The Best Businesses to Start in Tennessee | A Guide to Success

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Tennessee Best Business

Best Businesses in Tennessee: Whether you’re determined to become your own boss or looking for a change of pace in the professional world, starting an LLC in Tennessee can be an emancipating venture. Many prospective entrepreneurs conclude that now is the opportune moment to make a calculated leap into self-employment and shape their income and professional destiny. However, the question persists: What are some of the best businesses you can start in Tennessee?

In this article, Webinarcare Editorial Team will explore the Best Businesses to Start in Tennessee, which will help you know the options to start your dream business into reality. You must be guided by all the factors gathered in this article.

Why Start a Business?

Starting a business can be daunting yet rewarding, and choosing the right location is crucial to success. You should also know the business structure you will form when starting a business in Tennessee. It depends if you will form a sole proprietorship, LLC, or a corporation in Tennessee. We all know Tennessee offers unique benefits and opportunities, making it an ideal place for entrepreneurs to establish and grow their businesses. 

Tennessee is a great place to start a business. It has a thriving economy, a large market, and a supportive business environment. Tennessee has diverse industries and resources, making it an attractive destination for entrepreneurs. It is home to some of the nation’s largest and most successful companies, allowing entrepreneurs to tap into an existing customer base.

Additionally, the state has a history of strong economic growth, which has made it an attractive destination for businesses looking to expand. Finally, Tennessee offers a variety of incentives to businesses looking to start or expand within its borders, including tax credits, grants, and other programs. These factors make it an ideal place to launch a new business.

It is suggested that you speak with a legal professional before you begin choosing the best business in Tennessee. To safeguard your personal assets from business debts, you can always start an LLC in Tennessee.


The Best Businesses to Start in Tennessee

As previously indicated, the business climate in Tennessee is generally favorable. It is always advisable for a novice to launch a firm with fewer close rivals. For instance, locally produced goods, restaurants, or something comparable that is popular yet reasonably priced in Tennessee. These are the top business in Tennessee that might be a good place to start:

1. Real Estate Business

Real Estate Business is one of the most significant contributors to the economy of Tennessee. Tennessee is home to some of the best Real Estate Business in the country, providing high-quality service. The industry has been growing rapidly, driven by the current population and the demand for better services. Forming an LLC in Tennessee is a great idea because it will provide benefits like limited liability protection and pass-through taxation for your Real Estate Business.

2. Home Improvement Contractor

Home Improvement Contractor has been a driving force behind the growth of Tennessee for decades. Tennessee is home to several large Home Improvement Contractor that produce a wide range of products and services. Tennessee has a skilled workforce and robust infrastructure, making it an ideal location for forming a Home Improvement Contractor. Tennessee’s business-friendly policies and incentives, specifically in Nashville, have also helped attract new business.

3. Law Firm

The Law Firm sector in Tennessee has been growing at an impressive rate, with several high-profile companies setting up operations in Tennessee. The Volunteer State is home to a thriving start-up ecosystem, with entrepreneurs and investors flocking in Tennessee to take advantage of its talent pool, infrastructure, and business-friendly environment.

The Law Firm industry in Tennessee has been a significant job creator, with thousands of high-paying jobs being added every year. The sector also attracts skilled professionals from across the country.

4. Restaurant

The Restaurant industry is another promising area for starting a business in Tennessee. With the rise of demand for Restaurant, it can be profitable. To ensure the success of your Restaurant business in Tennessee, research the local regulations and requirements for operating Restaurant business. Additionally, focus on developing a strong business presence and engaging with your local community to build a loyal customer base.

5. Operations Consulting or Financial Consulting

Operations Consulting or Financial Consulting has long been a staple of the Tennessee economy, with the state being one of the largest businesses of various Operations Consulting or Financial Consulting in the country. Though it is in the 5th position, it has high potential in Tennessee. To succeed in this industry, focus on building a strong reputation for quality workmanship and excellent customer service. Additionally, consider specializing in a specific niche or obtaining relevant certifications to set your Operations Consulting or Financial Consulting apart from the competition.

These five businesses I have mentioned don’t have high start-up costs compared to other companies because of the high demand for their services and value. You can easily process form an LLC if you find the Best Tennessee LLC Services in Tennessee. We reviewed some services for you to check out.

