be selecting the entity type and checking off the box that certifies that you understand that your file will displayed publicly after acceptance. Click Continue to proceed.


Step 3- On this page you will enter your business name, enter it again to confirm, select the domestic option and choose an additional designation (if necessary).


Step 4- Here you will be asked to enter the period of duration of your corporation, provide the fiscal year close and choose a delayed effective date (if applicable). You will be able to select whether the corporation is of public or mutual benefit, if it shall be religious or non-religious and whether it will operate with or without members. Below this you will need to specify the nature of the asset distribution. Once all of this has been supplied, you may proceed to the next page.


Step 5- Here you will need to supply the registered agent information which will include their full name and full address. Click Continue to proceed.


Step 6- On this step, you will need to enter the principle office address and the mailing address (if different).


Step 7- Enter the name and address of each company incorporator before continuing.


Step 8- This page will allow you to review all the information you’ve submitted in the previous articles. Ensure that it all seems completely accurate before advancing on to the signatures.


Step 9- Signing this document will require that you certify the information found above the fields and provide your full name and contact info. Click Continue when ready.


Step 10 – You will be given the option of continuing with the online payment and submission of the filing forms, or the printing of the charter to be sent in the mail to the Secretary of States office (tutorial found here). Be sure to click Continue with Online Payment for the purposes of this tutorial.


Step 11- The final step will have you entering your credit card info followed by your billing information before clicking Continue. The subsequent page will simply demand that you review the information submitted and officially send the documents to the Secretary of State.


How to File (PDF)

Step 1- It is at this juncture in the online filing process that the business representative will be able to select the option to view and print the charter.


Step 2- Once the link has been clicked, a PDF which will resemble something similar to the documents shown below should be downloaded automatically. Again, ensure that all articles are accurate.



Step 3- With the printed PDF double checked for accuracy, and a prepared check made out to the Secretary of State covering the $100 filing fee at hand, both profit and non-profit incorporators will be ready to submit their filing. Place both items into an envelope and send it along to the below address to complete your filing process.

Secretary of State – Business Services Division

 312 Rosa L. Parks AVE, 6th FL. Nashville

TN 37243


EIN – Once your charter has been accepted by the Secretary of State, it will be absolutely imperative that you apply for an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service. This number will be used by the federal government to identify you for tax reporting purposes. You will then be able to hire employees legally, acquire loans, register for bank accounts and otherwise perform all levels of financial transaction will using the corporate name. A complete tutorial of the application process, both Online and PDF (paper), can be found linked in the heading of this paragraph.

Corporate Bylaw– A corporate bylaw is an internal document drafted by the founding incorporators of a company to ensure that it is organized both financially and logistically. As this is not a legally required agreement in the state of Tennessee, it will not be necessary that you file it with the Secretary of State or have one drafted at all for that matter. With that being said, it is often recommended that you do indeed complete a corporate bylaw as it provides a point of reference for the management of the entity’s internal affairs. For more information, and a link to our free template, click on the heading of this paragraph.

Renewal– Corporations are among the business structures in Tennessee that are required to renew each year with the submission of an annual report. This document will be due on or before the first day of the fourth month following the company’s fiscal year closing. Entities whose annual reports are submitted two months or later following their due date will be charged an additional $70 fee and will have their charter administratively dissolved by the division of business services. To file your report, click on the link at the beginning of this paragraph. Once your control number has been submitted, you will be able to provide all the requisite information into the supplied forms and choose between printing the document off to be sent to the below address, and paying by credit card/e-check to renew online.

Secretary of State – Business Services Division

 312 Rosa L. Parks AVE, 6th FL. Nashville

TN 37243