For those business representatives looking for insight into the registration process for foreign corporations in Tennessee, you’ve come to the right place. Our team at Start a Business has done all the research for you, providing a complete tutorial that covers each step of the application process to inform you of what to expect going forward. In this state, it is necessary that filers use the online portal designed by the Secretary of State to submit all their business information into the application. Once completed, a PDF of the registration form can be printed off and sent along to the state offices with a check or money order covering the $600 filing fee/ Filer’s must also submit a certificate of existence or like document issued within 60 days of their registration with the Tennessee Secretary of State.

It is crucial that your corporate name be distinguishable from that of any other entity on file in Tennessee. For this reason, we recommend that you perform a name availability search prior to application to ensure that your filing won’t be rejected. There is also the optional security measure of a Name Reservation filing, a process will ensure that no other entity uses your corporate name for a period of 4 months prior to your registration.

How to Apply

Step 1- To begin the filing process, you must first navigate this webpage and click the large, red button on the far right hand side of the screen.


Step 2- Choose your entity, either profit or non-profit, and check off the box that indicates that you are aware that the information submitted in the following application will be made available to the public. Click Continue when ready.


Step 3- The first page will be the same for both profit and non-profit corporations. The following information will be required of both:

  • Entity name
  • Formation locale
  • State or country of formation
  • Date of formation
  • Date business was commenced in Tennessee
  • Certificate of existence date
  • Additional designation (if applicable)


Step 4- Both entity types will need to enter the period of duration, the fiscal year close and the delayed effective date. It will be necessary for non-profits to also indicate whether they are to be of mutual or public benefit and whether or not the corporation will have members.



Step 5- This window will ask that you supply the registered agent type, name and address before clicking Continue.


Step 6- Next, supply the principle office address along with the mailing address.


Step 7- It will be necessary for you to supply the title, name and address of each officer and director working for the company. Once this has been accomplished, you will be able to continue to the next step.


Step 8- Be sure to review all the information that you’ve submitted before proceeding. If anything is inaccurate, now is the best time to edit it.


Step 9- Provide your signature by checking off the I certify box and submitting your first and last name, your phone number and your email address.


Step 10- On this page, click the link found in the middle of the window to view and print your Application for Certificate of Authority.


Step 11- The application will be downloaded and displayed in the form of a PDF. Again, it is wise to ensure that all the submitted information was entered correctly. If so, you may proceed to print it off.



Step 12- When the documents have been printed, you may attach to them a check or money order made out to the Tennessee Secretary of State covering the $600 filing fee. Furthermore, it will be necessary for you to prove your legitimacy by providing a certificate of good standing or like document from your jurisdiction of initial formation. Send the filing package to the below address once completed.

Secretary of State – Business Services Division

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

TN 37243


Renewal– Corporations, both profit and non-profit, are required to renew each year by submitting their annual report on or before the first day of the fourth month following the company’s fiscal year closing. If report is submitted two months or later than the due date, the corporation will be administratively dissolved and it will be required of you to renew while paying an additional $70 . The annual report should be filed through the Secretary of State online portal in the same manner in which the original Application for Certificate of Authority was submitted. Filers will have the choice between submitting the report electronically and doing so through the mail (address found below).

Secretary of State – Business Services Division

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

TN 37243