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Business Licenses


The City of Chattanooga is permitted to collect a tax on the privilege of conducting a business in the corporate city limits.  This is based upon the rules and regulations established by T.C.A. Title 67-Chapter 4-Part 7.

View T.C.A. regulations here.

View State of TN Dept of Revenue Business Tax Guide

Additional permits may be required as set forth by the City Code.

Business License APPLICATIONS with payment should be mailed to:

Office of City Treasurer
City Hall, Room 100
101 E 11th Street
Chattanooga, TN  37402-4285
Phone number: (423)643-7260

All renewals are now collected by the State of Tennessee Department of Revenue.

Which Business License does my Business Need?

Standard License: If the business will gross greater than or equal to $10,000, you will need to file a business tax return with the TN Department of Revenue at the end of your fiscal year.  You are responsible for paying the gross receipts tax in order to renew your license.

Minimal Activity License: If the business will gross between $3,000 - $10,000, you do not need to file a return. You will renew your license each year with the City Treasurer for $15. All businesses in the City of Chattanooga will also need to obtain a Hamilton County License.

*Renewal notices are not sent out. As the business owner you are responsible for renewing your business license each year.

(Code 1986, § 2-108; Ord. No. 9202, § 1, 07-25-89)

Personalty Tax: Tangible Personal Property is filed by "(a) All partnerships, corporations, other business associations not issuing stock and individuals operating for profit as a business or profession, including manufacturers, except those whose property is entirely accessible by the comptroller of the treasury" per TCA 67-5-903. This tax is applicable for both the City of Chattanooga and Hamilton County. If you have questions about this tax, call the Hamilton County Assessor at (423) 209-7300.

Closing Your Business: If you decide to close your business, you are responsible for the following actions in order to ensure that the business is officially closed in our records. Failure to do so will result in a tax bill issued for each year and any tax penalties.

  • Contact the Tennessee Department of Revenue at 1-800-342-1003 to cancel your business license and for any outstanding taxes
  • Contact the Assessor of Property at 423-209-7300 to inform them of your business closing
  • Contact the Trustee at 423-209-7270 for any outstanding Personalty Tax
  • Contact the City Treasurer’s office 423-643-7262 for any outstanding Personalty Tax

These are not the only taxes your business may be responsible for filing. For example, TN Dept. of Revenue is also responsible for collecting taxes and fees for on and off premise alcoholic beverages, bail bond, tobacco, and professional privilege, among others. For questions on taxes please contact the TN Dept. of Revenue to learn what tax liabilities you will be responsible for. 

TN Dept. of Revenue Main Office: (615) 253-0600    TN Dept. of Revenue Local Office: (423) 634-6266

*PLEASE NOTE: All business must be conducted at business locations properly zoned for the activity and, in some cases, only with the issuance of a special exception permit. The City Land Development Office at 423-643-5800 can assist you with zoning and special exception permit requirements. If beer or alcohol beverages are to be served at your business, a permit from the City Beer and Wrecker Board and/or a license from the TN Alcoholic Beverage Commission may be required. The issuance of a Business License is not a confirmation that the business location is properly zoned or permitted.

Business License Information

City Treasurer's Office
101 East 11th Street Suite 100
Chattanooga, TN 37402  (map)
(423) 643-7262

Theresa Lee, City Treasurer
E-mail:
tlee@chattanooga.gov

Sharon Morris, Assistant Treasurer
E-mail:
morris_s@chattanooga.gov

For inquiries regarding property taxes

423-643-7262 or email ptax@chattanooga.gov

For inquiries regarding sewer fees

Dial 311 or 423-643-6311 or email 311@chattanooga.gov

For inquiries regarding business license

423 643-7260 or email busl@chattanooga.gov

For inquiries regarding sewer fees

 

Dial 311 or 423-643-6311 or email 311@chattanooga.gov

Photo by Maycreate