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What To Do After Deciding a Business To Start in Tennessee

After deciding on a business to start in Tennessee, there are several key steps you should take to ensure a successful launch and long-term success:

Step 1: Decide on the Business Structure

Deciding on a business structure is crucial in forming a business in Tennessee. Consider setting up an LLC, Corporation, sole proprietorship, or LLP as your business entity in Tennessee.

  1. Limited Liability Company (LLC): An LLC combines the benefits of both partnerships and corporations, offering flexibility in management and limiting liability for its members. The profits and losses can pass through directly to the members without taxing the business—similar to a partnership. Members of LLC are also protected from personal liability for the company’s obligations or debts. This means the members’ personal assets are not at risk should the business fail or face legal issues.
  2. Corporation: Forming a Corporation in Tennessee provides the most robust personal liability protection. It can profit, be taxed, and be held legally liable. Corporations can sell company shares and are less likely to be audited by the government than sole proprietorships or partnerships. However, they are costly to set up, require extensive record-keeping, and their profits are taxed twice when earned and distributed to shareholders as dividends.
  3. Sole Proprietorship: This is the simplest business form and not a legal entity. It refers to a business owned and run by one individual, who bears all the profits and losses. The owner has unlimited personal liability for all debts and obligations of the business, meaning they’re personally responsible for them. While it’s less formal, less expensive, and easier to operate, it can be risky for the owner should the business fail or face legal issues.
  4. Limited Liability Partnership (LLP): An LLP is a partnership wherein some or all the partners have limited liabilities. It provides liability protection for each partner unavailable in a traditional partnership. An LLP allows partners to take an active role in the business without assuming liability for other partners’ actions. However, it’s worth noting that the rules for LLPs vary by state, with some states only recognizing this format for businesses in certain professions, typically those required to obtain a license to operate. You can form an LLP in Tennessee if necessary.

Step 2: Name your Business

Selecting a name for your Tennessee business is essential to forming. Your business name should be unique, memorable, and reflective of your products or services. There is a complete guide on Tennessee Business Name Search for a proper Tennessee business name. 

Step 3: Hire a Registered Agent

After deciding on the name for your Tennessee business, you should hire a Registered Agent for easier business formation. Registered Agent is a person or entity responsible for receiving legal documents and official notices on behalf of your LLC. In Tennessee, your Registered Agent must:

  • Be a resident of Tennessee or a business entity authorized to do business in the state
  • Have a physical address in Tennessee (P.O. boxes are not acceptable)

You can check out the Best Registered Agent Services in Tennessee if you are plan to hire one.

Recommended: With LegalZoom’s Registered Agent Services, you can effortlessly navigate the complexities of business law. They ensure your business’s compliance with legal obligations while providing a comforting shield against unwelcome surprises. Starting at $249/year, they’ll ensure your business gets legal notices and critical mail—and extras to protect you too.


Step 4: Register your Tennessee Business

You must register your Tennessee business after allocating the Registered Agent. Afterward, you must submit and file the Charter for Profit Corporation if you are creating a corporation. On the other hand, you must submit the Articles of Organization to the Tennessee Secretary of State if you are creating an LLC. You can submit it either online or offline, depending on your options. 

Recommended: Filing Articles of Organization is easy and hassle-free if you hire a professional service. We recommend using –

LegalZoom – ($0 + State Fee)

Step 5: Applying for Licenses and Permits

Depending on the nature of your Tennessee business, you may need to obtain certain licenses and permits to operate legally. The business license fee in Tennessee ranges from $50 – $300.

Research the specific requirements for your industry in Tennessee by consulting the state’s business licensing portal, contacting your local Chamber of Commerce, or seeking advice from a Business Attorney in Tennessee.

Recommended: Empowering your entrepreneurial journey, LegalZoom’s business license service simplifies the process of obtaining a business license in Tennessee, allowing you to focus on what you do best, running your business. Thet’s why we recommend –

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Step 6: Prepare for Taxes

If your Tennessee business will collect sales tax, have employees, or be subject to certain state taxes, you may need to register with the Tennessee Secretary of State. Before that, you must obtain Tennessee Employer Identification Number from the IRS

Check the department’s website or consult a tax professional for specific registration requirements.

Step 7: Obtain Business Insurance

Obtaining the necessary business insurance, such as general liability insurance, professional liability insurance, and workers’ compensation insurance (if you have employees), is necessary for your Tennessee business. 

