5 Best Businesses to Start in Tennessee for 2024

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Best Businesses to Start in Tennessee

Ready to embrace entrepreneurship in Tennessee? With a diverse economic landscape and a burgeoning population, Tennessee is your launch pad for success. Navigating through endless opportunities can be challenging, but fear not! At LLCBase, we’re your business buddy, helping you sail through the complexities of forming an LLC with our handy guide to the best businesses to start in Tennessee.

Whether captivated by cutting-edge tech, passionate about healthcare, or keen on retail, starting an LLC in Tennessee is within your grasp. We’ll walk you through essentials like market research and financing, simplifying your journey from idea to launch. Discover the most rewarding business opportunities in Tennessee and kickstart your dream venture today!

Why Tennessee is a Great Place for Business

Tennessee has a thriving economy, making it an ideal location for starting a business. The state’s growing population, diverse industries, and business-friendly policies provide a solid foundation for new ventures. Check the following reasons why Tennessee is a great place to start your business:

  • Economic Growth and Stability: Tennessee boasts a robust and thriving economy, making it a prime location for entrepreneurs seeking to start a business. The state’s economic stability and continuous growth create a favorable environment for businesses to flourish, ensuring long-term success for new ventures.
  • Growing Population and Consumer Base: The increasing population in Tennessee offers a substantial and diverse business consumer base. This growth allows entrepreneurs to tap into various market segments, catering to the unique needs and preferences of the residents. A larger population also translates to an increased demand for goods and services, providing ample opportunities for business expansion.
  • Diverse Industries and Opportunities: Tennessee is home to various industries, from manufacturing to technology and tourism. This diversity provides entrepreneurs with numerous options for starting a business, allowing them to choose a sector that aligns with their interests, skills, and expertise. Additionally, the presence of multiple industries creates a dynamic business environment that fosters innovation and collaboration.
  • Business-Friendly Policies and Regulations: Tennessee is known for its business-friendly policies and regulations, which promote economic growth and encourage entrepreneurship. The state government offers incentives to support new and existing businesses, such as tax breaks, grants, and low-interest loans. These policies create a conducive environment for entrepreneurs to easily set up and expand their ventures.
  • Advanced Infrastructure and Connectivity: The advanced infrastructure in Tennessee plays a crucial role in attracting businesses and promoting economic growth. The state offers excellent transportation networks, including highways, railroads, airports, and seaports, ensuring seamless connectivity within the region and beyond. This well-developed infrastructure allows businesses to transport goods efficiently, access suppliers and customers, and stay connected with the global market.

Thinking about launching a business in Tennessee? Save yourself the headaches and hire a dependable LLC formation service to ensure everything runs smoothly. Still unsure who can provide this service? Say no more! We’ve done the homework for you and compiled a list of the best LLC formation services in Tennessee renowned for their business-formation expertise and experience. Don’t venture into these unknown seas alone; anchor yourself with a pro today!

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Top Businesses to Start in Tennessee

We’ve got a treat for you! Feast your eyes on these five remarkable business ideas tailored for the Tennessee marketplace. Each one could be your ticket to success. So, let’s unveil the inspiring ventures that could catapult you to business stardom in Tennessee! Here are your five best business ideas to start a business in Tennessee.

1. Real Estate Business

The Real Estate Business industry in Tennessee has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, driven by the increasing demand for its products and services. By starting a Real Estate Business venture in Tennessee, entrepreneurs can capitalize on this lucrative market. Forming an LLC for your Real Estate Business business allows you to benefit from Tennessee’s tax advantages, minimize your personal liability, and enjoy pass-through taxation, further enhancing your business prospects.

2. Home Improvement Contractor

The Home Improvement Contractor sector presents another promising opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs in Tennessee. This industry has grown substantially, especially in the state capital, Nashville. A Home Improvement Contractor enterprise can generate a stable income and provide significant growth potential, making it a prime choice for those looking to establish a successful business in Tennessee.

