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How to register for a Tennessee sales tax permit

How to Get a Tennesse Sales Tax Permit in 2024

Running a successful e-commerce business in Tennessee involves following various regulations, and one of the most important is obtaining a sales tax permit. This permit allows you to collect and remit sales tax on taxable goods sold to Tennessee customers. Failing to comply with sales tax regulations can result in penalties and late fees, so understanding the process is crucial.

Register & Get Your Sales Tennessee Tax Permit Faster: A Step-by-Step Guide Explained

What is Tennessee Sales Tax

The state of Tennessee has a base sales tax rate of 7.0%. Local rates can vary, but never exceed 2.75%. This means the total sales tax you pay in Tennessee can range from 7.0% to 9.75%.

Is Tennessee Sales Tax the Same as Tennessee Use Tax

No, Tennessee sales tax and use tax are similar but different. While sales tax is collected at the point of purchase for certain goods and services within Tennessee, Use tax applies to items brought or shipped into the state for use, where sales tax wasn’t initially collected. Both share the same base rate (7% state minimum) but may differ due to additional local sales tax rates. For example, if a customer in Tennessee purchases from an out-of-state seller who doesn’t collect sales tax, the customer is responsible for paying use tax directly to the state.

Does Tennessee Have Sales Tax

Yes, Tennessee has a sales tax.  It’s a two-part tax with a base state rate of 7%.  Many localities add on an additional local sales tax, bringing the total rate to between 7% and 10% depending on the specific location.

Is a Tennessee Seller’s Permit the Same as a Tennessee Reseller Permit

No, a Tennessee seller’s permit and a Tennessee resale certificate are not the same. A Tennessee Seller’s Permit (Also known as Sales Tax Registration) allows you to collect sales tax on taxable goods you sell within the state. A Resale Certificate on the other hand exempts your business from paying sales tax on purchases of goods you intend to resell in their original form. (that is, it allows you to buy goods tax-free for resale later. It’s optional but saves you money on purchases).

Got a business in Texas? Read: How Texas Sales Tax Permit Work

Got a business in Texas? Read: How Alabama Sales Tax Permit 

Collecting Sales Tax in Tennessee

If you have nexus (a connection, like having inventory or employees in the state) in Tennessee, you’re generally responsible for collecting sales tax on taxable sales to Tennessee customers. This applies to both in-state and out-of-state sellers.

Do You Charge Sales Tax on Services in Tennessee

No, In Tennessee, sales tax is generally not charged on services. However, there are some exceptions, such as: installation of tangible personal property (e.g., software installation), ldging and short-term rentals, and car washes (washing only, not detailing)

We’ll continue this guide in the next section, covering Tennessee Sales Tax Application & Registration.

This first part establishes the groundwork, explaining the basics of Tennessee sales tax and how it applies to e-commerce businesses. In the following sections, we’ll go deeper into the registration process, tax rates, filing procedures, and more. Stay tuned!

Tennessee Sales Tax Application & Registration

Now that you understand the fundamentals of Tennessee sales tax, let’s explore the registration process:

What Information Do You Need to Register for a Sales Tax License in Tennessee

To register for a Tennessee sales tax permit, you’ll typically need the following information:

  • Your business’s legal name and DBA (doing business as) name, if applicable
  • Your business address and mailing address (a physical address is required, not a P.O. Box)
  • Your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
  • Contact information for your business, including phone number and email address
  • Information about your business locations in Tennessee

How to Register a Tennessee Sales Tax Permit

To register for a Tennessee sales tax permit quickly and easily online, visit the Tennessee Taxpayer Access Point (TNTAP) at, create a new TNTAP account or log in if you already have one, select “Register a New Business” and follow the prompts. You’ll need basic business information like name, address, and type of business. Additionally, there’s no fee to register, and your permit will be mailed to you upon approval.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of how to get a sale tax license in Tennessee

There are two main ways to register for a Tennessee sales tax permit:

  • Online: The Tennessee Department of Revenue offers a convenient online registration system through the Tennessee Taxpayer Access Point (TNTAP) ( This is the preferred method and allows for faster processing.
  • Mail-in Application: You can also download and mail a completed application form (RV-F1300501) to the Department of Revenue.

