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The Office of Small Business Advocate

The Office of Small Business Advocate serves as a point of contact to state government for owners of businesses with fifty (50) or fewer employees. The Office of Small Business Advocate is located within the Comptroller of the Treasury.

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News Archive
Rulemaking Hearing for Workers' Compensation Exemption Registration
(Published: January 14, 2011)

A rulemaking hearing for Workers' Compensation Exemption Registration rules (Rule 1360-09-01 et seq.) will be held on Friday, January 21, 2011 at 2:00 CST in the 6th Floor Conference Room at the Tennessee Tower located at 312 Rosa Parks Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee, 37243.

The filing is available on the Secretary of State's website at . Please contact Maggie Bahou, Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development, at 615-741-7411 or if you require disability accommodation.

Businesses Can Save Time, Money by Filing Reports Online with the Office of the Secretary of State
(Published: March 9, 2010)

In a difficult economy, most businesses have neither time nor money to spare. So it’s not surprising that more and more companies that do business in Tennessee are choosing to file their registration paperwork and annual reports online with the Office of the Secretary of State.

About 185,000 businesses and other corporate entities are expected to file annual reports in Tennessee this year. Since most of them close out their books at the end of each calendar year, their annual reports are due April 1.

The office’s Division of Business Services switched to a “true” online filing system last fall. For about a year prior to the transition, companies could transmit their reports via the Internet, but that information still had to be manually keyed into the old computer system by employees.


Annual Reports with May 1 Deadline Are Now Due
(Posted 03/04/2010)

Annual Reports for companies with a January fiscal year close are currently due and should be filed no later than May 1, 2010.  Companies can easily complete their Annual Report filing responsibilities by using the online Annual Report Filing tool.  Failure to file the required Annual Report by the deadline will initiate a process of determination against the company, ultimately resulting in administrative dissolution.

Annual Reports with April 1 Deadline Are Now Due
(Posted 2/10/2010)

Annual Reports for companies with a December fiscal year close are currently due and should be filed no later than April 1, 2010. The vast majority of businesses on file with the Business Services Division have a December fiscal year close. Most businesses, therefore, are currently due to file an Annual Report. This year, each entity will receive a postcard notice reminder that the annual report is due. The postcard contains the name of the entity, the SOS control number, and the Annual Report due date. The Department will not be mailing out annual report forms. There is a Business Services Annual Report Filing tool, which you can access by clicking here to file your annual report on-line.

You have two options on how to file the annual report.

Option 1 – Complete the report on-line and file and pay the annual report fee electronically by credit card. If you select this option, there is also a credit card convenience fee which merely covers our cost of processing the credit card transaction. We currently accept MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover.

Option 2 – Complete the report on-line, print sign and date the report, then mail the report along with a check for the Annual Report fee to our office for the annual report fee. Our mailing address is:

Secretary of State
Division of Business Services
312 Rosa L. Parks Ave.
William R. Snodgrass Tower – 6th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243

Failure to file an Annual Report by the deadline will initiate a process of determination for the entity, which can ultimately result in administrative dissolution of the business.

Please contact us either by email at or by telephone at (615) 741-2286 if you have questions regarding how to properly file your entity’s annual report.

Enhanced Business Services Website Offers Database Download
(Posted 11/09/2009)

With the recent activation of our new business filing system, the Business Services Division is pleased to offer a new online service available from our website. This new service will allow customers to purchase and download the complete Business Services database for the price of $1,000. Database purchases can be made with MasterCard, Visa or American Express credit cards. The price includes a complete list of records on business entities, active or inactive, that have filed with the Secretary of State Business Services Division. The data sets include address information, filing history, and assumed names. Customers may also purchase weekly and monthly updates for an additional $50 for each update. The database download function is available by clicking here.

New Business Filing System
(Posted 9/18/2009)

The Department of State launched a new software system for business record filings that will help the department serve its customers more efficiently.

The Business Entity and Annual Report (BEAR) System replaced the nearly 30-year-old Corporate Management System software. With the addition of BEAR, the department’s service by mail, through the website and at the walk-in counter in Nashville should be faster and more accurate.

“We are excited to implement this new system,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “With this upgraded technology, we hope to elevate the Division of Business Services’ already excellent reputation for customer service.”

Although no major disruption is expected as the BEAR system goes online, Business Services customers may experience slight delays in counter service shortly after the launch.

“We appreciate the patience of our customers during the first few days of using the BEAR system as we make positive changes to help serve you better,” Secretary Hargett said.