Resources for Starting a New Business in Davidson County

The Davidson County Clerk’s office is supportive of the entrepreneurial spirit that appears with the application for a new business license. Starting a new business can seem overwhelming at first with the various rules and regulations that may apply to each applicant. Here is a guide to help you get started.

1.  What type of business are you starting? Construction, retail, restaurant, service, or wholesale? Some types of businesses are exempt from needing a business license. Please contact the County Clerk’s Business Tax Services at (615) 862-6254 to help you determine your specific needs.

 

2.  Consider developing a business plan to help you organize your ideas and actions. The U. S. Small Business Administration has a user-friendly business plan template as well as other helpful resources: Click Here

 

3.  Choose a unique name for your business that also helps identify the products or services sold. While it is not required to register a name in Tennessee, it is advised that you do so to keep another business from registering the exact same name. Such an issue could lead to confusion and possible legal problems in the future. You can search the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Web site to see if your business name is available Click Here

 

4.  You may be required to apply for a State/local business license. You can submit your application for a new business license in person at the Davidson County Clerk’s main office or by mail. Click here for the application:

In addition to a county fee if your business is in Berry Hill contact:

City Of Berry Hill
698 Thompson Lane
Nashville, TN 37204
(615) 292-5531

In addition to a county fee if your business is Goodlettsville contact:

City of Goodlettsville
105 South Main Street
Goodlettsville, TN 37072

Verify your location status by checking the Tax Assessors’ Web site here.

To apply in person you will need to provide a driver license or government issued photo ID, completed application, and payment to:

Davidson County Clerk Business Tax Services
700 2nd Avenue South, Suite 101
Nashville, TN 37210

To apply by mail please include a completed application, copy of driver license, and check or money order (do not send cash by mail) to:

Davidson County Clerk Business Tax Services
P.O. Box 196333
Nashville, TN 37219-6333
For additional information or assistance please contact us at (615) 862-6254.

NOTE: If you are applying for a business license and your business type is a general partnership or a husband and wife partnership the following information will be required on the application form.

      1. FEIN number ( See item 13 )
      2. Social Security number for both partners
      3. The signatures of both partners
      4. Photo copy of the government issued id’s for both partners

 

5.  If you are needing to purchase wholesale in order to resale your product, then will need to apply to the State Department of Revenue for a Sales Tax Number

Tennessee Department of Revenue

Sales Tax and Number and Tax Payer Services
500 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37242
(615) 253-0600

 

6.  If you are a chartered business through the Secretary of State’s, office then you may need to report State franchise & excise tax to the State Department of Revenue.

Tennessee Department of Revenue
Tax Payer Services
500 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37242
(615) 253-0700

 

7.  Businesses with employees are required to pay unemployment insurance taxes under certain conditions. If your business is required to pay these taxes, you must register your business with your state’s workforce agency.

Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development
220 French Landing Drive
Nashville, TN 37243
(615) 741-6642
8.  With any business there are risks to avoid. You may be required to carry General Liability Insurance, Commercial Property Insurance, Home-Based Business Insurance, Professional Liability Insurance, Product Liability Insurance, and Worker’s Comp Insurance. Cost and amount of coverage of policies vary among insurers. You should discuss your needs with your personal insurance agent.

 

9.  If you intend to hire employees, you may be required to carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance. Workers’ Comp is required with 5 or more part time or full time employees. Construction requires Workers Comp Insurance for any number of employees. You should discuss your needs with your personal insurance agent and/or the State.

Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development
220 French Landing Drive
Nashville, TN 37243
(615) 741-6642

 

10.  If you have six or more employees, as an employer you may be required to confirm employment eligibility through the Federal Employee Verification System. Under U.S. Federal law, E-Verify is mandatory for employers with federal contracts or subcontracts that contain the Federal Acquisition Regulation E-Verify clause. Recently the State legislature passed the Tennessee Lawful Employment Act (TLEA) which took effect January 1, 2012, and requires employers to obtain lawful resident/employment verification information. The amendment is Public Chapter No. 436 and can be viewed here. Under the Act, the employment verification provisions referenced above will be phased in as follows:

 

All state and local government agencies must enroll and participate in E-Verify or request and maintain identity/employment authorization documents from a newly hired employee no later than January 1, 2012

All private employers with 500 or more employees must enroll and participate in E-Verify or request and maintain identity/employment authorization documents from a newly hired employee or non-employee no later than January 1, 2012

All private employers with 200 to 499 employees must enroll and participate in E-Verify or request and maintain identity/employment authorization documents from a newly hired employee or non-employee no later than July 1, 2012

All private employers with 6 to 199 employees must register and utilize E-Verify or request and maintain identity/employment authorization documents from a newly hired employee or non-employee no later than January 1, 2013

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
2675 Prosperity Avenue
Fairfax, VA 20598-2400
National Customer Service Center (NCSC): 1-800-375-5283

Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Labor Standards Division
220 French Landing Drive
Nashville, TN 37243
Toll-free at 1-855-TNEBILL (1-855-863-2455) or 615-741-2247

 

11.  Independent Contract/Contract Labor or Employee?

Please review requirements set forth by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) here.

 

12.  Do you want to operate as a Limited Liability Corporation (L.L.C.) or a corporation? To operate as an LLC or Corporation you will need to apply to the Secretary of State.

Tennessee Secretary of State Office
Corporations / Limited Liability Companies
William Snodgrass Tower
312 Rosa Parks Blvd., 6th Floor
Nashville, TN 37242
(615) 741-2286

 

13.  You may be required to obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) from the IRS. The FEIN is your business’s permanent identification number and can be used for most of your business needs including: opening a bank account, applying for business licenses and filing a tax return by mail. You can register for your FEIN online at www.irs.gov or by calling 1-800-829-4933. All corporations and partnerships are required to have an FEIN.

Federal Internal Revenue Service
Employee ID Number
801 Broadway
Nashville, TN 37242
(800) 829-4933

 

14.  If you are planning to operate in a residential or commercial area of Davidson County then you may need to apply for a Use and Occupancy Permit.

Metro Nashville Department of Codes & Building Safety
Property Standards Division

Metro Office Building – 3rd Floor
800 Second Avenue, South
Nashville, Tennessee 37210
(615) 862-6590

 

15.  You may consider operating your small business from my home, under certain limitations, and with a “Home Occupation Permit”. Permits are required for all home occupations and may be obtained through the Department of Codes & Building Safety at a cost of $50.00. Contact our Zoning Division at 862-6500 to obtain complete information regarding current requirements. The basic limitations include: There can be one employee associated with a home occupation that is not a resident on the property. There can be no signs or advertising of a business at the residence (except in the areas of child care, or tutoring). One vehicle, not exceeding an axle load of 1.5 tons is permitted, but no advertising is permitted on the vehicle. A reliable “rule of thumb” is: if you can see it, hear it, or smell it, the business is not allowed as a home occupation.

Metro Nashville Department of Codes & Building Safety
Zoning Division

Metro Office Building – 3rd Floor
800 Second Avenue, South
Nashville, Tennessee 37210
(615) 862-6510

 

16.  The following is a listing of additional resources for your new business:

Internal Revenue Service (Federal Tax Advice)
801 Broadway, Room 134
Nashville, TN. 37203
1-800-829-4933

Mid-Cumberland Area Development Corp. (Government Loans)
501 Union Street, 6th Floor
Nashville, TN. 37219-1705
(615) 862-8831

Nashville Minority Business Center
223 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, Suite 205
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 255-0432

Business Enterprise Resource Office
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 10th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243
(615) 741-2626

Service Corps of Retired Executives (Business Set-Up)
50 Vantage Way, Suite 201
Nashville, TN 37228
(615) 736-7621

TN Minority Supplier Development Council (Business Relationships)
220 Athens Way, Suite 105
Nashville, TN 37228
(615) 259-4699

U.S. Small Business Administration (Technical Assistance)
50 Vantage Way, Suite 201
Nashville, TN 37228
(615) 736-5881
Also check SBA starting and managing a business here

U.T. Center for Industrial Services (Manufacturing Assistance)
193-C Polk Avenue,
Nashville, TN 37210
(615)532-8657

TN. Dept. of Employment Security (Employer Requirements)
Employer Status, Davy Crockett Building
500 James Robertson Pkwy.
8th Fl., Nashville, TN 37245
(615) 741-2486

Nashville Business Incubation Center(Business Consultants)
315 10th Ave North, Suite A, T.S.U.’s Campus
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 963-7184

Tennessee Small Business Development Center
T.S.U. School of Business,
Avon Williams Campus/Downtown
330 10th Ave. N.
Nashville, TN 37203
(615)963-7179