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Business Tax

Taxes at a Glance

Business tax is assessed for the privilege of conducting business within any county and/or incorporated municipality. The state business tax applies to all businesses and many cities have passed local business tax ordinances that require businesses to be licensed and taxes paid. If your business is located in a city that has approved a business tax, two separate tax returns must be filed.

If you decide to close your business, you must file a final business tax return with the Department of Revenue and pay any tax that is due (minimum of $22). Businesses holding minimum activity licenses that do not file tax returns should notify local city and county officials or the Department of Revenue that the business is closed. Additionally, you must advise your local property tax assessor's office regarding the closure and pay any taxes due to the trustee's office.

The Uniformity and Small Business Relief Act of 2013 changes several key provisions for business tax, starting January 1, 2014.. Please visit our business tax transition page for more information. All existing businesses holding standard business licenses in 2013 must file a tax return and payment electronically in 2014.

Registration:

Business owners should contact their local county or municipal clerk for registration information or may register electronically using the Department of Revenue's Online Services. All businesses required to submit tax returns and payments must do so electronically. This requires a username and password. Please visit Revenue's Online Services page for more information.

A $15 registration fee is required for all new businesses having standard business licenses and must be paid before the initial license is issued. Businesses having minimal activity licenses are also required to pay a $15 initial fee and $15 annually to renew their licenses.

Contact Information:

Business owners should contact their local county or municipal clerk for information about getting a business license. For questions on tax law, filing and paying business taxes and other account-related issues, please contact the Department of Revenue at (615) 253-0600 (Nashville-area and out-of-state) or (800) 342-1003 (toll-free in Tennessee).