3. Law Firm

For entrepreneurs seeking long-term success, the Law Firm industry in Tennessee is an excellent option. With support from the Tennessee government, this sector receives numerous incentives and subsidies that aid new businesses in getting off the ground. Moreover, hiring employees for your Law Firm business may qualify you for additional employment benefits and tax credits, further enhancing your venture’s growth prospects.

4. Restaurant

Investing in a Restaurant business in Tennessee is a smart decision. The state’s robust infrastructure and business-friendly environment make it relatively easy for entrepreneurs to establish and operate a Restaurant venture. It’s essential to research the required licenses and permits necessary to run a Restaurant business in Tennessee before embarking on this endeavor.

5. Operations Consulting or Financial Consulting

Finally, the Operations Consulting or Financial Consulting industry presents significant opportunities for business owners in Tennessee. Although this sector may be competitive, its product and service demand remains high. The availability of raw materials in Tennessee ensures that starting a Operations Consulting or Financial Consulting business is cost-effective, making it an attractive option for entrepreneurs seeking to make their mark in the market.

Tennessee offers diverse business opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to embark on a new venture. Whether you’re interested in the Real Estate Business, Home Improvement Contractor, Law Firm, Restaurant, or Operations Consulting or Financial Consulting industry, there’s potential for success and growth in the Tennessee market. By carefully evaluating your interests, skills, and resources, you can choose the right business opportunity and set yourself up for long-term success in Tennessee.

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Setting Up Your Business in Tennessee

Once you’ve identified the ideal business opportunity, it’s time to establish your venture in Tennessee. This process generally involves the following steps:

Step 1: Choose a Legal Structure

Before launching your business, you must decide on a legal structure that best suits your needs. Options include a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or limited liability company (LLC). Your choice will determine the level of personal liability protection, tax benefits, and compliance requirements you’ll face. We recommend starting an LLC as it safeguards your personal assets from business liabilities, provides tax flexibility, enhances your business’s credibility, and allows unlimited members. However, consider consulting with a legal or financial professional to help you make the best decision.

Step 2: Select a Business Name

Your business name should be unique, memorable, and reflective of your brand identity. Conduct a business name search using the Tennessee Secretary of State Business Information Search to ensure your chosen name isn’t already in use by another entity in Tennessee. Remember that most states have specific naming requirements for different legal structures, including “LLC” or “Inc.” in the name.

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Step 3: Appoint Registered Agent

In Tennessee, you must designate Registered Agent to handle legal and official documents. This person or entity must be located within the state and maintain a physical address. Many businesses use Registered Agent services in Tennessee, which are available for a fee, to ensure compliance with this requirement.

Recommended: Appointing your Registered Agent? Go professional for seamless, trustworthy service. Your LLC’s crucial matters deserve expert attention! We recommend –

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Step 4: Register Your Business Entity

Depending on your chosen legal structure, you must file the appropriate paperwork with the Tennessee Secretary of State. This may include Articles of Organization for an LLC or Charter for Profit Corporation for a corporation. Be prepared to pay the necessary $300 formation fee or $100 for online and by mail filing incorporation fee when filing your documents.

Step 5: Apply for Licenses and Permits

Check with the Tennessee Secretary of State, local county, and city officials to determine the licenses and permits required for your business in Tennessee. These may include zoning approvals, health permits, and professional licenses. Obtaining the necessary licenses and permits ensures that your business operates legally and complies with local regulations.

Recommended: Applying for licenses and permits? Consider professional help to ensure a smooth, hitch-free application. Accuracy and timeliness are a priority! We recommend –

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Step 6: Register for State and Federal Taxes

To register your business for taxes, you must obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This number is required for tax reporting and employee payroll purposes. You can apply for an EIN online, by mail, or by fax. In addition, you’ll need to register with the Tennessee Department of Revenue to comply with Tennessee tax requirements, to pay the  6.50% income tax and 7.00% sales tax.

