Tennessee Business Opportunities

Graceland in Memphis, TN
Graceland in Memphis, TN[1]

A Quick Glance at Tennessee

Tennessee, whose nickname is The Volunteer State, first obtained its statehood in 1796. With a population of 6,495,978 people, Tennessee is the seventeenth most populated state in the United States.

If you are considering starting your new business in Tennessee, you might want to look into one of Tennessee's top three most populous cities - Memphis, Nashville (which is also the state's capital) or Knoxville.

Top Industry

The largest industry in the state of Tennessee is ambulatory health care services.

  • The gross domestic product (GDP), of this industry, is roughly $13.3 billion and accounts for 4.3% of Tennessee's GDP.
  • Ambulatory health care services also employs 4.5% of Tennessee's private workforce.

Small Businesses

In the United States, the more than 600,000 plus franchised small busineeses account for 40% of all retail sales and provide jobs for some 8 million people. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), their standard definition of what constitutes as a small business includes a maximum of 500 employees or operations with and/or up to $7 million in revenue, depending on the industry.

  • There are 1.1 million small businesses, in the state, of Tennessee.
  • Small businesses in Tennessee, make up 34.6% of the state's private workforce.

State and Local Taxes

Listed below are the state and local taxes, for the state of Tennessee, and how they rank against other states in the U.S.

State Tax Rate Avg. Local Tax Rate Combined Rate Combined Rank* Max Local Tax Rate
7% 2.46% 9.46% 2 2.75%
*Combined Rank is rank from highest to lowest tax percentage

California has the highest state tax rate in the United States at 7.25%, but Lousinana has the highest combined tax rate, overall, at 9.98%. Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon share the spot for lowest combined tax rates at 0%.

Additional Information

If you need additional information about how to start a business in Tennessee, their official state page might be a good place to start. If you are looking to own your own established franchise in Tennessee, we have collected a comprehensive list of companies that are actively looking to expand in Tennessee, for you to explore.


  1. By Jan Kronsell - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
  2. Census.gov
  3. Comparison between U.S. states and countries by GDP (nominal) from Wikipedia
  4. Largest Industry in Each State from 24/7 Wall St.
  5. 2017 Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories from the U.S. Small Business Administration
  6. Small Business Trends from the U.S. Small Business Administration
  7. Civilian Labor Force and Unemployment by State from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  8. State and Local Sales Tax Rates in 2017 from the Tax Foundation
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