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Anyone opening a business with gross annual sales in excess of $3,000 must acquire a business license from the county clerk within 20 days of commencing business activity. A business that gross sales or income is less than $10,000 can obtain a Minimal Activity license for $15 and no additional taxes are paid to the Department of Revenue. A business that gross sales or income is more than $10,000 obtains a Standard Business license for $15 and pays taxes to the Department of Revenue at the end of the fiscal year.
- Businesses employing any individuals must also obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).
- New business owners should also contact the Tennessee Department of Revenue. A sales tax permit is required in most instances.
- A new business owner should also check to see if any other state or federal permits are required in the area of business activity, such as federal firearms license, state cosmetology license, realtor's license, etc.
Apply for Your Business License Online
Starting and operating a small business is hard enough as it is without the inconvenience of multiple trips to a local government office for paperwork. That's one reason Washington County Clerk Kathy Storey is working to make it easier for small businesses to work with her office through online services.
Need to apply for a business license? There's no need to drive to a county office and wait in line (though we'd love to see you). Visit the Tennessee County Clerk website to apply online. When you're directed to the fillable application site, click on the small calendar icon, select a date, then simply fill out the online form and click submit.