Step 7: Secure Business Insurance

Protect your business from potential losses and liabilities by obtaining appropriate insurance coverage. Depending on your industry and specific business needs, this may include general liability, property, and workers’ compensation insurance. Consult an insurance agent to determine the right coverage for your Tennessee business.

Step 8: Open a Business Bank Account

Establish a separate bank account for your business to keep personal and business finances separate. This can help improve your credit score, provide access to loans and other financing options, and simplify your financial management. When opening a business bank account in Tennessee, be prepared to provide your EIN, business registration documents, and any required licenses or permits.

Costs of Starting an LLC in Tennessee

Wondering about the LLC costs in Tennessee? Here’s a simplified rundown of the associated costs to kick off your enterprise!

Secretary of State Filing Fee

To establish an LLC in Tennessee, you’ll need to file Articles of Organization with the Tennessee Secretary of State. The standard filing fee is $300, plus an added fee for rush processing.

For Domestic LLCs and Foreign LLCs in Tennessee, online filing entails a $300 and a $100 minimum Franchise Tax. The Statement of Information should be filed within 1 year of registration, costing $50 per member. There’s an added $100 for counter drop-offs if filing by mail.

Name Reservation Fee

Desire a specific LLC name? Reserve it before filing the Articles of Organization for a fee of $20 (online) or $20 (offline). This reservation lasts for 4 months, providing you enough time to submit your Articles of Organization.

Registered Agent Fee

In Tennessee, all LLCs must have Registered Agent for legal servicing processes. You can expect to spend between $50 – $150 annually on these services.

Business Licenses and Permits

Depending on your business type and location, various licenses and permits might be necessary. Costs vary, so ensure you research thoroughly. The Business Opp (https://www.tn.gov/businessopp.html) is a useful tool for this.

Operating Agreement

Even though not obligatory, having an operating agreement is recommended for charting your LLC’s course. Costs to have one drafted can start from $1,000.

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Most LLCs require an EIN for tax, banking, and hiring purposes. Getting one in Tennessee is free from the IRS through the online application or mailing Form SS-4. The online method gets you an immediate EIN, while mail can take up to four weeks.