How Much Does it Cost to Apply for a Sales Tax Permit in Tennessee

There’s no application fee associated with registering for a Tennessee sales tax permit.

How Long Does it Take to Receive Your Tennessee Sales Tax Permit

In Tennessee, if you register for your sales tax permit online through the Tennessee Taxpayer Access Point (TNTAP), you can expect to receive your Certificate of Registration (Sales and Use Tax Permit) within 7-14 business days by mail.  This timeframe applies to applications submitted correctly with all required information

What is a Tennessee Sales Tax ID Number

A Tennessee Sales Tax ID Number, also known as a Sales and Use Tax Permit Number, is the unique identifier assigned to your business by the Tennessee Department of Revenue after successful registration. You’ll use this number for filing sales tax returns and other tax-related purposes as It allows you to collect sales tax from customers and then remit it to the state.  Most businesses that make more than $4,800 per year in taxable sales in Tennessee need to register for a Sales Tax ID Number.

How to Get a Sales Tax ID Number in TN

Tennessee doesn’t use a separate Sales Tax ID Number. Instead, you’ll register for a Sales and Use Tax Account through the Tennessee Taxpayer Access Point (TNTAP). This online registration is free and grants you a Certificate of Registration, which acts as your sales tax ID. Once your registration is complete, you’ll receive your sales tax ID number electronically or via mail along with your registration confirmation.

How to Register a Business in Tennessee

Registering your business in Tennessee involves:

  1. Choosing a business structure (LLC, Corporation, etc.).
  2. Registering your business entity with the Tennessee Secretary of State (online or by mail).
  3. Obtaining a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.
  4. Registering for state and local business taxes (if applicable).
  5. Obtaining any necessary business licenses or permits.

This process can be completed online or through mail for most businesses.

However, obtaining a sales tax permit is separate from registering your business with the state. 

Do I Need to Renew My Sales Tax Permit in Tennessee

You don’t need to renew your sales tax permit. Once you register and receive your permit, it remains valid as long as your business operates without any changes in ownership or structure.

How to Cancel Sales Tax Permit in Tennessee

To cancel your Tennessee sales tax permit, you can submit a request electronically through the Tennessee Taxpayer Access Point (TNTAP) account.  Make sure you have already filed all required tax returns and paid any outstanding balances. You’ll need to provide the closure date and reason for cancellation..

In the next section, we’ll explore Tennessee Sales Tax Rates and how they might impact your business.

Tennessee Sales Tax Rate

Understanding the sales tax rate in Tennessee is neccessary for accurate sales tax collection. Here’s a breakdown:

How Much is the Tennessee Sales Tax Rate

Tennessee has a statewide sales tax rate of 7% and Local Sales Tax of  up to 2.75%, varies by county and city. However, the combined rate can range from 7% (no local tax) to 9.75% (7% state + 2.75% local max).

What is the Sales Tax in Nashville, Tennessee

The sales tax in Nashville, Tennessee is a combination of state and local rates.  In total, you can expect to pay at least 9.25% in sales tax. This is because the Tennessee state sales tax rate is 7%, and Davidson County (where Nashville is located) adds an additional 2.25% sales tax.  However, the city of Nashville itself has a 0% sales tax rate.

How to Lookup my TN Account Number 

Unfortunately, you can’t look up your TN account number directly online. However, it’s usually included on correspondence you’ve received from the Tennessee Department of Revenue, like tax notices or registration confirmations. If you can’t find any past letters, contact the department directly at (615) 251-2100 or visit their website for further assistance.

We’ll cover Tennessee Sales Tax Payment, Filing, and Reporting in the next section, including how to handle these processes online.

