By Mark Oldberg: October 14, 2016: Blog


You are ready to open your business and have been told you need to apply for a business license, so you wonder "how do I get a business license?"

If you are located in Tennessee and are subject to the business tax (i.e., your taxable sales are $10,000 or more), you must obtain a standard business license from your county clerk before conducting business.  If you are located in a city that imposes the business tax, you must also obtain a license from your city official.  If your business has multiple locations, you must have standard business licenses for each location.  The licenses must be displayed and are nontransferable. 

You must pay an initial $15 fee for each license obtained from your county clerk and if applicable your city official. The license will expire 30 days after your return is due, but will be automatically renewed after you have filed your return and remitted the tax due to the Department of Revenue.

You should contact your local county clerk and/or Google search “[Your county’s name] business license”.

I have included some links to major localities in Tennessee below

Hamilton County or Paper Copy of Application

Nashville/Davidson County

Memphis/Shelby County

Knoxville City


  • Forming a Business
  • Tennessee


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