Tennessee Secretary of State: The Role in Every Business



What Is Tennessee Secretary of State

The office of the Tennessee Secretary of State was established in 1858. The current Secretary of State is Tre Hargett. His duties include overseeing elections, administering the election laws, maintaining voter registration records, and serving as custodian of public records. He also serves as the chief election officer for the state.

  • How many people work at the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Office?

Approximately 100 employees are working in the office.

  •  Where does the name “Secretary of State” come from?

In 1796, George Washington appointed William Blount as the first Secretary of State. In 1798, Congress passed legislation establishing the position.

What Service can the Tennessee Secretary of State offer for business

1. Business Registration

Tennessee’s Secretary of State offers free online registration services for businesses. You may register your company at www.tnbusinessregistration.com. If you have questions about registering your business, please contact us at 877-848-9222.

2. Taxation Services

The Department of Revenue provides tax preparation services to individuals and small businesses.

3. Licensing Services.

The Department of Commerce licenses businesses and professions.

4. Real Estate Services

The Division of Real Estate administers the state’s real estate licensing program.

5. Vehicle Sales

The Motor Vehicles Division administers the vehicle sales license program.

6. Notary Public

Notaries public perform notarial acts, including recording deeds, mortgages, and leases, witnessing signatures, administering oaths; and fulfilling marriages. To become a notary public, complete a course offered by the Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Training (CLEOSAT). Visit their website at http//www.nprc.org/notaries.htm.

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7. Voter Registration

Voter registration information is updated daily on the Secretary of State’s website.


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Opening a business in Tennessee Secretary of state

1. Registering Business Name

The first step in starting a business is registering its name. You need to register the business name before opening any bank account or getting any loans. If you have already registered the name then you do not need to go back to the Secretary of State’s office again. However, if you haven’t yet registered the name, you should still visit the website www.tn.gov/business/index.shtml to check whether the name is available.

2. Opening Bank Account

If you want to open a business bank account, you should apply online at www.tn.gov. In order to get a business checking account, you need to provide proof of identification (driver’s license) and proof of address (mailing address). After submitting these documents, you may receive a confirmation email asking for additional information. Once you submit the requested information, you will receive a letter confirming your application.

3. Getting a Loan

To obtain a loan, you should contact local banks directly. Banks usually require a minimum deposit of $500 for small businesses. You may also consider applying for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan. SBA loans are provided by private lenders and guaranteed by the U.S. government. 4. Payroll Tax

In addition to paying taxes on income earned, employers are required to pay payroll tax on wages paid to employees. Employers are responsible for withholding federal income tax from employee salaries and filing quarterly returns with the IRS. There are two types of payroll tax: Social Security and Medicare. Employees are required to pay social security tax on their earnings and employers must withhold social security tax from each paycheck. Employers must also pay Medicare tax on wages paid to certain employees. These employees include those who work in hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, clinics, doctors’ offices, dentists’ offices, optometrists’ offices, pharmacies, veterinary offices, and home healthcare agencies.

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5. Sales Tax

Businesses selling tangible personal property must collect sales tax from customers. Most states charge sales tax based on where the sale occurs. For example, the sales tax rate in Tennessee is 6% plus 1% for use tax. The rates vary depending on the type of goods sold.

6. Use Tax

Retailers collect use tax on purchases they make from wholesalers. Retailers must remit use tax to the Department of Revenue on items purchased from wholesale vendors.

7. Franchise Tax

The franchise tax is imposed on corporations doing business in Tennessee. Corporations are taxed on net income derived from activities conducted in Tennessee. Net income includes gross receipts minus expenses. Gross receipts are defined as total revenue less costs of goods sold. Costs of goods sold include materials, labor, and overhead.



Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find my articles of organization in Tennessee?

1. Find out if you have any existing Articles of Organization (AO)

If you have a current AO, you need to determine whether it is still valid. You should check with the county clerk’s office where you filed the original document. If no record exists, you may want to file a new one.

2. File a new Article of Organization

You can file a new AO online at www.tn.gov/countyclerk/. Click “File Form Online.” Enter the name of your business and the address, and select TN Code 9-10-02. Make sure to enter the correct date of filing.

Does a sole proprietor need a business license in TN?

The answer is YES! A Sole Proprietorship requires a Business License in Tennessee. You should obtain a business license if you plan on selling any products or services. There are many different types of licenses, and they vary depending on what kind of business you own. You may have heard of a “Sole Proprietorship,” a business structure where only one person holds the company. You do not require a separate legal entity (LLC) or corporation to operate a sole proprietorship. However, if you want to sell products or provide services, you must apply for a business license.

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Business Licenses in Tennessee

A business license is a permit issued by the state government that authorizes businesses to conduct their activities. Depending on the type of business activity, you may need to pay fees to get a business license. These fees range from $50-$500 per year, and some states charge additional fees based on how much revenue the business generates.

Types of Business Licenses

There are two types of business licenses:

• General Business License – This general business license covers all types of businesses.

• Specialized Business License – This is specific to certain types of businesses. Examples include:

o Alcoholic Beverage License

o Cosmetology License

o Food Service License

o Hairdressing License

o Pharmacy License

o Professional Engineer License

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