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Tennessee

Legal Counsel for Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Sector

Information and resources on nonprofit law & regulation

Tennessee Registration and Compliance

Welcome to the registration and compliance page for Tennessee nonprofit organizations. Below you will find information on initial filings required to form a new nonprofit organization in Tennessee, annual filing requirements for existing organizations, and employment filings for nonprofits with employees. This page also contains a link to the relevant nonprofit statute for the State of Tennessee. To navigate to one of these sections, click on the appropriate link on the left of this page.

Our firm is also pleased to provide a complimentary compliance reminder service to remind you when your state and federal filings are coming due. To sign up for this service, click the “compliance reminder service” button to the left and complete our registration form.

Please feel free to call or email us if you have any registration, compliance or other legal needs or questions regarding your nonprofit organization. If you are forming a new organization, you may also be interested in the following additional resources:

Initial Filings for Tennessee Nonprofit Organizations

1. To Incorporate in Tennessee

Submit Nonprofit Corporation Charter to:

Tennessee Department of State
Corporate Filings
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue
6th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243-1102

Information: (615) 741-2286
Web Site: http://sos.tn.gov/
Filing Fee: $100

Note: The Nonprofit Corporation Charter may be filed online.

2. To Obtain 501(c) Tax-Exempt Status

a. Submit Form 1023 (501(c)(3) organizations) or 1024 (other 501(c) organizations), Application for Recognition of Exemption to:

Note new address:
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 12192
Covington, KY 41012-0192

Information: (800) 829-1040
Forms: (800) 829-3676
Web Site: www.irs.gov/charities
Form 1023 Filing Fee: $850 ($275 for IRS Form 1023-EZ)
Form 1024 Filing Fee: $850 ($400 if annual receipts will average not more than $10,000 in the first 4 years)

Note: Certain 501(c)(3) organizations, including those with gross revenues at or below $50,000 annually, may qualify to file the online Form 1023-EZ, Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption. For more information and to determine if you are eligible for this form, refer to our Form 1023-EZ FAQ.

b. 501(c)(4) organizations formed after July 8, 2016 must file Form 8976, Notice of Intent to Operate Under Section 501(c)(4), electronically within 60 days of formation:

Web Site: services.irs.gov/datamart/login.do
Filing Fee: $50 (This fee must be paid through the pay.gov website)

Notes: This filing must be completed by all 501(c)(4) organizations - including "self-declaring" organizations that do not file IRS Form 1024.
For more information about this filing, refer to the IRS website.

3. To Obtain Tennessee Franchise and Excise Tax Exemption

Nonprofit corporations are automatically exempt from Franchise and Excise taxes and need not apply for exemption.

4. To Obtain Sales Tax Exemption

Submit the Application for Registration for exempt entities along with the proper attachments as described in the application's instructions to:

Tennessee Department of Revenue
Taxpayer Services Division
Andrew Jackson Office Building
500 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37242

Information: (615) 253-0600
Web Site: state.tn.us/revenue
Filing Fee: $0

5. To Register with the Charitable Solicitations Division

Nonprofit organizations must register with the Charitable Solicitations division of the Tennessee Department of State before soliciting for contributions by submitting the Application for Registration (Form SS-6001) along with a copy of the organization's bylaws, Articles of Incorporation, most recently filed IRS Form 990, and IRS determination letter to:

Tennessee Department of State
Charitable Solicitations
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue
8th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243

Information: (615) 741-2555
Web Site: http://sos.tn.gov/charitable/charitable-organizations
Filing Fee: $50

Notes: Certain organizations such as religious institutions, educational institutions, organizations that receive less than $30,000 annually, and other organizations are exempt from filing. However, organizations that receive less than $30,000 annually must file an Exemption Request form (SS-6042). Refer to the Department of State's website for details and answers to frequently asked questions.

Those organizations receiving more than $500,000 in revenues (excluding grants from government entities and private foundations) during their fiscal year must submit an audited financial statement.

New organizations that have not had any fiscal activity at the time of filing will be required to file an unaudited financial report (Form SS-6039) within 30 days after the end of each fiscal quarter. These reports are filed at the same address listed above.


Annual Filings for Tennessee Nonprofit Organizations

1. Tennessee Department of State

Form: Annual Report
Due Date: First day of the 4th month after end of fiscal year

Tennessee Department of State
Corporate Filings
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue
6th Floor, William R. Snodgrass Tower
Nashville, TN 37243

Information: (615) 741-2286
Web Site: http://sos.tn.gov/
Filing Fee: $20

Note: If there is a change of Registered Agent, then there is an additional $20 fee.
The annual report may be filed online at: tnbear.tn.gov/Ecommerce/AnnualReportInstr.aspx

2. Internal Revenue Service

Form: Annual Return Form 990
Due Date: 4 ½ months after end of fiscal year

Internal Revenue Service
Ogden, UT 84201-0027

Information: (800) 829-1040
Forms: (800) 829-3676
Web Site: www.irs.gov/charities
Filing Fee: $0

Public Charities: Refer to the IRS website to determine which form to file (Form 990, Form 990-EZ or Form 990-N).

Private Foundations: Submit Form 990PF, regardless of revenues.

3.Tennessee Charitable Organizations Division

a. Form: SS-6007 (Charitable Organization Registration Renewal)
Due Date: 6 months after end of fiscal year

Tennessee Department of State
Charitable Solicitations Division
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue
8th Floor, William R. Snodgrass Tower
Nashville, TN 37243-0308

Information: (615) 741-2555
Web Site: http://sos.tn.gov/charitable/charitable-organizations
Filing Fee: $100-$300 (depending on gross revenues)

If gross revenues under $49,000: Filing Fee = $100
If gross revenues $49,000-$99,999: Filing Fee = $150
If gross revenues $100,000-$249,999: Filing Fee = $200
If gross revenues $250,000-$499,999: Filing Fee = $250
If gross revenues above $500,000: Filing Fee = $300

Notes: The charitable organization registration renewal may also be filed online at: sgssos.tn.gov/Login.aspx

b. Form: SS-6002 (Summary of Financial Activities)
Due Date: 6 months after end of fiscal year

Tennessee Department of State
Charitable Solicitations Division
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue
8th Floor, William R. Snodgrass Tower
Nashville, TN 37243-0308

Information: (615) 741-2555
Web Site: http://sos.tn.gov/charitable/charitable-organizations
Filing Fee: $0

Notes: A copy of the organization's filed IRS Form 990 and any other forms filed with the IRS must be submitted with this form.

Those organizations receiving more than $500,000 in gross revenues during its fiscal year must submit an audited financial statement.


Tennessee Employment Filings

If the organization will have employees, the following filing is required:

To Register with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development

Apply for an Employer Account Number by completing the Report to Determine Status.

Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development
220 French Landing Drive
Nashville, TN 37243

Phone: (615)741-2486
Web Site: http://www.tn.gov/workforce

Important note about unemployment insurance: Many states allow nonprofit organizations to fund unemployment insurance benefits on a reimbursable basis. This method of funding unemployment insurance may require additional filings not listed here. Furthermore, electing this method may require the organization to register and file in paper format. Organizations contemplating this method of funding their unemployment insurance obligations should check with the appropriate state office administering the unemployment insurance in that state.

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