If you form an LLC, you can check the Best Small Business Insurance in Tennessee.

Step 8: Open a Business Bank Account

Opening a separate bank account for your Tennessee business is essential for maintaining a clear separation between your personal and business finances. You can check out the Best Banks in Tennessee, which offer the best fees, services, and convenience for your business needs.

Cost of Forming a Business in Tennessee

The cost of forming a business in Tennessee can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of business entity (e.g., sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation), the state’s filing fees, and any legal or professional fees associated with the process. 

For example, in Tennessee, forming an LLC may cost a few hundred dollars, while incorporating a business may cost several thousand dollars. Additionally, ongoing fees for maintaining the business entity may exist, such as annual report fees and business franchise taxes.

It is recommended to consult with a lawyer familiar with the laws and regulations in the state to get a more accurate estimate of the costs associated with forming a business. Checking the Tennessee LLC Cost in forming a business is better.


What is the best business to start in Tennessee?
The best business to start in Tennessee largely depends on your strengths, interests and skills. However, some of the top industries in the state include healthcare, manufacturing, information technology and tourism.
How much does it cost to start a business in Tennessee?
The cost of starting a business in Tennessee can vary greatly depending on the type of business you want to start. However, the Secretary of State’s office charges a $300 filing fee to create a new LLC or corporation in Tennessee.
Do I need a license to start a business in Tennessee?
The types of licenses and permits you need to start a business in Tennessee can depend on the specific industry and the location of your business. You should consult with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance to determine what you’ll need.
What types of small businesses are successful in Tennessee’s rural areas?
Some types of small businesses that are successful in Tennessee’s rural areas include specialty food production and distribution, outdoor recreation services, craft breweries and distilleries and health and wellness services.
How long does it take to start a business in Tennessee?
The time it takes to start a business in Tennessee can vary depending on the type of business and various requirements. However, it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to complete filing and licensing requirements.
How do I find small business funding in Tennessee?
Tennessee has several programs and resources to help small business owners find funding and finance their businesses, including the Tennessee Rural Development Loan Program, the Tennessee Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program, and economic development agencies.
Can out-of-state residents start businesses in Tennessee?
Yes, out-of-state residents can start businesses in Tennessee. However, you should consult with an attorney or the Secretary of State’s office to determine specific requirements and regulations for your business type.
Which cities in Tennessee are best for starting a business?
Some of the top cities for starting a business in Tennessee include Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, and Knoxville, all of which offer a strong economic environment, supportive entrepreneurial networks and access to conducive business resources.
What are the best legal structures for a small business in Tennessee?
The structures you can choose for your small business already depends on factors such as the business size, the founders’ exit and roles, taxation, and financial and management flexibility, among others. However, you can set up an LLC, a C-corporation, an S-corporation, or a Sole Proprietorship, etc.
What are some of the tax considerations for Tennessee business owners?
Tennessee is one of nine states that do not impose an income tax on its residents. However, there are still other taxes and regulatory compliance you’ll need to meet, that may include sales taxes, local business taxes, and federal taxes.
What industries are growing in Tennessee?
A variety of industries are thriving in Tennessee including healthcare, entertainment, automotive, energy, advanced manufacturing, aerospace, and information technology.
How can I register my business name in Tennessee?
Business names can be registered on the online portal of the Secretary of State’s website after which you’ll submit your filled registration form and applicable fee payment. Ensure the usage of legal naming standards.
Where can I go to find support and resources for entrepreneurs in Tennessee?
Tennessee is incredibly supportive of its entrepreneurs and offers various resources to support and sustain business owners. You can find such support across TN trade organizations, SBDC offices, and TN Government sites.
What type of insurance do I need to start a business in Tennessee?
Insurance types vary depending on business type in Tennessee. However, it’s always safe to contact a licensed insurance carrier to understand your liability, risks and general damage/loss policies.
What are the best places in Nashville to start a business?
Nashville is replete with grounds to start a business, with precise reference to areas such as Germantown, East Nashville, 8th Avenue South, The Nations, and many more.
What population of Tennesseans own small businesses?
About 97.9% of Tennessee businesses are considered small enterprises, with an employed labour force of almost half a million workers.
Can I operate my business out of my home in Tennessee?
