Licenses and Permits

All businesses operating within Shelby County are required to obtain a business license and report their gross receipts to the Tennessee Department of Revenue on an annual basis.

Apply for a business license

Visit the Shelby County Clerk’s section on the Tennessee County Clerk site to apply for a business license. For businesses within the municipal boundaries of Memphis, a combined City of Memphis ($15 license fee) and Shelby County Business License ($15 license fee) is required.

Renewing your business license

Business licenses expire on the date you applied for your license the following year. Contact the Shelby County Clerk’s Office to renew a business license.

Make a Payment

Pay your property taxes and look up property tax payment history.

Find a business

Search by name for a business operating in the State of Tennessee at the Secretary of State’s Office.

Certificate of Use and Occupancy

Businesses locating in a commercial area of Memphis and/or Shelby County must obtain a Certificate of Use and Occupancy from the Shelby County Construction Code Enforcement Office. (Additional information can be found under Section 110 of the 2012 Building Code Local Amendments.) Learn how to avoid delays with your certificate of occupancy. 

Closing a business

One of the steps you must take to officially close your business is to contact the Shelby County Trustee’s Office. If you decide to close your business, you must file a final business tax return with the Tennessee Department of Revenue within 15 days of closing and pay any tax that is due (minimum of $22).

Professional licenses

Department of Commerce and Insurance issues licenses for medicine, cosmetology, and athletic training, among others.

Regulatory permits and licenses

City permits for beer, dance, massage, taxi, carriage, limousine, wrecker and retail liquor by the drink are mandated by various ordinances.

Applying for an alcohol license

The sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages on premises will need an alcohol license issued by the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission. 

Transient Vendor License

Transient vendors are required to obtain both a Transient Vendor License and a Transient Vendor Permit from the Shelby County Clerk’s Office.

Short-term Rental License

Properties used as short-term rentals will need to have a permit issue through Shelby County Clerk’s Office.

Property taxes

Commercial property taxes are assessed by the Shelby County Assessor’s Office and levied by the City of Memphis.

Shelby County Business Tax Division

Learn about how different businesses fall under different tax classes.

Call 311 for a service request

Call 211 for community services


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