Business and Tax

Tennessee has one of the strongest LLC statutes in the nation, affording our clients uncommon protection against liability.

Contracts and Business Transactions

Our attorneys particularly enjoy working with clients to accomplish transactional objectives, whether it is a contract with a vendor or the acquisition of a new subsidiary. If you are selling your business, we can help you maximize the after-tax proceeds.

Lifetime Transfers of Businesses

Because our firm also has extensive knowledge of estate planning, we can help position your business for your heirs. For example, lifetime estate freezes shift the income or appreciation of the business to younger generation beneficiaries must comply with IRS guidelines to avoid adverse gift tax consequences. Our experience in tailoring partnership and operating agreements within such guidelines facilitates tax-advantaged transfers of business interests to our clients’ family members. Gifts of options and of restricted stock, and qualification of trusts as S Corporation shareholders, are other areas in which we can help you.

Testamentary Transfers of Businesses

Where business interests are to be transferred at death, the terms of that transfer should be integrated with the client’s overall estate plan in order to minimize intra-family disputes. Estate planning for business interests also includes consideration and implementation of special tax provisions intended to reduce or defer estate tax, such as stock redemptions and certain exclusions and extensions available for qualified family-owned or closely-held business interests.

Forming an LLC in Tennessee

When considering a legal structure for your new company, you’ll want to take both business and tax interests under consideration. The dedicated legal team at Carpenter & Lewis PLLC can help you to effectively weigh your options. There are four major types of business structures that can be formed in Tennessee: corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, and sole proprietorships. When we discuss these options with you, we’ll help you make an informed decision based on your vision for your new company.

For example, if you value a very flexible management structure, you have no concerns about taxing your company’s profits and losses on your personal taxes, and you anticipate that your business will probably remain relatively small and will operate locally, a partnership or sole proprietorship may suit your needs. Conversely, if you hope to “go big” and to expand quickly, you don’t mind sharing authority for your company’s operations with fellow Board of Directors members, and you want the maximum amount of personal liability possible, you might be best served by creating a corporation.

However, if you’d like the “best of both worlds” and your business model fits certain criteria, forming an LLC may be the way to go. LLC owners (called members) enjoy a relatively flexible management structure, minimal reporting requirements, and can tax their company as either a singular corporate entity or the company can be taxed on their personal returns. LLCs can be formed by individuals or by multiple members. As noted above, crafting an LLC business structure in Tennessee affords members some of the best personal liability protection around, so this may be an ideal business structure for you and your new company.

Getting Your LLC Started

While the business and tax “set up” challenges associated with forming an LLC are nowhere near as complex as those associated with forming a corporation, it is generally a good idea to consult with an attorney before you begin navigating the formation process. Some platforms would give you the impression that you can simply form an LLC online with a few clicks of a button. While you may be able to secure state registration for your business in this way, the overall process is more complicated than that.

If you don’t have an attorneys’ eyes on your formation process from the start, you could make critical missteps that could cost you a great deal of time, money, and stress down the road. For example, if you register your business without first doing a company name search both in Tennessee and in a nationwide trademark capacity, you could run into legal trouble for unintentionally compromising the intellectual property rights of a fellow business owner.

Working with the knowledgeable and reputable legal team at Carpenter & Lewis PLLC “from go” can help to ensure that you get off on the right foot when it comes to your new business. From tax liability considerations to contractual concerns, our business and tax legal team has you covered. We are proud to represent the interests of many local business owners and it would be our pleasure to safeguard your interests as well.

You can depend on Knoxville, TN business attorneys to give you the legal counsel that you need for areas such as business acquisitions, mergers, transactions and determining solutions for business disputes. Business attorney plays a crucial role in providing legal services that are vital for the success and protection of a business. From assisting with entity formation and contract drafting to intellectual property protection and compliance with laws and regulations, their expertise ensures that your business operates within the legal framework and is equipped to handle legal challenges effectively. 

Formation and Structuring of Business Entities

When starting a business, it is essential to choose the right legal structure that aligns with your goals and provides the necessary legal protections. A business attorney can guide you through the process of forming a business entity, such as a corporation, limited liability company (LLC), or partnership. They can advise you on the advantages and disadvantages of each structure and help you comply with the legal requirements for registration, licensing, and permits. When  you hire experienced Knoxville, TN business attorneys to assist you with establishing your business, you can ensure that your operations will go smoothly. 

Contract Drafting and Review

Contracts are the foundation of any business relationship, whether it involves clients, vendors, employees, or partners. If you want to minimize the risks you can potentially face, a business attorney can set up your contracts and revise them for any errors. They have the expertise to identify potential pitfalls, negotiate favorable terms, and ensure that contracts comply with relevant laws and regulations. From employment agreements and vendor contracts to partnership agreements and non-disclosure agreements, a business attorney can provide valuable guidance and help you avoid costly legal disputes in the future.

Intellectual Property Protection

Intellectual property (IP) is often a critical asset for businesses, including trademarks, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets. A business attorney can assist you in protecting your IP rights by conducting comprehensive searches, filing trademark and copyright applications, and drafting licensing agreements. A skilled attorney like one from  can advise you on specific strategies so that your intellectual property can be strongly protected from infringement and other threats. With the help of a business attorney, you can safeguard your brand, innovations, and creative works, ensuring that they remain exclusive to your business.

Compliance with Laws and Regulations

Businesses must adhere to a wide range of laws and regulations at the local, state, and federal levels. Navigating these legal requirements can be complex and time-consuming. A business attorney can keep you informed about changes in laws that impact your industry and help you develop strategies to ensure compliance. They can assist in areas such as employment law, data privacy, consumer protection, environmental regulations, and more. By working closely with a business attorney, you can minimize the risk of regulatory violations and mitigate potential legal consequences. You can get the peace of mind that you are searching for when you have a legal issue that concerns your business, so contact knowledgeable Knoxville, TB business attorneys from Carpenter & Lewis PLLC if you need legal help right away. 