Whether it’s permissible to operate your business out of your home depends on zoning and civic ordinances in place that affect external/business activities prevalent on or near your property. However, TN rules allows for residential-based ventures, though you still need to make necessary consultations before operations.
Are there any tax incentives or credits for small business owners in Tennessee?
Yes, diverse ones. Tennessee is supportive of small businesses due to the role they serve as essential drivers of the state’s economy. The government offers several tax incentives to move ideas to businesses, such as the Franchise and Excise tax (F&E), the Industrial Machinery Tax Exemption and other exemptions relating to job retention. You also may be exempted from property tax liability for the first two years of operation.
Why is Tennessee a great state to start a business?
Tennessee State is a heaven for entrepreneurs seeking business territory due to Tennessee’s low-tax state, intuitive business programs offered by the government, burgeoning markets, and many more advantages that all translate to a high ease of doing business and profitability spirits.
Will I need a Tennessee business license?
It’s expected for specific businesses to have specific Tennessee licenses or permits depending on regulatory and business activities’ regulatory character. This is picked when registering with the Secretary of State corporation division.
Are TN equal opportunities events or Fairs essential for business growth?
Attending TN’s several annual micro-events and fairs, amounting from Small business week observances, Conference side meetups to business pitch competitions offer small business owners multiple business networking and unique opportunities each season.
How Can I connect with potential clients and increase visibility for my business in Tennessee?
Answer:Networking opportunities and builds up referral from friends, colleagues, events, and assembling marketing and product promotions while following Tn marketing laws, collaborating with communities or social people, give the best visibility for brand recognition and customer growth.
Does the state offer tax incentives for businesses creating job opportunities in Tennessee’s more rural areas?
Several innovative economic projects by the Tennessee State provide tax grants to small entrepreneurs who create high-rate job opportunities in less-favored TN locations, as offered by FastTrack Grants with programs that focus on rural entrepreneurship.
How Can I approach Small Business counseling resources or services in Tennessee?
At SBDC (Small Business Development Centers), or SCOREa national small business partner whose Tennessee chapter has careerized professional volunteers who operate from counseling-led centers spanned across the State.
What licensed professionals may my business need at any point in TN?
Starting from certified tax, accounting; legal advisors practicing under the appropriate laws of TPBA and TCLFA; Health Department might review medical specifications as if in Health services. Certification practices of EH&S establishments services are distinct; check to ensure which applies.
How much usually will a TN secretary of state cost on average?
All Secretary of State pricings are personalized. Governor Lee has cleared monetary remissions required on selected state filings – selected business owners can engage policy reform or see fees’ adjustments within requirements put in place.
Where can I access resources, workshops with guidance on web marketing/social media marketing/marketing?
The Digital Squad TN is on standby to assemble helpful conferences, relevant hackathon sessions; the library is littered with books and courses, which positively embed the trainage in elevating your digital presence skills utilizable.
Is Tennessee requiring hiring UT grads or interns for small business taxes?
Local and state laws do not require hiring of personnel solely for tax status; yet, new business companies using HR services in rendering employer training tax credits experience a % cut if feasibility, utilization, statutory qualifications are met by the enterprise. Fair hiring practices might similarly offer your business progressive mileage in patriotic constructs and outreach endeavors.
Do you require health certification or permit for food deliveries in Tennesse?
Yes, obtaining Vendor Health Permit approvals and licensure under Food & Sanitation regulations enforced within Tennesse. The health department may as well regulate their frequency of inspection in that process.
Are there enough employment opportunities in Tennessee in business creation, consulting, corporate management, finance management, policy creation, accounting services?
A wide range of opportunities are provided in various localities in TN, as it fosters not only corporate transaction ventures entrepreneurship of startups but investors’ agile opportunities. Employment opportunities encompass courses provided in entrepreneurship or businesses, legislation, and extensive financial field-bound roles, ranging from government jobs to local exploring active environments.

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Tennessee is home to a diverse array of thriving industries, each contributing to the state’s economic growth and success. Starting a business in Tennessee requires careful research, planning, and execution. By understanding the local economy, resources, and market demands, you can identify potential gaps in the market or areas with high demand for a particular product or service. Consider your passions, skills, and experience to choose a business that aligns with your strengths and interests. With a solid business plan and the right support, you can launch a successful business and contribute to the growth and prosperity of your state’s economy. Whether you’re interested in Real Estate Business, Home Improvement Contractor, or Law Firm, there is always an opportunity to create something of your own and achieve your entrepreneurial dreams.

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