What do I need to know about starting a business in Tennessee?

The Tennessee Smart Start Small Business Guide should be the first resource you access in preparing to launch a business. The Guide provides an overview of Tennessee business structures, as well as license and tax considerations. A detailed step-by-step process, with links, for all business filings can be found at the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s How to Start a Business website.  

Pay close attention when using the Secretary of State’s e-filing platform. Registering a new business in the State of Tennessee, whether a corporation or LLC, is wonderfully easy, perhaps too easy. When e-filing, an applicant is not provided an opportunity to elect certain allowances provided by statute that must be cemented in either the LLC articles of organization or corporate charter.  

The Branding Research Library is a great place for free guides to company and product positioning.

If you expect to raise equity funding in the near future, you may also want to explore as primers the Small Business and the SEC website, and Brad Feld’s book Venture Deals: Be Smarter than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist.


What are some of the causes and organizations Ridgeline Venture Law supports?

We strive to provide at least $20,000 in yearly volunteer services to nonprofit environmental and social impact nonprofits. Additionally, we’ve established formal partnerships with select groups highly aligned with our own mission as a B Corp and One Percent for the Planet affiliate.

Our environmental partners include the internationally recognized Access Fund, and locally, the Southeastern Climbers Coalition. These partners prioritize conservation, stewardship and physical well-being, and their efforts can be tangibly measured in beautification, biodiversity, and economic enhancement of Tennessee lands.

Our social partners include IMPACT Cookeville and the Oakland Leadership Center. IMPACT and OLC elevate individual lives and strengthen communities, particularly those of color, through athletics, business and leadership training, music labs, scholarship programs, and many other enterprises. Rarely recognized, IMPACT and OLC directors are nothing short of heroic, and we proudly support them.