Tennessee Sales Tax Payment, Filing and Reporting

Once you’re registered and collecting sales tax, you’ll need to establish a routine for payment, filing, and reporting:

How to Pay TN Sales Tax

Tennessee sales tax can be paid electronically through the Tennessee Taxpayer Access Point (TNTAP) after you register. You’ll need your sales tax permit number and banking information. Alternatively, you can mail a completed form SLS-450 with your payment. You can make payments via ACH debit directly within TNTAP.

How to File Tennessee Sales Tax

In Tennessee, filing sales tax returns is done electronically through the Tennessee Taxpayer Access Point (TNTAP). You’ll need to register for a TNTAP account if you haven’t already. Once logged in, you can file your sales tax return and make any payments due within the system..

When are Tennessee Sales Tax Due Dates

The deadline to file your Tennessee sales tax is the 20th day of the month following the filing period for monthly filers, while for quarterly filers, it’s the 20th day of the month following the quarter (April 20th, July 20th, October 20th, January 20th) and for annual filers, it’s January 20th.

How to File TN Sales Tax Online

To File Tennessee Sales Tax Online, follow these steps:

  1. Register for a TNTAP account: Head to the Tennessee Department of Revenue website and create a Tennessee Taxpayer Access Point (TNTAP) account if you haven’t already.
  2. Log in and File: Once registered, log in to your TNTAP account and navigate to the “Sales and Use Tax” section to file your return electronically.
  3. Enter Sales and Tax Information: Follow the prompts to enter your sales details, calculate your tax liability, and submit your return.
  4. Make Payment Electronically: Choose your preferred electronic payment method within TNTAP to settle your tax due.

Remember: File and pay by the 20th of the month following your reporting period to avoid penalties.

We’ll cover Tennessee Sales Tax Exemptions and Resale Certificates in the next section to help you identify situations where tax collection may not be required.

Tennessee Sales Tax Exemptions and Resale Certificates

Understanding what’s exempt from sales tax in Tennessee can save your business money and ensure you’re collecting tax correctly. Here’s a closer look:

What is a TN Sales Tax Exemption Certificate

A Tennessee Sales Tax Exemption Certificate is a document issued by the state to qualifying organizations, such as non-profits or certain government entities, that allows them to purchase goods and services exempt from sales tax. If you’re a seller and a customer presents a valid exemption certificate, you’re not obligated to collect sales tax on that transaction.

What is Exempt from Tennessee Sales Tax

Several categories of items and services are exempt from Tennessee sales tax. Here are some common examples:

  • Groceries (excluding prepared food)
  • Prescription drugs and medical equipment
  • Certain farm equipment and supplies
  • Educational materials and textbooks
  • Sales to qualified non-profit organizations

How to Apply for Tax Exemption in Tennessee

To apply for tax exemption in Tennessee, you’ll need to determine the type of exemption you qualify for (property tax, sales tax, etc.) and follow the specific application process from the Tennessee Department of Revenue.

How to Apply for Sales Tax Exemption in Tennessee

Tennessee offers sales tax exemptions for certain organizations and purchases. To apply, the type of exemption will determine the specific application process.

  • Exempt Organizations: Non-profits and government entities typically apply with the Application for Registration Sales and Use Tax Exempt Entities (Form F1306901).
  • Specific Exemptions: For exemptions like manufacturing equipment or farm supplies, there might be a dedicated application form.

What is a Tennessee Resale Certificate

A Tennessee Resale Certificate allows you to purchase goods tax-free from vendors when you intend to resell those items in their original form. Obtaining a resale certificate is your responsibility, and you’ll need to present it to your suppliers when making qualifying purchases.

How to Get a Resale Certificate in Tennessee

There’s no formal resale certificate application process in Tennessee. You can simply create your own resale certificate document that includes your business information, Tennessee sales tax ID number, and a statement indicating that you’ll resell the purchased items. Many online resources offer free resale certificate templates.

We’ll address some frequently asked questions about Tennessee Sales Tax in the next section to wrap up this comprehensive guide.

