Business · October 19, 2022

How To Start A Business In Tn

How To Start A Business In Tn – To incorporate a not-for-profit corporation in Tennessee, you must file a charter of non-profit corporation with the Secretary of State for Tennessee. You can submit this document in person, by mail, or online. The nonprofit corporation charter filing costs $100. Once submitted to the state, the charter officially creates your nonprofit in Tennessee, but truly preparing a nonprofit to pursue its mission requires several additional steps.

Our free account and tools will guide you through starting and running a nonprofit in Tennessee. Everything is free.

How To Start A Business In Tn

How To Start A Business In Tn

To incorporate a nonprofit organization in Tennessee, you must complete the Nonprofit Corporation Charter and submit it to the Tennessee Secretary of State. View the document below and click on any number to see what information is required in that section.

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The name of a Tennessee nonprofit organization must be distinct from the names of other organizations operating in the state. You can perform a preliminary check on name availability by using the Company Name Availability Database on the Division of Business Services website. There is no need to verify your name or reserve.

However, if your nonprofit organization wants to use a name that is indistinguishable from an existing business name, you can use the name if the other organization agrees. If this situation applies to you, check the box and attach the appropriate non-distinguishable name request along with a separate $20 filing fee to your nonprofit organization’s charter.

Add the additional designation of your nonprofit organization (if applicable). Other designations include “Bank”, “Captive Insurance Company”, “Credit Union”, “Insurance Company”, “Litigation Financier”, “Neighborhood Preservation Nonprofit Corporation”, “School Support Organization” and “Trust Company”.

Provide the name and street address in Tennessee (not just a PO Box) for your nonprofit’s registered agent. A registered agent is simply the individual or business entity designated to receive legal notices and other official government mail for your nonprofit organization. If you rent Northwest, our information will appear here.

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List the month in which your nonprofit’s fiscal year ends (December for most companies) and indicate whether your nonprofit is intended to be permanent or to be dissolved at a specific date in the future. If you have a specific end date in mind, check Other and specify that date.

For most nonprofit organizations, the incorporation date (the date the state edits your charter) is the same as the effective date (the date your organization was officially incorporated). However, Tennessee allows nonprofit organizations to defer their effectiveness dates up to 90 days after filing. If this applies to you, provide the date and time of your nonprofit’s effective date.

Tennessee’s form includes the phrase that describes each qualifying nonprofit corporation: “The corporation is not for profit.” No action is required on this portion of the form.

How To Start A Business In Tn

Complete the provided checklist to properly identify your nonprofit organization as 1) a nonprofit or mutual entity; 2) a religious or non-religious body; or 3) a non-profit member or non-member.

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Provide the physical address of your nonprofit organization’s headquarters (principal place of business). If you rent Northwest, you can enter our information here.

If your nonprofit’s mailing address is different from its headquarters address, enter that address here. Rent Northwest and you can put our address here.

Include the names and addresses of all founders of your nonprofit organization (at least one). A Founder is simply the individual or business entity that submits your nonprofit’s Nonprofit Corporation Charter and signs and dates the form. When you hire Northwest to start your nonprofit, we’re your founder.

If your nonprofit organization is a school organization (see Section 3 above), you must complete this section. You will be asked to indicate whether your organization is exempt from the $100 filing fee under the TN Act, a “School Support Organization,” or an “Educational Institution.”

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Describe how your nonprofit organization will distribute its assets if or when it closes (or “dissolves”). If your nonprofit organization intends to seek federal 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, be sure your determination to liquidate assets uses the specific language required by the IRS.

Add any additional (non-required) provisions that you would like to include for the administration of your nonprofit organization. If your nonprofit organization intends to seek 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, you may use this section to include any required tax-exempt provisions that do not already appear elsewhere in your nonprofit charter. To learn more, scroll down to Part 5 below.

Tennessee charges $100 for Nonprofit Corporation Charter filing, plus a 2.35% service charge, if you file online and pay with a credit or debit card. When you hire Northwest to incorporate your nonprofit organization, we file your documents online and your total cost, which includes a full year of our registered agent service and advice from our experienced corporate guides, is $327.35.

