Knox County Tennessee

Business License

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Business Tax License Information

The following information is intended to inform you of Business Taxes in general, and is not designed to completely address all laws and regulations. After reading the information outlined below, direct your questions accordingly:

  • For questions regarding tax law, filing or paying business taxes, call 1-800-342-1003.
  • For questions regarding Knox County Business Tax Licenses, please call 865-215-2392.

Business Tax License Application Process

Most businesses within Knox County must obtain a business license. Those businesses located within the municipal boundaries of the City of Knoxville must also register with the City of Knoxville Department of Finance .  

The business license should be obtained prior to engaging in business. To apply, you may either complete the online application at the link above, apply in person at any of our locations or download an Application for Business Tax License. Mail the completed application along with the fee of $15.00 payable to:
Knox County Clerk’s Office
Business Tax Division
P.O. Box 1566
Knoxville, TN 37901

Annual Business Taxes

Tennessee businesses pay business tax each year to the Tennessee Department of Revenue based on their gross receipts during a certain time period.

Additional information is available at the Tennessee Department of Revenue’s website, or by calling 1-800-342-1003. The call center is available Monday through Friday 8:00 to 5:00 CST.

Renew Minimal Activity License

Businesses with minimal activity licenses may renew it each year by completing the form below and remitting a required $15.00 fee to the Knox County Clerk’s office on or before the expiration date listed on the license.

Minimal Activity License Renewal Application

Businesses with minimal activity licenses that had sales in the previous tax period equal to or greater than $10,000 should contact our office so that we can update your account information.

Reclassification as a Standard Business License Application

These applications may be submitted in four convenient ways:

  1. In person at any Knox County Clerk location
  2. Mail with personal check or money order:
       Knox County Clerk
       Business Tax Division
       P.O. Box 1566
       Knoxville, TN 37901
  3. Fax:     865-215-3156
  4. Email:

We will contact businesses submitting the application by fax or email at the telephone number you list on the application, and you may then provide credit/debit card information for the transaction. Please allow 1-2 hours for a return telephone call to your fax or email. The total charge for credit/debit card payments will be $15.38 (see payment information note at bottom of page)

New Business Tax Workshops

The Tennessee Department of Revenue sponsors free tax workshops for new businesses.  The sessions normally include business tax, sales and use tax, and state unemployment tax. To register for the free course, download the Registration Form , and fax or mail the completed form to the contact information listed. 

Frequently Asked Questions

My business tax license has expired. How do I renew it?

Contact the Tennessee Department of Revenue to file and pay your business taxes. This office will automatically mail your updated business license upon notification from the Department of Revenue that the annual business tax has been paid.

I am closing my business. What do I need to do?

If you decide to close your business, you must file a final business tax return with the Department of Revenue and pay any tax that is due within 15 days of the closing date. Additionally, you must advise the Property Assessor's Office regarding the closure and remit any taxes due to the Trustee's office.

Additional Resources

Instructions to Form or Register a New Business
Form and register a business entity through the Secretary of State.

Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
Generally businesses need a FEIN.  Contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or online at

Sales Tax Number
Sales tax is imposed on all retail sales, leases and rentals of most goods, as well as taxable services.  Contact the Tennessee Department of Revenue at 1-800-342-1003 or online at

US Small Business Association
SBA provides small business counseling, mentoring and training through a variety of programs and resource partners, located strategically around the country.

Smoke Free Tennessee: Tennessee Non-Smokers Protection Act
For additional questions contact the Tennessee Department of Health at 1-800-293-8228.

State of Tennessee Business Name Availability
Search the Business Entities database to determine if a proposed business name is available for use in the State of Tennessee.

Business Tax Guide
The business tax guide is intended as an informal reference for taxpayers who wish to gain a better understanding of Tennessee business tax requirements. .

Still have questions?

You may email your inquiry here: Email the County Clerk.
Responses are provided Monday - Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm.

Payment Information

Visa, MasterCard, American Express and TeleCheck The Knox County Clerk's Office accepts cash, checks, and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, and American Express). We cannot accept credit cards for Passport services. A fee of 2.5% is assessed by the electronic processing company on all credit and debit card transactions. This fee does not go to the Knox County Clerk's Office. When you submit a check, you are authorizing electronic movement of funds from your account to the Knox County Clerk's account for payment of your transaction. There is a $30.00 NSF fee on all returned checks that are processed electronically. For those checks that are not processed electronically, the following statutory penalties will apply: the amount of the check on any amount owing less than or equal to twenty dollars, $20.00 on any amount owing greater than twenty dollars but less than two thousand dollars, and 1% on any amount owing greater than two thousand dollars. (T.C.A. § 9-1-109)

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County Clerk

Old Courthouse
300 Main Street
Knoxville, TN 37902

Phone: 865-215-2385
Fax: 865-215-3655

Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
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Satellite Locations
1028 Old Cedar Bluff Road
Knoxville, TN 37923
Phone: 865-215-8500
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
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Farragut Town Hall 2nd Floor
11408 Municipal Center Drive
Farragut, TN 37934
Phone: 865-966-5205
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
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North Knoxville/Crossroads Centre
7328 Norris Freeway
Knoxville, TN 37918
Phone: 865-215-3400
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
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South Knoxville/Chapman Plaza
7339 Chapman Hwy
Knoxville, TN 37920
Phone: 865-577-4510
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm
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East Knoxville
4734 Centerline Dr.
Knoxville, TN 37917

Phone: 865-549-5184
Monday - Friday
9:00am to 5:30pm
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