Tennessee Sales Tax FAQs

Let’s address some common questions regarding Tennessee Sales Tax to solidify your understanding:

What’s on a TN Sales Tax Form

Generally, TN Sales Tax Forms include: sales tax registration information (Business name, address, and federal tax ID), sales activity (gross sales, taxable sales, sales tax collected, and exempt sales), tax period (dates for which the sales tax return is filed (monthly, quarterly, etc.), payment details (amount of tax due and payment method).

What is a Wholesale License in TN

In Tennessee, a wholesale license authorizes you to sell liquor, wine, and high-gravity beer to licensed retailers  This permit is required for wholesalers dealing in alcoholic beverages, not for general wholesale of other goods.

How to Get a Wholesale License in TN

To get a wholesale license in Tennessee, you’ll need to:

  • Obtain a federal basic wholesaler permit.
  • Apply through the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission (ABC) RLPS system.
  • Meet qualifications, including background checks and fees.

Are Services Taxable in Tennessee

In Tennessee, most services are not subject to sales tax. This means you generally won’t pay sales tax on things like haircuts, lawn care, or consulting fees. However, there are some exceptions, such as certain computer services or repairs

Is Freight Taxable in Tennessee

Generally, freight is taxable if the seller pays the freight and the sale is taxable (e.g., you buy furniture online) or if you (the buyer) arrange for freight and the sale is taxable.

However, freight is typically not taxable if you (the buyer) arrange for it and ownership of the goods transfers to you before shipment (FOB origin).

Is Shipping Taxable in Tennessee

Shipping costs are generally not taxable in Tennessee unless they are considered a separate taxable service. The specific circumstances of your business model will determine taxability on shipping charges.

Tennessee Withholding Tax Registration

Withholding tax typically applies to income earned by employees. If you have employees in Tennessee, you may need to register for employer withholding tax with the Department of Revenue. This is separate from sales tax registration.

Does One Tennessee Sales Tax Permit Cover Multiple Businesses

No, you won’t be able to cover multiple businesses with a single Tennessee sales tax permit. Each business you operate that sells taxable goods or services in Texas needs its own permit. This helps ensure accurate tax collection and reporting for each business activity.

What Happens to My Tennessee Seller’s Permit if I Sell My Business

You’ll need to close your Tennessee seller’s permit (Certificate of Registration). Notify the Department of Revenue and surrender your permit. The new owner must then apply for their own permit. In a nutshell, when you sell your Tennessee business, its seller’s permit isn’t transferred to the new owner. They’ll need to obtain their own permit to collect and remit sales tax. You, as the seller, should cancel your permit with the Tennessee Comptroller after the sale is final.

Is a Sales Tax Permit the Same as a Resale Permit in Texas

No, a sales tax permit (also called a seller’s permit) and a resale certificate are different in Texas. A Sales Tax Permit allows you to collect and remit sales tax on taxable sales to your customers in Texas while a Resale Certificate lets you buy goods tax-free from wholesalers if you plan to resell them.

Does the Tennessee Sales Tax Permit Expire

No, a Tennessee sales tax permit does not expire. Once you register and receive your permit number, it remains valid until you close your business or notify the state you no longer need it.

How Long Will It Take to Receive My Sales Tax Permit in Tennessee

In Tennessee, after applying for your sales tax permit online, you can expect to receive your Certificate of Registration Sales and Use Permit within 7-14 business days by mail. This permit allows you to collect and remit sales tax on taxable sales.

Can My Tennessee Sales Tax License Application Be Delayed or Rejected

Yes, your Tennessee sales tax license application could be delayed or rejected. Common reasons include missing information, incorrect filing, or not meeting eligibility requirements. To avoid delays, ensure your application is complete, accurate, and includes all necessary documentation.


This comprehensive guide has equipped you with the knowledge and resources to navigate Tennessee sales tax compliance for your e-commerce business. Remember, staying up-to-date on any regulation changes is crucial. The Tennessee Department of Revenue website is an excellent resource for further information: