Elevate your business in Tennessee by filing your Corporate Charter strategically. Explore our guide below for seamless navigation and success in the dynamic Tennessee business environment.
Incorporating your business helps protect you and other shareholders from personal liability. If you want to form a corporation in Tennessee, a Corporate Charter is a piece of legal paperwork you will need to file to incorporate your business before you can begin operations.
Tennessee Corporate Charters are requested and applied for with the Tennessee Secretary of State – Division of Business Services. The specific form is Charter (ss-4417). If your organization offers licensed professional services, there are additional requirements listed on the form.
As stated in TN Code § 48-15-101, all Tennessee corporations must have a Tennessee registered office and registered agent located within the state. The agent doesn’t necessarily have to be an employee of your company, but it must be a local person or entity whose address must be listed on the Corporate Charter. The information on the Corporate Charter becomes a matter of public record.
Incorporation in Tennessee also requires each registered business to have a unique legal name. You may also wish to file a Tennessee DBA, which may help if you operate under a name different from the one you registered under.
Tennessee Corporate Charters may be filed in one of three ways:
Online filing tends to be the easiest and most convenient way for most new business owners. You may also download the form to return it by mail. Foreign (out-of-state) Tennessee incorporation forms are slightly different, and the instructions are, too, so review the differences before proceeding.
There’s a 13th field meant for any other information that you wish to include with this charter. This information is optional but can include, among other things, the initial board of directors or the purpose of the organization.
If you’re incorporating a professional service, you may be required to submit any applicable professional licenses. For example, a lawyer may be required to include their license to practice law in Tennessee. Please check on the requirements if your business provides professional services.
Foreign corporations, since they’re already incorporated, only need to ask permission to do business in Tennessee by filing a Certificate of Authority. They must have a Certificate of Good Standing from their own state.
After you’ve reviewed and signed the Corporate Charter, it’s time to submit.
There’s a filing fee for this form, regardless of how you file. If you have a specific question, you may call (615) 741-2286. All mailed submissions are to be addressed to the Tennessee Secretary of State.
The state allows filings in one of four ways:
Now that you’ve created your own business, it’s important to keep it in good standing with the state. Try our Worry-Free Compliance service to take some of the stress off.
Filing a Corporate Charter can be complicated, but it does offer your business many benefits. Take a look at our formation plans that can help organizations of any size complete and file their Corporate Charter in Tennessee today.
Check the Tennessee Secretary of State website to see the most current information on fees and methods of payment available.
The process can take as little as a day or up to a week or more.
The Business Services Division of the Tennessee Secretary of State processes Tennessee incorporations.
The Charter For-Profit Corporation is covered under TN Code § 48-15-101.
Business law can be complicated, and it’s always best to consult with a lawyer before filing legal business documents. However, it’s not a requirement to file the form.
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