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Tennessee Nonprofit Document Requirements

Tennessee Nonprofit Requirements

At BryteBridge, we’re proud of the communities our nonprofit partners have built. Our primary goal is to ensure you have everything you need to stay in compliance, run your nonprofit business effectively, and achieve strategic growth. Once you have determined the community or cause you are looking to support via your nonprofit organization, it’s important to know what the requirements are for your state. BryteBridge Nonprofit Solutions can help you navigate Tennessee’s various nonprofit requirements and ensure that you stay in compliance.

Tennessee State Registration Documents



Charter Nonprofit Corporation

Business Entity Search



Average Processing Time

1-2 Business Days

Electronic Filing?


Charity Registration

State Requirement?


Charity Registration Search



Renewal Requirement?


990 EZ Requirement?


Annual Report

State Requirement?



Annually, within 3 months following your fiscal year end


$20, plus a 2.35% filing fee ($0.47); Additional $20 fee to change registered agent

Other Exemptions

State Income Tax


Sales Tax Exemption

Must file – $0

Tax Returns

All organizations (except those classified as churches) are required to file an annual 990 form (990N, 990EZ, 990 or 990PF) to be exempt from Income Tax.

The 990 return is due on the 15th day of the 5th month after the end of the organization’s fiscal year.

Failure to file for 3 consecutive years could cause your organization lose tax-exempt status.

How to Start a 501(c)(3) in Tennessee

We will help you with all the necessary forms to keep your nonprofit in compliance. In Tennessee, this will include a charter form (detailing your corporation) and approximately $153 in initial fees. To file your charter, you will need:

  • At least three directors for your board who are 18+ and considered individuals (natural persons), not corporations.
  • An individual or corporation that acts as your registered agent, agreeing to accept legal documents on your behalf in the event of a lawsuit, with a non-P.O. box address in Tennessee.
  • A name and street address for the corporation’s registered office in Tennessee and it’s registered agent.
  • The name and mailing address of the incorporator.
  • State-compliant bylaws as approved by your board of directors in an organizational meeting
  • A federal employer identification number (EIN).

How to Obtain 501(c)(3) Status in Tennessee

To obtain tax exempt status for your Tennessee nonprofit (501c3 or other 501c), you must complete and file IRS Form 1023, and include the following information on your charter:

  • A statement that reads,  “This Corporation shall be a nonprofit corporation.”
  • A statement that the corporation will not have any capital stock.
  • A statement of purpose that meets IRS requirements.
  • Statements that the corporation will not engage in activities unrelated to its exempt purposes or in prohibited political or legislative activity.
  • A dissolution provision dedicating the corporation’s assets to another 501(c)(3) organization or the government upon dissolution.

All Tennessee nonprofits with 501(c)(3) status must file an annual report with the State due within three months of your fiscal year end, and pay a $20.47 fee. If you have questions about how to start a 501(c)(3) in Tennessee, contact us today

Hit the Ground Running with BryteBridge Nonprofit Solutions

When you collaborate with BryteBridge Nonprofit Solutions, developing your Tennessee nonprofit organization can be easy. We’ll help you navigate any and all regulatory and operational requirements so you can devote more time to your cause. Learn more about our nonprofit startup solutions .