What are some of the best businesses to start in Tennessee?
Some of the best businesses to start in Tennessee include healthcare, home services, retail, tourism, and technology.
What are some examples of healthcare businesses to start in Tennessee?
Some examples of healthcare businesses to start in Tennessee include nursing homes, physical therapy practices, and home healthcare providers.
What are some examples of home services businesses to start in Tennessee?
Some examples of home services businesses to start in Tennessee include lawn care services, landscaping companies, and HVAC repair companies.
What are some examples of retail businesses to start in Tennessee?
Some examples of retail businesses to start in Tennessee include boutique clothing shops, antique stores, and gift shops.
Does Tennessee have a significant tourism industry?
Yes, Tennessee has a significant tourism industry, with attractions such as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Music City Food + Wine Festival.
What kinds of tourism businesses could I start in Tennessee?
You could start a tourism business in Tennessee by opening a bed and breakfast, a tour company, or a food tour.
How do I start a technology business in Tennessee?
To start a technology business in Tennessee, you’ll need to have a solid business plan, funding, and access to resources such as the Nashville Entrepreneur Center.
Are there any unique challenges to starting a business in Tennessee?
Unique challenges to starting a business in Tennessee include navigating state and local regulations and working in a highly competitive business environment.
What’s the best way to network with other entrepreneurs in Tennessee?
You can network with other entrepreneurs in Tennessee by attending business events and conferences, participating in mentorship programs, and joining local business organizations.
Does Tennessee offer any tax incentives for small businesses?
Yes, Tennessee offers tax credits for job creation and capital investment, as well as training grants and other financial incentives for qualifying businesses.
Are there any industries in Tennessee that are growing particularly quickly?
The healthcare and technology industries in Tennessee are currently experiencing significant growth, with opportunities for new businesses to emerge.
What kind of funding is available for startups in Tennessee?
Funding for startups in Tennessee may be found through venture capital firms, angel investors, and business grants offered by the state and federal government.
How can I determine if my business idea is a good fit for Tennessee?
You can research the local business community, economic trends, and market demand to determine if your business idea is a good fit for Tennessee.
Where can I find resources to help me start a business in Tennessee?
The Tennessee Small Business Development Center, the Tennessee Economic Development Council, and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center are all resources that can help you start a business in Tennessee.
What sets Tennessee apart as a place to start a business?
Tennessee’s strategic location, transportation infrastructure, and highly skilled workforce make it a prime location for business development and job creation.
How can I find and attract the right talent in Tennessee?
Networking, job postings on social media, and working with local colleges and universities can help you find the right talent for your business in Tennessee.
Are there any regulations specific to small businesses in Tennessee I should be aware of?
Small businesses in Tennessee must comply with state licensing and permitting requirements, as well as federal regulations concerning taxes and labor law.
What kind of budget do I need to start a small business in Tennessee?
Startup costs will vary depending on the type of business you’re starting, but in general, it’s recommended to have at least several months’ worth of operating expenses saved before launching a small business in Tennessee.
Do I need to register my small business in Tennessee?
Yes, all businesses operating in Tennessee must register with the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office and obtain any required licenses and permits.
Should I set up my small business as a corporation or an LLC in Tennessee?
The decision to set up your business as a corporation or LLC will depend on your specific needs and goals, but both have advantages when it comes to liability protection and tax benefits.
What kind of insurance do I need for my small business in Tennessee?
Depending on your business type, you’ll need liability insurance, property insurance, and worker’s compensation insurance, among other types of coverage.
How can I make my small business stand out in Tennessee?
To make your small business stand out in Tennessee, it’s important to offer high-quality products or services, have a strong online presence, and differentiate yourself from competitors by offering unique value propositions.
Can I apply for grants in Tennessee to help start my small business?
Yes, the state and federal government offer grant programs and other kinds of financial assistance to qualifying small businesses in Tennessee.
Where can I find local counsel to help me start a business in Tennessee?
The Tennessee Bar Association can help you find qualified legal counsel to assist with starting and running a small business in Tennessee.
Is there a lot of competition for businesses in Tennessee?
In some industries, there may be a lot of competition for businesses in Tennessee, but in others, there may be less saturation and more opportunity for growth.
What cultural factors should I be aware of as I start my business in Tennessee?
Cultural factors to be aware of as you start your business in Tennessee may include regional accents, Southern hospitality, and a love of the outdoors.
How can I market my business effectively in Tennessee?
Effective marketing strategies for small businesses in Tennessee include local SEO, social media advertising, and direct mail.
How can I stay motivated as I work to start my business in Tennessee?
Consistency, resilience, and a willingness to adapt to change are key traits to have as you work to start and grow a small business in Tennessee.
What advice do successful small business owners in Tennessee have for new entrepreneurs?
Successful small business owners in Tennessee suggest focusing on community involvement, building strong relationships with customers and suppliers, and staying open to new opportunities as they arise.
Is Tennessee a good place to start a business even if I don’t have any experience?
While it’s helpful to have prior business experience, Tennessee is a great place to start a business even if you’re new to entrepreneurship, thanks to its supportive business community and resources designed to help new entrepreneurs succeed.

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Tennessee provides a dynamic and supportive environment for entrepreneurs looking to launch their businesses. By carefully selecting the right industry, conducting thorough research, and following the necessary steps to establish your venture, you can create a successful and profitable business in the Tennessee market. The opportunities in Tennessee are vast, and with the right combination of passion, dedication, and hard work, you can make your entrepreneurial dreams come true.

As you embark on your journey to start a business in Tennessee, remember to stay adaptable, continuously learn, and stay connected with the local business community. The road to success may be challenging, but the rewards of building a thriving business in The Volunteer State are well worth the effort. We wish you the best of luck as you pursue your entrepreneurial journey in Tennessee. To further assist you in this exciting endeavor, visit LLCBase for additional resources, tips, and support tailored to help you succeed in Tennessee.

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