10 Tennessee Tax Laws Every Business Owner Should Know: Guidance From Tax Attorneys

Understanding the impact of Tennessee’s tax laws is crucial for business owners to ensure compliance and minimize tax liabilities. Here are ten important tax laws every business owner in Tennessee should be aware of, with insights from Tennessee business and tax attorneys:

  1. Franchise and Excise Tax: Tennessee imposes a franchise and excise tax on businesses operating in the state based on net earnings or tangible property. Understanding the calculation and filing requirements is essential to avoid penalties.
  2. Sales and Use Tax: Tennessee’s sales tax applies to most retail sales of goods and some services. Additionally, businesses must collect and remit sales tax on taxable items sold within the state, with varying rates for different counties and municipalities.
  3. Business Tax Registration: Businesses operating in Tennessee must register with the Department of Revenue and obtain a tax identification number. Compliance with registration requirements ensures businesses can legally operate and fulfill their tax obligations.
  4. Income Tax: Tennessee does not levy a state income tax on wages and salaries, but it does tax certain investment income, such as interest and dividends. Understanding the tax treatment of different types of income is essential for proper tax planning.
  5. Business License Tax: Many Tennessee cities and counties impose a business license tax on businesses operating within their jurisdiction. Knowing the applicable tax rates and filing requirements is crucial for compliance.
  6. Property Tax: Tennessee assesses property tax on real and personal property owned by businesses. Understanding the valuation methods and exemptions available can help businesses minimize property tax liabilities.
  7. Tax Credits and Incentives: Tennessee offers various tax credits and incentives to encourage business growth and investment, such as job creation credits, research and development credits, and incentives for certain industries. Taking advantage of these programs can result in significant tax savings.
  8. Employment Taxes: Businesses in Tennessee are responsible for withholding and remitting employment taxes, including federal income tax, Social Security tax, and Medicare tax. Compliance with payroll tax requirements is essential to avoid penalties and interest.
  9. Taxpayer Bill of Rights: Tennessee has a Taxpayer Bill of Rights that outlines the rights and protections afforded to taxpayers during the tax assessment and collection process. Understanding these rights can help businesses navigate disputes with the Department of Revenue.
  10. Tax Audits and Appeals: Businesses in Tennessee may be subject to tax audits by the Department of Revenue. Knowing the audit process, rights of appeal, and strategies for responding to audit findings is crucial for protecting businesses’ interests and minimizing tax liabilities.

Still Confused About TN Business Laws? Contact Our Tennessee Business And Tax Attorneys

By familiarizing themselves with these important tax laws and seeking guidance from experienced tax attorneys from Carpenter & Lewis PLLC, business owners in Tennessee can ensure compliance, minimize tax risks, and optimize their tax positions for long-term success. We can explain how these laws may impact your bottom line and business operations, minimizing your risk exposure. Contact us today to learn more.

Tennessee Business And Tax FAQs

The right Tennessee business and tax law firm can make all the difference. At Carpenter & Lewis PLLC, we understand that business owners face a multitude of legal and tax challenges that can impact their operations and financial well-being. By focusing on estate and business cases, our firm has the experience needed to provide clear, effective solutions tailored to each client’s unique needs. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about the services we provide to businesses.

Contact Us Today

Choosing the right legal partner is essential for navigating the complexities of business and tax laws. At Carpenter & Lewis PLLC, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide personalized, practical solutions that help businesses thrive in a competitive marketplace. Whether you’re preparing for tax season, concerned about intellectual property protection, or considering dissolving your business, our team is here to assist you every step of the way.

If you have any more questions or need personalized advice tailored to your specific business needs, don’t hesitate to contact us. Reach out to our office today, and get started with a Tennessee business and tax law firm you can trust.

Tennessee Limited Liability Statute

Tennessee limited liability statute

Limited Liability Company FAQs

Llimited Liabilty Companies - Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers!)

Tennessee Limited Liability Company

Tennessee Limited Liability Company Considerations

Why Choose us?

Business Attorneys Knoxville TN

Whether you are just starting a new business after having worked for someone else or you have owned a business for decades, C&L can help you optimize your business structure and advise you on business and tax law questions.

The attorneys of Carpenter & Lewis PLLC work closely with our clients to ensure optimum terms for the transfer of business interests to the next generation, from the tax as well as the non-tax perspective, including consideration of family dynamics and the client’s wish to minimize conflicts among family members and co-owners. We have particular experience in designing family limited partnerships and limited liability companies, and in utilizing buy-sell agreements, often including life insurance arrangements, in a variety of situations.

Client Review

“We own several businesses and have had the pleasure of working with Stephen and his team for over 9 years now. He always comes through in a pinch. They have assisted us with leases, estate planning, company formations and even landlord issues. I highly recommend them for all your business attorney needs!”
Mary Ellen Nichols
Client Review

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[email protected]

10413 Kingston Pike, Suite 200

Knoxville, Tennessee 37922

New Clients:  (865) 509-9600

Existing Clients:  (865) 690-4997

Facsimile:   (865) 690-4790

Probate - Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers!)

At C&L, we focus on protecting families from the expense and delay of probate, explaining long-term care planning options and minimizing tax consequences, both during lifetime and upon death.

Estate Planning - Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers!)

We advise and represent beneficiaries, executors, administrators, personal representatives, trustees, heirs and interested parties in regard to probate and trust administration matters.

Tennessee Limited Liability Company Considerations

Our attorneys particularly enjoy working with clients to accomplish transactional objectives, whether it is a contract with a vendor or the acquisition of a new subsidiary.