Tennessee Business Entity Search

Tennessee Business Entity Search is a service offered by the office of the Tennessee Secretary of State. The state offers a well thought out platform for business search that caters to most requirements of users. 

Tennessee Secretary Of State Business Search Uses

Generally speaking, there are two main uses for entity search. The first one is when someone wants to set up a new business entity. State law requires that the name of an entity be unique and distinguishable from existing businesses. By using entity search, users can check whether their preferred name is available.

Another aspect is checking information and filings related to a business. Tennessee Secretary of State business search makes it possible to view public filings and certain documents related to a business. 

A business entity may make use of this search for certain administrative purposes as well. These include filing an annual report, requesting a certificate of existence, and updating information related to address and Tennessee registered agent

Depending on these requirements, the search has two sections:

  1. Business Information Search (Business Entity Search)
  2. Business Name Availability Search

Accessing And Using TN Corporations Search

You can access the TN business entity search online. As with many other states, this is also called TN Corporation Search. Although, it lists other business entities registered with the state as well.

The website page is simple and pretty self-explanatory. There are two broad options to conduct the search.

  1. Search Name (search using business name)
    • Starts With: You can use this search option if you know the starting of a business name. It doesn’t need the full name and will return results based on available matches. If you know the full name, this section can work as an exact match search and return an exact result. 
    • Contains: The name of the business entity can contain any part of the input term. The order is not important as long as the search term is available in the name of an entity.
  2. Control # (search using Secretary of State control number) – This is an exact search that shows a business corresponding to the specific control number entered.

Information And Actions Available Through TN Business Entity Search

Once you perform a search, you’ll be taken to a results page. The relevant results to the search (if any) will be listed on this page. If you’re checking for business name availability, the presence of results on this page can mean that the name isn’t available.

The results page shows the control number, entity type, entity name, name type, name status, entity filing date, and entity status. Clicking on the control number will take you to a page with detailed information on the said entity.

The detailed information displayed on this page includes business name, status, addresses, filing dates, and similar information. There’s a section for assumed name, name history, and registered agents as well. 

At the top of the page, you’ll find a list of actions that a business entity (like a Tennessee LLC) can perform. These are administrative actions like filing the annual report, requesting a certificate of existence, etc.

This is a useful tool for your Tennessee LLC lookup. Additionally, you can use it to perform administrative functions and to manage filings of your LLC.

Using Business Name Availability Search

The name availability search is simple and self-explanatory. It’s designed to be used by people who are considering setting up a new business entity in Tennessee. Its website is simple to use. 

All you have to do is to enter the name whose availability you want to check. The search function will let you know if the name is available or not.

While this seems simple enough, it is a good idea to pair this search with classic business entity search. That way, you’ll know if entities with similar names exist. It’s also useful to check the state statutes and ensure that your entity name is in line with state law requirements.

How To Reserve A Business Name In Tennessee

Name reservation is a useful tool that makes more options available to entrepreneurs. Catchy and attractive names can be difficult to come by. If you think of an interesting name for your business, you might want to take it before someone else snags it. 

Of course, there may be several situations where you don’t want to set up your TN LLC (or another business entity) as quickly. Or, you may not be prepared for it yet. In these circumstances, the sensible move is to reserve a business name while you prepare to launch your business.

Is It Mandatory To Reserve A Business Name In Tennessee?

No, Tennessee doesn’t require you to reserve a name for your business. You may want to reserve your business name so that you can use it later, or have other uses for it. Although, this is entirely your choice.

In case you’re not concerned about name availability and usage, you can skip putting in effort and money into this exercise.

How Long Does A Name Reservation Last And What Does It Cost?

Once the state accepts your name reservation, it is valid for four months. The filing fee for name reservation is $20 (a small convenience fee is added if you pay using a credit card).

Once the four month period is up, you can file again for name reservation. Note, that this isn’t a renewal. Once the reservation period is over, the name will be publicly available for registration.

Reserving A Business Name In Tennessee

To reserve a business name in Tennessee, you’ll have to file Form SS-4228 (for LLCs) with the Secretary of State. This form, and other relevant forms are available through a selection at the bottom of the “Business Name Availability” search page. 

The $20 filing fee can be paid using a check made in favor of “Tennessee Secretary of State”. Once you’ve completed the form, mail the form and filing fee to:

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

As mentioned earlier, the Business Name Availability search is not a guarantee of name availability. Ideally, you should use it with the Tennessee Business Entity Search to increase your chances of success with name reservation.