Business Services

Chapter 530 of the Public Acts of 2009 amended the Tennessee Business Tax Act.  In 2013, Public Chapter 313 Uniformity and Small Business Relief Act of 2013 made other changes.

Effective January 1, 2014, most businesses operating within Davidson County are required to obtain a business license OR a minimal activity license.  A minimal activity license is required for businesses with gross receipts between $3,000 to $9,999 during their fiscal year.

Businesses obtaining a business license must report their gross receipts to the Tennessee Department of Revenue on an annual basis.  Businesses obtaining a minimal activity license must renew their license on an annual basis; no annual report of gross receipts is required.

All businesses will continue to register with the County Clerk to receive a business license or a minimal activity license.  Businesses located within the Nashville city limits (Urban Service District - USD) must remit $30 for a business license or minimal activity license.  Businesses located in the county only (General Service District – GSD) must remit $15 for a business license or a minimal activity license.

Businesses with a business license (not a minimal activity license) will be required to file annual business tax returns electronically with the Department of Revenue.  A waiver must be applied for and approved by the Department if you are unable to file electronically.  Additional information is available on the Department of Revenue website or you may contact them at 1-615-253-0600 (Nashville local and out-of-state) or 1-800-342-1003 (toll-free in Tennessee). The TN Dept. of Revenue’s call center is open 8:00 to 4:30, Central time, Monday through Friday.

Listed are some of the businesses that are exempt from business tax:  manufacturers, doctors, dentists, veterinarians, attorneys, accountants, schools, religious organizations, insurance agents, loan companies, security exchanges, public utilities or businesses that gross less than $3000 per year.

The following information is designed to inform you of the Business Tax, the Business License, and the Minimal Activity License in general. It is not intended to completely address the lengthy and complex business tax laws and regulations. After you’ve read the information below, please contact this office if you have any questions.  Business Tax is administered and collected by the Tennessee Department of Revenue. Business Tax is classified as a privilege tax for the right to do business within the counties and cities of Tennessee.

 

HOW TO OBTAIN A BUSINESS LICENSE OR A MINIMAL ACTIVITY LICENSE

When applying for a business tax license or a minimal activity license, you must provide the following:
- Business name, business address, business telephone number
- Owner’s name(s), home address, home telephone number, social security number
- Copy of owner(s) driver’s license
- Signature of each owner

The “Application for Business Tax License or Minimal Activity License” is available for download and/or printing.

* Also when applying, you will be required to give your dominant business activity of item(s) sold or services rendered that will generate the most sales and/or revenues. This office will properly classify you according to your dominant business activity. Business tax has four (4) different classifications, each with its own tax rate, as shown below. Each classification contains a variety of businesses.

Class Taxable Period Due Date Tax Rate Per Class
1 Depends upon your fiscal year end 15th day of the 4th month following the end of your fiscal year *Retail –   1/10 & 1/20 of 1%
*Wholesale – 1/40 &   3/80 of 1%
2 Depends upon your fiscal year end 15th day of the 4th month following the end of your fiscal year Retail –   3/20 of 1%
Wholesale – 3/80 of 1%
3 Depends upon your fiscal year end 15th day of the 4th month following the end of your fiscal year Retail –   3/16 of 1%
Wholesale – 3/80 of 1%
4 Depends   upon your fiscal year end 15th day of the 4th month following the   end of your fiscal year Retail –   1/10 of 1%
Wholesale – No wholesale   rate
* Tax rate depends on type   of business in this classification
*   Tax rate does not apply to businesses registering for a minimal activity   license (no taxes are due)

Taxable Period depends upon your   fiscal year end/your filing year with the IRS.

Due Date is the 15th   day of the 4th month following the end of your fiscal year/tax   period.

Example #1:  If file with IRS for tax period 01-01-13/12-31-13,   then your business tax report is due to the Tennessee Dept. of Revenue no   later than April 15,2014.

Example #2:  If file with IRS for tax period 07-01-13/06-30-14,   then your business tax report is due to the Tennessee Dept. of Revenue no   later than October 15, 2014.

As previously discussed, you are required to file annual returns electronically to the Tennessee Dept. of Revenue.  You will need to provide the total gross sales and/or revenues for items sold and services rendered, apply the appropriate tax rate, and make payment by the due date (the 15th day of the 4th month following the end of your fiscal year.)  Retail sales are sales of merchandise or services rendered to users or consumers who do not resale.  Wholesale sales are sales to retailers who resale merchandise. If a business has both retail and wholesale sales, then you must determine which sales are greater than 50% of the business and apply the appropriate rate.  In other words, if retail sales make up more than 50% of the net taxable sales, then they are treated as 100% retail sales, and vice versa.

HELP DESK FOR FILING AND RENEWING

You may contact this office in person or by telephone for general assistance in the filing of a new business license or a new or renewed minimal activity license.  Document the clerk’s name and ask for his/her extension for answers to future questions. For additional information please contact (615) 862-6254 extension 77550.

TRANSIENT VENDOR LICENSE

A person/business selling or offering to sell new merchandise to the public on temporary premises and does not have a permanent, fixed location in Tennessee where the business is conducted is considered a transient vendor. A transient vendor can be both a Tennessee resident or an out of Tennessee resident. Prior to the event date, a transient vendor is required to obtain a 14-day permit from this office to conduct business in this county and/or city. If the permit expires prior to the scheduled ending date, then a new permit must be obtained for an additional 14 days. If the temporary site is located in the Urban Services District (USD), then the permit fee is $112.00. If located in the General Services District (GSD), the permit fee is $57.00. For additional information please contact (615) 862-6254 extension 77150.

Application for Transient Vendor License

Examples of businesses requiring a transient vendor license are: Convention show booth tenants where products are sold; seminars where products are sold; out of state parades or special event participants.

OTHER LICENSES & PERMITS ISSUED BY THIS DEPARTMENT:

Pawnbroker License - For additional information please call (615) 862-6254 extension 77150.
Sidewalk Encroachment Permit – For additional information please call (615) 862-6254.