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The City of Franklin Municipal Code Section 5-201 and 5-202 requires businesses within the municipality to obtain a business license and pay an annual privilege tax which is governed by the State of Tennessee Department of Revenue. The business license application fee is $15.00 and is obtained from the City of Franklin. The privilege tax is due and payable annually to the State of Tennessee and the fee is based on your gross sales. Penalty and interest will apply if taxes are not paid timely.

Click here [PDF] for an application for a City of Franklin business license. The application may be brought to the office or be mailed to the address below. The business location must be approved by completing the Zoning Certification and obtaining approval from Building and Neighborhood Services (BNS) and questions related to zoning and location should be addressed to BNS. Questions related to licensing can either be submitted electronically by clicking here or by contacting the business licensing office below.

    Franklin City Hall 
    109 3rd Avenue South 
    Suite 141
    Franklin, TN 37064 
    (615) 794-4572

When applying for a business tax license, you must provide the following: 

  • Business name, business address, business telephone number 
  • Owner's name(s), home address, home telephone number, social security number 
  • Copy of owner(s) driver's license 
  • Signature of owner

Williamson County Business License

Businesses located within the city limits of Franklin must also have a business license for Williamson County. This license may be obtained from the County Clerk’s office, Administrative Complex, 1320 West Main St., Suite 135, Franklin, TN 37064. The telephone number is (615) 790-5732.

Business Closing or Change of Ownership

In the event that your business ceases operation, whether you sell out or quit the business, a final return must be filed within 15 days of close of business or penalty and interest will apply. In accordance with T.C.A. 67-4-721, the successor of a business shall withhold sufficient funds to cover the amount of any taxes due including interest and penalty until the former owner produces a receipt showing the taxes have been paid. The purchaser shall be personally liable for the taxes, penalty and interest accrued and unpaid by the former owner. Please notify the City of Franklin immediately of a mailing address change or change of ownership.

OTHER BUSINESS TAXES and PERMITS

Professional Privilege Tax

Professionals pay a privilege for performing services in the State. Annual licenses are obtained thru the State by paying the tax but no business license is required.  The application is made to and the license is issued by the State. The priviledge tax is due by June 1st and filing may be done online at http://TN.gov/revenue  Professionals who are subject to the privilege tax include:

Accountants

Lobbyists

Agents (Securities)

Optometrists

Architects

Osteopathic Physicians

Attorneys

Pharmacists

Audiologists

Physicians

Broker-Dealers (Agents)

Podiatrists

Chiropractors

Psychologists

Dentists

Real Estate Principal Brokers

Engineers

Speech Pathologists

Investment Advisors

Sports Agents

Landscape Architects

Veterinarians

Transient Vendors, Peddlers, Solicitors and Itinerant Merchants 

The State of Tennessee has specific tax considerations for businesses operating in the State.  For business operating temporarily in the State (Transient Vendors), local jurisdictions may issue a license for the period the business operates temporarily in the State.  A license is available after payment of $57, is good for two weeks and may be renewed.   Click here [PDF] for an application.

In addition to provisions of the State of Tennessee for licensing buinesses to operate in the State, there are local permissive use requirements.  A Peddler - Solicitor Permit is required for operating from a temporary lcoation in the City of Franklin or from going door-to-door and is $50.  Permits are required for peddlers, solicitors, and itinerant merchants in accordance with Title 9 of the Franklin Municipal Code. Peddlers who operate in Franklin with a Tennessee Business License from another jurisdiction should present the business license when applying for a local permit.  Transient vendors who hold licenses outside the State are required to obtain and pay a local peddler permit when operating in the City of Franklin in addition to the State Transient Vendor permit.  The Peddler - Solicitor permit provision also applies to charitable solicitors and the State has specific regulations pertaining to professional solicitors.  An application is available here.  You may also contact the City business licensing office at (615) 794-4572.

Property Tax

The State of Tennessee allows local jurisdictions to enact taxes on real estate and personal property.  The Williamson County Assessor determines the valuation of property and Tennessee applies an assessment rate based on the use of the property.  Commercial and Industrial properties are assessed at 40% and personal property is assessed at 30%.  The City tax rate is set by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen annually.  The City of Franklin has reduced or held the rate constant for 19 years and is currently set at $0.434 per $100 of assessed value.  Property taxes are billed and collected locally.

Hotel-Motel Tax

Hotels and motels pay a privilege tax [PDF] on gross receipts from occupancy. Monthly filing reports are submitted in accordance with Title 5 of the Franklin Municipal Code.  These filings and remittance of the tax is due to the business licensing address above.

Alcohol Sales

In Tennessee, the sale of beer is obtained locally and includes beverages having an alcohol content of 5% or less.  The City of Franklin Beer Board issues beer permits to sell beer for on-premises and off-premises consumption.  In addition, special event permits are issued for one time events.  All businesses that sell beer must apply for a beer permit and appear before the beer board for approval. Requirements are provided in Title 8 of the Franklin Municipal Code.  Applicants are required to complete an application, pay an application fee of $250.00 and obtain approval from the Franklin Beer Board.  Certain zoning provisions apply.  The license is renewed annually by paying the annual privilege tax of $100.00. Click here for the application and beer laws.

All businesses that sell wine or liquor must contact the Alcoholic Beverage Commission to apply for a liquor-by-the drink license and must pay an annual privilege tax to the City of Franklin.  The tax is based on seating capacity of the facility. You can contact the Alcoholic Beverage Commission at (615) 741-1602 to obtain additional information and apply for a liquor-by-the drink license.

The sale of alcohol, including wine, is governed by State law and local ordinance.  Please contact Lanaii Benne in Administration prior to applying for a business license to determine requirements for retail package liquor requirements.  She can be reached in Suite 103 of City Hall or by calling (615) 791-3217.

Other

All commercial businesses are required to have an alarm permit and must pay an annual fee. Click here to apply. Contact the Records Department at 791-3234 with questions.

All businesses that sell beer must apply for a beer permit and go before the beer board for approval as required in Title 8 of the Franklin Municipal Code.  Businesses are required to pay an application fee of $250.00 and an annual privilege tax of $100.00. Click here for the application and beer laws.

All businesses that sell wine or liquor must contact the State of Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission to apply for a liquor license and must pay an annual fee to the City of Franklin which is based on seating. You can contact the Alcoholic Beverage Commission at (615) 741-1602.

Liquor sales are goverened by State law and are limited based on population in the City of Franklin.  All liquor package stores must contact Lanaii Benne at (615) 791-3217 prior to applying for a business license to check availability.

Businesses operating in Tennessee must meet non-smoker provisions of State law as identified here.

The State collects various taxes from businesses.  Please refer to the State of Tennessee Department of Revenue web site for additional information.

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Last updated: 10/28/2011 12:50:38 PM