It can be an exciting day when you’re ready to make your limited liability company (LLC) an official business entity. What’s the main step to making your new LLC official in Tennessee? You need to file State of Tennessee Articles of Organization to get your LLC started.  

Filing Articles of Organization for your LLC in Tennessee means providing a lot of business information to the state and the public. Providing this information can help your LLC remain legally compliant and easy to contact. The good news is that you don’t have to figure this process out on your own. Our Tennessee LLC Formation Service can help you quickly and easily get your LLC started. 

How to File Your Tennessee Articles of Organization

In this article, let’s briefly run through how to file Articles of Organization in Tennessee. 

Step 1: Submit your LLC’s Official Name

Your LLC’s official name appears on many critical business documents, so it’s important to choose a good name. When choosing the name you want, there are a few state rules you need to follow. Normally, your LLC’s name needs to: 

  • Contain proper words or abbreviations that identify it as an LLC
  • Not contain words that suggest the LLC has an unauthorized, uncertified, or impermissible purpose
  • Be distinguishable from other entity names on record with the Secretary of State

Step 2: Provide the name and address for your LLC’s Registered Agent and initial Registered Office

Who you choose to be your LLC’s Registered Agent is important. An LLC’s Registered Agent is responsible for receiving legal documents and service of process on the LLC’s behalf. A Tennessee LLC must continuously maintain a Registered Agent in the state, and that agent’s business office must be the same as the LLC’s Registered Office. 

Having the right Registered Agent helps keep your LLC legally compliant and minimizes the risk of your business missing important communications. We can help you find a Registered Agent that best fits your LLC’s needs with our Tennessee Registered Agent Service

Step 3: Choose the closing month for your LLC’s fiscal year

The dates of your LLC’s fiscal year are important as they can determine a lot of your compliance deadlines. You need to let the state know what month you want to be the last month of your LLC’s fiscal year. 

Step 4: Choose a beginning date for your LLC

Normally, your LLC starts on the date you file the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. If you don’t want your LLC to start immediately after filing, you can provide a delayed effective date in the Articles of Organization. The delayed effective date can’t be more than 90 days after filing your LLC formation documents. 

Step 5: State whether members, managers, or a board will manage your LLC

Members often manage their own limited liability companies. However, this management setup isn’t required. You can have managers or a board manage your LLC, but you have to let the state know which management setup you choose. 

Step 6: State the number of members the LLC has on the date of filing

You must tell the state how many members your LLC has when you file the Articles of Organization. You can add more members later, and existing members can withdraw after filing. 

Step 7: Provide the address for your LLC’s Principal Executive Office and your LLC’s mailing address (if different)

Your LLC can have multiple addresses within the state. Whether you have one or more addresses, you have to tell the state which address operates as your Principle Executive Office. If your mailing address for business notifications is different from your Principle Executive Office, you have to tell the state. Also, your mailing address needs to be able to receive deliveries from the United States Post Office. 

Step 8: State how long your LLC will run

If you don’t know how long you want your LLC to last, you can tell the state that your LLC will run perpetually. But if you have a termination date in mind, you have to provide the state with the exact date your LLC will end. 

Step 9: Make a statement regarding your LLC being an Obligated Member Entity

Normally, LLC members aren’t personally liable for the business’s legal and financial obligations. However, your LLC can identify specific members who will have personal liability for the company. If you select this option, you have to provide an appropriate statement about it on your TN LLC Articles of Organization. 

Step 10: Let the state know if your LLC has an additional designation

There are standard LLCs and there are LLCs that have additional designations. These additional designations can include:

  • LLCs that provide certain financial services
  • Non-profit LLCs
  • Professional LLCs
  • Captive insurance companies
  • Trusts
  • Series LLCs

If you want your LLC to provide professional services, you need to let the state know you’re running a professional LLC. And if you don’t want the liabilities attached to some of your LLC assets to affect your other LLC assets, you can form a Series LLC and notify the state. 

Where to File your Tennessee Articles of Organization

You can file the paper version of your LLC Articles of Organization in TN by mailing them or delivering them in person to the Secretary of State. You can also file your Articles of Organization online by using the state’s online tool. You must include a filing fee payment with your documents.

What are the next steps? 

After you file your Articles of Organization, there are other important steps you can take to help keep your LLC in top shape and legally compliant. 

Create an Operating Agreement

If your LLC is managed by a board, it must have an Operating Agreement. Other LLCs don’t need an Operating Agreement, but it’s still a good idea to have. Operating Agreements allow LLCs to write their own rules regarding the rights of members and how to run their company. Without an Operating Agreement, your LLC has to follow the default business operations rules under Tennessee law. Tennessee’s default rules might not be ideal for your purposes, so writing your own rules in an Operating Agreement is often the best choice. 

Writing an Operating Agreement can be a daunting task. We can make this process less intimidating with our Operating Agreement Template. Our template can give you guidance to help you write your Operating Agreement quickly and easily. 

Apply for an EIN

If your LLC has more than one member or operates like a corporation, it needs to have an Employer Identification Number (EIN). EINs come from the IRS and are necessary for certain businesses to properly pay federal taxes. Even if the IRS doesn’t require your LLC to have an EIN, it’s often good to have one. An EIN can help you easily sign up for business bank accounts and help you avoid putting sensitive, personal information on business documents. 

Obtaining an EIN is one important task on a list of many. We can handle this important task for you with our Employer ID Number Service

We Can Help!

You’re probably noticing that there’s a long list of to-dos that can come with starting an LLC. Don’t let your to-do list overwhelm you—our services are here to make your workload lighter. We can help you get up and running quickly, and we can help your LLC stay legally compliant with our Worry-Free Compliance Service. Also, our ZenBusiness Money Service can help you track and stay on top of your daily business finances. Running your business well can be so much easier when you have us around!

Tennessee Articles of Organization FAQs

  • You can change your LLC’s Articles of Organization by getting proper approval and filing Articles of Amendment with the Secretary of State.

  • You file Articles of Dissolution with the Secretary of State. You can file by mail, in person, or online.

  • In general, you need to file a corporation Charter with the Secretary of State to start a corporation in Tennessee.

  • Only board-managed LLCs are required to have Operating Agreements.

  • You don’t need a lawyer to form your Tennessee LLC, but it’s often a good idea to seek attorney guidance if you have any questions.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

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Written by Team ZenBusiness

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