Apply For A Business License Johnson City, Tennessee

I want to apply for a business license in Johnson City, Tennessee. What should I know?

It is required that you apply with both the City of Johnson City and Washington County to obtain a valid business license. The Johnson City business license is also called the Business Tax License. You are required to renew your business license each and every year. Within 20 days of the start of your business you must obtain a Johnson City business license. If your business license is not obtained within 20 days, charges and interest may apply. If you purchase an already established business you must make certain the previous owner filed final returns, otherwise you will be held liable for those taxes. The renewal date depends on your business classification. Business classification is determined from the application that is submitted. Washington County’s business phone number is (423) 209-6500. The Johnson City Department of Revenue’s business phone number is (423) 434-6299. Your business license will be processed within one to two days for both entities. For both applications you must submit a copy of either your driver’s license or a DMV-issued photo ID.

I want to know the costs associated with applying for a business license. What are they?

The tax is generally $15.00 with a $5.00 fee for recording at the County Recorder’s Office. This must be submitted to Johnson City Finance Department within 20 days of completing and filing your application. Additionally, Washington County requires a $15.00 fee when submitting your separate application to them. They allow a 20 day grace period as well for receipt of the fee. Annually, you must complete and file a gross receipts report. The tax due will be evaluated based on your business classification and your monetary receipts for the year. You are required to report this information to the Washington County Clerk. The time each year that the gross receipts report is evaluated varies depending on your business classification. For general information on the business classification you may call the Johnson City Finance Department at (423) 434-6299 for details.

Please take note that there are two tax fees due each year, one for the Johnson City and one for Washington County. These fees must be paid separately. You will not receive your business renewal license until both are satisfied. Businesses that are exempt from paying the county and city taxes are those that gross less than $3,000.00 annually. Furthermore, the following are also exempt, no matter the gross: manufacturers, doctors, dentists, veterinarians, attorneys, accountants, schools, religious organizations, insurance agents, loan companies, security exchanges, and public utilities. A personality tax may also be assessed. To determine if you will be taxed for this, please call the Johnson City Finance Department at (423) 434-6299. Payments to both entities, Johnson City Finance Department and the Washington County Clerk may be made by personal check, money order, cash, or credit card.

How do I find out if my location will be permitted?

Businesses vary in zoning permitting. It is recommended that you contact the Codes Enforcement Division at (423) 434-6047.

Is the process different for a home-based business?

It is recommended that you contact Johnson City directly. Their number is (423) 434-6299.

Who can I contact for questions?

Please be aware that there are two entities you must deal with when getting your business license, Johnson City and the Washington County Clerk.

Johnson City’s address is:

601 East Main Street
Finance Department
P.O. Box 2150
Johnson City, TN 37605
(423) 434-6299

You can also visit the Johnson City official website for more information.

The Washington County Clerk’s address is:

378 Market Place Blvd.
Johnson City, TN 37604
(423) 610-7200

If you have questions about the process in general, it is recommended that you first contact Johnson City. The State of Tennessee Department of Revenue offers a toll-free tax information line for taxpayers: 1-800-342-1003.

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This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.


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