How To Start A Business In Tn

The standard turnaround time for printed/mailed submissions is approximately 4-5 days. Submitting online can speed this up to around 1-2 business days. However, the quickest method is to hand in your charter document in Nashville and wait a few hours for same-day filing. When you hire Northwest to charter your nonprofit, we submit the application online and typically have your nonprofit chartered in Tennessee in a day or less.

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Yes, in Tennessee, your nonprofit organization must appoint a Tennessee registered agent. A registered agent is simply an individual or business entity who accepts service of process (legal notices) and other government mail on behalf of your nonprofit organization. You can do the work yourself, appoint an employee, or hire a registered agent service like Northwest.

Why Hire a Registered Agent Service? Mainly because the job of a registered agent, although on the surface it looks fairly simple, is an easier commitment to make than to keep. A registered agent must be available during normal business hours at a physical address in Tennessee in case a process server ever comes up with a legal notice and that address is listed publicly on your Nonprofit Corporation charter. That’s not a problem if you don’t mind dealing with excessive junk mail, unwanted lawyers, and being stuck at your desk all day. But if you want the freedom to manage and grow your nonprofit on your own terms, hiring a registered agent service can give you the freedom you need.

When you hire Northwest, you can leave us the endless wait, protect your privacy by listing our Tennessee address on your nonprofit business charter, and leverage the infrastructure we’ve built over the years to serve our customers. If we ever receive a process service on behalf of your nonprofit, we’ll scan it and mail it to you the day we receive it.

Your nonprofit organization requires a state employer identification number (FEIN or EIN) to conduct its day-to-day operations, open a bank account, and apply for 501(c)(3) state tax-exempt status. Once the state has approved your nonprofit corporation charter, you can apply for an EIN on the IRS website, by fax, or by mail. Or you can hire Northwest to get your EIN for you. Just add our EIN service for an additional $50 fee at checkout.

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Yes. After Tennessee approves your nonprofit charter of incorporation, your nonprofit should hold its organizational meeting—its first official meeting after incorporation. The goal of an organizational meeting is to complete the formation process by electing/appointing directors and officers, adopting the nonprofit organization’s charter, and doing whatever else is required to get your nonprofit organization up and running.

Its Tennessee nonprofit charter is essentially the agreement it makes with itself. Without providing clear answers to key questions upfront—the length of a director’s term, the responsibilities of the vice president, etc.—the managers of your nonprofit will struggle to steer the organization down a single, coherent path. Even minor financial or ethical impediments can derail the day-to-day operations of your business.

Writing effective bylaws isn’t easy, but Northwest can help. We have years of experience working with the nonprofit sector, and we’ve used that experience to create a customizable nonprofit bylaws writing template, as well as numerous other free nonprofit forms to help you get started. Why? Because we want you to renew our registered agent service year after year, we need your nonprofit organization to start and stay successful.

How To Start A Business In Tn

Unfortunately, starting a nonprofit organization is not the same as achieving tax-exempt status. To become a tax-exempt organization, your nonprofit organization must file an application with the IRS for exemption recognition (Form 1023, 1023-EZ, or 1024). This is an expensive, sometimes lengthy, process that involves the IRS examining your nonprofit’s purpose, structure, history, and finances.

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Currently, the IRS recognizes more than two dozen types of tax-exempt entities, but 501(c)(3) status for public charities and private foundations remains the most common. If your nonprofit organization decides to pursue this goal, be sure your nonprofit charter includes the specific tax-exempt language and provisions required by the IRS. Learn more in the Northwest Guide to 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status.

Nonprofits in Tennessee are automatically exempt from state franchise and excise taxes (hooray!). However, your nonprofit organization must apply to the Tennessee Department of Treasury for exemption from Tennessee state sales tax.

Tennessee does not require nonprofit organizations to have a statewide, general business license.

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